Saturday, January 25, 2014

A year's worth of Shiitake-worthy quotes in one super fudge-packed article

Where to begin? Digesting this will give you mental constipation for a month. There are so many stupid quotes here, it is hard to pick the worst.

Senator, sheriff seek greater control of sex offenders
Gary Pinnell | Highlands Today 
Published: January 23, 2014   |   Updated: January 23, 2014 at 07:42 AM

SEBRING - The number of sex offenders in Highlands County is growing: 130 in 2010, compared with 139 in 2013.

Even worse, predators - who have committed sexually violent offenses - have nearly doubled, from 14 three years ago to 23 in October 2013, according to Sheriff Susan Benton.

That's one reason why Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, has sponsored SB 522.

"The current Sexually Violent Predator Program was found to have weaknesses that allowed some sexually violent predators to avoid evaluation and civil commitment," Grimsley said. "These weaknesses were raised in the Sun Sentinel series."

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported on Aug. 20, 2013 that nearly 600 sexually violent predators had been released, only to be convicted of more than 460 new child molestations, 121 rapes and 14 murders.

In an unusually bipartisan and bicameral effort last week, five bills moved through two House and two Senate panels, including the Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs, of which Grimsley is a member. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee completed the effort by approving the proposals, which will be taken up by the full Legislature in the spring.

"Ladies and gentlemen, you're witnessing the beginning of landmark legislation," said Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota.

Lawmakers focused on the June murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle in Jacksonville. Donald Smith, 57, was accused of abducting, raping and strangling her just three weeks after being released from jail on another sex offense. This time, prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

"In the Perrywinkle case, let's be clear: the system failed," lobbyist Ron Book told the House panel.

After release from prison, the state already can civilly commit a sexual offender for treatment if he or she is likely to commit another offense. However, the five bills will plug holes in that civil process. First, said Grimsley, her SB 522 "expands the criteria for civil commitment consideration to include offenders who are serving a sentence in county jail and who have a history of committing a sexually violent offense.

"Second, in certain circumstances, the bill will allow placement of persons who have been inadvertently released from custody without evaluation into civil detention for evaluation," Grimsley said.

"Third, the multidisciplinary teams within the Department of Children and Families will be expanded to include assistant state attorneys, law enforcement officers, and victim advocates," Grimsley said. One must be a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. The team weighs not just sexual offenses, but attempts, solicitations and conspiracies.

"This is intended to help the evaluation teams make better decisions as to whether the person is a sexually violent predator who is likely to commit new sexual crimes unless kept in secure confinement," Grimsley said. Finally, the bill requires that the local sheriff will be notified upon release of a predator back into the community.

"We are very involved with the monitoring of these offenders," Benton said. Deputy Cara Mosely tracks every offender, and the sheriff's office publishes an annual report of sexual offenders in the community and inserts a copy into newspapers.

"We also have Offender Watch, which is accessible from our website, where citizens can see everything and also sign up for email notices of any movement of offenders around whatever address they enter," Benton said. "It could be their home, their child's school or day care."

"If we've learned anything from the evidence, it's that many individuals who specifically go out and target the most vulnerable among us are simply wired differently," said Chairman Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar. "And I would like to see them behind bars for 50 years - minimally."

"If there is an opportunity to give them the death penalty, I would be all for it," said Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this story


Friday, January 3, 2014

Anna Canzano kicks off the 2014 Shiitake Awards season

I haven't even finished finalizing the 2013 Shiitake Awards, but Anna Canzano of KATU News is already starting the new year by using sex offender issues for ratings. Canzano is already a veteran to this site, but this may be her worst effort to date. Long story short, Canzany harasses a registered citizen for allegedly helping to work on a company Facebook page. Wow.

What she actually did was a crime. Will the police lock her up? They should.

Sex offender refuses to talk about why he has prohibited Facebook page

By Anna Canzano, On Your Side Investigator Published: Jan 2, 2014 at 10:32 PM PST Last Updated: Jan 3, 2014 at 12:49 PM PST

PORTLAND, Ore. -- His name is ******, and he's not exactly pleased to see us. He's showing up to check in with his probation officer downtown, ordered to appear because of what we found and shared with Multnomah County authorities.

I introduce myself and ask him why he's using Facebook when he's not supposed to, because he is a convicted sex offender. He accuses us of harassing him then flees from the camera.

At first glance, *****'s Facebook activity looks normal enough -- a normal profile, with some photos of Miller with family and friends. Among his “likes,” the bikini barista stand, Twin Perks Espresso. 

The profile is linked to a company page called ******.

The problem with both of these pages? Convicted sex offenders are not allowed to use Facebook, according to the company's policies, and ***** was convicted of second-degree rape in 2002. He served nearly nine years in prison and has been on probation ever since. He’s also been ordered to do community service.

In May last year, *****s probation officer learned he'd created a Facebook page for his company and told ***** to take it down. Multnomah County spokesman David Austin told me ***** complied. But here we are eight months later and ***** has not only a company Facebook page but also that personal profile.

I got a hold of **** by phone earlier in the day Thursday. I wanted to know if he was aware of Facebook policy, if it was of concern to him, and whether there was some term of his supervision that prohibited him from using social media.

He told me, "I'm not at liberty to comment on a criminal record I may or may not have. I work for a company that manages a Facebook page."

Within an hour after we spoke, his personal profile had been changed. The personal photos were gone; it suddenly looked a lot more like his company page.

I contacted Multnomah County to learn the rules of his probation. That led to his required appearance downtown and Mr. Miller running away from us.

Late in the day, I was contacted via Facebook by someone alerting me to yet another Facebook page ******apparently manages for a company called *****. There are multiple photos of Miller on the page and multiple indications he runs the page. I'll be sharing this new information with Multnomah County.

Based on what I'd already told them, county spokesman David Austin says ***** will likely be punished with community service.

At last check, *****'s personal profile on Facebook has been removed entirely. The page for *****'s ***** remains active, as does the page for *****.

Facebook doesn't screen for sex offenders per se. It relies on users to report sex offenders to them and provide some kind of proof -- a news article, court documents -- to show someone's conviction for a sex crime.