Monday, April 24, 2017

No price is too great to protect just one child, even if that price is putting them in jail, says LA DA

Oddly, folks who make false rare reports have spent less time in jail than those who were jailed as incentive to testify.

DA: Sometimes a crime victim needs to be put in jail to get the criminal

Paul Murphy , WWL 9:28 AM. CDT April 13, 2017

New Orleans victims advocates are against the use of material witness warrants to force victims of domestic abuse and sex crimes to testify in court.

However, Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro says in some rare cases, it's necessary to put a victim or witness in jail to get a dangerous criminal or sex offender off the streets.

"If I have to put a victim of a crime in jail, for eight days, in order to...keep the rapist off of the street, for a period of years and to prevent him from raping or harming someone else, I'm going to do that," Cannizzaro said.

Tuesday, the judicial watchdog group "Courtwatch NOLA" released a report, taking issue with the use of material witness warrants.

"What kind of picture this paints for folks coming victims that are scared and want to come forward, to call police and talk to law enforcement if they know they are going to be incarcerated," Courtwatch NOLA Executive Director Simone Levine said. "We think this is a real disincentive."

The DA maintains it's a small price in the pursuit of justice.

"Steps have been taken to arrest that person, to indict him, to bring him to court and they say, 'I don't want to get involved,' in my opinion that is wrong," Cannizzaro said.

Victims' advocacy groups say jailing victims to force them to testify is not good public policy.

"When we arrest them, that's a punitive form of measure," Silence is Violence Executive Director Tamara Jackson said. "There are other ways we can reach our goals besides victimizing a victim again."

"As a survivor advocate, we really feel like no one should be under the threat of arrest for choosing not to cooperate with prosecution," New Orleans Family Justice Center Director of Program Development Eva Lessinger said. "It could have a chilling effect on folks coming forward."

DA Cannizzaro said his office just doesn't go out and say, "oh, I want to put a witness or victim in jail.  

"Is it more important for this witness to be inconvenienced for a very short period of time or is it better for the community to get the violent offender off the streets and keep him off the streets," Cannizzaro added.

Courtwatch NOLA cited 15 cases where prosecutors issued material arrest warrants to get victims and witnesses to testify.

DA Cannizzaro maintains of those 15 cases, only 6 of them actually resulted in the witness or victim going to jail.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Unethical Platte Co MO Persecutor Eric Zahnd threatens supporters of accused man to label them supporters of "pedophilia"

This piece of trash is actually in the running for a US court seat? Only in a Trump America.

Did Platte County Prosecutor Overstep Legal Bounds In Child Molestation Case?

The Platte County Courthouse, ordinarily a sleepy rural outpost, is abuzz these days with intrigue. 

That's because a leading candidate to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri is the subject of an ethics complaint that questions the propriety of his conduct in a sexual abuse case prosecuted by his office.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd, who is reported to be a contender for the job of the region’s top federal prosecutor, has denied any wrongdoing. But his office’s conduct has triggered a legal brawl with one of the area’s leading criminal defense attorneys, prompting a cascade of court filings and questions about how certain witnesses in the case were treated.

Many of the court documents are sealed, but a petition filed last month with the Missouri Court of Appeals referred to their contents, including the ethics complaint.

The legal saga dates to August 2015, when Dearborn, Missouri, resident Darren L. Paden pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a girl over the course of a decade, beginning when she was 5 years old. 

Through court records and interviews with more than a dozen individuals and lawyers familiar with the case, KCUR has reconstructed what happened and how Zahnd and Paden's lawyer came to be at loggerheads, culminating in the current legal imbroglio. 

Letter writers subpoenaed

The case deeply divided the small Platte County town, where Paden’s parents were respected members of the community and Paden was a one-time chief of the all-volunteer fire department and a junior deacon at his church. Some townspeople refused to believe he was guilty and were convinced he was coerced into confessing.

More than a dozen friends and relatives of Paden wrote letters to the judge pleading for leniency. The letters cited his work on behalf of his neighbors, community and church and asked the judge to take that into account at his sentencing.

The letters had little effect: On Oct. 30, 2015, Platte County Circuit Judge James Van Amberg handed Paden two consecutive 25-year sentences, equivalent to a life sentence for the 52-year-old defendant.

But before the sentencing, Zahnd’s office did something highly unusual: It contacted the people who had written character letters on behalf of Paden and told them to get in touch with assistant prosecutor Chris Seufert. When they did, Seufert told them that, unless they withdrew their letters, he would expose them as supporters of a defendant who had engaged in pedophilia.

Zahnd’s office also subpoenaed the letter writers, ordering them to appear at Paden’s sentencing hearing. But when they showed up, none of them were called to the witness stand.

Some of the letter writers contacted Paden’s attorney, John P. O’Connor, and told him what happened. O’Connor, concerned that Zahnd’s office was trying to intimidate witnesses, asked for advice from a former attorney for the Missouri Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, the agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting attorney misconduct.

Bar complaint

The attorney, Sarah Rittman, told O’Connor he was duty-bound to report what she regarded as clear-cut ethical violations by Zahnd and Seufert to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel.

Reluctantly, O’Connor later told a judge, he did just that. So did a retired Platte County Circuit Judge, Abe Shafer, who represented one of the letter writers and also filed a report about Seufert with the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel.

O’Connor declined to comment on his bar complaint. Shafer also declined to comment.

Criminal defense attorneys and legal ethics experts contacted by KCUR say they have never heard of a prosecutor subpoenaing character witnesses and threatening to expose their names unless they withdrew their testimony. It’s not uncommon for people to submit character letters on behalf of criminal defendants before they’re sentenced, but those letters are not typically viewed as an endorsement of the crime.

“It is just one of the most egregious breaches of ethics that I’ve heard a prosecutor do,” said Sean O’Brien, a former chief public defender in Kansas City and later head of what’s now known as the Public Interest Litigation Clinic, which represents clients in death penalty cases.

“I mean, he’s literally threatening people to get them to withhold relevant information from the court.”

O' Brien said it is a violation of due process for a prosecutor to prevent witnesses from disclosing to a sentencing court information that they believe to be truthful and relevant to the court’s decision.

“He should be disbarred for conduct like this,” said O’Brien, now a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Michael Downey, a legal ethics lawyer with the Downey Law Group in St. Louis, said that “if a defense attorney had called in a bunch of prosecution witnesses and said, ‘I’m going to out you for being against my guy,’ there’d be a very good chance the defense attorney would be prosecuted.”

He added: “Subpoenas are supposed to be used to get discovery, and here he’s not looking for discovery, he’s looking to bring in people so that he can intimidate them, which is not proper."

But R. Lawrence Dessem, a legal ethics professor at the University of Missouri, said the subpoenas were aggressive lawyering but didn’t necessarily cross an ethical line. The real concern, he said, was the pressure put on the letter writers and the public scolding after Paden’s sentencing.

