Friday, August 29, 2014

"Yes Means Yes" California now all but requires a sworn notarized statement before you can have sex

Did these bears get "affirmative consent" first?
I'm not exaggerating by much: The California legislature passed a bill that requires "affirmative consent" before two people can engage in consensual sexual activity. Instead of the old "No Means No," California adopted a "Yes Means Yes" policy. What's the difference?

The Washington Post offers an explanation as to what Yes Means Yes Means:

Under the proposed standard, the fact that a person didn’t say “no” is no defense in a campus sexual assault investigation.

In addition to consenting up front, the bill requires affirmative consent to be “ongoing throughout the sexual activity,” meaning that sexual partners must agree to each step of a sexual encounter as it progresses and consent can be revoked at any time. The standard would apply to all sexual encounters regardless of whether the parties are having a one-night stand or are in a long-term relationship.

One thing the bill doesn’t say is that affirmative consent must be verbal. The bill’s original language warned “relying solely on nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstanding,” but that language was removed as was the requirement that consent be “unambiguous.” Nonetheless, as Slate’s Amanda Hess pointed out, this fact was lost on commentators, some who lamented the standard would redefine most sex as rape and would require students to agree to a verbal or written contract before sex...

While the bill doesn’t spell out what “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement” looks like in practice, it’s very clear what doesn’t count as consent: lack of protest or resistance, silence, unconsciousness or being asleep or too intoxicated to understand what’s going on...

Sexual assault prevention advocates welcomed the bill, which challenges the idea that victims have to resist an assault in order to have a valid complaint. “The survivors [of sexual assault] are going to be positively affected because they are going to be going into a system that no longer asks them why they didn’t do something,” Denice Labertew, the director of advocacy services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, told Inside Higher Ed in June.


But critics say the proposal unfairly burdens those accused of sexual assault. “How does a person prove they receive consent “shy of having it videotaped,” Joe Cohn, the legislative policy director at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, told Inside Higher Ed. Cohn said the policy reverses the presumption of innocence for the accused, which he called a “dramatic and important shift.”

Here is the actual bill, so you can try to figure it out yourself:

SENATE BILL No. 967

Introduced by Senators De León and Jackson
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Lowenthal)
(Coauthors: Senators Beall, Cannella, Evans, Galgiani, Monning, Pavley, Torres, and Wolk)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Ammiano, Fong, Gonzalez, Quirk-Silva, Skinner, Ting, and Williams)

February 10, 2014

An act to add Section 67386 to the Education Code, relating to student safety.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

SB 967, as amended, De León. Student safety: sexual assault.
Existing law requires the governing boards of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions to adopt and implement written procedures or protocols to ensure that students, faculty, and staff who are victims of sexual assault on the grounds or facilities of their institutions receive treatment and information, including a description of on-campus and off-campus resources.
This bill would require the governing boards of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions, in order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, to adopt policies concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking that include certain elements, including an affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by a complainant. The bill would require these governing boards to adopt certain sexual assault policies and protocols, as specified, and would require the governing boards, to the extent feasible, to enter into memoranda of understanding or other agreements or collaborative partnerships with on-campus and community-based organizations to refer students for assistance or make services available to students. The bill would also require the governing boards to implement comprehensive prevention and outreach programs addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. By requiring community college districts to adopt or modify certain policies and protocols, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

BILL TEXT
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 67386 is added to the Education Code, to read:
67386. (a) In order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, the governing board of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions shall adopt a policy concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, as defined in the federal Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1092(f)) involving a student, both on and off campus. The policy shall include all of the following:
(1) An affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity. “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.
(2) A policy that, in the evaluation of complaints in any disciplinary process, it shall not be a valid excuse to alleged lack of affirmative consent that the accused believed that the complainant consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances:
(A) The accused’s belief in affirmative consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the accused.
(B) The accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented.
(3) A policy that the standard used in determining whether the elements of the complaint against the accused have been demonstrated is the preponderance of the evidence.
(4) A policy that, in the evaluation of complaints in the disciplinary process, it shall not be a valid excuse that the accused believed that the complainant affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the complainant was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:
(A) The complainant was asleep or unconscious.
(B) The complainant was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, so that the complainant could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity.
(C) The complainant was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.
(b) In order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, the governing board of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions shall adopt detailed and victim-centered policies and protocols regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking involving a student that comport with best practices and current professional standards. At a minimum, the policies and protocols shall cover all of the following:
(1) A policy statement on how the institution will provide appropriate confidentiality for individuals involved in an incident. protections for the privacy of individuals involved, including confidentiality.
(2) Initial response by the institution’s personnel to a report of an incident, including requirements specific to assisting the victim, providing information in writing about the importance of preserving evidence, and the identification and location of witnesses.
(3) Response to stranger and nonstranger sexual assault.
(4) The preliminary victim interview, including the development of a victim interview protocol, and a comprehensive followup victim interview, as appropriate.
(5) Contacting and interviewing the accused.
(6) Seeking the identification and location of witnesses.
(7) Providing written notification to the victim about the availability of, and contact information for, on- and off-campus resources and services, and coordination with law enforcement, as appropriate.
(8) Participation of victim advocates and other supporting people.
(9) Investigating allegations that alcohol or drugs were involved in the incident.
(10) Providing that those an individual who participate participates as a complainant or witness in the an investigation of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, either as a complainant or a third-party witness, or stalking will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for violations a violation of the institution’s student conduct policy at or near the time of the incident if the violations did not place incident, unless the institution determines that the violation was egregious, including, but not limited to, an action that places the health or safety of any other person at risk. risk or involves plagiarism, cheating, or academic dishonesty.
(11) The role of the institutional staff supervision.
(12) A comprehensive, trauma-informed training program for campus officials involved in investigating and adjudicating sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking cases.
(13) Procedures for confidential reporting by victims and third parties.
(c) In order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, the governing board of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions shall, to the extent feasible, enter into memoranda of understanding, agreements, or collaborative partnerships with existing on-campus and community-based organizations, including rape crisis centers, to refer students for assistance or make services available to students, including counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, student advocacy, and legal assistance, and including resources for the accused.
(d) In order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, the governing board of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions shall implement comprehensive prevention and outreach programs addressing sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. A comprehensive prevention program shall include a range of prevention strategies, including, but not limited to, empowerment programming, programming for victim prevention, awareness raising campaigns, primary prevention, bystander intervention, and risk reduction. Outreach programs shall be provided to make students aware of the institution’s policy on sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. At a minimum, an outreach program shall include a process for contacting and informing the student body, campus organizations, athletic programs, and student groups about the institution’s overall sexual assault policy, the practical implications of an affirmative consent standard, and the rights and responsibilities of students under the policy. Outreach
(e) Outreach programming shall be included as part of new student orientation. every incoming student’s orientation.

Missouri Compromised! Bill to allow prior accusations without convictions to be used as evidence in criminal cases

Is Missouri trying to have a monopoly of dumb laws this year? (This is Missouri's THIRD appearance in the Dumbbest New Law category). Is law enforcement so desperate to add more names to their registry coffers they need to include the equivalent of Facebook rumors in order to try to get a conviction?

