Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Voting for the 2014 Shiitake Awards NOW until Feb. 1, 2015

To vote, click here:

It is time once again to vote for the 2014 Shiitake Awards!
Vote on the dumbest sex offender stories and the worst among those who exploit sex offenders for person game. Vote and share the awards with fellow activists! Voting ends February 1. It is free and fun. Most of all, you get to stick it to those who stick it to Registered Citizens.

For a full list of finalists to review before taking the survey, go here:


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Emily "The Misguidance Girl" Roberts is in need of a fact-check

Her website claims "You've got questions, she's got answers." Personally, I think her answers should begin with the same three words-- "I don't know."

Emily Roberts is an alleged psychotherapist who refers to herself as "The Guidance Girl," but after dealing with this brain-dead bimbo on HLN's "Dr Drew on Call" show back on Dec. 11th, I find the Guidance Girl to be in need of some guidance.

The topic was on the Registered Citizen who won the lottery in FloriDUH. Once Fallen was asked to be in the segment as well. At the end of my segment, Emily Roberts stated that not only should registrants suffer, but we also have a 75% recidivism rate.

You can read the entire segment if you want by clicking the link (I made some good quotes), but I am focusing on Roberts's words here:

PINSKY: Al right, Derek, thank you. I want to hear from Emily. I have not yet heard from her. I know you are dying to say something there. Go ahead. 

ROBERTS: Well, they should have to suffer. I mean they have ruined someone is life forever. This child will forever harmed. This child will never be the same again. And, the other children, because it is pretty likely that he offended and hurt other children, as well beside these two children, because around 75 percent of people who offend do it again. So, we do not know. He could have done it again. 

PINSKY: All right, we got to go. Next up, a stranger gets involved in the life of a pregnant woman and her male companion and social media is having a field day with this one. I will explain it. We are back after this. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Michelle Duggar uses Predator Panic as a weapon against a gay rights bathroom issue in Arkansas

This story puts the "loo" in loony.

Put an ultra-conservative Christian family on TV whose only claim to fame is having more kids than the cast of Glee, you can be assured that eventually, they will do something stupid, maybe even Shiitake-worthy. I've never watched their Duggar show. All I know is with 20 kids to deal with, you'd think she'd be too busy to worry about stuff like which bathroom transgendered persons prefer when relieving themselves, but then you'd be wrong.

But it's better to be pissed off than pissed on, especially when the shit hits the fan (you have to love a little toilet humor).

But remember, to be considered Shiitake-worthy, it has to be sex offender-related. Well, in her push to overturn a law allowing transgendered persons to decide with lavatory they should use, she invokes Predator Panic and the old standby "innocence of a child" crap. No matter what gender you are, THAT is Shiitake-Worthy!

Michelle Duggar and the Family Council try to torpedo Fayetteville non-discrimination ordinance with lies
Posted By Lindsey Millar on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 5:54 PM

On Aug. 19, the Fayetteville City Council will consider an ordinance to prohibit discrimination in public services, housing and employment that adds sexual orientation and family status to the familiar list of categories generally protected by federal law. 

It's expected to pass, which is probably why the Arkansas Family Council has ramped up its opposition campaign. After pushing a list of nonsense consequences should the measure pass, the Family Council has now enlisted the help of reality star Michelle Duggar to spread lies about it. Her voice can be heard on a robocall that started making the rounds on Monday in Fayetteville. 

Here's an excerpt (hear the whole thing below) of Duggar's message:

"I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls. I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space. We should never place the preference of an adult over the safety and innocence of a child. Parents, who do you want undressing next to your daughter at the public swimming pool’s private changing area?" 

Maybe Duggar, mother of 19, got some coaching from her eldest son, who works for the legislative arm of an anti-gay hate group. Mama Duggar, by the way, lives in Tontitown, not Fayetteville. 

The Fayetteville city attorney's office has already swatted such claims. But what's fear-mongering to bigots?

The claim that this ordinance would provide predators with access to women's restrooms in order to assault or leer at girls or women is nothing more than fear-mongering. This ordinance does allow transgender people to use the bathroom in which they feel most comfortable and physically safe. Transgender people — who are far more likely to be the victims of harassment and violence if forced to use a bathroom that is inconsistent with their gender identity or expression — deserve to have the ability to use the bathroom in peace and safety. Using the bathroom is a basic human function and denying that to a person is inhumane. This ordinance has nothing to do with the concerns and examples Ms. Nichols provided — the acts perpetrated by the criminals in those stories will continue to be criminal acts.

Could this be the craziest consequence of sex offender legislation EVER?

I'm not going to get into a pro-choice vs pro-life debate. However, when legislators look to sex offender residency laws as a foundation for passing restrictions in other areas of life, THAT is Shiitake-worthy. It apparently has the support of the guv'nuh.

Pro-lifers seek to shut abortion center using sex offender buffer provisions
by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez | 26 November, 2014
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Christian Examiner) -- Despite strong efforts of Alabama pro-life supporters to shut down North Alabama's only abortion clinic, a court ruling last week has allowed the Women's Center in Huntsville to remain open. Now the group will seek to establish new legislation instead of filing an appeal.

In September, James Henderson, executive director of the Christian Coalition of Alabama and 18 other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the Huntsville Board of Zoning Adjustment asking for a preliminary injunction to stop the clinic from operating while the case goes through the court system.

Madison County Circuit Judge Alan Mann rejected the efforts on the grounds that none of the plaintiffs were directly affected by the location of the clinic. The lawsuit, had argued that the clinic should not be allowed to operate on a previously granted building variance initially intended for a Huntsville Hospital outpatient facility before it closed in 2013.

According to Henderson would not seek to appeal the court ruling, but instead try to establish a new law requiring abortion clinics to establish themselves at a 2,000 foot distance from schools. The 2,000 foot buffer is similar to the minimum distance requirement as is placed on sex offenders and schools.

"If you look in terms of cost effectiveness, new legislation is a better way to go," he said. "There will be a lot of public input and I know it's something Republican legislators will support."

Henderson, a member of the Alabama Republican Party executive committee, claimed that a buffer zone law has been encouraged by Gov. Robert Bentley's office and that Chief Legal Advisor David Byrne Jr. offered assistance with the legislation, though he could not do legal work for a private entity.

Should the law pass, the Alabama Women's Center would have to shut its doors or relocate because its current campus is almost directly across from a middle school which is being remodeled.