“We don't want people in our communities holding back on relevant information they've got out of fear that if they come forward with that relevant evidence, there's a possibility of retaliation from the prosecutor,” Dessem said. 

Zahnd, in emailed answers to questions about the subpoenas, categorically denied that he or anyone in his office did anything wrong, but said he was limited as to what he could say about the case.

“I would like to discuss every detail of my office’s interactions with his supporters, but Rule 5.31 states that ‘all proceedings and records’ involving complaints to the bar ‘shall be confidential,’” Zahnd wrote, referring to one of the Missouri Supreme Court’s Rules of Professional Conduct.  “That rule applies regardless of whether the complaints are valid or completely baseless.”

Zahnd said he was “firmly convinced that my office handled every aspect of Mr. Paden’s case in a lawful and completely ethical manner that resulted in justice for the victim, the defendant, and the State of Missouri.”

“Generally speaking, I fully appreciate that people who want to provide character evidence for a convicted child predator would prefer to argue for leniency outside the public eye and without being confronted with challenging facts,” Zahnd continued. “But that’s not the way our system of justice works.”

Zahnd pointed to the child molestation case against former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, in which the judge refused to consider character letters without making them public.

“Our country has always believed in open court proceedings and the right to confront witnesses—even if that makes some witnesses uneasy,” Zahnd said.

Public shaming

Zahnd’s office, however, did more than subpoena Paden’s character witnesses. When they refused to withdraw their letters, it publicly shamed them in a news release that was published on the front page of The Landmark, a weekly newspaper covering Platte County, and on the Platte County Prosecutor’s Facebook page.  

After recounting the details of Paden’s confession that he abused the girl two or three times a month from 2001 to 2012, the news release stated:

“Nevertheless, many members of the Dearborn community wrote letters on Paden’s behalf following his guilty plea. Prosecutors met with most of them to make sure they understood that Paden had fully confessed to his crimes, yet many of those community leaders continued to stand by Paden.”

The release then listed the names (and some of their occupations or affiliations) of the 16 people who wrote letters on behalf of Paden. One was a former bank president, two were former schoolteachers, three worked for the North Platte School District and another one was a nurse practitioner.

The public shaming had repercussions. In May 2016, Kathie Ousley, a member of the Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, sought to change the way board members are removed from office after expressing her unhappiness that one of the letter writers, Jerry Hagg, served on the board. The Clay County Courier-Tribune reported that Ousley said she and other board members did not want to be represented by directors they felt were morally corrupt.

Hagg declined to comment. But Darla Hall Emmendorfer told KCUR that her character letter had been cited disparagingly in places as far away as Pennsylvania.

“What I did not expect was that the prosecuting attorney would get hold of my letter and use it the way they did use it,” she says.

Emmendorfer said she received a phone call from Zahnd’s office asking her to come to the office the next day. When she did, she said, she was pressured by Seufert to rescind her letter.

“He said, ‘How can a good mother support a child molester with the evidence that we have like this?’”

“It’s still emotional for me,” Emmendorfer said, “because it’s kind of a scary thing to think that a prosecuting attorney would want to win, or  put this case on their badge of honor as making a conviction without what I felt was due process. And also with using the people who have a right to tell the judge what they think.”

More repercussions

The repercussions have now spread to other cases being prosecuted by Zahnd’s office.

In June 2016, while O’Connor was in the Platte County courthouse on an unrelated case, Zahnd, Seufert and another Platte County prosecutor asked him to meet with them in front of Van Amberg, the Platte County Circuit Judge who presided over the Paden case. At that meeting, they told Van Amberg about O’Connor’s bar complaint and said they didn’t trust him.

They then told Van Amberg that they would only communicate with O’Connor if the exchanges with him were recorded or on the record before a judge.

For O’Connor, who has practiced for 35 years and is one of the Kansas City area’s most respected criminal defense attorneys, those restrictions posed a huge problem. Besides Paden, O’Connor at the time represented five other defendants in criminal cases in Platte County – one of them a death penalty case – and he contended he couldn’t represent them effectively under those circumstances.

As a result, O’Connor’s clients moved to disqualify Zahnd’s office from handling their cases and asked that a special prosecutor be appointed instead. The Missouri Supreme Court appointed Glen Dietrich, a retired Nodaway County judge, to hear the motions after judges in Platte County were recused.

Dietrich, however, didn’t disclose that he had been a law partner of Zahnd’s uncle, Larry Zahnd, for 19 years. (Larry Zahnd died on March 28 at age 83.) O’Connor learned of the relationship only weeks later and promptly moved to have Dietrich recused.

Another judge appointed by the Supreme Court, Teresa Bingham, heard the recusal motion and in December she denied it. In her four-page ruling, she  concluded: “In this matter, the proceedings as to the Motion for Change of Judge for Cause were open, and this Court finds that a reasonable person would NOT (caps in original) have a factual basis to find the appearance of impropriety or have any reason to doubt the impartiality of Judge Glen Dietrich.”

Motions seek to disqualify prosecutor

Meanwhile, Dietrich had sealed some of the records in the motions seeking to disqualify Zahnd’s office from handling cases involving O’Connor’s clients. Those motions were heard on Jan. 25 during a session in the Platte County courthouse that lasted all morning.

At the hearing, Zahnd argued that O’Connor bore an animus toward his office and was merely trying to gain a tactical advantage on behalf of his clients.

“If the court were to grant Mr. O’Connor’s motion, I suspect that we will see defense attorneys all across the nation, particularly in capital cases, intentionally creating one-sided animosity, making complaints and filing motions to disqualify, simply to make serious capital litigation harder, longer and more expensive by replacing prosecutors whenever they have a chance,” Zahnd told Dietrich.

As proof of O’Connor’s hostility, Zahnd said that O’Connor had repeatedly used profane language against Seufert in the past.

O’Connor countered at the hearing that he harbored no animosity toward Zahnd or his office but was obligated as an officer of the court to file the bar complaints against them. 

Although he wasn’t allowed to make direct reference to the bar complaints – Dietrich had ruled they were confidential – O’Connor was clearly referring to them when he said that filing them “was not something I set out to do personally.” 

Dietrich took the motions to disqualify Zahnd’s office under advisement, and on March 16 he handed down a 25-page decision finding that O’Connor and his clients had failed to show Zahnd’s office could not treat them fairly or impartially.

O’Connor, who otherwise declined to be interviewed on the record while the matter remains pending, said, “I respect the ruling of the court. However, we intend to appeal the decision of the judge both to not recuse himself and the judge’s order not disqualifying the prosecuting attorney’s office.”

That happened on March 27, when O’Connor’s clients took the matter up with the Missouri Court of Appeals. Four days later, without explanation, the court denied their petition. The clients are now considering whether to take the matter up with the Missouri Supreme Court.

