Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mug shot website sues Utah sheriff for jail photos

A private business extorting registered citizens for money is being sued in California, and mugshot magazines are facing challenges in court. They are for profit ventures designed to shame and humiliate people. But one company has the audacity to sue a sheriff for refusing to release mug shots to them. I dislike cops but in this instance I have to give props to this sheriff.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The owner of a website that publishes inmate booking photos is suing a Utah sheriff for denying a public records request for more than a thousand mug shots.

The Salt Lake County Sheriff denied the records request in February, saying his office could refuse because it holds copyright control over the images.

Attorneys for Kyle Prall, who runs the website, argue in documents filed last week in 3rd District Court that if the court doesn't overturn Sheriff Jim Winder's "wrong and selective denial," it would set a "dangerous precedent" beyond mug shots into broader rights of public access to government records.

In January, Winder stopped posting booking photos to his metro jail's online roster, citing websites such as Prall's that display the images and charge former inmates a removal fee. Some of the sites charge hundreds of dollars and then fail to follow through by removing image or identifying information.

The websites are using the records created by his office to hurt people and make money, he said.

"I believe that the practice of using these mug shots to belittle and abuse our citizens is immoral and repugnant," he said when discussing the websites in general during an interview Tuesday.

"A compassionate society does not utilize the scarlet letter," he said.

Former inmates say the websites make them pay twice for their crimes, and some have contacted Winder, sometimes mistakenly believing his office is cooperating with the websites and publications.

"This has a huge impact on these people's lives," he said. "It's hurting people."

Winder said after he took down the images from the sheriff's website, "people made kind of a mad dash to get them" and the office began receiving public records requests for batches of the mug shots, such as Prall's request.

Prall did not return further messages seeking comment.

According to information on, the website will remove photos and information for free if a person can prove they were found not guilty or had the charges dismissed.

Otherwise, the website charges $98 to $178 to take down the information. The higher fee will buy a "rush" removal where the record is cleared within two business days instead of 20.

A statement on says by publishing the photos and inmate information, such as details about the person's arrest, helps the public stay informed and safe.

Prall submitted a records request in late January seeking copies of mug shots for everyone arrested or booked into the Salt Lake County Jail this year from January 11 to January 27.

In February, the sheriff's office declined the request and said the 1,388 mug shots that fall in that time period were "protected materials to which access must be limited for purposes of securing or maintaining Salt Lake County's proprietary rights."

Prall appealed to the county council, which voted to uphold the denial, so now he's taking the issue to court.

"We think it's legally unfounded," said Prall's attorney David Reymann. "Mug shots have been public records and have been routinely released for many, many years."

Using words such as "bullies," "extortionists" and "trash," Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder on Thursday blasted tabloid magazines and websites that post mug shots from his jail and then demand money for the pictures to be removed.

"This is a government agency saying 'we own the public records and we can refuse to release these records to the public,'" he said.

Reymann argues in court documents that if a government agency argues it can deny access because it holds the copyright to those records, "virtually all government records would be off limits to the public," and the state public records law "would be meaningless."

Winder called that argument "ridiculous" and said that just because the government produces a record doesn't mean it can be used for any and all purposes.

Earlier this year, the Utah Legislature passed and Gov. Gary Herbert signed a measure that aimed to prevent people from using jail booking photos for mug shot websites. The legislation bars county sheriffs from handing out a booking photograph unless the person requesting it signs a statement swearing they will not place the image in a publication or on a website that charges people to remove photos.