The center opened at this location in October after clinic owner Dalton Johnson purchased the facilities from Huntsville Hospital. He previously relocated his abortion service because that plant did not meet the standards of the Alabama Women's Health and Safety Act of 2013.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hey Sun-Slantinel, trim the fat and hold the Mayo

It seems the Sun-SLANTINEL has a penchant for hiring the worst writers for their birdcage-liners posing as newspapers, and Michael Mayo is no exception.

If the government can stop Nazis from getting Social Security, they can stop yellow journalists from writing this drivel.

Mayo: Easiest bill for 2015 - No jackpots for sex predators

By Michael Mayo,
Sun Sentinel Columnist

Looks like the Florida Legislature has its first bi-partisan slam-dunk bill for 2015: Banning lottery jackpots for registered sexual predators.

Timothy Poole, 43, a registered sexual predator (which is worse than your garden variety registered sex offender), recently claimed a $3 million scratch-off jackpot from Florida Lottery headquarters.

Poole, whose lengthy arrest record includes a charge of sexual battery on a victim under 12, took home a lump sum payment of $2.2 million. Here's hoping he doesn't spend it on candy.

Naturally, this has many people up in arms. But there is no law on the books banning sex predators from winning big Lottery prizes. I bet that changes this upcoming legislative session.

Some might say: If a sex predator is willing to gamble away his money in the Lottery, shouldn't he be entitled to win?

Uh, no.

It seems just as ridiculous as a Nazi who came to America after the war and worked long and hard and paid into the system, and then got discovered, getting to keep his Social Security benefits after leaving the country under a controversial deportation program.

As distasteful as it is, there doesn't seem to be an easy way logistically to prevent sex predators from playing the Lottery or winning smaller prizes. What are we going to do, have merchants conduct background checks every time someone plays PowerBall or redeems a scratch-off prize of $100?

But there is one easy fix: For any big prize, the ones that require redemption from Lottery offices, registered sex predators (and perhaps all convicted violent felons) should be disqualified.

Because there's nothing more embarrassing than having a guy who molests kids smile for the cameras with his ceremonial oversized million-dollar check.

Your move, Legislature.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mike DeForest (Gump) tries to ruin a Registrant's life, instead gets to witness the registrant's good fortune

December is usually the time things go quiet here as the annual Shiitake Awards nominees are collated and handed over to our own Shiitake Awards Playoff Selection Committee. But it seems a run of last minute entries look to throw a monkey wrench into our playoff scheme.

Today's entry is Mike DeForest (Gump) from WKMG Local 6 in Orlando, reminding us that stupid is as stupid does.

DeForest ran a sweeps week "Sex Offenders who have jobs and we get one fired" story, which featured a number of Registered Citizens trying to make a living. DeForest bragged about getting one fired. A couple of months later, one of the targets of his first story wins $3 Million from a scratch-off ticket, and DeForest runs a nasty story on the lotto winner.

It seems pretty obvius that DeForest is trying to bring as much bad publicity as possible to a man who asserts his innocence and has kept his nose clean in the near-decade since his release.

In the first story, the lotto winner received only a passing mention:

Despite being a convicted sex predator, ***** is allowed to drive a cab for his family’s taxi business, ****, since there are few regulations governing vehicles-for-hire in Lake County.  “It may be hard for some to believe, but sometimes people are wrongly accused,” said Poole, 43, who insists he poses no risk to his passengers.  In 2002, as part of a plea agreement, Poole pleaded guilty to attempted sexual battery against a child.

In the follow-up article, DeForest drags out lengthy details of the man's past:

Convicted sex predator wins $3 million lottery jackpot
Lake County man purchased scratch-off ticket at Mount Dora 7-Eleven

Author: Mike DeForest, Reporter,
Published On: Dec 09 2014 05:46:17 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 10 2014 06:22:04 PM EST

Video: Sexual Predator wins $3M
Show Transcript
A convicted sex predator who served 3 years in prison for a crime involving a young child is now a multi-millionaire. *****  won $3 million on a Florida Lottery scratch-off ticket he purchased at a Mount Dora 7-Eleven store Saturday night.

"He was flabbergasted. He couldn't believe it," said **** , a friend who was with **** when he hit the jackpot. "It was quite a remarkable thing. My heart is still beating."

**** was among the subjects of a recent Local 6 investigation that examined where convicted sex predators are employed.  **** is driver and dispatcher for ***** , a Mount Dora taxi company owned by his mother, records show.   

In 1999, Orange County authorities arrested **** following allegations that he sexually battering a 9-year-old boy.  According to an arrest warrant affidavit, **** was a friend of the victim's family who once lived at their home.  The victim also spent some weekends at ***'s home, according to investigators.


**** denied the allegations, according to the report.

As part of a plea bargain, **** pleaded guilty to attempted sexual battery and was sentenced to the 13 months he had already served in jail. The judge also ordered **** to serve 10 years of sex offender probation and register as a sexual predator. A judge can designate someone as a predator if the defendant used physical violence, preyed on children or had repeat violations.

In 2003, a judge revoked **** probation and sent him to prison for 3 years.  According to court records, Poole was kicked out of his mandatory sex offender counseling because he failed to attend 4 group sessions.

**** , who has had no other legal troubles since being released from prison in 2006, insists he is innocent. 

"It may be hard for some to believe, but sometimes people are wrongly accused," **** told Local 6 in November.

"I've known him for years and I've never seen any inclination of anything like that with him," said ****, who believes his friend should enjoy the $3 million lottery jackpot.  "He's a very positive person. Very kind. Giving. I think that's why he won.  It's Christmastime and the dude deserves a break."

*****turned in his winning Super Millions scratch-off ticket at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee on Monday.  Lottery officials said he chose to receive his winnings in a one-time, lump-sum payment of $2,219,807.90. 

Florida law does not allow the lottery to withhold payments from winners based on their criminal records, according to spokeswoman.  However, before a winner receives a check, Florida Lottery officials conduct a background check using their Social Security number to ensure they do not owe child support or any outstanding debts to a state agency.

**** could not be reached for comment following his lottery win, so it is unclear what he plans to do with his millions.  According to Snyder, **** will be pouring some of that money into his mom's small taxi cab company.

"He's going to invest in the business," said ****. "He's going to expand."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hetty Johnston wants to be the Australian Grinch who steals Xmas

G'day, mates! We have another international offering to the Shiitake awards today. This is Hetty Johnston, an Australian victim industry spokeswoman. Victim industry advocates aren't exactly known for rational discussions on this topic, but Johnston wants to end the tradition of sitting on a mall Santa's lap out of fears of Predator Panic. Krikey!