Questions continue

In the meantime, questions continue to swirl. Zahnd, who was first elected as the Platte County Prosecuting Attorney in 2002, has been re-elected three times since then. He is the longest serving elected prosecutor in the Kansas City area and was named Prosecutor of the Year in 2014 by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, an organization he served as president.

Criminal defense lawyers say they’re mystified by the subpoenas Zahnd’s office issued, not only because they seemed to serve no real purpose but because they could violate various Rules of Professional Conduct – the ethical strictures that govern attorney conduct – and even, in an extreme scenario, amount to witness tampering, which is a criminal offense.

Lawyers and legal ethics experts say that lawyers are obligated to present mitigating evidence on behalf of their clients after they have entered a guilty plea. That includes letters like the ones written on behalf of Paden.

“These individuals were entitled to be heard and they were entitled to address the court on their friend or family member or acquaintance’s character, so certainly what they had to say is relevant,” said O’Brien, the former public defender who now teaches at UMKC. “Whether the judge was moved by that is a whole different consideration.”

For now, the bar complaints filed by O’Connor and Shafer remain confidential. If the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel determined that an investigation was warranted, Zahnd will have been given a chance to respond and O’Connor to reply.

The records only become public if there’s a finding that a Rule of Professional Conduct was violated and the matter is taken up by the Missouri Supreme Court. Only the court is empowered to reprimand, suspend or disbar lawyers.

By all accounts, Zahnd is now poised to reach what many prosecutors see as a career pinnacle: a job as U.S. Attorney, the top federal law enforcement officer in the region. The position has been vacant since President Trump ordered all holdover U.S. Attorneys to resign in March. If the recent past is any guide, it may be months before a candidate is nominated, vetted, appointed and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Turd and Tie: Trae Dorn and his CONstitutional right to be an asshole

I don't see the tie but I see the turd...
Yes, grown people go to comic book, video game and even anime conventions. It isn't just kid's stuff; in fact, lots of adults get into this stuff. Different strokes for different folks.  Now, I've never been to any "-Cons," but I assume like any convention, minors are accompanied by responsible adults, there is security working the place, and there is video surveillance, so why would it even matter if a registered citizen is working at one in person? And, if he is merely working at an office away from conventions, it is a moot point. So why is this assclown posting this? The answer is simple-- Trae Dorn of "Nerd and Tie" just wants to hurt someone's business. 

Now, because this guy posted the name of his victim I'm redacting the offensive info, and because the victim's name is in the web address, I had to do something I don't normally like to do and use a web address shortening service.


“*****” is a company that does green screen photography and photo manipulation for cosplayers and photo ops at a variety of conventions. This year, they’ve already provided services or exhibited at GnomeCon, Lexington Comic & Toy Con, and CT Gamer Con. ****** provides a high quality service, with really only a few competitors that can match the quality.

And they’re owned and operated by a convicted sex offender....

****** has gone to extensive efforts to scrub his name publicly from the company. You won’t find his name listed anywhere on the official website, and recently he’s deleted his old Facebook page and started a new one. But when you pull up the state corporate registry, you’ll find his name — with an address that matches what was on the state sex offender registry up until last February. This is his company, and purchasing its services puts money in his pockets.

So what, the man can't own a company now? The comment section gets worse. It didn't take this POS long to ban me for calling him out. And I wasn't even too nasty about it:

In the time it took for me to take a call to come back to this article, I've been blocked by this fucktard:

I guess since Trae didn't like being questioned on his stupidity. I guess that's why he's being sued in court right now and begging his readers to pay his lawsuit fees

Friday, April 7, 2017

Brevard's Bestest News: Dana Delaney Loyd CONVICTED of making false allegations on her "alternative news" blog

I guess we can call her Dana BALONEY Loyd after a jury convicted her of making a false claim of receiving reports of CSA. No doubt, at least part of the false claim was likely to increase exposure for her alternative news site "Brevard's Best News," but now her news site has turned into a site defending her actions. She even made her own GoFundMe page to beg for help after getting arrested. Maybe "Safe Kids International"should reconsider their support of this convicted criminal. (She was sentenced to a year in jail but no registry.)

Website editor found guilty of falsely reporting child abuse in Brevard County
by: Mark Boxley Updated: Apr 2, 2017 - 4:51 PM

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Brevard County website editor is facing up to five years in prison after being found guilty of falsely accusing a man of sexually abusing his elementary school-aged daughter.

According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Dana Loyd, 44, reported the abuse while claiming to be a substitute teacher at Quest Elementary School named Theresa Smith.

She called the Florida Department of Children and Families Hotline on April 29, 2015 and told authorities that the girl had confided in her about the abuse.

Staff at Quest Elementary School, though, told investigators that there had not been a substitute teacher by that name the day the caller said the girl had told her about the abuse, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies were able to match the phone number used to call the hotline to Loyd, who was also found to be “chief editor” of the website

The site, which was still active Sunday, posted two articles titled “Please Help Fight for Justice!!!” and “Blood in the Streets?”  Both named the girl’s father.

The second article also identified the girl by name, the sheriff’s office said.

“Additionally, it was learned that Loyd was allegedly contacting the father’s employment and other organizations where he was volunteering, advising he was a child molester,” the BCSO said in a Facebook post. “The investigation determined that the allegations of the reported abuse were unsubstantiated.”

Loyd admitted she had called the DCF hotline and the father’s employer and others as “harassment,” investigators said.

A jury found Loyd guilty of filing a false report of child abuse on Thursday.

She will be sentenced at a later date, the sheriff’s office said.

“I am extremely proud of everyone involved in the investigation and subsequent prosecution, as the investigation, arrest and conviction sends a very strong message to anyone who falsely reports crime in our community,” Sheriff Wayne Ivey wrote in the BCSO Facebook post.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Utard McKay King threatens two state Senators after they voted for a bill easing mandatory minimums

According to McKay's MyLife profile, this Utard is a Tea Party Supporter. Need I say more?

Well, yes I do, actually. Allowing judicial discretion in juvenile and young adult sex crimes isn't a bad idea. You know what is a bad idea? A teabagger threatening two reform-minded politicians.

Rolly: Wasatch prosecutor warns Utah senators he’s coming after them for sex-offender vote
By PAUL ROLLY | The Salt Lake Tribune connect
First Published Mar 30 2017 01:00PM    •    Updated 8 hours ago

The Utah Legislature approved a bill this past session giving judges more sentencing discretion in cases in which a defendant had consensual sex with a minor under age 14 if that defendant is under 21.

The measure passed the House 42-31 and the Senate 15-11. Gov. Gary Herbert signed it into law.

It changes slightly the mandatory-minimum requirement of 25 years to life and a lifetime listing on the sex-offender registry for having sex with a minor.

But it now has a deputy in the Wasatch County attorney's office gunning for two senators who voted for the bill and whose districts include parts of his county.