"It would also include evidence of past criminal sexual activity even in cases where the defendant was not convicted or not charged with a crime." This sounds a lot like what is known as "hearsay," and hearsay is generally not allowed in court.

It is far too easy to convict someone on a mere accusation these days. Add a false accusation into the mix and the potential for abuse is even greater. Imagine someone acquitted because of a false allegation being accused later by a paranoid neighbor or vindictive ex who knows this person was accused in the past. Don't think it never happens because it does. This bill would assist in convicting innocent men.

This bill compromises the concept of "innocent until proven guilty."

http://ksmu.org/post/law-enforcement-officials-back-ballot-measure-allow-more-evidence-some-sex-crime-cases

Law Enforcement Officials Back Ballot Measure To Allow More Evidence In Some Sex Crime Cases
By MARSHALL GRIFFIN
Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 1:50 pm

A group of Missouri law enforcement officials have officially endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment designed to make it easier to prosecute sex crimes against children.


Under current law, juries in Missouri can only hear about a defendant's prior offenses during the sentencing phase of a trial, regardless of the type of crime committed. If passed, Constitutional Amendment Two would allow evidence of prior criminal acts to be admissible in cases where the defendant is accused of a sex crime against someone younger than 18. It would also include evidence of past criminal sexual activity even in cases where the defendant was not convicted or not charged with a crime. Eric Zahnd is prosecuting attorney for Platte County.


The federal government (and) other states specifically allow this information to be provided to juries, but because of a couple of Missouri Supreme Court decisions, Missouri juries hardly ever get to know that a sexual predator may have abused other children in the past … and in my opinion that’s wrong," Zahnd said.


Amendment Two, originally known as House Joint Resolution 16, was initially approved by Missouri lawmakers during the 2013 legislative session. Earlier this year Gov. Jay Nixon ordered it placed on the November ballot.


"It's wrong to make children who have been through some of the most horrific sexual abuse you can imagine go it alone with a jury," Zahnd said. "Juries deserve to know the full story, the full truth, about a sexual offender."


http://www.sedaliademocrat.com/news/news/50214006/Local-authorities-endorse-change-in-sex-crime-evidence#.VACe3MRDuUY

The group says Missouri is more restrictive than any other state, barring prosecutors from telling jurors about prior criminal sex acts in nearly all cases against accused child predators. This came about in a 2007 Missouri Supreme Court decision, which struck down a similar law that was already in place.

Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney-Elect Phillip Sawyer said Amendment 2 is about getting the statute that was ruled unconstitutional by the Missouri Supreme Court, a statute he has used before, back on the books.


“We had a statute in place that provided for it. We have gotten to the point now where we are one of the most restrictive states as it pertains to letting priors in,” Sawyer said. “When you are dealing with a prior in that type of case and you want to implement that in a new trial, you’re talking about somebody who has become a predator.


“I think that justice should always prevail. I certainly was a fan of that statute and I used it before prior to the case law coming out that voided us using it.”...


Listen to the justification by Victim Industry Advocates:

Carolyn Green, Executive Director of Child Safe of Central Missouri Inc., a local child advocacy group, said the organization is behind the amendment “100 percent.” “We have had, more than once, the same perpetrator on several children,” Green said. “If you have a 5-year-old who can’t give a good disclosure, and you can’t bring in the fact that this man has also been accused by four other children of perpetrating on them, you might lose that case on the 5-year-old if you can’t bring in those prior acts.”

Beth Jackman, a forensic interviewer and program manager with Child Safe, said it is statistically proven that sex offenders often have more than one victim. “Even in self-reporting from the alleged offenders the numbers could run easily into the hundreds. I think it could be very beneficial to our cases if someone has been convicted previously that it be important to the case we are working on at that time,” Jackman said....


The proposed amendment overwhelmingly passed the Missouri General Assembly in May and will amend the Missouri Constitution as follows:


“Section 18(c). Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 and 18(a) of this article to the contrary, in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age, relevant evidence of prior criminal acts, whether charged or uncharged, is admissible for the purpose of corroborating the victim’s testimony or demonstrating the defendant’s propensity to commit the crime with which he or she is presently charged. The court may exclude relevant evidence of prior criminal acts if the probative value of the evidence is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.”


It will now go to the voters for consideration in November as a ballot question as follows:


“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that it will be permissible to allow relevant evidence of prior criminal acts to be admissible in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age? If more resources are needed to defend increased prosecutions additional costs to governmental entities could be at least $1.4 million annually, otherwise the fiscal impact is expected to be limited.”


http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/ef3fa1e0f57b4c9e84ca8b41a73ee703/MO--Child-Sex-Abuse-Amendment

If approved by Missouri voters in November, Constitutional Amendment 2 could make it more difficult for defendants to persuade juries and judges of their innocence, said Kim Benjamin, a Belton attorney who is the past president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

"You're now defending your entire life, your entire reputation, rather than this one act," she said. "It causes a tremendous risk for more people to be wrongly convicted."


One of Benjamin's most prominent clients was Burrell Mohler Sr., the patriarch of a western Missouri family who was accused along with his four sons of sexually abusing young relatives over many years. The charges ultimately were dropped in March 2012, after Mohler had spent more than two years in jail while awaiting trial.


The Missouri ballot measure would essentially undo a December 2007 decision by the Missouri Supreme Court, which struck down a state law allowing evidence of past sexual crimes to be used against people facing new sex-related charges involving victims younger than 14.


The court said in that ruling that "evidence of prior criminal acts is never admissible for the purpose of demonstrating the defendant's propensity to commit the crime with which he is presently charged."


The Legislature voted last year to refer the proposed constitutional amendment to the 2014 ballot.


Prosecutors say it would bring Missouri's evidence standards closer to federal ones. Under a 1994 federal law, courts may allow evidence of other sexual assaults or molestations of children younger than 14 to be used against defendants facing those charges. Those federal evidentiary rules have been upheld in several appellate court decisions.


Prior allegations are allowed to be used as evidence in child sex abuse cases by 11 states, according to a 2012 report by the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services.


Supporters of the Missouri ballot proposal have formed a campaign committee with the hopes or running advertisements for it, though the group had barely $1,300 in its account as of the end of June.


Benjamin said defense attorneys have not organized a campaign against the amendment, because she said they lack the money to do so.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What's worse than cops acting like military? Military acting like cops

Aim High, Low Blow. What's worse than the police acting like the military? How about the military acting like the police! I guess this zoomie had nothing better to do with his time, but hey, you have that ISIS crisis under control huh? Way to go, Air Farce; Ain't It Really F'ing Obvious, Retards Control Everything?

Too bad they did not list this zoomie's name, because "I Want You..." for the Shiitake Awards.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/08/26/air-force-sex-stings-federal-law/14611583/

Air Force aiding Florida police in sex stings
USA TODAY NETWORK 
Noah Pransky, WTSP, Tampa 
12:51 p.m. EDT August 26, 2014

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Not only have Central Florida law enforcement officers violated federal rules in conducting "To Catch a Predator"-inspired sex stings, but WTSP in Tampa has learned they may also violate longstanding federal law that prohibits the use of military resources to enforce state laws.