Parents warned of dangers of Santa’s lap
THE traditional Christmas family souvenir is under threat with parents and child protection advocates arguing Santa’s lap should be off limits to kids.

Child protection activist Hetty Johnston this week backed the concerns of Queensland parents worried the time had come to stop their children sitting on the lap of shopping centre Santas for Christmas photos.

“What we would like to see is shopping centre owners updating their child protection policies,” Ms Johnston said.

“The directive would be for children to stand beside Santa, unless parents or children request to sit on his knee. Shopping centres have duty of care to protect children on premises.”

The Santa debate came to light on social media, with Queensland mothers at odds as to whether the practice should end – provoking a strong reaction from Ms Johnston. Many mothers back her stand.

“We teach kids ... it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe,” she said.

“This means not having to sit on anyone’s lap, including family members, if they don’t want to. So why should we make them sit on the lap of a person they don’t know dressed as Santa?”

Ms Johnston emphasises that she does not want to be a grinch and said the simple changes would not spoil the experience for children.

Queensland’s Mark Overell has been a Santa for 24 years and is a Santa trainer for Promoworks, which supplies hundreds of Santas to shopping centres across the state, including mega precincts such as Indooroopilly, Carindale and Garden City. He says all job applicants go through stringent background checks.

“I understand where the fear is coming from but the idea that Santa should be lumped in with everyone else is extreme,” he said.

“Our Santas are trained to do everything by the book. The hands with white glov
es are only allowed on the children’s shoulder or around the tummy, nowhere else. We are very proud of how we have conducted ourselves over the years and have had very few complaints.”

Jenna McCarthy, who is mum to two-year-old Aaliyah said: “I wouldn’t force her to be held by a random stranger so Santa is no different to me. I can understand the fear. We hype up Christmas so much and we give kids the idea that Santa isn’t a stranger. What if they come across someone outside the shopping centre dressed as a Santa?

Social commentator David Chalke believes the debate is ludicrous.

“While I recognise the fine work that Bravehearts does, this is another symptom of our hyper-vigilant, risk adverse society,” he said.

“Surely it’s better to teach children to recognise and report inappropriate behaviour if it occurs than to issue a needlessly draconian blanket ban on any human contact — just in case.”

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Don Lehman, let me show you how the Shiitake Awards works

Not every candidate who lands here is a big name or works for a big name company. This is Don Lehman from the Glen Falls Post-Star, serving the Adirondack Mountains of New York state. Since he is likely ignorant on the process by which he landed on the Shiitake-Worthy blog, I will give him some insight.

The Shiitake-Worthy blog processes nominations for the Shiitake Awards, which spotlights those who misuse sex offender hysteria for personal gain. In the story on an auto-accident, Don Lehman made it a point to bring out the past of one of the accident victims, who is a Registered Citizen. it is fairly amazing that a number of individuals rebuked Lehman; Don Lehman himself proclaims, "there seems to be inexplicable sympathy for sex offenders in some circles."

The following blog post is the reason why he lands on our Shiitake-Worthy blog. Not only did he feel the need to defend himself in a separate news article, his bias is showing. And that, my friends, is Shiitake-Worthy.

How it works
December 03, 2014 7:57 am

The first abrasive email of the day came in early Wednesday morning from a guy who was upset that the final version of the article on Monday night's tragic car-pedestrian accident in Argyle included background on the driver's criminal history.

The guy (a local church pastor, believe it or not) thought that I added that to the story "to get attention" and questioned my "character," believing that I just write whatever I want and throw it in the paper and online.

Since many readers seem to be ignorant about how the newsgathering and publishing process works, here is some insight.

Everything that gets in the printed version of the paper is reviewed by at least two editors, sometimes as many as four or five. So a reporter here can not just write what they want and get it published.

Not everything that we put online is read by an editor before it is published, occasionally breaking news items where we are posting from the field or after hours will go up without editing. Most of it is though, as Online Editor Doug Gruse manages our online content.

When we got an inquiry Tuesday afternoon from a reader wondering if the driver in the Argyle accident was the same ******* who is a Level 3 sex offender from Salem who served 14 years in prison for raping two young girls and sodomizing a third, I checked it out and found out it was.

Because there seems to be inexplicable sympathy for sex offenders in some circles around here, I brought the information to the attention of Editor Ken Tingley and City Editor Bob Condon to find out if they believed it should be included.

Both said the information should be included in the story, as it is background information on the driver in a highly publicized case. If he had been a vice president of General Electric, a professional badminton player or a clerk at Cumberland Farms, we would have included that instead.

As the reader whose initial email questioned whether the driver was the sex offender **** pointed out, in many states what **** did would have resulted in a life sentence in prison. In fact, NY state law has changed since his conviction and he could receive a life sentence for predatory sexual assault against a child.

He finished parole last year, and has to register his address every 90 days. He has not been charged in the fatal accident.

-- Don Lehman

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Johnson City TN Salvation Army denies shelter to teenager because of "pervert" fears

Here is something to consider when you see those annoying bell-ringers this holiday season. Apparently, the Salvation Army has a policy of denying teens ages 12-16 primarily due to Predator Panic, and this policy was quietly instituted about a decade ago, according to this article.

Just look at the justification here. If the teen stays with the ladies, he'd be leering at ladies in PJs because he's likely a little "pervert." But if he stays with the men, then some "pervert" is likely to molest him.

Soup, Salvation, and Stupidity!

Salvation Army revisits shelter policy after family turned away due to son's age
Posted: Nov 25, 2014 4:35 PM EST
Updated: Dec 01, 2014 9:49 AM EST
By Nate Morabito, Investigative ReporterCONNECT
JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) - The Johnson City Salvation Army is reviewing its emergency shelter policy after the organization turned away a homeless family with a teenage son on a cold night earlier this month, all because of the boy's age.

Tim Lejeune says on one of the coldest nights of the year, despite the organization's white flag waving outside the shelter, the Salvation Army turned his family away, because his son is 15 years old.

"They said he's too old to stay on the women's side, because of the women running around in their pajamas and they said he's too young to stay on the men's side in case some pervert wants to do whatever," Lejeune said.

Lejeune says his wife, their 15 year-old son, 16 year-old daughter and five year-old son, all down on their luck, have been living in their car for the last several weeks.

