Articles Concerning Sex Offender Issues ©
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News Articles from yesterday and before
You're reading correctly. Gulf Middle School resource officer John Nohejl didn't have porn on his MySpace profile, and he didn't link to porn. But one of the 170-odd people on his friends list, which seems mostly populated by students at his school, had a link to a legal adult site. Now the New Port Richey Police Department and the Florida attorney general's elite cyber crimes unit are investigating him for making adult content available to underage children.
Nohejl set up his MySpace account late last year with the school's and the police department's support, in a laudable bid to communicate with students where they live. Presumably, he was expected to check all of his friends' profiles every day for inappropriate links -- because a school cop has nothing better to do.
Lauren Weinstein of People for Internet Responsibility correctly calls the investigation a "witch hunt," and points out that the school itself can be accused of the same crime, if we're now holding people responsible for content three clicks away. ..more.. : by Kevin Poulsen
Lawmakers say they are concerned about an increasingly well-documented phenomenon: While the vast majority of America's teachers are committed professionals, there also is a persistent problem with sexual misconduct in U.S. schools. When abuse happens, administrators too often fail to let others know about it, and too many legal loopholes let offenders stay in the classroom. ..more.. : by ROBERT TANNER, AP National Writer
The creator of the file says he compiled the photos earlier this month using the MySpace security hole that Wired News reported on last week. That hole, still unacknowledged by the News Corporation-owned site, allowed voyeurs to peek inside the photo galleries of some MySpace users who had set their profiles to "private," despite MySpace's assurances that such images could only be seen by people on a user's friends' list.
"I think the greatest motivator was simply to prove that it could be done," file creator "DMaul" says in an e-mail interview. "I made it public that I was saving these images. However, I am certain there are mischievous individuals using these hacks for nefarious purposes." ..more.. : by Kevin Poulsen
The bill’s sponsor, Delegate Riley Ingram, D-Hopewell, also is carrying the so-called “Ed Barber bill” to ban convicted sex offenders from holding elected office.
“You don’t think these things happen, but they do,” Ingram says. He initially didn’t believe the legal loophole story he was told by Sydney Smith (name changed), whose daughter was victimized by Roland Delbert Knight Jr. of Varina. “The person was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but that’s all.” ..more.. : by Chris Dovi
It doesn't seem like a difficult choice. Who wouldn't want to support laws targeting convicted sex offenders and be paid for it? Yet legislatures from Arizona to Illinois to Rhode Island are leaning against implementing the law. Because once you get past the painful emotions and look hard at the problem of child sexual abuse, it turns out that sex offender registration and community notification laws might not actually prevent sexual violence. [[[SNIP]]]
Implementing the changes required by the act will cost states a lot of money. At a legislative hearing in Arizona, witnesses testified that the state would lose between $700,000 and $800,000 in federal law enforcement grants if it didn't comply with the law — but that it would cost millions of dollars to expand the state's sex offender laws to comply with the Adam Walsh Act. ..more.. : by Sarah Tofte, Human Rights Watch
Authorities said Zidel used photos of campers and superimposed the heads and faces on pornographic photos. The court ruled the pictures do not violate child pornography laws, partly because they did not involve sexual acts by actual children and partly because they were not deliberately distributed. ..more.. : by WSFB.com
The bug had been around since at least October (Thanks to Rose for tipping me off), during which time it had been gleefully exploited by voyeurs, hackers, entrepreneurs and lechers; you can find pages and pages of public message board comments around the web in which posters are peeking in on 14 and 15-year-old girls and sharing what they find.
Ad-supported web sites with names like Can't Hide and MySpacePrivateProfile.com emerged to earn a buck off the glitch. One such site reports that its users have accessed, or attempted to access, 77,000 private profiles -- 3,000 of them today. ..more.. : by Kevin Poulsen
The case, believed to be the first of its kind to reach this level, raises a digital-age issue about how to balance privacy and civil liberties against the government's responsibility to protect the public.
The case, which involves suspected possession of child pornography, comes as more Americans turn to encryption to protect the privacy and security of files on their laptops and thumb drives. FBI and Justice Department officials have said that encryption is allowing terrorists and criminals to communicate covertly.
On Nov. 29, Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier ruled that compelling Sebastien Boucher, a 30- year-old drywall installer who lives in Vermont, to enter his password into his laptop would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. [[[snip]]]
"The consequence of this decision being upheld is that the government would have to find other methods to get this information," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "But that's . . . what the Fifth Amendment is intended to protect." ..more.. : by Ellen Nakashima, The Washington Post
Gerald Bailey, commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, wrote to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month seeking help after House lawyers said the agency couldn't examine the computers.