While Tampa Bay-area law enforcement agencies refuse to turn over public records from questionable "predator" roundups, court records show that a member of the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) has been a regular participant in Central Florida undercover stings for more than a year.


In a recent deposition, the agent indicated his goal was to trap service members who might be willing to break the law. But he also admitted to targeting, and helping arrest, civilians. According to an operation plan from a recent Pinellas County sting, Agent William Glidewell, acted as a "chatter," communicating with potential investigative targets online. He was put up in a Clearwater Beach hotel for four days and reported to the sting's lead agencies, the Clearwater Police Department and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.


"It's odd that you would have a military (investigator) being so treated like civilian law enforcement," said Charles Rose, a Stetson Law professor and retired U.S. Army prosecutor in the Judge Advocate General (or JAG) Corps. "You cannot assign military personnel -- on orders -- to a (local law enforcement) organization."


Unlike the original "To Catch a Predator" stings, which posted suggestive ads indicating the availability of children, detectives in recent Central/West Florida operations began reaching out to otherwise law-abiding men who posted ads themselves on legal dating sites. An ACLU leader has called for a federal review of the stings.


Violation of federal law


Now, a number of the prosecutions could be in jeopardy with the discovery that the Air Force OSI agent may have broken the law with his involvement.


A court motion filed last week by defense attorney Peter Aiken in Pinellas County contends a civilian case from April's "Operation Home Alone II" that Glidewell participated in should be immediately dismissed on the violation of the longstanding Posse Comitatus Act.


The federal law, which dates back to Reconstruction and Southern aversion to Northern influence, mandates the military may not be used to enforce local laws. Violations are considered felonies, although Rose couldn't remember a case ever being prosecuted.


Aiken's motion contends "the Clearwater police, over the course of four days, made direct, active use of Glidewell, the 'military investigator' to execute purely state laws" and "in this case, it is particularly egregious in that it was counseled, planned and executed with the knowledge and consent of numerous members of state law enforcement."


Other law enforcement agencies involved in the Clearwater/Pinellas sting include the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, St. Petersburg police, Department of Homeland Security, FBI and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.


Several agencies had no immediate response to questions about the Air Force's involvement, but Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, interviewed after a recent press conference, said he "didn't know" how or why the military investigator got involved.


"I think (OSI) got involved because (there was a target) from MacDill (Air Force Base) and I think they got involved because of that on the backside," Gualtieri said, indicating the agent wasn't a part of the initial sting plan.


But documents obtained through court records, after the Pinellas sheriff's office would not turn them over, indicated the Air Force OSI had been involved from the early planning stages of not just the April "Operation Home Alone II" sting, but the January "Operation Home Alone" sting as well.


Furthermore, OSI Agent Glidewell admitted in a recent deposition that he had been a part of multiple stings around the state for almost a year. Glidewell works out of Detachment 340 at MacDill, but reports to Air Force leaders in Quantico, Virginia.


The Air Force said OSI agents are involved with internet crimes against children task forces across the U.S. and typically get involved after a servicemember is identified in a sting. That was not the case in Pinellas County.


Rose, from Stetson Law, said aside from entrapment and posse comitatus issues, there should be concern regarding how the Air Force investigators are prioritizing their time.


"Every moment that OSI has been doing this work, for free, for the civilian government, is a time where he's not out investigating military cases and handling military issues," Rose said. "If you have military members engaging in criminal activity, it very often has a national security component."


Targeting servicemembers


The Air Force OSI agent said in his deposition that his goal was to identify servicemembers who may commit crimes. It included posting ads specifically designed to get responses from servicemembers, including posting military seals and referencing "men in uniform."


However, Gualtieri denied knowing anything about ads that target servicemembers.


"I haven't seen anything to that, and I don't know if that's the case. If someone says 'targeting men in uniform,' that doesn't necessarily mean the military either. It could be any one of a number of different things. There are all kinds of uniforms out there, and it doesn't necessarily mean the military."


In his deposition with attorney Aiken, the Air Force investigator said he had worked on a handful of other stings around the state, with other civilian men arrested. Depending on what the judge rules on Aiken's motion, the case could impact several other prosecutions.


http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/investigations/2014/08/25/air-force-sex-stings-federal-law/14568993/


Operation Home Alone: Mistakes Made

One of the non-servicemembers the Air Force OSI agent helped apprehend in "Operation Home Alone" this spring was not looking for children. He was tricked by Glidewell into meeting what he thought was an 18-year-old woman interested in him.


Glidewell forgot -- or simply failed -- to switch his decoy's age from 18 years old to that of a 14 year old girl after he started chatting with a man he met online. While the "switch" typically happens soon after the "bait" in Central Florida stings, 10 Investigates found detectives don't always follow the rules, either.


Court records reveal Glidewell and the defendant, from Miami, swapped 200 messages over the course of two days, including some sexual. The two ultimately made plans to meet at the decoy's house on Clearwater Beach. It wasn't until the defendant had driven 300 miles to the sting location that Glidewell realized he was still playing the part of an 18 year old woman and told the defendant "she" was really only 14.


READ: Ad posted by Air Force OSI agent


Seemingly uneasy and confused, the defendant found a hotel to stay at for the night. But the two continued the conversation, and the defendant said he wanted to meet the girl who showed so much interest in him over the last two days. They made plans to meet, and he was arrested for traveling to meet a minor.


During his deposition for the case, Glidewell acknowledge the defendant wasn't the kind of man the stings were supposed to target. But like so many other men arrested, he ultimately gave in to the bait-and-switch and has paid the price for it. His family, job, and financial futures have all been adversely impacted, even if charges are ultimately dropped.

Monday, August 25, 2014

If you are going to set someone up for a CP charge, be sure you know how a computer works

This isn't the first time someone has landed on the Shiitake Awards for trying to set up someone else on a bogus CP charge only to have the accusation backfire. This woman was so patently bad at trying to set up her ex-husband it was definitely Shiitake-worthy. Now, she might end up on the registry when she is sentenced in December.

I wonder why there is no pic of her online when her husband would have been plastered all over the internet had Meri Jane Woods succeeded in her devious scheme. If anyone has a lead on getting a pic of Meri Jane Woods, contact me at iamthefallen1@yahoo.com.