Lejeune says it was so cold one night earlier this month he took his family to the Salvation Army. Noticing the organization's white flag blowing in the cold air, generally a symbol that all are welcome due to hazardous weather conditions, he says he expected the organization to welcome them with open arms. Instead, he says the shelter told them there was no way they could stay there with a 15 year-old boy.

"He said, 'I'm sorry, your son, y'all can't stay here, because of his age,'" Lejeune said. "I said, 'Are you kidding me?'"

"It was just heartbreaking," 15 year-old Dustin Lejeune said late last week.

Prepared to return to their cars to sleep in 18 degree weather, Johnson City police officers came upon the family and took up their cause. However, that proved unsuccessful.

Certain the family should not be expected to sleep in their car on one of the coldest nights of the year, the officers brought the family to the Johnson Inn and then did something remarkable. They pooled their resources and were prepared to pay for a motel room for the family with money out of their own pockets.

"They collected money to put the family up and when they were at the Johnson Inn, the clerk that was working there that night realized what was going on, so they themselves comped the room for the family," Maj. Garry Younger said. "In return, the officers took the money they collected and went and bought groceries that they gave to the family. I'm very proud that we employ people with that fortitude that care about the citizens."

Police officers AD McElroy, Justin Jenkins, Toma Sparks and Robert McCurry were not the only ones to help this family with a selfless act. Along with police, Washington County-Johnson City 911 dispatchers on shift two helped raise enough money to buy this family groceries, dinner and leave some cash behind for them. 

Salvation Army Captain Michael Cox says the organization has a longtime policy that prohibits boys ages 12 to 16 from staying at the shelter. According to Cox, the policy is in place for safety reasons; ultimately to protect children.

Cox says space limitations at the shelter do not allow the building to house maturing boys. He says that policy has only been an issue once before in the last decade or so. That said, he says the Salvation Army is now revisiting its shelter policy.

"It was an unfortunate situation altogether, because we did not have the facilities to put that family in place," Cox said of the situation. "We did offer further assistance and that was denied."

In the moments after we first met the family we shared their contact information with the Salvation Army. Monday their car was parked outside the organization. The organization has filled up their gas tank and even let them spend a couple nights at the shelter, but not because of any change of heart. Lejeune says their 15 year-old son is now receiving mental help at an area hospital.

"He ended up having a breakdown and ended up at Woodridge and felt it was all his fault that we were homeless that we couldn't go anywhere, because of him," Lejeune said.

While the family awaits the release of their son, they say they are now trying to get their kids enrolled in school and find a permanent housing solution.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Man jailed for a year and a half before Fulton Co Jawja Sheriff's Office realized they screwed up big time

Just how dumb are the sheriff's deputies in Fulton County, GA? Apparently, bad enough to keep a man in jail for a year and a half, convinced they have they the right man. Only problem is they had the wrong man. How can this happen? I guess we will find out after the lawsuit.

PS: If you are wondering why I am posting pictures of car wrecks, it is among the first pictures that came up when I Googled the Fulton Co. Sheriff's Office.

Maybe I need to create a new category, the Keystone Cop of the Year.

Posted: 11:12 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014
Man wrongly jailed for 525 days under sex offender's name
By Rachel Stockman

ATLANTA — A man was wrongly arrested and held at the Fulton County Jail for 525 days under another man’s name.

Randy Wiggins was mistakenly booked under Randy Williams’ name.

Williams is a convicted child molester who was wanted on a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender.

“The sad part is the system failed him,” said Stephen Strong, his brother-in-law.

Wiggins, who appears to have been wrongly incarcerated, suffers mental issues. The confusion began when he ran into police in June 2012.

“My guy didn’t have his driver’s license on him, so I guess out of convenience as much as anything, (police decided) we’ve got the right guy. It wasn’t the right guy, it was Randy Wiggins, not Randy Williams,” said David Paul Scott, Wiggin’s attorney.

Wiggins’ family says that he was tormented in jail because other inmates wrongly believed he was a sex offender.

“If you want to be blunt about it, he was raped and he was beat,” Strong said.

The family’s filed a federal lawsuit demanding to know how jail officials let this happen and why they didn’t check the system.

“You compare the fingerprints for this guy, are these Randy Williams, especially when this guy is saying, 'I’m not Randy Williams,'” Scott said, adding that a fingerprint check wasn’t done.

“We let them know they had the wrong person. We watched him go into court, still go back out under the wrong name, still labeled as a sex offender,” Strong said.

His family says the mistake was finally discovered when he went to Georgia Regional Hospital for a mental health checkup.

“I’m sure he is not the first and we need implement changes so that he will be the last,” Strong said.

“It’s unclear how the wrong person was arrested for the other Randy’s charges. This matter is under investigation, and there’s nothing more I can share due to the investigation and pending litigation,” said Tracy Flanagan, spokeswoman for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.

Monday, November 3, 2014

This is why California's new "Affirmative Defense" law should never have passed

If you are going to co-sponsor a law, you should have at least some idea how the law works. Apparently, California Assemblyperson Bonnie Lowenthal didn't get that memo.

Lowenthal co-authored the much-maligned "Affirmative Consent" law, otherwise known as "Yes Means Yes." When asked how one who is innocent would prove affirmative consent, Lowenthal's response was, "Your guess is as good as mine." So, Lowenthal says lets just pass a law and see how this plays out.

Students question ‘affirmative consent’ bill designed to combat sexual assaults
By Josh Dulaney, The San Gabriel Valley Tribune
POSTED: 06/08/14, 5:40 PM PDT | UPDATED: ON 06/08/2014 0 COMMENTS

LONG BEACH >> A bill on its way to the state Assembly mandates that California’s public universities adopt a policy requiring college students to obtain ongoing consent throughout a sexual encounter.

Senate Bill 967, introduced by state Sens. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, and Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, requires Cal State University, the University of California and community college districts to adopt campus anti-sexual violence policies that include an affirmative consent standard.

The bill, which was co-authored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, passed the state Senate 27-9 on May 29 and was moved to the Assembly.

“I strongly believe that we need to change the way we look at sexual assault and how we talk about it,” said Lowenthal, who chairs the state Legislative Women’s Caucus, with Jackson as vice chair. “In the past, there’s been legislation requiring campuses to disclose crimes on campus and establish victims’ rights, but all across the state, whether it’s private colleges or public universities, campuses have been failing to prevent assaults and protect victims, so I believe our students deserve better.”