"It appears that you both voted to lower the punishment for child rapists and to allow them to go unregistered on Utah's streets," Deputy Wasatch County Attorney Mckay King wrote in an email to Sens. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, and David Hinkins, R-Orangeville.

"I will make sure that everyone in Wasatch County is aware that you did this. I will make sure that no one forgets that you did this," he warned. "This was bad law, and everyone that I have spoken to agrees. I will make sure they remember to vote accordingly."

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, calls it a sensible change that allows a judge some discretion when an 18-year-old "does something stupid" with someone five years younger.

The perpetrator still goes to prison, but a judge can decide to sentence the defendant to 15, 10 or six years to life, depending on the circumstances. And the defendant still would be listed on the sex-offender registry, but not necessarily for life.

Handy noted the bill won endorsements from a victims group, the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice and the Utah attorney general's office. The Statewide Association of Prosecutors remained neutral.

But King has decided Bramble and Hinkins should have a political bounty on their heads. In essence, to paraphrase a line from old Westerns, he's telling the senators that "this county ain't big enough for the three of us."

A constituent who became aware of the email has complained to the Utah elections office because King's email came from a Wasatch County attorney's office account. State law bars the use of government resources for political purposes or to influence the outcome of an election.

King told me (in an email from his personal account), that he sent the email just to the two senators, not to the public. It went out after the election, he noted, so there was no attempt to sway an outcome. Even so, he said, he regrets sending it on a government email account.

Wasatch County Attorney Scott Sweat said the email was not authorized by his office and does not reflect the county attorney's position. Sweat did, however, formally oppose the bill.

"We want the best outcome we can for victims of crime and for the people of Utah," he said. "We want to work with legislators to get the best law we can."

Friday, March 31, 2017

Ohio finally decides to ban bestiality after hick cop from Virginia makes dubious claim of link between bestiality and CSA

No folks, this isn't The Onion. That was my first thought, too. I don't have a problem with a bestiality ban, but where I do take offense is the testimony from Fairfax Virginia Police Detective Jeremy Hoffman. His entire argument is based on his "personal observations. (In the Concord NH Monitor, Hoffman claims, “These people not only choose a victim who had no voice, they chose victims who would never have a voice. During my investigations in Virginia for sexual offenses related to animals, evidence was obtained showing that out of 20 offenders, five had committed sexual offenses against children, six possessed or had possessed child pornography, three solicited sex from a minor, and at least one committed sexual offenses against adults.”)

This isn't a sex crime law; however, the manner in which this bill passed is Shiitake-worthy, and this story hit the AP so it was reposted across America.

Sex with animals in Ohio officially illegal
POLITICS By Lynn Hulsey - Staff Writer

Updated: 12:32 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, 2017 |  Posted: 11:04 a.m. Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It is no longer legal in Ohio to have sex with animals.
Ohio’s law banning bestiality went into effect Tuesday.

“It’s a crime that defies explanation to the rational person,” said Mark Kumpf, director of the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center. “We’re dealing with a different species.”

Previous efforts in 2011 and 2015 to ban it did not gain enough support in the Ohio General Assembly so Ohio was one of the few states that didn’t have an actual law on the books outlawing bestiality.

The bestiality ban finally got enough votes to pass in December after being folded into a bill that also bans local jurisdictions from raising the minimum wage or regulating pet stores.

The new bestiality ban:

* Prohibits a person from engaging in sexual conduct with an animal and related acts.

* Provides for the seizure and impoundment of an animal that is the subject of a violation.

* Authorizes a sentencing court to require an offender to undergo psychological evaluation or counseling.

* Makes bestiality a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.

State Senators Jim Hughes, R-Upper Arlington, and Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, sponsored the bill banning bestiality. Hughes had been trying since 2011 to get a ban in place and was supported by a variety of animal welfare groups.

“I think this is something that is sickening and perverse and we don’t want Ohio to be the place you can come and have sex with an animal,” Hughes, R-Upper Arlington, said in an earlier interview.

Eight states and Washington D.C. still do not have laws against sexual conduct with animals.

Officials in those states might be more likely to ban sex with animals if they realized the connections between bestiality and child sex abuse, said aid Fairfax Virginia Police Detective Jeremy Hoffman, who spent years focused on internet crimes against children.

“I found that people who were engaged in crimes against children were also engaged in sexual crimes against animals,” Hoffman said. “It was people from everyday walks of life. There was no stereotype that you could pin to any of them.”

Like children, animals are incapable of consent and unable to tell on their abuser, said Hoffman.

He and Kumpf said state’s may mistakenly think animal cruelty laws are enough. But Kumpf said abused animals do not always sustain the kind of injuries that would lead to a cruelty conviction. The one case he recalls where the county confiscated a dog that had allegedly been sexually assaulted by a male resulted dismissal of the charges.

“It’s important that we have this as one of the tools in the box to deal with folks,” said Kumpf.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Three Strokes You're Out? Jerkoff judge in Oregon gives LWOP sentence to guy jerking off on city rail

Maybe it seems silly to me to waste a life sentence on a guy who was flogging the bishop on a city train, but judging by the comment section, it seems a lot of people agree. This guy does have a history of the same behavior, but this IS a hands off offense... well, a hands off other people, not hands off himself. I feel in this instance, the Judge is the bigger jerkoff.

This is another instance of the failure of three strikes your out.

All I can say for those who agree with Judge Oscar Garcia is different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Habitual sex offender, public masturbator gets life in prison for latest crime

Print Email Everton Bailey Jr. | The Oregonian/OregonLive By Everton Bailey Jr. | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on March 10, 2017 at 5:39 PM, updated March 10, 2017 at 5:41 PM

A sex offender with a long record and compulsion for public indecency was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday for his latest offense -- getting caught masturbating on a MAX train.

Terry E. Iversen, 49, was sentenced after a three-hour hearing in Washington County Circuit Court in which Judge Oscar Garcia heard from the defendant's victims, current and retired detectives who investigated sex-related cases where he was either convicted or not charged, and a probation officer who advocated Iversen spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Iversen pleaded guilty to public indecency in January, a felony because of his past sex-related convictions. The true life sentence is permitted under a "three strikes"-like Oregon law aimed at predatory sex offenders.

"I think it was the right call," said Allison Brown, the county deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case and asked the judge for the life sentence. "He has continued to show that he won't benefit from treatment or rehabilitation, and at that point it's about protecting citizens and preventing him from crimes like this or worse."

She said Iversen had been sentenced to sex offender treatment at least five times but never completed it or stopped his behavior.

Terry Beach, Iversen's attorney, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. He wrote in a sentencing memo that he felt his client's punishment didn't fit the crime and suggested a prison sentence of eight years and four months.

The defense attorney argued Iversen's only conviction for a sex crime that involved physical contact was in March 1989 in Washington County for third-degree rape of a 15-year-old and second-degree sodomy of a 12-year-old girl.