Woman guilty of downloading child porn
by The Indiana Gazette on August 20, 2014 10:54 AM

A Clymer woman faces a maximum of nine years in prison and could face sanctions under Megan’s Law after being convicted of charges related to child pornography Tuesday in Indiana County Court.
A jury of six men and six women returned a guilty verdict against Meri Jane Woods, 43, of Route 580, after about 1ᄑ hours of deliberations.
Police and prosecutors said Woods had tried to frame her husband, Matthew Woods, about one year ago when she told investigators that he had downloaded images of child pornography to the computer in their home.
Using technological investigative techniques, police computer experts almost immediately ruled out Matthew Woods’ involvement by finding the images date-stamped between Aug. 11 and 14, 2013.
Matthew Woods had been forced from the home before that time by a protection-from-abuse order, prosecutors told the jury.
Meri Woods found the porn on her own, District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said.
“She download in excess of 40 images of different acts of child pornography to the family computer, took it to the state police and said, ‘My husband downloaded all this porn,’” Dougherty said.
Dougherty had only one witness, Cpl. John Roche, a state police forensic investigator based in Indiana, who testified about what happened.
Defense attorney Matthew Budash had a rebuttal witness, professor Mary Volonino, of Canisius College, Buffalo, testify that the time stamps determined by Roche were unreliable.
The jury convicted Meri Woods of a felony count of sexual abuse of children/possession of child pornography and a misdemeanor count of unsworn falsification to law enforcement.
Dougherty said that charge is punishable by up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine, while the felony conviction could bring up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Judge Thomas Bianco scheduled sentencing for Dec. 15 to allow time for an evaluation of Woods by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, which could recommend mandatory registration with the state police for up to 15 years, Dougherty said.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Oregon's Not-So-Finest Victim Industry Propagandists: Danielle Tudor of Portland and Steve Doell of Lake Oswego

If you really take the time to study victim industry mouthpieces, then you'll see that they are actually quite disturbing. They remind me of the movie Groundhog Day, the Bill Murray comedy about living the same day over and over again. In Danielle Tudor's case, that same day has been revisited for 30 years. At what point is society allowed to say that it is time for someone to move on with their lives and be something besides a victim? We do it for anyone who suffered any other kind of tragedy. Her statement in the Oregonian, which is a response to the story I recently posted about the schmucks who drove a registrant out of town after he worked as a taxi driver. This statement does succinctly summarize the victim industry mentality that keeps these victim groups from promoting healing and forgiveness:

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/08/sex_offenders_in_oregon_pacifi.html

Danielle Tudor, who was 17 when serial rapist Richard Troy Gillmore sexually assaulted her on Nov. 11, 1979, in her Southeast Portland home, now travels and shares her experiences with victims' advocates across the country. She said the public deserves to know about Shutt's past... "By the mere horrific acts he committed, the safety of others must always come first – no matter how long he has been offender-free,'' she said. "It's part of the price he will pay for the rest of his life – just as his victims have to live with the darkness he brought into their lives forever. Maybe it seems cruel or unfair to others, but they would think differently had they or someone they loved been a victim.''

It is bad enough that Shiitake Award nominee Maxine Bernstein promotes this woman like she's the Second Coming, she is also a member of a victim industrial corporation, Crime Victims United. Speaking of CVU, another mouthpiece of the organization, Steve Doell, also has a statement in the same Oregonian article:

Steve Doell, who leads Crime Victims United of Oregon, called Shutt's decision to drive a taxi "completely inappropriate.'' "This is a guy who's grabbed a woman off the street, kidnapped her and forcibly raped her,'' Doell said. "To put someone completely unknowing in his cab would be irresponsible. What if, all of a sudden, he gets the impulse or urge to drive off somewhere into the hinterlands? We put warning signs on cigarette packs. We put labels on poisons sold in stores. We put signs on fences to warn people about guards,'' Doell said. "That's why we register these people.''

In Steve Doell's case, there are a couple of instances in his own past that raises red flags. It seems Doell had a couple of restraining orders placed against him for domestic violence, has a reputation for being angry and confrontational, and even scared people while lobbying for victim measures:

http://www.blueoregon.com/2008/10/steve-doell-is/

These two restraining orders, based on allegations of physical abuse, were ordered by a judge before his daughter's death.

Of course, it's also true that his behavior hasn't improved since then, either. His "anger control problem" carries over into the world of politics. From WW, in 1999:


[Measure 11 opponent Arwen] Bird says matters took an ugly turn around 3:45 pm, when, during a commercial break [on the Lars Larson Show], Doell waved his stage prop, a picture of his murdered daughter, Lisa, in front of her. "You can't even look at it, can you?" Doell said.

Bird says Doell leaned across the studio console and yelled at her with such rage that "I feared for my physical safety." After that incident, she refused to debate Doell without others from her group present.

Doell denies threatening Bird, but he concedes he was furious.


This is just one incident that got news coverage. I've heard second-hand reports of other incidents. Steve Doell is not a nice man.


Reasonable people can disagree about matters of policy. But anybody who cares about the rights of crime victims should be appalled that this man is considered their leading spokesman in this state.


Steve Doell is simply not a credible advocate for crime victims. No way.


Perhaps Maxi-pad Bernstein should look for better interviewees. The victim mentality allows such bad behavior to go unchecked.

Oregon surf shop owner Travis Ellis and "Nosy Nellie" Gina Anderson push to keep a registrant from driving a cab

In a small town, a man who has been clean for over three decades has been harassed by a couple of idiots who feel he should never have a chance for redemption. If that isn't enough, these two idiots plan on lobbying the state legislature to prevent registered citizens from certain employment opportunities. The harassment was so bad, their victim had to file a restraining order. That is definitely Shiitake-worthy.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/08/sex_offenders_in_oregon_convic.html

But Shutt's Cape Kiwanda Taxi service lasted just shy of three months before his past caught up with him.

Classified as a predatory sex offender for two rapes and an attempted rape involving three women he didn't know, Shutt and his makeshift cab bitterly divided the north Oregon coast community.


The sheriff and the high school principal distributed warnings about Shutt. The food bank restricted the hours that he could show up. Friendships frayed as critics argued that the convicted rapist shouldn't be alone with anyone in a van while supporters pointed to Shutt's clean record of more than 30 years.


Shutt fought back, taking out restraining orders against his most outspoken detractors. He told a judge that he was "making a last stand'' in Pacific City.


"I was going to prove to them that a person like me who hasn't reoffended should have the opportunity for life, liberty and the American dream," he said. "I paid my price."


Shutt's troubles illuminated the clash between society's desire to protect the public by holding sex offenders accountable and an offender's hope for a second chance long after serving prison time.


The controversy and its outcome aren't surprising to authorities who work to track registered sex offenders. Many of them -– especially those with a predator label -- face enormous challenges finding a job because of their pasts and often end up self-employed as a result or homeless because they can't pay their bills.


But rape victims and their advocates say that's the price Shutt and other sex offenders must pay -- just as the women they attacked must live with the humiliation of the assaults for the rest of their lives...


Travis Ellis, who runs the Haystack Coffee and Kiwanda Surf Shop, was outraged when Shutt's criminal history came to light and even banned a few regulars from his shop who supported Shutt.


"It's scary to me that people were defending him. ... I don't want him in a cab and I want this town to realize this is a safety issue,'' Ellis said. "I put kids with boogie boards in cabs. ... What is the predatory list for if not to caution people?''


Mark McRae, owner of the True Value Hardware store, had no qualms about Shutt or his business. "I'm a Christian,'' McRae said. "I believe in redemption. I believe people do change.''


But he glanced out the front window of his store across the street to Haystack Coffee.


"He's a friend I no longer have,'' McRae said of Ellis.


The crimes


Shutt, now 57, bald and solidly built, was 25 when he committed his crimes in Bakersfield, Calif., in 1981...