SB 967 requires campuses to adopt the affirmative consent standard when determining whether consent was given.

The bill defines affirmative consent as “an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.” It adds that consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time, and the existence of a dating relationship between the people involved, or their past sexual relations with one another, can’t be assumed to be an indicator of consent.

A pair of friends at Cal State Long Beach said the bill seemed well-intentioned, but questioned how practical it is when it comes to ensuring consent throughout sex with their partners.

“I feel like their hearts are in the right place, but the implementation is a little too excessive,” said Henry Mu, a 24-year-old biology major. “Are there guidelines? Are we supposed to check every five minutes?”

The remark drew laughter from his friend and fellow 49er, Sue Tang.

“If you were to do that, it would definitely kill the vibe,” said Tang, 27.

Lowenthal said affirmative consent means an individual “must say ‘yes,’” and “if an individual says nothing, that doesn’t imply consent.”

The UC system in February, when SB 967 was introduced, adopted a similar policy, also defining consent as “an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.”

At the 23-campus CSU system, “the concept of affirmative consent suggested by the bill is in line with our own system-wide policy, and the CSU has taken a position of support on SB 967,” said CSU Spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp in an email.



Shortly after the report, the federal Department of Education released a list of 55 colleges and universities that were under investigation for allegedly mishandling sexual assault complaints. The list included Occidental College, UC Berkeley and the University of Southern California.

Before the floor vote on SB 967, de Leon urges lawmakers to address the “profound problem” by approving the bill and promoting preventative programming that empowers survivors. De Leon said the “vast majority” of campuses have no consistent program to deal with young women who are traumatized by sexual assault and need services, adding that in some cases, the alleged perpetrator is allowed in the same classes as their victim.

“Twenty percent of young women on a college campus, whether it’s a UC, a Cal State or private independent college, will be sexually assaulted in some form, way or shape,” de Leon said. “We need to have a cultural shift across institutions of higher education to take these crimes very seriously.”

Supporters of the bill, which include the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the UC Student Association, say SB 967 is needed because sexual assault on campuses is a gray area that needs to be better defined.

“The general discussion around this is that consent needs to be something that is not in question,” said Kareem Aref, president of the UC Student Association and a student at UC Riverside. “If there’s a point where it’s in question, then you’re doing something wrong. If a woman or a man is not consenting, or if it’s blurry, that they’re not consenting, something’s wrong. It needs to be very clear.”


Critics of SB 967 say the “one-in-five” women statistic is dubious, and is used by legislators and universities to create a climate of fear on campus that ignores the rights of the accused.

Samantha Harris, director of policy research at the Philadelphia-based nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said the statistic comes from a 2007 federally funded Campus Sexual Assault Study using broad definitions of sexual violence to inflate the prevalence of the problem.

“Depending on their answers, they were classified as victims, regardless of whether they had identified themselves as victims,” Harris said. “If somebody replied as having sex when drunk then they would be classified as a victim. Sexual assault on campus is a serious issue, but you have to get those numbers right.”

Harris said for too long there has been a lack of due process for the accused in college judicial systems, which, under Title IX, are required to investigate student claims of sexual assault or risk being accused of creating a hostile learning environment under federal civil rights laws.

Other critics of SB 967 say the proposed law is too vague and doesn’t represent consensual sexual interaction in the real world.

“To me, this bill turns most people into sexual assaulters,” said Hans Bader, senior attorney for the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Bader, who wrote against the bill at, said many campuses already broadly define sexual activity, and consent is often a nonverbal cue, with either partner being able to stop the activity at any time. He wondered if romantic partners would need to ask each other’s permission for a kiss or hug.

Bader also said he was concerned about false accusations.

“If someone can be nasty enough to rape, can someone be nasty enough to lie and say (the victim) verbally consented?” Bader said. “Are they going to pass a law saying don’t lie?”

When asked how an innocent person is to prove he or she indeed received consent, Lowenthal said, “Your guess is as good as mine. I think it’s a legal issue. Like any legal issue, that goes to court.”

Friday, October 3, 2014

Chicgo PD Detective John J. Escalante claims Apple phones will be "pedophile phones" after Apple blocks LE from hacking newer phones

I'm not a big fan of Apple and their overpriced products. I do use Google products, like this blog. However, my phone is a Nokia running Windows, and yes, I like my Windows phone and I don't want an Apple or Google phone. However, there is something Apple and Google are doing that I hope Microsoft (and other companies, for that matter) will do-- cop-blocking encryption for their phone-related products. I don't have anything to hide, but I don't need the NSA collecting my pictures of crap I'm selling on eBay and CL (which is pretty much all I have on my phone). 

At first glance, it seems this is unrelated to sex offenders, until you see the punchline by FBI Director James Comey. What is it with the FBI, anyways? First Louis Freeh, now this schmuck. For longtime followers of this blog, we know anyone who uses sex offenders as a tool to pimp an idea or a product is Shiitake-worthy. But it is "Detective" John J. Escalante of the Chicago PD that steals the show with the dumbest quote of the article. This guy is as good a detective as Inspector Gadget. Wowsers!

FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Apple and Google on Thursday for developing forms of smartphone encryption so secure that law enforcement officials cannot easily gain access to information stored on the devices — even when they have valid search warrants.

His comments were the most forceful yet from a top government official but echo a chorus of denunciation from law enforcement officials nationwide. Police have said that the ability to search photos, messages and Web histories on smartphones is essential to solving a range of serious crimes, including murder, child pornography and attempted terrorist attacks.

“There will come a day when it will matter a great deal to the lives of people . . . that we will be able to gain access” to such devices, Comey told reporters in a briefing. “I want to have that conversation [with companies responsible] before that day comes.”

Comey added that FBI officials already have made initial contact with the two companies, which announced their new smartphone encryption initiatives last week. He said he could not understand why companies would “market something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.”

Comey’s remarks followed news last week that Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, is so thoroughly encrypted that the company is unable to unlock iPhones or iPads for police. Google, meanwhile, is moving to an automatic form of encryption for its newest version of Android operating system that the company also will not be able to unlock, though it will take longer for that new feature to reach most consumers.

Both companies declined to comment on Comey’s remarks. Apple has said that its new encryption is not intended to specifically hinder law enforcement but to improve device security against any potential intruder....