Before Iversen was arrested in October, his most recent public masturbation conviction was in 2000, which was a felony because of his past sex crimes, Beach noted.

"(Iversen) took steps to satisfy a compulsion in a way that minimized the impact it would have on others," Beach said in a sentencing memo. "Such actions do not deserve a life sentence without parole."

A life sentence for multiple felony sex crimes is unusual in Washington County, Brown said, but it's unclear how typical it is statewide.

The Oregon Supreme Court last year overturned a life term as too harsh for a man convicted of public indecency, but it upheld life terms for at least two others in felony sex-related cases.

Court records show a string of past public indecency convictions for Iverson - in 1985, 1996 and 2000, including on public transportation in Washington and Multnomah counties. He also has been convicted of burglary, escape and drug possession.

He got out of prison last year after spending more than 12 years behind bars for assault and other crimes during a police chase that began when he was reported to be following young girls around a shopping center. He crashed into two cars and injured three people during the case in Cedar Mill.

Once out of prison, he was ordered to stay at the Washington County Community Correctional Center but got in trouble again, records show.

He masturbated while sitting behind a woman on a MAX train in Hillsboro in September, Brown said. The woman got off the train and called police, but they couldn't find the suspect.

In October, Iversen sat behind another woman while heading back to the community corrections center in Hillsboro and masturbated behind her. He placed his jacket next to him to block the view of anyone across the aisle, but the woman turned and saw him. Police later arrested him.

Surveillance video linked him to the earlier incident, Brown said, but he was never charged.

Beach said Iversen has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder that causes compulsive sexual behavior. He was responding positively to sex offender treatment after his latest stint in prison but couldn't avoid any of his triggers while on the MAX train in October so he "quietly masturbated," the lawyer said.

He has cooperated with police and taken responsibility for his actions, Beach said. He initially was scheduled to go to trial but opted to plead guilty instead that day to avoid having the victim testify in court, Beach said.

Beach cited the state Supreme Court's decision last year overturning the life sentence of Dennis J. Davidson, who was sentenced in Marion County for masturbating near women while behind a tree in a Salem park and again in front of police officers while standing at a fence in the area. He had three earlier convictions for public indecency.

The court concluded that because Davidson had no sex offense more serious than public indecency, a life sentence without parole would be unconstitutionally disproportionate under Oregon law.

"Unwillingly observing sexual behavior by another person is not a harm of the same magnitude as being specifically and personally subjected to unwanted physical sexual contact or sexual violence," the Supreme Court opinion said.

Davidson is scheduled to be resentenced in April. The prosecution plans to request a sentence of 16 years and eight months.

Brown cited two cases that the Supreme Court upheld last year:

-- The court concluded Douglas W. Sokell's life sentence was appropriate. He had been convicted in Washington County of first-degree sexual abuse for touching an 8-year-old girl's buttocks and hips in a public library. He had two prior sexual abuse convictions involving children.

-- The court noted that William M. Althouse's criminal history justified a life sentence. He had been sentenced for public indecency in Marion County -- his fourth conviction for a felony sex crime, which included two other cases that involved children. In the latest case, Althouse was spotted by a jogger sitting without pants near a popular running path and within 150 feet of a middle school.

The court noted that someone's inability to correct behavior after several opportunities could support a life sentence.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Director of Arkansas transitional home refusing to take registered citizens likens them to "nuclear warheads"

Scott Swanson is the seated man in plaid

I can't imagine a person who likens his clients to explosive weapons can be a very effective at counseling and running a transitional program.

Transitional Housing facility near Omaha barred; Refusal to take sex offenders stops proposal

Posted: Friday, March 3, 2017 3:00 pm |
By JAMES L. WHITE | 0 comments

Transitional Housing facility near Omaha barred; Refusal to take sex offenders stops proposal
A meeting about transitional housing for parolees will still be held Wednesday, but the license for a facility near Omaha has been put on a shelf because management didn’t want to take sex offenders.
Arkansas state Rep. Ron McNair told the Daily Times on Friday that he spoke with Arkansas Community Correction officials that day and was told the group opening the facility didn’t meet ACC regulations, so the license application had been pulled.
Lotus Recovery Services LLC had applied for an ACC Transitional Housing Facility License at 5035 Center Loop between Burlington and Omaha. It would accept non-violent prisoners released on parole and counsel them back to living on the outside, including securing employment for them.
When people living in that area heard about the proposal and saw the license application included accepting sex offenders, they rallied together, signing petitions to have the proposal stopped and taking to social media in droves.
McNair said he didn’t know if public outcry was a part of the ACC’s decision.
Jo McEntire, CEO of Giving Back Industries, said her agency is a partner with Lotus in developing the program.
McEntire said the regulation the partnership didn’t meet was that it didn’t want to take Level 3 and Level 4 sex offenders.
McEntire said the program the partners hoped to open would be for non-violent drug offenders released from prison.
“Our focus is recovery,” McEntire said earlier.
The group has spent years developing a program to teach addicts how to live without drugs, but helping rehabilitate sex offenders is a totally different undertaking.
“We do not know how to help the Level 3 and 4 sex offenders,” McEntire said Friday.
In an email to ACC officials, Scott Swanson, who had opened Oxford House addition recovery houses in the Harrison area and is a partner in the newest venture as well, used an analogy to explain Lotus’ position.
Swanson wrote that Lotus had agreed to take 20 or so “sticks of dynamite” that ACC would be releasing. The program Lotus developed would disarm those sticks of dynamite in hopes they would never be “re-fused.”
But as the project got closer, ACC informed Lotus that there would be a couple of “armed nuclear warheads” in the shipment that Lotus would have to figure out how to disarm.
“We have NO programs for sex offenders,” Swanson wrote.
Instead, Swanson wrote that he hoped to be able to help some of the 12,000 prisoners released, 80 percent of whom suffer with addiction, rather than the comparatively few sex offenders
In response, ACC officials said there would be no need for further discussion or negotiations with Lotus and the application would be considered inactive, and that the licensing process would be discontinued.
McEntire said the partnership will continue its efforts to develop transitional housing for addicts, but Friday’s development meant the Center Loop location won’t be possible.
But, she said the 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, meeting at the John Paul Hammerschmidt Center on the North Arkansas College South Campus will still be held for anyone interested.
The presentation will be the same even if the Center Loop location won’t work, McEntire said, adding that the partnership will continue exploring transitional housing for parolees suffering from addiction.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Homer "Gator" DeLoach won a highly controversial election by 13 votes. He needed a way to gain support. Guess who he is bullying to gain that support?

It is a story that just screams FloriDUH. A sheriff nicknamed "Gator" (again, only in the land of 'Duh) narrowly wins a hotly contested and controversial election, apparently by only 13 votes. The controversy over the recount continues, apparently, so DeLoach needs some cheap publicity. Thus, he creates a new office in his department just to harass and humiliate registered citizens.

