Friday, March 30, 2018

Kyla Galen of ColoraDO'H writes one nasty headline

"Vanessa" in this story is a piece of crap, but this reporter is absolutely disgusting. This is the ugliest headline from a mainstream outlet in a while.

11 Call For Action investigates: Registered sex offender living on public dime

By Kyla Galer | Posted: Thu 8:16 AM, Mar 29, 2018  |  Updated: Thu 9:10 AM, Mar 29, 2018

A 13-year-old girl unwittingly made the discovery after learning about sex offender registries at school one day. At her teacher's prompting, she typed in her own address when she got home from school.

"She yelled, 'Mom!'" mother Vanessa (last name withheld) told 11 News. "And I went in there and she said, 'This is our address.' She says, 'Oh my gosh, isn't this our neighbor?'"

Vanessa and her four children live in public housing on the southwest side of the Springs. Under the Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, handbook, owners of these homes are supposed to prohibit anyone on the sex offender registry from renting.

But despite the law, sex offender registration records show Christian Garcia's address listed as the very apartment complex Vanessa and her children call home.

"It's super scary," Vanessa said.

Vanessa now wants to know how this could have happened.

"It makes me wonder how did everyone else in charge not realize that this was going on? And if they did know, why was nothing done? ... Somebody dropped the ball somewhere and it's absolutely appalling that something like this would fly under the radar."

Vanessa -- a survivor of domestic abuse -- says one of the reasons she chose to live in this particular complex is because of the locks on all doors leading outside.

"Unfortunately, as it turns out, we were locking a criminal inside every night."

One of Vanessa's neighbors says the address Garcia listed is actually her own.

"He does not live here at my apartment at all, it's just me and my kids," Jamie Busch said. "In actuality, his address is on the third floor."

11 News reporter Kyla Galer knocked on that address, but no one answered. She later inquired with apartment management how Garcia could have been living at the complex for six months. Management refused to talk on camera, but very briefly spoke to Galer on the phone before hanging up on her. They said they had no idea he was living there.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said sex offenders are checked on once a year.

"It really is incumbent upon the person who is renting the properties to make sure that that person is not a registered sex offender, especially if it is HUD housing," said spokesperson Jacqueline Kirby.

For Vanessa, none of these answers are reassuring.

"I feel like this guy needs to be exposed for the liar that he is," Vanessa said.

The sheriff's office says that just last week, Garcia listed a new address in Colorado Springs. But neighbors say they've still seen him hanging out at the complex in recent days.

Even if he's gone, Busch said she no longer knows if this was an anomaly.

"It kind of makes me wonder how many people now live here that are registered sex offenders with all the kids that run around here," Busch told Galer.

11 News is told it's unlikely Garcia will face charges, but he could get in trouble with his probation officer.

Friday, March 16, 2018

So now the California legislature is outlawing hugging? (And no, it isn't about Grabby Garcia)

I'd rather get a hug from a politician than the shaft, which is what we generally get from them.

California lawmaker banned from hugging after investigation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California state senator has been told to stop hugging people after an investigation concluded that his trademark embraces made multiple female colleagues uncomfortable.

However, the investigation released Thursday found Sen. Bob Hertzberg's frequent hugs are not intended to be sexual and more often than not are not unwelcome.

Hertzberg, a Democrat from the Los Angeles area, has earned nicknames such as "Hugsberg" and "Huggy Bear" for greeting men and women alike with giant hugs.

The Senate Rules Committee formally reprimanded him on Tuesday and told him not to hug people anymore, but he will not otherwise face discipline.

Hertzberg released a letter apologizing to anyone who felt his frequent embraces were unwelcome. The 63-year-old said he has greeted people with hugs all his life and they were intended as "a gesture of warmth and kindness and a reflection of my exuberance."

"I understand that I cannot control how a hug is received, and that not everyone has the ability to speak up about unwelcome behavior," Hertzberg wrote. "It is my responsibility to be mindful of this."

Three California lawmakers have resigned over allegations of sexually explicit misconduct, with one stepping down while facing the threat of expulsion.

The investigation into Hertzberg covered four complaints dating back to 2010, involving three female lawmakers and a male sergeant at arms. It found he hugged two current and one former lawmaker in ways that made them uncomfortable and made the sergeant uncomfortable by "dancing briefly with his backside" against him.

None of the accusers are named, but former Republican Assemblywoman Linda Halderman has previously spoken to reporters about her accusations against Hertzberg. She said Hertzberg repeatedly hugged her for prolonged periods of time during her term from 2010 to 2012 and at one point thrust into her after she told him to stop.

Halderman declined to speak with the investigators from an outside law firm hired by the state Senate. The investigators concluded Hertzberg made her uncomfortable but couldn't find any evidence supporting that he continued to hug her after she asked him to stop.

Investigators found Hertzberg stopped hugging the second accuser in 2015 after she told him to stop, and that he was unaware that his hugs of another assemblywoman were unwelcome.

Republican Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine said it's concerning that none of the accusers are named because it shows the Legislature doesn't have enough protections for people filing claims.