Local resident Gina Anderson researched Shutt's record and visited businesses, warning her friends not to get in his cab.


Shutt in turn filed a complaint with the sheriff and then went to court to get restraining orders against Anderson and two others who were denouncing him. He told a judge he felt threatened.


"I have an entire community that's hating on me,'' Shutt said in court. "I just want to put a stop to it.''...


Shutt's departure wasn't enough for Ellis and Anderson. They said they plan to push for stricter laws, particularly in rural communities like theirs, that would require background checks for drivers of taxis or other cars for hire and prevent anyone with a violent criminal record from driving one.


View the two idiots' interview with the Whoregonian here:

http://video-embed.oregonlive.com/services/player/bcpid1949055967001?bctid=3740902251001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAPLpuSqE~,a1DdoZJH5WQo4iWaJj1w_CktvJfhQVVG

Feel free to flood Travis's FB business page with complaints as well.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kellie Green of Mart, TX uses a giant pic of her kid as a tool to try to get a registered citizen fired, then claims she needs privacy out of fear

This is Kellie Green of Mart, Texas. Recently she attended her local city council during an open meeting and presented a giant picture of her 12 year old girl in order to protest the city's decision to hire a registered citizen. The article states she has six kids.

SIX kids? It makes me wonder how she decided which of the six got to be the literal poster child for her "fire the guy who has served his time and wants to be a productive member of society" campaign. Did she cast lots? Maybe she had a six kid over-the-top-rope battle royal WWE-style match. Maybe a dartboard? Or maybe a very long game of one-potato-two-potato.

The city of Mart has not exactly been too kind to registered citizens; after all, they violated state law by passing a local ordinance increasing residency restrictions. But at the same time, they considered the registered citizen's background before hiring him.

My other question is why Kellie Green wants to hide all of a sudden after exploiting her child to push her personal agenda (which is how one typically gets a nomination at the Shiitake Awards). She claims she is getting "threats." I guess harassing registered citizens isn't that heroic these days.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/politics/sex-offender-at-center-of-mart-employment-controversy/article_3ff32546-fcae-5a94-a31c-b40e2ad01f95.html

At this week’s Mart City Council meeting, Kellie Green, 38, who is no relation to Lonnie Green, stood before the elected officials holding up an enlarged photo of her 12-year-old daughter.
“How has the council worked toward her safety?” she said. “Can you tell her that you had the safety of the children of Mart in mind when you hired this person?”
Kellie Green demanded that Lonnie Green be fired.
The mother of six children said the council needs to realize the city can’t absorb the liability of keeping him as an employee.
Hiring one sex offender sets a precedent that hiring all sex offenders is OK, she said. If one child is hurt because of that practice, the repercussions, financially, legally and publicly, would devastate the city, Kellie Green said.
“I don’t know Lonnie Green. He could be a great guy,” she said. “But I still think anybody who thinks it’s OK to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, there’s something wrong with them.”

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Polk Co. FL Sheriff Grady Judd entrapped adults looking for other adults in online "predator" stings

It is yet another FloriDUH story. Every time I think the stories cannot get any worse, I'm proven wrong. Today's nominee is Grady Judd, the sheriff of Polk County, a cesspool of a county trapped between Tampa and Orlando. A hick county needs an equally hick sheriff, and Grady Judd fits the bill.

Sheriff DUDD is already controversial. There is a movement to remove him from office. He is mostly known for his statement about killing a fleeing man with 68 bullets because "That's all the bullets we had." Judd interjects his distorted views of Christianity on people; he was recently sued by an atheist. Of course, there is another lawsuit against him of greater importance-- two lawsuits regarding abuses at a juvenile facility run by the sheriff.

It is no wonder the Sheriff is crusading the internet with his entrapment stings. Even though many of those he arrested were not even prosecuted, Sheriff Dudd still calls them "predators." What a douche.

http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/investigations/2014/08/07/law-enforcement-crosses-lines-on-sex-stings-entrapment/13734121/

Officers bend rules to boost sex sting arrest totals
Noah Pransky, WTSP 3:38 p.m. EDT August 9, 2014

This is the first of a two-part series examining how law enforcement is blurring the lines on due process.


POLK COUNTY, Florida – In the decade since Chris Hansen and "To Catch a Predator" popularized Internet sex stings, more than 1,200 men in Florida alone have been arrested, accused of preying on underage teens and children for sex.


But as the stings put more and more men behind bars, detectives are working harder and harder to keep up their arrest numbers. And the tactics they're using to put alleged sexual offenders in jail are sweeping up large numbers of law-abiding men, too.


A yearlong investigation by 10 Investigates reveals many of the men whose mugshots have been paraded out by local sheriffs in made-for-TV press conferences were not seeking to meet children online. Instead, they were minding their own business, looking for other adults, when detectives started to groom and convince them to break the law.


While detectives used to post ads suggesting an underage teen or child was available for sex, they now routinely post more innocuous personal ads of adults on traditional dating sites. When men – many of them under 25 with no criminal history - respond, officers switch the bait and typically indicate their age is really 14 or 15 years old. However, sometimes the storyline isn't switched until the men, who were looking for legal love, already start falling for the undercover agent.


According to arrest affidavits inspected by 10 Investigates, law enforcement is also now routinely making first contact with men who have done nothing wrong, responding to their ads on dating sites like PlentyOfFish.com. After men start conversing with what they think are adults, officers change the age they claim to be, but try to convince the men to continue the conversation anyway.


Officers bend rules in sex stings to boost arrest totals.


Other examples include undercover officers showing interest in a man, then later introducing the idea of having sex with the undercover's "child." If the men indicate they weren't interested, they were still often arrested for just talking to the adult.


Critics of the stings, including a number of prominent Tampa Bay law enforcement leaders, tell 10 News the operations make for better press conferences than they do crime fighting. Many of the men who are arrested for sexual predator crimes see little jail time.


But Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, when asked about over-aggressive detectives, instead went on the offensive: "The concern (I have) is that you inflate your investigative reporting to make it glitzy."


Judges have also been very critical of some of the tactics used in the stings, which violate Internet Crimes Against Children guidelines. Among the comments from judges in recent entrapment decisions (case numbers withheld to protect the defendants):


"It was the agent who repeatedly steered the conversation back to sexual activity with a minor."

"The government made a concerted effort to lure him into committing a crime."
"The undercover officer failed to follow the procedures …"
"The law does not tolerate government action to provoke a law-abiding citizen to commit a crime."
The judge in one dismissed case criticized the undercover officer for failing to follow procedures and "the officer controlled the tone, pace and subject matter of online conversation, pushing toward a discussion of sexual activity."

The blurring of legal and ethical lines has led many agencies such as the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and most of South Florida to focus their cybercrime resources on other areas of online abuse. Instead of conducting "To Catch a Predator"-style stings, they spend their time and effort on areas where there are known victims and children at immediate risk, like child porn and sex trafficking.


But the time- and resource-intensive predator stings are still alive and well in West/Central Florida, operating under the watchful eye of ICAC task force leader Judd.