Putnam County announced on Friday that they had reorganized resources and created a position known as a “Sex Offender Compliance Specialist.”

The Florida Sex Offender Registry said that there are currently 305 sex offenders in Putnam County.

The county says the specialist “will work in conjunction with the current offender compliance program as a means of providing critical intelligence for investigators by assessing risk-related changes in offender’s behavior.”

“We refuse to allow Putnam County to become a safe haven for sexual offenders and predators,” said Gator Deloach, who was elected Sheriff in Nov. 2016. “While we can’t control in which county they choose to live, we can certainly make Putnam County as inhospitable as possible for them.” 

This car is only for the purposes of humiliating registered citizenns. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

KATU Joe DouglASS writes report crediting himself for getting lawmakers to expand the registry

This guy reminds me of the Milwaukee reporter who did the same thing a year or two ago.

And no I didn't mistype his name, it really DOES end in -ass, which is what I think anyone who writes a news story about himself

KATU reporter inspires state lawmaker to launch sex offender registration reform effort
Joe Douglass

SALEM, Ore. — Bills meant to help better protect you and your family from sex offenders are now in the works in Salem. And a state lawmaker credits KATU with tipping him off to problems with the system that he was not aware of.
The lawmaker, state Rep. Jeff Barker, D-Aloha, says KATU's Joe Douglass opened his eyes to a startling fact about Oregon's public sex offender registry last fall.
Barker, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, told Douglass he was unaware the state only publicly lists around 2 percent of Oregon's sex offenders.
Oregon currently has the most sex offenders per capita in the country.
"You indicated the problem that I wasn't aware of," Barker, a retired Portland Police Bureau detective, said Tuesday. "I've seen the young girls. Their lives are ruined over being molested when they're kids. It rips their soul out and I do everything I can to stop that."
After Douglass spoke with Barker in September, he made good on a promise to talk with the Portland Police Bureau's sex offender registration unit, including Officer Bridget Sickon, who's spoken with KATU repeatedly.
"Our sex offender laws in Oregon are like Swiss cheese," Sickon said in July, "lots of holes, lots of problems."
Sickon and other members of her unit wrote up proposed legislation that addresses what they feel are some big problems with the system.
In Oregon right now, generally sex offenders must check in just once a year around their birthday or if they move.
But in Washington, for example, the rules are tougher. Less risky "level one" offenders are checked at home once a year. Level two offenders are checked at home twice a year. And the most serious level three offenders are checked at home four times annually.
When it comes to homeless offenders, a big concern for Barker and Portland police, Washington requires them to check in once a week and lists them on a public website.
But in Oregon, homeless offenders, like all others generally, just have to check in once a year at a law enforcement facility.
"I had a bill last year, last session, that would've required the homeless offenders to check in monthly," Barker said. "The parole information people came in and said, 'Please don't do that because we won't be able to keep up and we'll just be violating people and it would be a waste of everybody's time.'"
But this year Barker, using the Portland police unit's suggestions as a guide, plans to propose that homeless offenders check in more often - though he's still working out details.
He also wants Oregon's level three offenders to have to check in three times a year.
"Mainly what we want to do is make sure the people who are dangerous are monitored," Barker said, "(That) we spend more resources monitoring the dangerous, predatory sex offenders and not waste time on somebody that did something stupid when they were a kid who is no danger whatsoever."
As far as adding more offenders to the public registry, Barker said he's looking at how that works out and may propose legislation on it next year.
An overhaul to the registry is already in the works. The deadline for it was pushed back from the end of 2016 to the end of 2018. The state is reclassifying offenders into a three-tiered system and promising to list all of the most serious "third tier" offenders publicly.
The state predicts that will likely only result in 5 to 10 percent of all offenders being listed publicly -- still far below neighboring states.
The head of Oregon's Parole and Post-Prison Supervision Board says they're on track to blow the already pushed back deadline for overhauling the classification system. He told lawmakers unless his agency gets more resources, only about 2,200 re-classifications will be done by the end of 2018.
Oregon currently has about 29,000 sex offenders.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Minnesota State Rep. Matt Grossell wants to bury the hatchet inside Minnesota's registrant population (figuratively, at least)

This is what happens when you vote for a guy who is such a redneck his campaign shirts come in blue camo.

Sex offender sentencing bill introduced following KARE 11 investigation

A.J. Lagoe , KARE

ST. PAUL, Minn. - “Enough is enough, it’s time to start stopping this!” said State Representative Matt Grossell (R - Beltrami)

Grossell is the chief author of a sweeping bill he calls a first step in reforming Minnesota’s sex crime sentencing laws which critics have labeled some of the weakest in the nation.

Grossell, a former law enforcement officer, said he watched KARE 11’s report on how a type of plea deal known as a Stay of Adjudication allowed hundreds of child sexual predators in Minnesota to have their crimes masked by the legal system.

“This is wrong to me! That’s just wrong!” he added, “So we decided to eliminate the stays of adjudication and imposition.”

Stays of imposition result in a felony charge being reduced to a misdemeanor if the defendant successfully completes probation. Stays of Adjudication disappear completely and the entire time the defendant is on probation the case is listed as pending. That means there’s no record of it on the Minnesota Court system’s online database.

“When young children are victimized like that, that tears me apart,” said Grossell, with tears in his eyes. He apologized for being emotional, adding “and to think that that person won’t be held accountable the way they should be, makes it even worse. You can never give that child back the innocence that they had, but you can keep that person from hurting somebody else.”

Governor Mark Dayton also called for reform following KARE 11’s reporting.

“Innocent people need to know that there are people around them who have a history of sexual abuse, and we need to protect the public first and foremost,” said Dayton.

The proposed changes also increase the penalties for child pornography, and orders the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission to toughen up recommended penalties for sex crimes. It also calls for more intensive probation for certain sex offenders.

Robert Small with the Minnesota County Attorneys Association said he had not had a chance to read the bill in its entirety, but said prosecutors in his association had concerns that the bill goes too far. He likened it to “using an axe where a scalpel is needed.”

Grossell contends, “it’s time for the hatchet and not the scalpel.”

A hearing on the proposed changes has not yet been scheduled.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Nebraska LB 60 would require registrants dating someone with kids to send humiliating letters to baby mammas/ baby daddys to warm them their exes are dating registrants

LB 60 should be reported to the manure hotline
If I'm willing to travel a thousand miles to testify against a bill, it is definitely Shiitake-worthy.

LB 60 is promoted by third-string Huskers QB turned third-string Senator Brat Lindstrom. I find this bill to be full of manure, and as it turns out, Nebraska has a manure spill hotline. So maybe I can get them to clean up this bill.

A BILL FOR AN ACT relating to the Parenting Act; to amend section 43-2933, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska; to change provisions relating to limitation or denial of custody or access to a child; and to repeal the original section.