"If they don't feel comfortable, then how does the rank and file employee feel comfortable? How does that person in the public feel comfortable?" Anderson said.

He also said it's difficult to be fair to everyone involved if names are withheld.

Hertzberg said the allegations against him were exploited by opponents as he proposed overhauling California's money bail system for offenders awaiting trial. Hertzberg also said the Legislature should do a better job of keeping harassment complaints confidential during investigations.

Investigators noted Hertzberg has been warned about uncomfortable hugs in the past, including of a 2015 complaint from a staff member who said he held her close and began dancing with her. They faulted Hertzberg for not taking past complaints more seriously, but also criticized the Senate for not giving him enough information about the complaints against him.

"He missed opportunities to understand that some people were genuinely troubled by his hugging," investigators wrote, later adding, "more information may have resulted in Hertzberg correcting his conduct with respect to unwanted hugs earlier."

Hertzberg was elected to the state Senate in 2014 after serving six years in the Assembly.

Democratic Sen. Ben Allen of Santa Monica said he couldn't say if the investigation or reprimand were appropriate because senators not sitting on the Rules Committee were only given a summary.

"It's a sensitive investigation and I've got a lot of sympathy for everybody involved," he said.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Frankly, I'm SHOCKED this case was overturned. Pun was intended.

Someone should make this judge wear a shock belt and light it up every time this douche violates the US Constituition.

‘Barbarism’: Texas judge ordered electric shocks to silence man on trial. Conviction thrown out.
By Meagan Flynn March 7

In Tarrant County, Tex., defendants are sometimes strapped with a stun belt around their legs. The devices are used to deliver a shock in the event the person gets violent or attempts to escape.

But in the case of Terry Lee Morris, the device was used as punishment for refusing to answer a judge’s questions properly during his 2016 trial on charges of soliciting sexual performance from a 15-year-old girl, according to an appeals court. In fact, the judge shocked Morris three times, sending thousands of volts coursing through his body. It scared him so much that Morris never returned for the remainder of his trial and almost all of his sentencing hearing.

The action stunned the Texas Eighth Court of Appeals in El Paso, too. It has now thrown out Morris’s conviction on the grounds that the shocks ordered by State District Judge George Gallagher, and Morris’s subsequent removal from the courtroom, violated his constitutional rights. Since he was too scared to come back to the courtroom, the court held that the shocks effectively barred him from attending his own trial, in violation of the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment, which guarantees a defendant’s right to be present and confront witnesses during a trial.

The ruling, handed down Feb. 28, was reported Tuesday in the Texas Lawyer.

Judges are not allowed to shock defendants in their courtrooms just because they won’t answer questions, the court said, or because they fail to follow the court’s rules of decorum.

“While the trial court’s frustration with an obstreperous defendant is understandable, the judge’s disproportionate response is not. We do not believe that trial judges can use stun belts to enforce decorum,” Justice Yvonne T. Rodriguez said of Gallagher’s actions in the court’s opinion. “A stun belt is a device meant to ensure physical safety; it is not an operant conditioning collar meant to punish a defendant until he obeys a judge’s whim. This Court cannot sit idly by and say nothing when a judge turns a court of law into a Skinner Box, electrocuting a defendant until he provides the judge with behavior he likes.”

The stun belt works in some ways like a shock collar used to train dogs. Activated by a button on a remote control, the stun belt delivers an eight-second, 50,000-volt shock to the person wearing it, which immobilizes him so that bailiffs can swiftly neutralize any security threats. When activated, the stun belt can cause the person to seize, suffer heart irregularities, urinate or defecate and suffer possibly crippling anxiety as a result of fear of the shocks.

The stun belt can also be very painful. When Montgomery County, Md., purchased three of the devices in 1998, a sheriff’s sergeant who was jolted as part of his training described the feeling to The Washington Post like this: “If you had nine-inch nails and you tried to rip my sides out and then you put a heat lamp on me.”

Most courts have found that the stun belts are constitutional as long as they are used on defendants posing legitimate security threats — but the Texas justices said there was no evidence of that here.

The discord between Morris and Gallagher arose after Gallagher asked Morris how he would plead: guilty or not guilty?

“Sir, before I say that, I have the right to make a defense,” Morris responded.

He had recently filed a federal lawsuit against his defense attorney and against Gallagher, whom he wanted recused from the case. As Morris continued talking, Gallagher warned him to stop making “outbursts.”

“Mr. Morris, I am giving you one warning,” Gallagher said outside the presence of the jury, according to the appeals court. “You will not make any additional outbursts like that, because two things will happen. No. 1, I will either remove you from the courtroom or I will use the shock belt on you.”

“All right, sir,” Morris said.

The judge continued: “Now, are you going to follow the rules?”

“Sir, I’ve asked you to recuse yourself,” said Morris.

Gallagher asked again: “Are you going to follow the rules?”

“I have a lawsuit pending against you,” responded Morris.

“Hit him,” Gallagher said to the bailiff.

The bailiff pressed the button that shocks Morris, and then Gallagher asked him again whether he is going to behave. Morris told Gallagher he had a history of mental illness.

