Monday, April 20, 2015

Peter Schorsch has the right to remain stupid

In a couple of days, the Anti-Registry Movement will be in Tallahassee protesting Lauren Book, her daddy Ron, and Florida's "Scorched Earth" policy.

Not everyone is happy about it, of course. This guy is Peter Schorsch. He's not exactly a bastion of journalistic integrity but he's apparently Lauren Book's knight in tin-foil armor. It is possible Lauren Book paid for the coverage.

Peter and Daddy Ron Book have a lot in common, since both have been arrested in connection with charged involving money and politics. Maybe that's why Lauren appreciates the guy so much.

Critics of Lauren Book, you have the right to remain silent
By Peter Schorsch -  Apr 20, 2015
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This weekend, I woke to the following headline in my hometown paper: “Sexual predator gets second chance, now faces 14 new charges”

You don’t even need to read the story to know how this ends – how very badly and sadly it ends.

It turns out this supposed Romeo & Juliet convict was raping a young girl approximately once a month since being let out of prison, all the time under the watchful and sometimes doubting eyes of his neighbors.

“He seemed nice,” recalled one 11-year-old girl.


Anyone reading this column knows Book’s story and knows that she is focused – intensely focused – on trying to make sure that these kinds of stories happen less and less often. As she logs literally hundreds of miles, with shin splints, blisters and the kind of sleepless nights that come from extreme exhaustion, Book wants people to know that when a convicted predator is taking girls around on a scooter, buying them ice cream or taking them for a Happy Meal – IT’S OKAY TO TELL. When you see something suspicious, it’s your RESPONSIBILITY to stop it. Her quest is to do more than highlight the very realities of childhood sexual abuse, but to empower children and yes, adults on the steps they can take to recognize the signs and to take the necessary steps to stop it.

Adults: It’s not just okay to tell, it is our obligation to tell.

As Lauren Book ends her incredible journey – for the 6th time – in Tallahassee this week, I was astonished to learn that a group of protesters is organizing a counter-rally. They think Lauren has gone too far … that registering violent sexual predators like Michael Shepard is not fair … that a chronic child sexual predator like him has rights and by golly, they want to fight for his rights.

I guess they are forgetting that those seven little girls had rights, too.

The Missouri-based “Women Against Registry” folks have the right to protest against Lauren Book and the hundreds of Lauren’s Kids supporters. Our Constitution protects them and allows them to say what they want, when they want and where they want to say it. They have that right.

Bully for them.

But they also have the right to remain silent.

Seems to this husband and father that they should avail themselves of the latter.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Dale Wren interferes with hearing that would determine whether a man should be removed from the registry

This man is Dale Wren, an attorney working in Yuma County, AZ. Apparently he was also person who  tried unsuccessfully to get elected as a judge. Since he's not elected official, I did list him under worst politico.

To summarize the story below, this man interfered in a hearing to determine whether or not to remove a man from the sex offender registry and is trying to get the alleged victim to protest the bid for registry removal.

Sex offender registry hearing gets continued
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 10:05 pm | Updated: 10:06 pm, Tue Apr 7, 2015.
By James Gilbert, @YSJamesGilbert

A hearing for a Yuma man who was attempting to have his name removed from the state’s lifelong sex offender registry was continued recently when, by chance, the attorney of one of his victims asked that the matter be rescheduled.
Yuma attorney Dale Wren said he was at the Yuma County Superior Court on the morning of Feb. 19 when he noticed the name of James Anthony Cruz on Superior Court Judge Larry Kenworthy’s calendar and stepped inside the courtroom to find out what the hearing was about.
Upon speaking with the attorneys on the case, Wren said he was told the hearing was to consider a motion to terminate Cruz’s probation, which requires that he also register as a sex offender. He added he was also told that despite there being numerous victims in the case, only one had been notified about the hearing.
“I think it is outrageous. He needs to be monitored,” Wren said in an interview. “The lifetime probation was part of his sentence and was very important to all the girls. They will re-victimize these girls all over again if he is allowed to get off of probation.”
According to court records, on Aug. 18, 2000, Cruz, who was employed as a Community Supervision Officer for the Yuma County Juvenile Courts, was convicted of providing drugs to and having sex with several female juvenile probationers and was sentenced to seven years in prison, in addition to the probation.
The motion, which was originally filed by attorney Michael Donovan in August 2013, requests that the court terminate Cruz’s probation based on him having paid all the restitution that was ordered in the case, that he has been employed and on probation for the seven years following his release without incident, and that he had completed all of his court-ordered treatment.
Wren said that during that February hearing he informed the court that he was still in touch with some of Cruz’s victims and asked it be rescheduled to a later date, which would allow him time to inform them of the motion, as well as provide them with an opportunity to attend a future hearing on the matter or have him speak on their behalf.
“Almost all of these girls have got their lives together now,” Wren said. “It is hard to guess how (Cruz) getting off of probation would affect them.”
Wren said that he was unaware the Cruz has been trying to get his probation terminated for the past two years.
The problem, he explained, is that while victims are entitled to notification whenever the status of a sex offender changes, the girls were young at the time and didn’t request it.
“They figured he would be monitored for the rest of his life and are trying to forget about what happened,” Wren said. “Victims of this type of abuse don’t ever want to be reminded about it.”
Kenworthy granted Wren’s request and rescheduled the hearing to consider the petition to terminate Cruz’s probation for 2 p.m. on April 23.
Wren said anyone who was involved in the case who would like more information about the upcoming hearing can call his office at 329-1871.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Putting Semen in someone's coffee will lead to registry status if Minnesota bill passes

Pat Maahs got a little too much cream in her coffee. Now, she wants her co-worker added to the public registry
Yes, what the guy did to this woman was nasty, and I'd be pissed if someone creamed my coffee. But, do we need yet another way to squeeze a few more names onto the registry?