(b) No person shall be granted custody of, or unsupervised parenting time, visitation, or other access with, a child if anyone residing in the person's household is required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act as a result of a felony conviction in which the victim was a minor or for an offense that would make it contrary to the best interests of the child for such access unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the person seeking such access has overcome the presumption and burdens of production and persuasion in subdivision (1)(c) of this section and that there is no significant risk to the child and states its reasons in writing or on the record. Any person who has been granted custody of, or unsupervised parenting time, visitation, or other access with a child must provide written notice to all other persons who have custody or access rights to the child before such person allows any sex offender described in this subdivision to reside in such person’s household or to have unsupervised access to the child.
(c) The fact that a child is permitted unsupervised contact with a person who is required, as a result of a felony conviction in which the victim was a minor, to be registered as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act shall be prima facie evidence that the child is at significant risk and such unsupervised contact shall be presumed to not be in the child’s best interests. The person who is seeking to allow such unsupervised contact shall have the burden of production and the burden of persuasion that such unsupervised contact is in the child’s best interests.

Judge’s ok suggested before sex offender access to children
 February 9, 2017 Sen. Brett Lindstrom, LB60

Members of the Judiciary Committee heard testimony Feb. 9 on a bill that would provide stronger protections for children against registered sex offenders.

Under LB60, introduced by Omaha Sen. Brett Lindstrom, registered sex offenders found guilty of felony child sexual abuse would not be allowed unsupervised parental access to a child unless a judge finds that the adult presents no significant risk to the child.

Lindstrom said a recent Nebraska Supreme Court decision found that a father could not prevent his child from living in the same home as his ex-wife’s new husband, a registered sex offender.

He said LB60 would shift the burden of proof to the person seeking to allow unsupervised contact with a child to show that such contact would be in the child’s best interest.

“[The bill] reaffirms a strong public policy that we must protect our children and provides more guidance to our judicial branch to protect them,” he said.

Written notice also must be provided to all other persons with custody or access rights before a registered sex offender would be allowed to have unsupervised access or reside in the same home as a child.

Stephanie Huddle, representing the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, testified in support of the bill. She said 34 percent of sexual abuse is perpetrated by family members and can have long-lasting effects on children.

“Children who are sexually abused may develop phobias, suffer from nightmares and engage in regressive behaviors,” she said. “[LB60] would ensure additional safeguards for Nebraska children and peace of mind for their parents.”

Opposing the bill was Derek Logue, an anti-registry activist and registered sex offender. As a group, he said, sex offenders have low rates of recidivism.

“The written notification requirement seems to be more about humiliation than personal safety,” he said. “Those who share my label are assumed guilty until proven innocent. How can anyone reasonably expect a registered citizen to meet such a burden when society is so quick to believe the worst about such people?”

The committee took no immediate action on the bill.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Oh, SNAP! Leader of SNAP resigns amid lawsuit over exploiting abuse "survivors"

This perp needs jail, too
And to think some of you folks dared to criticize me over the use of the term VICTIM INDUSTRY. So SNAP has **ahem** "allegedly" been exploiting their clients by sending them to their special lawyers in exchange for some kickbacks? Why am I not surprised? I wouldn't be shocked if SNAP also coached folks into telling stories that may be complete fabrications.

Barbara Blaine, leader of priest sex-abuse survivors group, steps down
Feb. 4, 2017
Chicago Tribune staff

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests told its volunteers on Saturday that its president and founder has resigned.

Barbara Blaine, who also describes herself as a survivor, founded the group in Chicago nearly three decades ago. Her resignation, effective Friday, comes a week after SNAP announced the departure of its national director David Clohessy, effective Dec. 31, 2016.

Both were named in a lawsuit filed in Cook County last month by a former SNAP employee, accusing the leaders of referring potential clients to attorneys in return for financial kickbacks to the group.

But Blaine said her leaving had nothing to do with the suit and "no bearing'' on her leaving.

Blaine, who describes herself as a survivor, expressed gratitude for her supporters in an emailed statement.

"It has been the greatest honor of my life to have found and been your president for the past 29 years. Change however is inevitable," Blaine said in the statement.

Mary Ellen Kruger, who is on the SNAP board, said in an emailed statement they are "grateful for her 29 years of leadership."

“Her contribution to the survivors movement is unsurpassed. Her tenacity and fortitude helped expose abuse globally during the past three decades. We will carry on her vision of SNAP as we grow in new ways to better meet the needs of survivors coming forward today and in the future. We wish Barbara the best," Kruger said in the statement.

It was a horrible feeling twenty-nine years ago," Blaine said in the statement. "Church officials would not keep their promises. My perpetrator remained in ministry but more importantly, I felt such immense pain that I was not sure I could continue to live," Blaine said. 

“I knew there were other survivors out there and wondered if they felt the same debilitating hurt and if so, how they coped with it. I thought they might hold the wisdom I lacked. I looked for other survivors and asked if they would be willing to talk.

"Somewhere in the past twenty-nine years you got involved and I want to thank you for doing so. To be honest, my heart is overflowing with gratitude to each of you. Words fail to express the extent of how grateful I feel," Blaine said in the statement.

Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director, has become the managing director, according to SNAP. The group said Dorris will work closely with the board of directors to continue to engage the group's volunteer leadership nationwide to help more survivors of sexual abuse and assault, and to stop further abuse, according to the statement.

Blaine and Dorris are defendants, along with SNAP and Executive Director David Clohessy, in a lawsuit filed last month by a former employee. In that lawsuit, former director of development Gretchen Rachel Hammond says she was fired shortly after asking superiors whether SNAP was referring potential clients to attorneys in exchange for donations.

“Please know that the recent lawsuit filed against SNAP, as the others in the past which have no merit, had absolutely no bearing on my leaving. The discussions and process of my departure has been ongoing, Blaine said in the statement.

Ex-worker sues priest sex-abuse victims advocacy group, says it exploited survivors 
Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago Tribune

A former employee of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has sued the victims advocacy group, alleging that SNAP exploited victims of sexual abuse by clergy in return for financial kickbacks from attorneys.

According to a lawsuit filed this week in Cook County Circuit Court, Gretchen Rachel Hammond worked as a director of development from July 2011 until she said she was fired in February 2013, shortly after asking superiors whether SNAP was referring potential clients to attorneys in exchange for donations.

In addition to the organization, defendants named in the lawsuit are Barbara Blaine, its founder and president; David Clohessy, executive director; and Barbara Dorris, outreach director.

Blaine said in a statement that "the allegations are not true."

"This will be proven in court," she said. "SNAP leaders are now, and always have been, devoted to following the SNAP mission: To help victims heal and to prevent further sexual abuse."

Neither Clohessy nor Dorris could be reached for comment.