Pelosi referred the letter back to the House Office of General Counsel, which in July told the department that constitutional issues prevented it from allowing access to the computers. Deputy General Counsel Kerry Kircher repeated the argument in the new letter, which the department received Tuesday. ..more.. : by Associated Press
Under mounting pressure from law enforcement and parents, MySpace promised to create a task force of industry professionals to watch over its operations, and other social-networking sites will be invited to participate. [[[snip]]] On the same day attorneys general from 49 states announced the MySpace agreement, New York prosecutors announced charges against a couple who allegedly used the site to lure two girls who were younger than 15 to their home. Authorities say the couple plied the pair with alcohol, engaged in group sex with them and took them to a strip club where the girls had to dance on stage. ..more.. : by CLARE TRAPASSO The Associated Press
..more.. : by SCOTT BROOKS
The stepson was arrested Jan. 2 and charged with suspicion of aggravated sexual assault. Police say the father caught the stepson assaulting his 8-year-old daughter, and a subsequent examination at a hospital revealed the girl had been sodomized. Sgt. Cheryl Johnson, supervisor of the Fort Worth sex crimes unit, said in a story posted Saturday on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Web site that people need to "allow the criminal justice system to work for them."
"This is a very unique case, but we have a criminal justice system in place, and no one can take the law into their own hands," Johnson said. When the stepson was arrested, the man warned his wife not to get the teenager out of jail. Instead, she posted bond for the stepson's release from the Arlington jail. When the teenager called home Jan. 3 after getting released, the father took the call and drove to the jail to pick him up, police said.
Police said that instead of taking the teenager home, the Arlington man drove to an abandoned house in Fort Worth. Inside the house, he beat his stepson with a baseball bat and sodomized him with a metal tool, police said. ..more.. : by Associated Press
The history of Deputy Kevin Taylor, who is still assigned to the jail, is relevant because it would show whether other inmates have accused Taylor of encouraging other jail attacks, said Martin J. Heneghan, who is representing an inmate charged in the October 2006 death of John Chamberlain.
“It’s very suspicious,” Heneghan said of the missing file. “It would indicate or suggest a suppression of evidence.” ..more.. : by RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
In both cases, Fabian appears to have to come out the loser. "I'm thrilled," said attorney Bradford Colbert, who represented the prisoners. The appeals court judges "never rule lightly against the commissioner of corrections. That's not something they love to do." Shari Burt, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, said it is reviewing the decisions: "After those reviews are completed, we will determine whether we want to appeal the court's decisions to the Minnesota Supreme Court." ..more.. : by EMILY GURNON
If both felony and misdemeanor-listed offenders fail to report their living arrangements from Jan. 1 through Jan. 15, Michigan State Police officials said they stand a good chance of being arrested.
“The verification period is so we know where these offenders are, and it allows us to keep track of them,” said MSP Sgt. Cindy Johnson. She added that some felons actually have to verify their address four times per year. “If [sex offenders] are non-compliant, then we basically track those people down,” said Johnson. [[[SNIP]]]
“A lot of people complain that we'll track sex offenders and they'll ask us why [police] aren't tracking homicidal people,” Johnson said. “But the state requires us to do this. We can't just track every person in the world.” ..more.. : by FRANK KONKEL, Sentinel-Standard writer
Early Monday morning, neighbors grabbed their video cameras to capture the glow coming from a car on fire. "I don't know if they're malicious," said Norfolk's, Minton Owens. "I don't know if they just want to prove a point." Minton Owens, the landlord who posted the sign, heard the explosion and ran to his window. The car's now gone, but shattered glass and other parts still remain where the car once stood.
"You can see it through the windows," added Minton. "People were banging on the door and then my phone started ringing, all the neighbors were saying get out the house." Owens says the car was a friend's. He believes the fire could've been started because of the sign he posted. "I wouldn't say that it doesn't surprise me," said Owens. "I'm surprised that people would take it this far. That they are that concerned about a sign."