Grady Judd's 'favorite topic'


Sheriff of Polk County since 2005, Judd has made it clear that targeting sexual predators is his top priority. He called hunting predators his "favorite topic" at a recent predator sting press conference, and he has invited national media outlets along for some of the operations. The predator stings have been featured in three MSNBC specials as well as a recent CNN series.


But Judd has been much less forthcoming when it comes to questions of how detectives lure in their targets and whether innocent men are getting swept up to.


Judd has failed to provide public records to 10 Investigates on the following issues:

  1. The language in the ads detectives post.
  2. How detectives responded when innocent men showed no interest in speaking to teens.
  3. If detectives are doing the stings because there is a problem of teens looking for adults online.
  4. How many men get baited before detectives find someone to investigate.
Judd said the overwhelming majority of men who communicate with detectives do the "right thing" and either end communication or report the officer posing as an underage teen -- or parent offering up a child -- to authorities. But he won't even turn over those communications over, a possible violation of Florida State Statute 119.

Judd says the records are exempt from state records laws because all of those men are still "under investigation," for they may surface in future stings. However, that indicates Judd - and other law enforcement leaders around Tampa Bay and Sarasota who have now used the same exemption to withhold records - have active investigations open on hundreds, if not thousands, of men who did nothing more than legally communicate with adults on legal websites.


The state's best-known lawman also showed little concern for due process during a Tuesday press conference to tout arrests since March in predator-style stings. He pointed to 132 mugshots on a giant posterboard and called the men "sexual predators."


But when 10 Investigates pointed out some of the men had already been cleared of charges, he said they were still fair game because "we have a very liberal - a very forgiving - criminal justice system."


That system may give defendants the benefit of doubt and assume "innocent until proven guilty;" but Judd makes sure the mugshots and stigma of being arrested for a sex crime haunts the men for the rest of their lives.


Critics point out many of the 1,200 men who are ultimately arrested in Florida and called "sexual predators" weren't preying or even looking for kids; many were seeking adults. The majority of them were in their teens or 20s at the time, and approximately 97 percent of the men had zero history of any sexual crimes or accusations.


"The biggest waste ever"


While countless West/Central Florida law enforcement agencies have gotten involved in the predator stings, including the sheriff's offices in Polk, Pinellas, Manatee, Citrus, and Sarasota, some agencies were noticeably absent at Judd's season-ending press conference.


Judd indicated the Hillsborough sheriff's office was a part of the operation, but was unable to attend. However, an HCSO spokesperson said the the agency has not been a participant.


While HCSO has a full-time "Internet Predator" unit, it has been reluctant to dedicate the huge resources needed for a "To Catch a Predator"-style sting. Instead, HCSO detectives are focused on offenders that are participating in "the proliferation of child porn," focusing on infants and young children who are exploited.


Hillsborough detectives say those type of arrests tend to yield better conviction rates, longer prison terms, and also provide law enforcement other leads on areas of crime like sex trafficking.


Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco has adopted similar priorities, saying his cybercrime unit is extremely proactive and focused on the areas of the worst abuse.


"Any way you can take a sexual predator off the street is tremendous," Nocco said. "Especially those that are online looking at child pornography ... they may do something physically against a young little kid."


Pasco also spends a lot of time and effort focused on teen-on-teen cybercrime because it can often be addressed before it ruins a person's life permanently.


Nocco was complimentary of ICAC, but says he's not a huge fan of the "To Catch a Predator"-style stings, saying the prosecutions often don't hold up.


"You spend your resources, you arrest somebody and then they walk right out. It's the biggest waste ever," Nocco said.


ICAC stings typically cost tens of thousands of dollars - sometimes close to $100,000 - in costs and officers' time, and that doesn't include the costs to prosecute and jail defendants.


10 Investigates found light plea sentences are sometimes offered because the suspects simply aren't considered dangerous offenders, contrary to Judd's claims.


Local law enforcement leaders also refused to turn over ICAC guidelines, claiming they were confidential investigative material. But a copy 10 Investigates obtained through court records indicates the online undercover stings, which typically don't involve real children or victims, are not even specified in the list of priorities agencies are supposed to target:

  1. A child is at immediate risk of victimization.
  2. A child is vulnerable to victimization by a known offender.
  3. A known suspect is aggressively soliciting a child(ren).
  4. Manufacturers, distributors or possessors of images that appear to be home photography with domiciled children.
  5. Aggressive, high-volume child pornography manufacturers or distributors who either are commercial distributors, repeat offenders, or specialize in sadistic images.
  6. Manufacturers, distributors, or solicitors involved in high-volume trafficking or belong to an organized child pornography ring that operates as a criminal conspiracy.
  7. Distributors, solicitors and possessors of images of child pornography.
  8. Any other form of child victimization.
Almost all of South Florida's law enforcement agencies have moved away from the stings as well. The Broward County Sheriff's Office, which is in charge of the South Florida ICAC task force, told 10 Investigates it was time for the agency to move on to other areas of cybercrime fighting.

The "other" victims


There may be no excuses for men who victimize children or those that look for underage victims online.


However, it's easier to make the case for the men who were swept up in the stings when they were looking online for adults.


"(My son) was stalked by law enforcement for three days," said the mother of a 22-year-old arrested in one of the stings. 10 Investigates is protecting the identity of her family.


The son was on Craiglist's personals pages, looking to meet other adults. He responded to a "no strings attached" ad for a 26-year-old woman. He says her story changed a few times, including the claim she was only 13, but he was skeptical.


He spoke on the phone to the undercover and she sent a photo, in which she was wearing a wedding ring. He said he was sure she was an adult (she was), so he made plans to meet her. When he arrived, he was arrested. He was later sentenced to two years of house arrest and a lifetime as a registered sex offender.


"He had a life of promise; he had an education," his mother said. "That's all been shot."


She says her son is paying the price of opportunistic lawmen.


Board-certified defense attorney Anthony Ryan says law enforcement officers have become experts in coercing innocent men into breaking the law.


"They are really good at subtly turning conversations and normal statements into sexual innuendo - whether or not the other side intended that," he said.


Ryan, who has a practice in Sarasota, just got a 23-year-old client's case dismissed in Manatee. A judge ruled deputies entrapped his client, writing that their tactics had "no place in modern day law enforcement."


Ryan adds that officers are pushing the boundaries further and further to keep up their arrest numbers and keep the federal ICAC grants flowing. And responding to legal ads on legal dating sites crosses the line.


"Once the low-hanging fruit is sort of gone, taken off the tree," Ryan said, "there's still pressure from high above to justify these actions."

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mike Hudson of the Niagra Falls Reporter: Why drunken musicians have no business writing articles

This find was a reader submission (I do take email submissions, in case my readers forget). This one is quite a doozy.

My first thought when I saw this report was, "Who the hell is Mike Hudson?" Apparently he's a musician for some crappy "indy punk" band from Cleveland who fancies himself to be a writer and has some small level of fame. Since about 2000, he has written for a small town gossip rag posing as a newspaper in Niagra Falls of all places.