Though it did not name attorneys, the lawsuit said donations from several high-profile litigators across the country comprised a large percentage of SNAP's income.

Jeff Anderson, a prominent Minnesota attorney for victims of clergy sex abuse who was not named in the lawsuit, confirmed that he makes regular donations to SNAP, as well as other nonprofit organizations that advocate for the safety of children. But he said he does not do it in exchange for referrals.

"I have supported SNAP and a lot of other organizations that help survivors throughout the country, unapologetically," he said.

"The allegation is explosive because it's unethical," he added. "I've never done it nor would I ever do it."

According to the lawsuit, Hammond grew suspicious of SNAP's methods when she was not permitted to participate in an internal audit of SNAP by an accounting firm and was barred from attending survivors' meetings, group therapy sessions or counseling sessions to help generate material for grant proposals.

She also was given access to a list of lawyers who regularly donated to SNAP but was told to never tell anyone that lawyers donate to the organization, according to the lawsuit. At a news conference, Hammond said she raised more than $950,000 for SNAP during her 19 months there.

A Missouri judge ruled in 2012 to open more than two decades of correspondence with victims, lawyers, witnesses and journalists to shed light on whether SNAP had coached victims to fabricate claims of repressed memory.

Shortly after that, Hammond said, she was accidentally copied on an email from Clohessy to an attorney, asking when he could expect the next donation, the lawsuit said. It was then she began to ask questions and the workplace climate dramatically changed, she alleged in the lawsuit.

She said she began to collect evidence of what she believed to be a kickback scheme, copying reams of documents and downloading records on a flash drive she used to do work at home. When SNAP sent a volunteer to her apartment to collect the flash drive, she did not disclose that she had copied it, the lawsuit said. She was fired two days later, she said.

Though she decided not to go to authorities at the time, the movie "Spotlight" renewed her concerns and she sought legal counsel. Hammond alleges she could not find employment that paid as much as she made at SNAP and is seeking compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and expenses.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Dolce de bleche: Victim Cultist Michael Dolce doesn't believe in positive treatment programs

Oh great, it is yet another biased victim cultist spewing nonsensical tripe. As typical of victim cultists, he uses nominal & dubious "research" and statements of personal belief as "fact." He also makes bogus claims of high recidivism rates and the same tired myths of all registered persons being 'psychopathic," which is ironic considering that lawyers are the profession with the second highest rate of psychopaths within its ranks.

Say no to restorative justice for sex offenders

The debate around the Senate’s possible confirmation of Betsy DeVos, President-elect Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, should kick start a national discussion on how colleges and universities handle sexual assault.

Recently, much of that conversation has revolved around “restorative justice,” programs that aim to respond to misconduct or crime by redressing the harm inflicted on victims and the community, rather than simply punishing offenders. 

As a victim of childhood sexual abuse myself and an attorney who now represents sexual assault survivors every day, I can say without doubt that restorative justice is not only horribly insufficient for handling sexual abuse but, in many cases, actually serves to leave an offender free to offend again.

Whether as an alternative or a supplement to traditional discipline, restorative justice programs require offenders to make amends with victims — often with apologies and mediation — and participate in reformative programs like anger management or cultural sensitivity training, measures rarely imposed by the criminal justice system. In an education setting, employing these programs for offenses like racial harassment and alcohol misuse have had some success, leading to understandable calls from some criminal justice reform advocates and college administrators to expand their use to college sexual misconduct cases.

It’s true that our colleges and universities routinely fail victims of sexual assault, as last year’s abhorrent handling of the Brock Turner case at Stanford University reminded us. It’s also true, as the Chicago Tribune reported late last month, that the future of campus sex assault investigations under President Trump are “uncertain,” particularly since GOP convention platform calls for a reduced federal government role in investigations of campus sexual assault.

But, for several important reasons, restorative justice is not the answer for handling sex offenders. First, this method only works if offenders feel empathy when confronted with the impact of their misconduct. 

According to prominent forensic psychology researchers Drs. Daryl Kroner and Adelle Forth, about half of convicted sex offenders exhibit psychopathology, meaning they are incapable of feeling remorse or empathizing with their victims. Sex offenders are often skilled at manipulating others into believing they are safe, which helps them gain their victims’ trust before attacking.

Imagine that same manipulation in a restorative justice program setting where the offender fools college administrators and the victim with fake remorse. College administrators, often despite their best intentions, do not have expert command over the dynamics of sex offenders and victim behavior and shouldn’t be entrusted with safe and effective use of restorative justice programs for sex-based offenses.

Second, advocates for restorative justice programs in this context often make the flawed assumption that sex offenders are similar to repeat offenders of other habitual offenses like drunk driving. 

But while underage drinking and alcohol abuse are certainly a common problem on university campuses, alcohol does not turn a college student into a sex offender. In fact, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, some offenders actually drink alcohol before committing sexual assault specifically to later justify their behavior. Relying on restorative justice to ‘treat’ this group would be a dangerous validation of their criminal deceit.

The third common argument – that schools might be safe relying on restorative justice methods in cases of sexual harassment that don’t involve physical assault – is risky at best. Those who sexually harass others are objectifying and dehumanizing their victims, behavior that is often a prelude to assaults.

In my work as a victims’ attorney at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, I repeatedly see rapists whose behavior escalated from lesser offenses like voyeurism and other forms of harassment.

Finally and most critically, we must consider the victims of these heinous crimes. As a society, we are too quick to blame victims, overtly or subtly, especially on college campuses. 

Student victims regularly hear: “You were both drunk,” or “Don’t ruin someone’s life over one drunken night.” I routinely see offenders and even school administrators attempt to blame the victim. One student’s complaint of rape was rejected by school administrators because she gave the rapist a ride after the attack, despite her explanation that she feared she would be hurt further if she did not do as he asked.

The impact on those subjected to sexual assault can be profound, life-altering and permanent. Furthermore, the effects can be substantially worsened if a community deflects the offender’s responsibility onto things like alcohol, or worse yet, suggests that the victim is partially at fault.

The reality is that I believe the majority of sex offenders are largely incapable of empathy. Two-thirds of male sex offenders will re-offend if they are not treated and restrained as criminals. The consensus among mental health and criminal justice professionals is that most sex criminals cannot be reformed; they can only be monitored, controlled and contained.

These are people who look at the tears and agony on victims’ faces, show no mercy and then quickly move on to their next victim.

Restorative justice can be a wonderful tool for certain types of offenses, but let’s not ask victims of sexual assault to suffer an even greater burden by making them take part in their attackers’ so-called “reformation.”

Michael Dolce is on the board of directors of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and was the former political committee chair of Protect Our Kids First. He was instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation in the state that repealed all statutes of limitation for civil and criminal prosecution of child sexual battery. He is of counsel at premier national plaintiffs' firm Cohen Milstein and has dedicated his career to seeking justice for the victims of abuse.