The sign sits in front of the house next door - a house Owens owns and rents, but not to everyone. "I don't think it's worth killing somebody over," added Owens. "I don't think it's worth getting upset over." ..more.. : by Jason Marks
The new capital punishment case involves Patrick Kennedy, a 43-year-old black man from suburban New Orleans — the only individual in the nation now on death row for committing a non-homicide crime. He was sentenced to die after being convicted of raping his eight-year-old stepdaughter. The case is Kennedy v. Louisiana (07-343). Louisiana is one of only five states that make child rape a capital crime. Kennedy’s lawyers argued that, in the other four states with such laws, prosecutors refuse to seek the death sentence for such crimes. They contend that enforcing a death sentence for the crime of child rape contradicts the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision (Coker v. Georgia) barring the death penalty for rape — a decision involving rape of an adult. The appeal also contends that a death sentence for child rape is so rare that it is cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. ..more.. : by SCOTUS Blog
Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman on Monday granted a preliminary injunction barring county authorities from re-classifying Timothy R. Delagrange, 30, of 2647 Fairfax St., Streetsboro, as a Tier II offender under the new Adam Walsh Act until a full hearing can be held on Delagrange's behalf.
No date has been set yet for a full hearing, and until one is held Pittman ordered the new registration requirements not be applied to Delagrange. ..more.. : by Marci Piltz
According to county Common Pleas Court records, Brendan McClaskey, of 1551 Victor Circle, Salem, filed the first petition in Columbiana County on Dec. 20 through an attorney, Emmor Snyder of Girard. Cited as a petition to challenge re-classification and registration requirements under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2950, which deals with sex offender registration, the document asked the court to honor his original registration requirements.
The state of Ohio was listed as the defendant. [[[snip]]] He (Herron) had not seen copies of the petitions filed by Brown or McClaskey and wasn’t familiar with their cases, but admitted good arguments could be made in some cases against some aspects of the law, such as whether an 18-year-old who had sexual relations with his 16-year-old girlfriend is a danger to the community. ..more.. : by MARY ANN GREIER
In Ohio, every sex offender must re-register under the new system by June 1, 2008. The offenders must not only list their address, but also their car or any vehicle they might drive. "In addition to that, vacation spots, any internet addresses, identifiers has to be in there, any professional licensing that they may have, over the road truck drivers, we have to have their typical route. Different things like that.
The registry itself has expanded to the point where we're really collecting as much information as possible," said Sgt. Steve Forro of the Belmont Co. Sheriff's Dept. Sgt. Forro said these expanded sex offender profiles will all be available to the public. ..more.. : by D.K. Wright
The board of aldermen had approved both measures Dec. 26, a week before Streeter issued the vetoes. Streeter announced the vetoes Wednesday afternoon in separate letters to City Clerk Paul Bergeron. One veto overturned an ordinance that would have established that sex offenders could not live within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and day-care centers. [[[snip]]]
The sex offender ordinance narrowly passed by a 7-6 vote, with two members absent, while the parkway referendum was overwhelmingly approved, 10-3. Because a new board of aldermen will be sworn in Sunday, the current board would have to hold a special meeting to vote to override the vetoes. Overriding the vetoes would require 10 "yes" votes from the 15-member board.Rootovich didn't receive formal notice of the vetoes until after 5 p.m. Wednesday because the names of the five aldermen who will be leaving the board were deleted from the e-mail list. Among those five were Rootovich and Alderman-at-Large James Tollner, the board vice president.
Only Rootovich or Tollner could call the special meeting. By the time he learned of the vetoes, it was too late to try to schedule a meeting before Saturday, Rootovich said. Rootovich said he was "livid" the names of aldermen were deleted from the official list before their terms expired. He called for an investigation of who prematurely changed the list. Tollner, who proposed the sex-offender legislation, said, "I'm very disappointed in the mayor's actions." He said he was also disappointed he only learned about the vetoes from a reporter's telephone call. ..more.. : by PATRICK MEIGHAN Telegraph Staff
See also: Outgoing mayor vetoes sex offender ordinance
Sex offender limits to have little impact
Ivan Garcia Oliver, 29, has been charged with a felony count of possessing a weapon in jail, said Lake County Sheriff Rod Mitchell. He already was facing a first-degree murder charge in the stabbing death of Michael Dodele, a convicted rapist, in November.
In a jailhouse interview, Oliver told the Los Angeles Times he thought Dodele was a child molester, based on a faulty reading of the charges on an official sex offender Web registry. He said he acted to protect his son.