The law wasn't signed by the governor until April 1 and became effective on May 14.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

US Congress adding amendment to deny food stamps from registered citizens

In recent years, Congress has attempted or succeeded in denying Small Business Loans, college aid, and FHA loans for people on the registry, now they want to ban registrants from obtaining food stamps. And you'll never believe who pushed for the amendment. None other than that diaper-wearing disgrace of a Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Since prostitution is a registerable sex offense in Louisiana, this asshat should be on the registry and denied his pension. If David Vitter can be forgiven by the legislature, then that forgiveness should extend to ALL registered persons.

eAdvocate has broken down the amendment added to S-954, a freaking farm bill of all things, here:

The details of the Amendment follow:

(Purpose: To end food stamp eligibility for convicted violent rapists, pedophiles, and murderers)
    At the end of subtitle A of title IV, insert the following:
    Section 6 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015) (as amended by section 4004) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(s) Disqualification for Certain Convicted Felons.--

    ``(1) IN GENERAL.- -An individual shall not be eligible for benefits under this Act if the individual is convicted of--
    ``(A) aggravated sexual abuse under section 2241 of title 18, United States Code;
    ``(B) murder under section 1111 of title 18, United States Code;
    ``(C) an offense under chapter 110 of title 18, United States Code;
    ``(D) a Federal or State offense involving sexual assault, as defined in 40002(a) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 13925(a)); or
    ``(E) an offense under State law determined by the Attorney General to be substantially similar to an offense described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C).

    ``(2) EFFECTS ON ASSISTANCE AND BENEFITS FOR OTHERS.--The amount of benefits otherwise required to be provided to an eligible household under this Act shall be determined by considering the individual to whom paragraph (1) applies not to be a member of such household, except that the income and resources of the individual shall be considered to be income and resources of the household.

    ``(3) ENFORCEMENT.--Each State shall require each individual applying for benefits under this Act, during the application process, to state, in writing, whether the individual, or any member of the household of the individual, has been convicted of a crime described in paragraph (1).''.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Award Winning" liberal blogger Meg Lanker-Simons threatens to rape herself

All of a sudden, the internet is abuzz with false allegation arrests. Thankfully in this instance, no one was falsely arrested. Rather, this woman made a threat of rape... against herself! What a fitting end to Child Abuse Awareness Month. Seeing some of the comments on this story in the media shows how deep the "rape culture" mantra has become embedded in our society.

Meg Lanker-Simons was a liberal blogger who won an award for her blog "Cognitive Dissonance," but now she's in the running for a different kind of award. A Shiitake Award! (As a side note, I lean to the left, so I'm going to join in on the political bashing. This girl is a dingbat.) Unfortunately, the rape-culture believers have fiercely defended her, even blaming "rape culture" for this false allegation.

(A second story with more pictures, screenshots, and coverage of a protest encouraged by Meg's false threat can be found HERE)

UW Police: Facebook post was a hoax -- UPDATED
Citation: UW woman 'admitted' making controversial statement

The University of Wyoming Police Department issued a citation Monday afternoon in Albany County Circuit Court for Meg Lanker-Simons, a woman allegedly threatened last week in a social media post authorities now contend was a hoax.

The citation is for interference, a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment up to a year and a fine up to $1,000.

"Subject admitted to making a controversial post on UW Crushes webpage and then lied about not doing it," according to the citation.

She is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. May 13 in Circuit Court.

The post was made to the UW Crushes page April 24 on Facebook and described Lanker-Simons as "that chick that runs her liberal mouth all the time and doesn't care who knows it."

The post also referenced a graphic, sexual act against Lanker-Simons.

"One night with me and shes gonna be a good Republican (expletive)," the post read.

The post created a stir on social media and at the university, with school officials issuing statements denouncing the post against Lanker-Simons and campus police opening an investigation.

Lanker-Simons could not be reached for comment.

UW released a statement Tuesday afternoon regarding the citation.

"This episode has sparked an important discussion reaffirming that the UW community has no tolerance for sexual violence or violence of any type," UW spokesman Chad Baldwin said. "The fact that the Facebook post apparently was a fabrication does not change the necessity for continued vigilance in reassuring that we have a campus where everyone feels safe.

"It's important that this event does not undermine the progress that has been made in this area."

According to the UW statement, Lanker-Simons received the citation as a "result of false statements she made to the UW Police Department."

The citation followed a police interview of Lanker-Simons and a search of her computer equipment pursuant to a warrant, UW reported.