Mike Hudson has quite a sordid reputation, including a reputation for drunkenness and other wild accusations. Reminds me of a certain reptile from South FloriDUH. Maybe they're related?

http://www.niagarafallsreporter.com/Stories/2014/JULY22/sex.html

Sex Offender Epidemic Growing Larger Here With Every Passing Day
By Mike Hudson
July 22, 2014

They’re everywhere.


How many people do you encounter throughout any given day? At work, driving, grocery shopping, exercising, out at movies or at a concert; we are constantly interacting with people from the time we wake up until we go to sleep. So would it alarm you that in every 1,000 people you interact with, three were registered sex offenders? 

If you live in Niagara Falls, that is the case.


We welcome them, in much the same way we welcome dead baby burning garbage incineration plants. In a city so desperate for cash, Niagara Falls takes what it gets.


Fracking waste in our drinking water, polluted air from the burned garbage of New York City and dangerous and violent offenders from all over the state are just a few of the things we deal with in an effort to allow the city to balance its’ budget.


The city of Niagara Falls has more than a third more registered sex offenders than the rest of Niagara County, and about double the number that people in the rest of the state are subjected to.


According to the Sex Offender Database found on the Niagara County Sheriff’s website there are 158 registered sex offenders living in Niagara Falls, making the number the sex offenders in every thousand Niagara Falls residents, 3.2.


Since his election in 2007, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster has welcomed sex offenders with open arms. 


“They’ve got to live somewhere,” he has said.


That attitude, and the fact that the state Parole Board is increasingly eager to put undesirable perverts as far away from civilization as possible makes Niagara Falls the ideal destination.


The number here is a third higher than the second highest number in Niagara County of 2.4 sex offenders for every thousand residents in Gasport and Newfane.


The ratio for the total population of Niagara Falls is 314 residents for every sex offender living in the city. The simplistic explanation as to why the city has the worst ratio for the county might be because it has the highest population.


But since the population for city and town of Lockport combined, is roughly 41,700, or 8,000 less than Niagara Falls, and the ratio is one in 758 residents for every registered sex offender which means it is more than two-times lower than Niagara Falls. The towns of Lewiston and Wheatfield both have over 15,000 residents, while city of North Tonawanda has a population of over 31,000.


All three have fewer than 10 registered sex offenders living inside their borders. Even the city of Buffalo, with a population over five-times the size of Niagara Falls, has a ratio of one for every 428 residents.


The statistics get worse when you look statewide. Of the eight cities in New York State with a population between 40,000 and 60,000, the only city with more sex offenders to total residents than Niagara Falls is Binghamton with a whopping one for every 136 residents.


At first it may seem like a no-brainer that in a city with high crime rates, drug use, and high unemployment, having a large amount of sex offenders living in Niagara Falls would make sense. Of course there is likely some coloration between all those elements, but many cities have high crime, or low employment but do not have anywhere close to the poor figures that Niagara Falls has in relation to sex offenders.


So we get guys here like a  Robert Ray Taylor, a 47-year old blonde haired and blue eyed man who raped a 12-year-old back in the Nineties and would probably do the same today if given half a chance.


He’s the guy you might be standing in line next to at Rite Aid or Tops Friendly Markets. He might be living next door to you in a rental unit and you might think he’s a nice enough guy to coach your kid’s soccer team. 


The numbers certainly get overlooked when taking about what is wrong with the Niagara Falls, but having 3.2 sex offenders in every thousand city-residents is a painfully statistic that needs to be remembered. It should be addressed as an important factor that is keeping people away from living in the city.


At least for those who don’t particularly care to run into, much less live next to, a sex offender several times a day. Or want them living a few doors down from the school their child attends.

Port St Lucie PD arrests woman for letting child walk alone to a park because cops claim an abundance of "pedophiles."

The arresting officer in this case. 


It is yet another story from the dumbest state in America -- FloriDUH. This time it is a pig from the Port St DOOFY police department (if you don't get the reference, watch "Scary Movie").

http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/port-st-lucie/port-st-lucie-mom-arrested-after-allowing-her-7-year-old-son-to-go-to-a-nearby-park-alone

Port St. Lucie mom arrested after allowing her 7-year-old son to go to a nearby park alone
She plans on fighting the charge

Elizabeth Harrington

10:43 PM, Jul 28, 2014
2:21 PM, Jul 31, 2014

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - UPDATE:  DCF says that the investigation is "very much open" and they are not planning on dropping the case as of right now. 


-----------------------------


A mother faces a charge of child neglect after she allowed her son to go to a local park alone. She says he's old enough but Port St. Lucie Police disagree. Now she's fighting back.


"I'm totally dumbfounded by this whole situation," said the mother, Nicole Gainey.


It began last Saturday afternoon when Gainey gave her son Dominic permission to walk from their house to Sportsman's Park .


"Honestly didn't think I was doing anything wrong," says Gainey, "I was letting him go play.


It's a half mile from their Port St. Lucie home. Dominic says it only takes him about 10 to 15 minutes to get there.  During the walk, the 7-year-old passed a public pool. Someone there asked him where his mom was.


"They asked me a couple questions and I got scared so I ran off to the park and they called the cops," says Dominic Guerrisi.


Dominic was playing at the park when an officer pulled up.


"They said 'where does your mom live,' " says Dominic.


Police took him home. That's when his mom was arrested and charged with child neglect. Gainey says she was shocked.


"My own bondsman said my parents would have been in jail every day," says Gainey who paid nearly $4,000 to bond out.


The officer wrote in the report that Dominic was unsupervised at the park and that "numerous sex offenders reside in the vicinity."


"He just basically kept going over that there's pedophiles and this and that and basically the park wasn't safe and he shouldn't be there alone," says Gainey.


She believes Dominic is mature enough to go to the park alone during the day. Gainey adds her son always has a cell phone which she calls to check on him.


"That I'm here and safe," says Dominic.


Gainey plans to fight the felony charge. But after this she won't let Dominic go to the park alone. She's afraid she'll be arrested again.


The St. Lucie County State's Attorney's office says there is no law that specifies how old a child has to be before he or she can go somewhere unsupervised. It's done on a case-by-case basis. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Milwaukee CBS-58's Sarah Barwacz brags of passing local residency restriction ordinance

When journalists make news, the results are bad. It is even worse when journalists help pass bad laws then brag about their dumb deeds on social media. So Sarah Barwacz is bragging her "Bottom Line" (or is it bottomfeeder?) investigation uncovered registered citizens are living too close to schools so they worked with the city to pass 2000 foot residency restrictions for the city. Obviously she didn't do her research as she was far to busy posting selfies and bragging on FB. 

Ruining lives is never anything to brag about.

Supposedly this yellow journalist has won awards for her fluff pieces. Perhaps she will win a different award this time-- a Shiitake. 