However, Dodele's sex crime conviction was for raping an adult Santa Rosa woman. Because he was a repeat offender, Dodele served nearly 20 years for the assault before being released two months ago. ..more.. : by GLENDA ANDERSON, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Whitaker was 17 when she had consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old boy. Both were sophomores in high school at the time. This was one act committed 10 years ago. Now Whitaker is among many others who are on the sex offender registry for having had consensual sex as teenagers, said Sara Totonchi, public policy director of the Southern Center for Human Rights. "People with advanced Alzheimer's disease and people in hospice care are also on the registry and have been subject to eviction," Totonchi said. ..more.. : by Kaffie Sledge
Trovato plans to ask the commission Monday for permission to hold a closed executive session to see whether officials want him to proceed with the city's appeals of the orders and the possible 10 new prosecutions. [[[snip]]] The 5th District Court of Appeal recently declined to accept jurisdiction over the city's appeal of the order that it pay to represent three defendants. The appeal has been transferred to circuit court in Volusia County, records show. This comes as some attorneys predict a possible statewide impact of recent rulings by two Duval County judges that the city of Jacksonville's residency restrictions for sex offenders are unconstitutional. ..more.. : by SARA KIESLER, Staff Writer
Nelly Vergara Hernandez was shot and killed as she stood on the sidewalk at 2488 Venice Blvd. on Monday morning. Using a Global Positioning Satellite system to track sex offenders and gang members, LAPD officers learned MS-13 gang member John Garcia, 20, had been in the area at the time of the shooting.
Within three minutes, a helicopter unit had tracked Garcia to Compton. Following seven hours of surveillance, Garcia and six other individuals were arrested.
"Criminals are some of the stupidest people in the world," Bratton said. "The more of these bracelets that we have out there, these people are going to become pariahs even among the gangs because the gang members aren't going to want to be seen with them. "We're not dealing with the brightest bulbs in the circuit. This character has to be one of the stupidest people in the city of Los Angeles." ..more.. : by FOX News
"Then it hit me that I was in P.E. freshman year, and this kid was there for a while and he was my neighbor at my locker," Gilmore told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News. [[[snip]]] Gilmore made copies of the announcement and started handing them out to classmates "to let them know that we're going to school with dangerous people and to be more aware." Three other students helped create and distribute fliers. He said minutes later, the school's principal caught up with him.
Gilmore was suspended for three days. School officials said the fliers amounted to harassment and he was interfering with other students' education, according to school documents.
..more.. : by KIRO TV
The justices voted unanimously to review legal claims by four registered sex offenders, two of them from the Bay Area, who could be returned to prison for parole violations because of where they lived after being released. The court blocked the state from acting against the four men when it first intervened in their case two months ago, but parole officials have started to arrest others in similar circumstances. ..more.. : by Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
I was troubled when the city of Ogdensburg passed the first north country legislation restricting the rights of sex offenders, but at least it didn’t create a ban so broad that, when all was said and done, sex offenders were banned from the city. Then Madrid took up a ban that, by using absurdly broad “cones of protection,” would effectively ban sex offenders from the hamlet. ..more.. : by Northern NY Follies Blog
As it moved on a map, the dot told him that the offender had woken up around 5 a.m. and milled around downtown. Most important, the dot told Ervin that the 23-year-old man was not at work, but had taken a bus to a skateboarding hangout and the Southcenter Mall. "Part of his pattern is that he hangs out with his buddies, starts slacking off, stops working," said Ervin's supervisor, Theo Lewis.
Officers were concerned that the man, who had raped a teenage girl and had sexually groomed a troubled teenage boy, might have been hanging around young people again. "He went to jail." ..more.. : by VANESSA HO, P-I REPORTER
Truth is, Hansen doesn't even have to be in the house. "We were working on a story that took us through Birmingham, Ala., the other day, and I was leaving the airport with one of the security guys, the producer and the associate producer," says Hansen, who grew up in Bloomfield Township, graduated from Michigan State University and spent his formative TV reporter years working the mean streets for Channel 4 (WDIV) and Channel 7 (WXYZ). "The guy parking cars took a look at us and said, 'Uh-oh, somebody's in trouble now! Somebody did something wrong in Birmingham!'" ..more.. : by Metro Times
You can't miss the FOR RENT signs. They're posted in the yard and the trees! Bobby White says he's fed up with the neighbors. "I will be here renting out rooms to sex offenders and ex-murderers and ex-thieves! They forced me into this as long as they are not on parole or on paper. I can rent out rooms to whoever I like."