Not all of the high-tech tools favored by police are in peril. They can still seek records of calls or texts from cellular carriers, eavesdrop on conversations and, based on the cell towers used, determine the general locations of suspects. Police can seek data backed up on remote cloud services, which increasingly keep copies of the data collected by smartphones. And the most sophisticated law enforcement agencies can deliver malicious software to phones capable of making them spy on users.

Yet the devices themselves are gradually moving beyond the reach of police in a range of circumstances, prompting ire from investigators. Frustration is running particularly high at Apple, which made the first announcement about new encryption and is moving much more swiftly than Google to get it into the hands of consumers.

John J. Escalante
“Apple will become the phone of choice for the pedophile,” said John J. Escalante, chief of detectives for Chicago’s police department. “The average pedophile at this point is probably thinking, I’ve got to get an Apple phone.”

The rising use of encryption is already taking a toll on the ability of law enforcement officials to collect evidence from smartphones. Apple in particular has been introducing tough new security measures for more than two years that have made it difficult for police armed with cracking software to break in. The new encryption is significantly tougher, experts say.

“There are some things you can do. There are some things the NSA can do. For the average mortal, I’d say they’re probably out of luck,” said Jonathan Zdziarski, a forensics researcher based in New Hampshire.

Los Angeles police Detective Brian Collins, who does forensics analysis for anti-gang and narcotics investigations, says he works on about 30 smartphones a month. And while he still can successfully crack into most of them, the percentage has been gradually shrinking — a trend he fears will only accelerate.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lame (Oregon) Duck: Feminist professor Carol (un-)Stabile on feeling left out in the cold

I am a fan of Oregon-- not just the state, but also the University of Oregon. I'm a Duck fan. They're fun to watch. I even have a black Oregon Ducks Jersey sitting in my closet, waiting to be worn on Saturday. However, after seeing KATU's latest sex offender story (surprise, its not Shiitake-regular Anna Canzano, she's on maternity leave, of all things) makes me question the standards of at least one professor there.

I shudder to think who Carol would have prepared for such a discussion about campus assault. I know UO's mascot is a duck, but it seems to me "Dr. Stabile" is the real quack at the UO. (By the way, Carol is one of the founders of the Feminazi website "Fembot." Gag me.)

EUGENE, Ore. – KATU’s On Your Side Investigators have learned a convicted sex offender was hired by the University of Oregon to talk to athletes about sexual assault.

A contract obtained by KATU says Adam Ritz was paid $4,000 to give the football team alcohol and sexual assault awareness training.

Ritz was convicted of sexual battery 10 years ago after a woman who babysat his kids accused him of sexual assault. He lost his job as a radio DJ in Indiana but went on to give talks about how to stay out of trouble at universities throughout the country. He’s also spoken to NFL teams. In the talks, he does bring up his conviction.

UO Professor Carol Stabile was outraged when she recently learned the school hired Ritz in May of 2013.

Stabile is a co-chair of the Faculty Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support, which formed last spring after three UO basketball players were accused of sexual assault.

"The message he sends is that this can happen to anyone,” Stabile said, “and I simply don't believe that the particular crime he was convicted of can happen to anyone."

Carole even ranted about this on her own blog:

Athletics at UO, as elsewhere, is pretty much a closed system. Efforts by people who know a thing or two about sexual assault prevention and sexual violence to provide educational efforts have long been met with a defensive wall of silence. Athletics departments provide training to athletes, advocates around the country have been told, and they know better than anyone else how to reach student-athletes.

I think we all know better than to believe that at this point, especially in light of investigative reporting on sexual assault in college football in particular, like the New York Times‘ Walt Bogdanich‘s coverage of sexual assault at Florida State University.

Athletics departments and Greeks around the country made poor decisions in bringing a sex offender and media personality to campus whose only credential (aside from his ability to work the media) was his crime (there are plenty of testimonials from football players on his website, but it’s not clear how that translates into effective educational content).

We need to start demanding more information about how education about sexual violence is being conducted within campus subcultures that are most at risk like football, basketball, Greek systems, band, and debate, to just name a few.

We’re universities, for heaven’s sake, where we have some of the brightest minds in the country working on and researching these very issues. Why not bring some of them in to talk to students in at risk subcultures rather than a sex offender turned campus lecture circuit speaker whose main argument is that raping a baby sitter can happen to anyone?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Arizona's "Revenge Porn" bill apparently applies to far more than actual revenge porn

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for bans on so-called "revenge porn." I even spared the internet some potentially embarrassing photos I took with my ex-wife after our breakup. (You should all be thankful for that.) But you would think that someone, somewhere in that 90-person legislative body (91 if you count that idiot Jan Brewer), someone would have proofread the bill before they passed it. This is just more proof that when you add three letters to any bill, S, E, and X, in that order, a spell of Enfeeblement is cast over the legislature and bills pass without a single thought. But hey, it stops revenge porn so that's good, right? What could POSSIBLY go wrong with a hastily passed bill passed by emotional appeals? Read on...

Arizona’s Naked Photo Law Makes Free Speech a Felony
Freedom of Expression
By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:24pm

Which of the following could land you a felony conviction in Arizona?
  • Showing images of naked prisoners tortured at Abu Ghraib;
  • Linking to the iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of “Napalm Girl,” showing an unclothed Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack;
  • Sharing a close-up photo of a woman’s breast with a breastfeeding support group;
  • Waving a friend over to see a cute naked baby pic — like the one you see on this page.

Unfortunately, the answer is all of the above. That’s because Arizona recently passed a law that makes it a felony — and potentially a sex offense — to share any image of nudity or sexuality before you get consent from every person pictured.

Protecting personal privacy is, without doubt, a laudable goal. Indeed, the ACLU works tirelessly to protect your private data. But Arizona’s “nude photo law” is a seriously misguided attempt to achieve that goal. This new crime is broad and confusing. It applies to anyone who shares a nude image, not just to bad actors who intentionally invade another’s privacy. A prosecutor need not demonstrate that a person had an expectation of privacy in an image before charging you with a crime for sharing it. And the law applies equally to a private person’s hacked naked photo and a beautiful nude at a photography exhibit — because the law’s breadth encompasses truly newsworthy, artistic, and historical images.

As a result, the nude photo law creates bizarre and troubling burdens on speech fully protected by the First Amendment.