UW Police "obtained substantial evidence verifying that the offending Facebook post came from Lanker-Simons' computer, while the computer was in her possession."

Pamela Kandt, co-convener of the Episcopal Women's Caucus and a Casper activist, came to Lanker-Simons' defense Tuesday.

Last week, after the controversial post went public, Kandt lobbied university officials for a "swift response to this outrage."

"I will tell you, I believe Meg is innocent of this outrage," said Kandt, adding she believes the citation issued by police is a "classic case of blaming the victim."

Kandt said she has spoken with Lanker-Simons following the citation's issuance.

UW Police, Kandt said, "have bullied her and they have pulled a bluff."

"This is the worst episode of 'Law & Order' you can imagine," Kandt said.

She added, "I mean, my God, who would do this to herself?"

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sara Ylen's pathological lying finally catches up with her

Who is Sara Ylen, you ask? She is a fairly well known rape "victim." So why did I use quotation marks around the term "victim" just now? Because her entire rape claim is false. And in an attempt to get more attention, she filed a false rape claim. And another. And now, she finally got arrested for filing a false felony and tampering with evidence. She could get up to 14 years in prison. She should serve at least the same amount as the man she falsely accused.

Sara Ylen claimed she was raped by a man in a Meijer parking light in broad daylight then picked her victim at random off of the public sex offender registry (making her relevant for this blog). The man she accused was convicted after less than one hour of jury deliberation, despite absolutely no evidence other than Sara Ylen's testimony, and in 2003 the man was sentenced to the maximum penalty, 15-35 years.

So while a man sat in prison for years, the victim of a false accusation, Ylen got a lot of attention. Her false rape case was featured on the Oxygen TV series "Captured." She spoke at rape awareness events like "Walk A Mile In Her Shoes." She even claimed she was battling cancer as a result of HPV she supposedly received from the rape that never occurred.

She needs professional help. She has made multiple accusations over the years so I suggest civil commitment.

Sara Ylen taken into custody
In connection to assault report
 May 2, 2013   |   7 Comments

A 38-year-old Lexington woman was taken into custody Thursday on charges of tampering with evidence and reporting a false felony in connection with a sexual assault she reported to police Sept. 18. She could be arraigned as early as Friday.

Sara Ylen was arrested Thursday in Lexington and transported to the St. Clair County jail, Maria Miller, Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney, said in an email.

A report of a false felony is punishable by up to four years, while tampering with evidence is punishable by up to 10 years, Miller said.

Officials said Ylen reported the attack while in St. Clair County, but said it happened in Sanilac County.

Sanilac County Sheriff Garry Biniecki said Ylen alleged she had injuries related to the rape and was showing signs of bruising. But officers were able to determine the injuries were makeup, Biniecki said.

The cases ended up being handled by Wayne County prosecutors after St. Clair County Prosecutor Mike Wendling asked the state attorney general’s office to reassign the case due to his office’s relationship with Ylen in the James Grissom case.

Grissom was prosecuted and convicted of sexually assaulting Ylen in 2003. She said the attack happened in the parking lot of the Fort Gratiot Meijer.

Following the conviction, investigators in Michigan, California and Colorado determined Ylen had reported she had been sexually assaulted in other instances but could not substantiate those crimes.

Charges against Grissom were dropped after the Michigan Supreme Court granted Grissom a new trial after learning of the unsubstantiated claims.

Wendling requested the dismissal instead of a new trial, citing the length of time since the alleged incident and new evidence that had been discovered.

Grissom was released from custody Nov. 19, after almost a decade behind bars.

Separately, Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Brian Ferguson is conducting a fraud investigation involving Ylen.

Ferguson said the case has been handed over to the Sanilac County Prosecutor’s Office.

Lucy Higgins, administrative assistant for Sanilac County Prosecutor James Young, said the fraud case is still in the process of review.

Details about that case have not been released.

The Times Herald normally does not identify victims of sexual assault. Ylen was identified when she asked the paper to tell her story.