White says he and his partner Giles Ham can't live on Riverview Avenue in Peace. "I've been threatened at the mailbox of being shot. Our house has been threatened to be burned down." ..more.. : by Tiffany Craig
In the ruling, the Eighth Circuit held that Judge Pratt's injunction ordering the program in Iowa be shut down doesn't apply to programs that aren’t funded by the state. Because the IFI program in Iowa is no longer partially funded by the state, the injunction does not apply to it. In reversing the prior ruling, the Eighth Circuit also rejected the "pervasively sectarian" standard used by Judge Pratt and affirmed that faith-based organizations are not barred from partnering with government simply because they are faith-based. ..more.. : by The Jurist
Nextel cell phones owned by two alleged mobsters, John Ardito and his attorney Peter Peluso, were used by the FBI to listen in on nearby conversations. The FBI views Ardito as one of the most powerful men in the Genovese family, a major part of the national Mafia. The surveillance technique came to light in an opinion published this week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. He ruled that the "roving bug" was legal because federal wiretapping law is broad enough to permit eavesdropping even of conversations that take place near a suspect's cell phone.
Kaplan's opinion said that the eavesdropping technique "functioned whether the phone was powered on or off." Some handsets can't be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set. ..more.. : by Declan McCullagh
The 24-page opinion (PDF) disagreed with the Bush administration's suggestion that the ACLU's request be necessarily dismissed out of hand. But after considering the request, the court rejected it on grounds that the public enjoys no general (or First Amendment-based) right of access to its proceedings under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. ..more.. : by Declan McCullagh
Unaware of the recording, Detective Christopher Perino testified in April that the suspect "wasn't questioned" about a shooting in the Bronx, a criminal complaint said. But then the defense confronted the detective with a transcript it said proved he had spent more than an hour unsuccessfully trying to persuade Erik Crespo to confess—at times with vulgar tactics.
Once the transcript was revealed in court, prosecutors asked for a recess, defense attorney Mark DeMarco said. The detective was pulled from the witness stand and advised to get a lawyer. ..more.. : by TOM HAYS
The two women, who spoke with The Patriot-News on the condition their names not be used, say most people don't realize how hard the Megan's Law Web site is on families. "We're not crying. My offender takes full responsibility," she says. "I completely agree with the registry, but it has no business being open to the general public."
Mrs. K says her son has been harassed at school and had to quit sports when other parents found out about her husband's past. Her husband is not allowed to live with her because she has a minor child, even though his crime did not involve children. ..more.. : by MONICA VON DOBENECKOf The Patriot-News. SUPPORT GROUP: S.O.F.T support group -or- SO Clear.org
Wednesday's vote caught Internet companies by surprise: the Democratic leadership rushed the SAFE Act to the floor under a procedure that's supposed to be reserved for noncontroversial legislation. It was introduced October 10, but has never received even one hearing or committee vote. In addition, the legislation approved this week has changed substantially since the earlier version and was not available for public review. ..more.. : by Declan McCullagh
The 2007 Legislature passed a law requiring juvenile sex offenders to register their addresses and information. Harris, who pleaded true to charges of forcing a 4-year-old to give oral sex and was sentenced in July, was the first juvenile to be posted on the state's sex offender notification Web site under the new law. In sentencing Harris, McKinnon gave elaborate instructions that allowed him to continue to go to school and get out-patient counseling. He was forbidden from going on the Internet and his parents were not allowed to have pornography in their homes. ..more.. : by KIM SKORNOGOSKI, Tribune Staff Writer
The birth data for 2006 also showed births to unmarried mothers hit a new record high, and the overall birth rate has climbed to its highest level since 1971. The teen increase was based on the 15-19 age group, which accounted for about 99 percent of the more than 440,000 births to teens in 2006. ..more.. : by MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer
Deputy Police Chief Marc Lussier told an aldermanic committee yesterday that he's concerned the restrictions would not be effective. The committee then tabled the proposal, saying it expects to hear testimony from the department's juvenile division within a month.
Opponents say a ban would effectively ban offenders from living in most of the city. Some say they would rather give police more money to monitor offenders. ..more.. : by Associated Press (Corrected Version)
Tuesday's unanimous decision comes in a Livingston County case of a man convicted of first-degree child molestation. Attorneys for Donald Ellison had objected when the trial judge allowed prosecutors to admit evidence of his prior conviction. ..more.. : by Associated Press. Court decision
Why is the company proposing it? "The public wants more than after-the-fact tracking of sex offenders. Many people want to know when a threat is in the vicinity so they can take steps to protect themselves and their children before something happens," according to the company's presentation. The idea is sure to be provocative, especially among those who think efforts targeting sex offenders have gone too far. Grendell seems to have no reservations about the company's proposal. "In seeing their idea and understanding how it can enhance what Ohio is already doing, I was very impressed," he said in a memo Monday to fellow lawmakers and the media. ..more.. : by Reginald Fields