For proof that this law goes way too far and criminalizes innocent and valuable speech, you need look no further than the august group of bookstores, newspapers, photographers, publishers, and librarians that challenged the law together today (web page on case and complaint). Many of them belong to our stalwart First Amendment allies at the Media Coalition, whose members include the plaintiff associations of publishers, librarians and booksellers. Represented by the ACLU and Dentons US LLP, the plaintiffs just want to be able to offer books, art, news, and history without risking a criminal conviction in Arizona. That doesn’t seem too much to ask.

Proponents of the law indicated that it was intended to address the harms of “revenge porn” — a digital phenomenon typified by a scorned lover who maliciously posts private images of an ex online, often alongside her personal details. The harms of such conduct can be very real, and they predominately impact women. There are true horror stories about women who have suffered extreme humiliation and harassment, had intimate photos sent to relatives and coworkers, and lost job opportunities.

States can address these harms without treading on free speech, if and only if those laws are tailored to addressing malicious invasions of privacy. Arizona’s is not. And we’re not going to blindly trust that the government will apply this broad law responsibly, only against the “bad guys.” The photo above literally illustrates why.

One of the plaintiffs in our lawsuit, the Voice Media Group, publishes the newsweekly Phoenix New Times. The New Times published a series of images from a local art show by Arizona artist and Arizona State University Professor Betsy Schneider. One of the images from that art show is the great image above – documenting a month in Schneider’s infant son’s life.

Maricopa County publicly considered opening a police investigation into the New Times’ publications of these images, after police requested an investigation. A Phoenix city attorney told the press that if the photos were found to be illegal, “Everybody who picked up one those issues [of the New Times] could be prosecuted for possessing child pornography.” That’s what can happen when law enforcement officials wield problematic laws as broadly as they’re written.

The First Amendment just doesn’t permit that kind of carelessness. Laws meant to address real horrors need to do just that – without serving as Trojan Horses that erode our hallowed free speech rights.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Withholding sex and not listening to your lover's feelings count as "sexual violence" at the U. of Michigan

Michigan's football program isn't the only embarrassment to the University of Michigan these days. It seems UM has published a rather strange set of definitions of sexual violence which includes "withholding sex" and "discounting your partner's feelings." So we've reached a catch-22. If you don't have sex you're a sexual assaulter. If you don't talk enough about sex you're a sexual assaulter. If you talk TOO MUCH sex you're a sex assaulter. If you want sex too much you're an assaulter.

Whoever wrote these definitions must also be calling the plays for the Wolverines these days.

Physical violence

Includes pushing, shoving, pulling, shaking, slapping, biting, hitting, punching, kicking, strangling, throwing objects at partner, restraining, throwing the partner, use of weapons at hand like a frying pan or broom, or use of conventional weapons such as a gun or knife. Some of these examples may be used by the survivor in self-defense (like use of items at hand) and do not constitute domestic violence or abuse.

Sexual violence

Examples of sexual violence include: discounting the partner's feelings regarding sex; criticizing the partner sexually; touching the partner sexually in inappropriate and uncomfortable ways; withholding sex and affection; always demanding sex; forcing partner to strip as a form of humiliation (maybe in front of children), to witness sexual acts, to participate in uncomfortable sex or sex after an episode of violence, to have sex with other people; and using objects and/or weapons to hurt during sex or threats to back up demands for sex.

Economic abuse

Examples of economic abuse include: requiring partner to account for every penny of household or other funds; withholding money from partner; putting partner on an impossible "budget;" denying partner access to any checking account or credit cards; taking partner's paycheck and controlling access to it; denying necessities of life to partner and children; having own checking and savings account unknown to partner.

Verbal or psychological abuse

Examples of psychological abuse include: insulting the partner; ignoring the partner's feelings; withholding approval as a form of punishment; yelling at the partner; labeling the partner with terms like "crazy," "stupid;" blaming the partner for all his troubles; putting down the partner's abilities as lover, parent, worker; demanding constant attention and showing resentment to children; telling the partner about his affairs or that she must stay with him because she can't make it on her own. All of the examples under "threats" are also included.


Examples of abuse listed on the University of Michigan’s domestic violence awareness website say “sexual violence” includes “withholding sex and affection” and “discounting the partner’s feelings regarding sex” – definitions that have come under fire by some men’s rights activists.

The terms, found under the heading “definitions,” also suggest verbal or psychological abuse include: “insulting the partner; ignoring the partner’s feelings; withholding approval as a form of punishment; yelling at the partner; labeling the partner with terms like crazy [and] stupid.”

Janet Bloomfield, social media director for “A Voice For Men,” an activist group that counters feminist extremism and misandry, took aim at these University of Michigan examples, first on her Twitter account over the summer and more recently in an email to The College Fix.tweet

“These kinds of policies contribute to an increasing level of sexual misconduct hysteria and essentially create a chilling climate for young men,” Bloomfield said. “When things like ‘withholding sex’ and ‘ignoring a partner’s feelings’ are framed as a pattern of behavior that is abusive, they are not only pathologizing normal relationship behaviors, but they are opening the door for vindictive or spurned partners to make allegations that can have profound effects for the accused.”

Currently the higher education world is gripped by the so-called campus rape culture, in which the widely touted yet largely unsubstantiated stat that one in five women will be sexually assaulted or raped while in college is oft repeated during mandated sexual assault seminars at universities nationwide.

On the University of Michigan website, it lists various definitions of abuse as created by a campus coalition called “The University of Abuse Hurts Initiative,” a 2009 undertaking that aimed to stop abuse among students and the campus community.

Its goal is “promoting prevention of and effective response to domestic or intimate partner and sexual violence,” with the tagline: “Abuse Hurts: Recognize. Respond. Refer.”

But interspersed within the typical definitions of abuse – “pushing, shoving, pulling, shaking, slapping, biting, hitting, punching, kicking, strangling, throwing objects at partner, restraining, throwing the partner, use of weapons” – the other examples, such as “discounting the partner’s feelings regarding sex … criticizing the partner sexually … withholding sex and affection,” are found.

Also included in the definition of sexual violence is the example of having “sex with other people.” 

The campaign also gives examples of what’s considered to be “verbal or psychological abuse,” including:  “insulting the partner; ignoring the partner’s feelings; withholding approval as a form of punishment; yelling at the partner; labeling the partner with terms like ‘crazy,’ ‘stupid.’”

It’s not unheard of for sexual violence to be defined so loosely within a campus community.

“Sexual violence is anything that makes someone feel unsafe; it could be catcalls, peer pressure to act a certain way in a situation, verbal harassment and unwanted touching. Many of these things occur daily without anyone giving a second thought to them,” Jami Coughler, program coordinator for the Brock University Student Sexual Violence Support Centre, told the Canada-based campus newspaper this week.