Bottom Line Update: Sex offender law passes after CBS 58 Investigation
by Sarah Barwacz
Story Created: Jul 22, 2014
Story Updated: Jul 22, 2014 

MILWAUKEE -- Thanks to a CBS 58 Bottom Line Investigation Milwaukee now has a new sex offender ordinance.
CBS 58's Investigative Reporter Sarah Barwacz brought the issue to lawmakers back in May after finding child predators living next to schools, daycare centers, and parks. It was legal for child predators to live next to schools and parks because there was no law against it. Some council members we spoke with felt Milwaukee had become overrun with offenders. After several months of working with lawmakers Tuesday we got a law passed.
Alderman Tony Zielinski says, "I'm very excited, it's been a long standing problem in our community, today we got a major victory for the City of Milwaukee, so I want to thank CBS 58 for working with me to make this legislation a reality." 
Offenders already living in Milwaukee would be grandfathered in but new offenders would have to follow the 2,000 foot rule, restricting them from living next to day care centers, parks, and schools.
But some like Alderman Witkowski from District 13 say some districts will end up with a larger proportion of the sex offenders.
"It is still something that doesn't make the neighborhoods comfortable. With this change, four aldermanic districts that get to bear the burden for the City of Milwaukee."
Milwaukee had more sex offenders because neighboring communities passed residency restrictions while Milwaukee did not. The has one final hurdle, the mayor has to sign it. If he does the law will go into affect in 60 days.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Manassas City cops sought to make child pornography to prosecute child pornography

Prince William Co VA's DA Paul Ebert
I honestly can't write a headline worthy of the insanity that has surrounded this crazy case. Here's the rundown-- A 17 year old boy takes a picture of his penis and sent it to a 15 year old girl (the girl sent naked pics of herself to the boy but was not charged for some reason). The girl's parents call the cops, and the cops charge the 17 year old boy with possession AND manufacturing child porn. It isn't enough we're wasting resources on a such a silly investigation, but a funny thing happened on the way to trial. It seems the police came up with a brilliant idea-- they were going to take the kid to the hospital, give him a shot of something to give him an erection, and take a picture of the boy's erect penis to compare with the photos he sent to his girlfriend. 

Yes, this actually happened:


Foster said the case began when the teen’s 15-year-old girlfriend sent photos of herself to the 17-year-old, who in turn sent her the video in question. The girl has not been charged, and her mother filed a complaint about the boy’s video, Foster said. The male teen was served with petitions from juvenile court in early February, and not arrested, but when the case went to trial in juvenile court in June, Foster said prosecutors forgot to certify that the teen was a juvenile. The case was dismissed, but police immediately obtained new charges and also a search warrant for his home. Police also arrested the teen and took him to juvenile jail, where Foster said they took photos of the teen’s genitals against his will.

The case was set for trial on July 1, where Foster said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Claiborne Richardson told her that her client must either plead guilty or police would obtain another search warrant “for pictures of his erect penis,” for comparison to the evidence from the teen’s cell phone. Foster asked how that would be accomplished and was told that “we just take him down to the hospital, give him a shot and then take the pictures that we need.”

Then, after the story broke, the Manassas City PD released a statement justifying their actions:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Juvenile Sexting Case

On January 23, 2014 Manassas City Police was contacted by a parent of a 15 YOA female juvenile who was sent pornographic videos by a 17 YOA male suspect after repeatedly being told to stop.  Upon further investigating the incident charges of manufacturing and distributing child pornography were brought against the 17 YOA male suspect on January 28, 2014 after consultation with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.  The matter was set for trial on June 4th 2014 where charges were nolle prosqui by a Prince William County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney.

The circumstances on the decision to dismiss charges and bring forward new charges cannot be released at this time due to this incident being an active investigation and involving juveniles.  New charges of manufacturing and distributing child pornography have been brought forward and a court date is pending.

It is not the policy of the Manassas City Police or the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to authorize invasive search procedures of suspects in cases of this nature and no such procedures have been conducted in this case.  Beyond that, neither the Police Department nor the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office discusses evidentiary matters prior to court hearings.

###

Adrienne E. Helms
Crime Prevention Specialist &
Public Information Officer
Manassas City Police Department
9518 Fairview Ave
Manassas, VA 20110

Thankfully the police did not follow up with this crazy warrant (though apparently the case is still being prosecuted). 

The prosecutor, Paul Ebert, has already been on a similar award list, Radley Balko's list of "Worst Prosecutors in America" on The Agitator, a privilege he has had at least three times now. Add a potential Shiitake award to the list. 

By the way, did you know that John Wayne Bobbitt and his demented penis-severing wife Lorena lived in Manassas when she chopped it off?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Alabama State Rep. Kurt Wallace's political swan song sends registered citizens into exile

 For years, I have been battling Alabama State Rep. Kurt "The Segregationist" Wallace over a bid to pass a statewide anti-clustering bill. While ReFORM-AL was mounting opposition for a statewide anti-clustering bill, professed "Christian Conservative" State Rep. Kurt Wallace pulled out the politician playbook and called a trick play.

This is how they built typically passes to the Alabama Legislature. A bill is introduced and assigned to a committee. There is generally time allotted for the public to become aware of a pending bill. Before a bill passes committee, the public has a right to request a public hearing on the bill at hand. It is a narrow window, but an individual generally has at least a couple of weeks or so to catch a bill as it pops up before committee.

With HB 556, and anti-clustering bill just for Chilton County, the public was literally given a single day’s notice. On Thursday, February 27, 2014, HB 556 was introduced and read for the first time before the house legislature, and was assigned to the “LL” (local legislation) committee. By Tuesday, March 4, the bill had been read a second time and placed on the calendar, and the next day, it had been read a third time and put to a vote. Only 38 representatives voted, all of them “yea,” of course, and 47 representatives were not even present to vote on March 5.

In short, the public was never truly given adequate notice. ReFORM-AL  had been checking the Alabama state legislature (“ALISON”) website every Friday during the legislative season, and not a single notice of HB 556 was seen. A bill was literally introduced and passed through the house in five business days, but that a single notice given to those who were to be impacted by these laws.

Keep in mind at this point, once a bill goes before the full legislature outside of committee, the public cannot request a public hearing. The best hope is to attempt to stop the bill by convincing legislators outside of committee to vote against the bill. To be honest, how many people do you think actually read, debated, or consider the negative consequences of this bill?

Could we have stopped the bill in the Senate? Since no one was even aware of HB 556, no one realized that the very next day, the bill was read for the first time in the Senate. The following Thursday, March 13, the bill was read a second time, and on Tuesday, March 18, the bill was read a third and final time and was put to a vote. This time, 21 people voted yea, and three people voted to abstain from voting. It was “enrolled” and sent for the governor to sign.

In total, 18 days had passed between the time the bill was first read in the time the bill was sent to the governor's office, or rather, 12 business days. That is superfast by Alabama Legislature standards.

State Rep. Kurt Wallace has been pushing his segregationist policy for years, all just to shut down a transitional housing program in his home County. This time, he got what he wanted. ReFORM-AL has already received a number of phone calls from individuals negatively impacted by this countywide ordinance. It is amazing how Wallace and his stooge CJ Robinson pushed for this idiotic legislation while admitting that residency restriction laws were the cause of the problem in the first place, testifying that these laws lead people to take advantage of registered citizens.

It seems the “good old boy” network is alive in rural Alabama. I'm sure Jesus is just ecstatic that Wallace has made people homeless in his name. On the upside, Wallace just lost his bid for re-election, so at least this fight has become his political swan song.