You can find the text of HF 0889 HERE. I'd much rather hear an audio of the actual floor debate. According to the audio below, it was extremely lively.

Bill on bodily fluids merits much more than snickers
Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune Updated: March 28, 2015 - 10:32 PM

The debate on the floor of the Minnesota House surfaced near midnight, when most of the curious and the connected had gone home.

It followed a long and contentious argument over lowering the minimum wage for restaurant servers. Members were no doubt tired, and the issue at hand, many acknowledged, was something that they found uncomfortable to discuss aloud.

Words such as “body fluids” and “semen,” and the discussion of a horrible sexual violation of a woman who drank semen put into her coffee by a co-worker.

What followed was a strange debate, even by legislative standards. A couple of legislators cracked jokes, made odd comparisons to putting gum under a dinner plate and questioned whether a new law would punish mischievous students who spit in another student’s soup. At times, there was laughter.

Little did many of the legislators know, the victim of the assault was sitting in the gallery.

The idea for a bill was brought to Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center. The impetus was a crime brought to court back in September. A Blaine man, John R. Lind, 34, admitted to police that he ejaculated several times into a co-worker’s coffee and onto her desk. He was, he said, trying to get her attention. He got it when the woman caught him near her desk, and notified police.

Lind was initially charged with criminal sexual conduct, but a judge found that the act he committed was not covered under state sex offender laws, and the case was dismissed. Lind was later charged with indecent exposure, a misdemeanor.

Hilstrom is seeking to change the act to a felony for adults who put bodily fluids in food or drink, knowing someone else may consume it. There would also have to be intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire, or involve a child, to be considered a felony sexual offense.

During Monday’s debate, Rep. John Lesch, a prosecutor, offered some reasonable questions. “It appears to be legislation designed out of a specific incident, an incident that elicits disgust from any person who hears about it,” he said. “But in crafting legislation this way, I think it falls victim to the folly of so many bills, where policy is written as a reaction to an incident that garnered a lot of press controversy, and that folly is a lot of ill-considered construction of law.”

While prompted by the Lind case, this is not a bill targeted to one strange incident, Hilstrom said.

“This isn’t the one-time thing,” Hilstrom said in an interview. She pointed to the movie “North Country,” which depicted the same type of behavior in the mines of the Iron Range.

I know. I covered the lawsuit and read thousands of pages of disgusting testimony of how some men sexually abused some female co-workers. I have also worked in a couple of factories, and have witnessed similar “pranks” toward both men and women.

Hilstrom also pointed to a California teacher who baked cookies for his students that included his body fluids, which launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

“This is an indication that, clearly, Minnesota law needs to be tightened up,” Hilstrom said.

The night took a strange turn when Rep. Ron Erhardt, DFL-Edina, began with an odd anecdote about putting gum under his plates and putting them into the dishwasher. Then he and others questioned whether we should actually make it a felony to spit in people’s food. Erhardt mentioned a commercial for the television show “Friends,” in which one of the characters licks her coffee cup so no one would use it. He actually pretended to lick a coffee cup to illustrate.

Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, then rose to ask: “Suppose a child spits into his own soup, how is that covered under your bill?”

Assured that spitting in your own soup would not be a felony, Kahn asked if a kid who tried to spit in his own soup, but spit in someone else’s soup instead, would face a felony.

Hilstrom, who remained impressively calm through the questioning, said the bill would not make that a felony.

”If saliva is the part that gives the body heartburn, I’m happy to delete saliva from the bill,” Hilstrom said. “If members are OK with people spitting in their food and eating it, we can amend the bill.”

Hilstrom should have performed an epic microphone drop at this point and exited.

Instead, the bill was referred back to committee to decide whether spitting into someone’s food should be a felony, or simply bad manners, and whether putting semen in someone’s coffee would make someone a sex offender (seems obvious to me). The Senate Friday passed a bill making the acts of putting bodily fluids in food a gross misdemeanor. The Legislature will ultimately decide how far the law should go.

I asked Hilstrom what she thought of the “debate.”

“Sometimes nothing good happens late at night,” said Hilstrom, who acknowledged colleagues were tired but added “that is not an excuse. I was disappointed.”

Maybe “disappointed” is the Minnesota way of saying “disturbed.”

Hilstrom was being magnanimous, and so was the person whose abuse launched the bill, Pat Maahs, who watched the discussion from the gallery and heard the snickering.

“To me, it kind of hurt to see people act like this,” said Maahs. “It’s likely because they don’t know what something like this can do to a person. I still don’t know what Lind’s medical history is. A lot of diseases can stay with you for life.”

So, Maahs will have to get tested regularly to make sure she didn’t contract a disease, such as AIDS or hepatitis C.

“At first I was very, very, very embarrassed and tried to hide it,” said Maahs. She courageously came forward so other women wouldn’t have to suffer.

“It’s really sad when we have to legislate morality,” Maahs said.

It may be hard to see an upside to a story like this, but Maahs volunteered one.

“How about a little free advertising for Beisswenger’s Hardware?” Maahs asked.

She has worked at the New Brighton store for 26 years, and they have arranged her schedule so she could try to change state law.

“Everybody there, from the owners to my co-workers, have been wonderful,” Maahs said. “Just wonderful.”