The University of Chicago, on its website, defines an abuser as someone who “has a strong belief in extreme gender roles” and “is jealous and possessive” among more typical forms of abuse listed.

But other campuses only list the generally understood definition of sexual violence on their websites, such as Oregon State University, which defines it as “any non-consensual sexual act. This includes rape, sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual touching, and attempts of any of these acts.”

As for the definitions given by the University of Michigan, asked by The College Fix whether they are extreme and erroneous, campus spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said they stand when taken in a larger context. 

“The definitions of behaviors of violence … describe most accurately what occurs in an abusive relationship,” he said in an email. “Those behaviors not in the context of violence are not abusive.  A reader of this site would recognize that it’s described as one behavior in the context of a pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner.”

Bloomfield has a different take on what readers will “recognize” when perusing the website.

“Using the exact same logic and method of reasoning deployed by UMich – namely, that readers will recognize the behaviors within a larger pattern of behaviors – readers will also recognize that victims are implicitly female and perpetrators are male – even though the policy does not explicitly state that,” she said, adding such extreme examples essentially label normal relationship behavior “abuse” and throw men under the bus.

“Normal relationship behaviors are pathologized and framed as abuse when MEN do them,” she noted. “I am unaware of a single case in which the accused student is a woman and the victim is a man.”

As for the topic of the campus rape epidemic, she said she believes campuses are whipping up “rape hysteria” for a variety of reasons.

“It comes down to this: colleges are creating rape hysteria so college employees who run these sexual assault centers can keep their jobs and benefits. Women are encouraged to interpret normal sexual and relationship behaviors as abuse and encouraged to have the young men they are partnering with sanctioned by the college,” she said.

“The end result is that college campuses are becoming increasingly hostile to men and colleges that enact their ‘kangaroo courts and policies’ to deal with sexual misconduct are opening themselves to huge liabilities when the accused and sanctioned men take their claims into a real court and sue for damages,” she added. “They tend to win once due process and the requirement for evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is restored. “

A Voice for Men maintains an ongoing list of such cases. One such lawsuit is pending against the University of Michigan, in which a 21-year-old engineering major claims campus administrators refused to fully consider any of the evidence which he says proves his innocence.

Fitzgerald said the abuse definitions on the website are not used to arbitrate campus sexual assault claims.

The University of Michigan Wagon Wheel of Abuse

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nicole Pelletier: Proof standards for social workers and Navy servicewomen are very, very low

So how did a crazy lady who breaks into a home to punch an elderly man get a job as a social worker, much less be enrolled in the military? Just how low are entry standards for these two jobs these days? Maybe she was one of the soldiers guarding Abu Ghraib?

Cops: Mom Beat Neighbor Busted For Child Porn
Man attacked when he came home after posting bond

SEPTEMBER 25--A mother of two children was arrested after she entered the apartment of a neighbor and punched him in the face because she was incensed that he returned to the Massachusetts residence after being arrested for possession of child pornography.

Nicole Pelletier, a Navy veteran, was busted Monday evening after allegedly attacking Gary Spring, 61, inside his condominium in Danvers, a town 20 miles north of Boston. Pelletier, a licensed clinical social worker, was charged with assault and battery and breaking and entering.

According to a court filing, the 41-year-old Pelletier entered Spring’s apartment through the unlocked front door around midnight and confronted him as he was getting out of bed. “Before he could react she struck him in the face with her hand,” police noted. Spring, a former Merrimack College professor, lives directly below Pelletier and her children, a 13-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy.

Upon arriving at the condo complex, a cop spotted Pelletier walking down the stairs “crying and visibly upset.” She had blood on her hands and right arm. “I went into his apartment and hit him,” Pelletier reportedly confessed. Spring, who suffered a bloody nose, declined medical treatment.

Pelletier, pictured above, herself called 911 to report the assault, telling a police operator that she wanted to kill Spring, cops reported.

Pelletier confronted Spring hours after he was released on $30,000 bond from federal custody. Spring was arrested by FBI agents following a two-month probe that began after Merrimack College officials detected child porn images on a laptop provided to Spring.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

PA Sen. Pat Toomey sounds official Predator Panic button in time for school

I'm not surprised to see a fluff bill in the national legislature. I'm not personally concerned with stopping a background check bill where most schools run background checks anyways. Nor am I even concerned that Sen. Toomey uses some dubious stats in his speech, failing to mention the fact that his examples are of people who would have passed background checks in the first place. Nor am I surprised that the case that inspired the bill would NOT have been saved by the acts in the bill (Edgar Friedrichs Jr had no record because he was never charged with past wrongdoing). But when you make a statement that "predators are getting their prey" because a national background check bill has not passed, THAT, my friend, is Shiitake-Worthy.

Lawmakers urge Senate to act on sex predator bill

POSTED: 09/09/14, 6:15 PM EDT | 0 COMMENTS

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of lawmakers led by Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania on Tuesday called on the Senate to pass a bill to keep sexual predators out of schools, saying added security checks on teachers, coaches and bus drivers are needed to protect students from potential harm.

Toomey, a Republican, is co-sponsoring a bill with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., that would require states that receive federal education funds to conduct periodic background checks. It also seeks to bar schools from hiring employees or contractors convicted of certain offenses, such as any violent or sexual crime against a child or drug and assault-related crimes committed within five years.

The House unanimously passed similar legislation last year. But the Senate bill remains unmoved in committee.

“Our children are back to school now. Predators are getting their prey now,” Toomey said. “The Senate needs to act now.” 

He was joined by U.S. Reps. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, who led efforts to pass the bill in the House, as well as an array of law enforcement and child advocacy groups.

Toomey cited statistics that since Jan. 1, more than 325 teachers and school employees have been arrested across the U.S. for sexual misconduct with children.

The legislation was prompted by the case of 12-year-old Jeremy Bell, who was raped and murdered in West Virginia in 1997. Edgar Friedrichs Jr. is now serving a life sentence in connection with the boy’s death. Toomey said Friedrichs had been dismissed by a school in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, on suspicion of sexual misconduct. That school then helped Friedrichs land a new teaching job in West Virginia.

The measure has drawn some concern from educators, who say it may violate their privacy. Some Republicans have also expressed concern that the bill amounts to a federal mandate and that states should take the lead on education issues.