“Hit him again,” the judge ordered.

Morris protested that he was being “tortured” just for seeking the recusal.

Gallagher asked the bailiff, “Would you hit him again?”

Morris’s trial defense attorney, Bill Ray, told Texas Lawyer he didn’t object to use of stun belt during trial because his client was acting “like a loaded cannon ready to go off.” He also claimed he did not believe Morris was really being shocked.

As the Texas justices note, case law on the use of stun belts on defendants in court is slim, if only because outrageous uses of stun belts in courts are rare.

In the several cases cited in the ruling, the stun belts’ damaging effects on a person as well as their controversial history are well recognized. The stun belts were introduced in the early 1990s as a way to “control” prisoners. According to testimony in a stun belt case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, the devices “acted more as a deterrent rather than a means of actual punishment because of the tremendous amount of anxiety that results from wearing a belt that packs a 50,000-volt to 70,000-volt punch.”

“Never before have we seen any behavior like this, nor do we hope to ever see such behavior again,” Rodriguez wrote of Gallagher’s actions. “As the circumstances of this case perfectly illustrate, the potential for abuse in the absence of an explicit prohibition on nonsecurity use of stun belts exists and must be deterred. We must speak out against it, lest we allow practices like these to affront the very dignity of the proceedings we seek to protect and lead our courts to drift from justice into barbarism.”

The judge, contacted by The Post, declined to comment, citing judicial ethics.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Add being an informant to criminal activity to the growing list of things you can't do as a registered person.

So if you are a registered person, you testimony cannot be trusted, but if you are a fucking dope boy, you are A-OK.

Not Guilty - Informant Was A Sex Offender: Defense
Fri, 03/02/2018 - 9:06am Vic MacDonald
COURT: Defense Questioned Use of Informant; Man Found Not Guilty

Friday, March 2, 2018 - WLBG on-line

A Clinton man was found “not guilty” of drug charges this week, after his defense questioned the use of a sex offender as a confidential informant in a drug transaction. 35-year-old Alexander Simmons of 111-A North Bell Street, Clinton was not convicted on charges of Possession of Crack Cocaine to Distribute in proximity of a school, park or playground.

The defense opened with the argument that the confidential informant, who set up the sale, was a convicted sex offender, and therefore, his testimony could not be trusted.

Clinton Public Safety Captain Tyrone Goggins explained how his department uses informants, saying that at the time of the alleged drug transaction, the informant had no pending charges. Detective Goggins also explained that it’s a common practice to use previously convicted offenders who volunteer for the job to sort of redeem themselves. He said police could only recommend that their service in the drug sale be considered in regard to their charges. He said that in this specific case, the informant used in the undercover drug sale just wanted to receive the customary $50 pay to set up a drug sale.

The prosecution submitted an audio recording as proof of a call to arrange the drug sale between the informant and defendant, and a video tape that was recorded by the informant at the time of the sale. Sargent Prather testified that he monitored the informant at the sale. Defense Attorney Scarlet Moore of Greenville asked Sgt. Prather if he knew the informant was a registered sex offender, and , if so, why he was sent to a park. Prather replied, “We monitored the entire sale and we were only seconds away if anything gets out of hand.” Sgt. Prather also said that to set up a bogus drug deal you have to use someone that is known to the dealer, you can’t just go into a local church and find someone to do that job.

Douglas Robinson, a chemist from SLED, testified that the substance turned over for evidence was in fact, crack cocaine.

In her closing argument, Defense Attorney Scarlet Moore of Greenville told the jury that the video was not definitive enough to show the actual drug being sold, and that in the audio recording you could not hear Simmons voice, and that the confidential informant could not be trusted to offer truthful testimony.

The jury returned a “not guilty” verdict.

Monday, March 5, 2018

#MoronToo: I guess you can say Elizabeth Dunn's list of alleged a wasn't very well "Dunn"

A few days ago, the college she attended "disciplined" her yet she was not suspended or expelled for falsely accusing a third of the male college students of being rapists or sexual harassers. She should have faced the same punishment as those she accused would have faced had they been disciplined.

#HerToo: Middlebury Student in Trouble Over List of Accused Sexual Transgressors 

The #MeToo movement had already named and shamed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, comedian Louis C.K., U.S. senator Al Franken and celebrity chef Mario Batali when Elizabeth Dunn decided she had something to say about her classmates at Middlebury College.

On December 12, the senior went on Facebook to post a short list of "men to avoid" at Vermont's most prestigious college and solicited input from others. She added the crowdsourced names to her list until she had called out 36 male students and recent graduates for sexual misbehavior, ranging from serial rape to harassment.

Not all of the accusers were female. A few cases involved males or nonbinary students identifying men responsible for sexual misdeeds, according to Dunn.

Facebook removed the post within 48 hours, but screenshots of the list continue to circulate on campus. The incident gained national traction after it was covered on, the same online outlet that published the much-debated anonymous account of a woman's "worst night of my life" date with comedian Aziz Ansari. In its Middlebury story, the website that proudly claims to be "for girls who don't give a fuck" blacked out the names on Dunn's list.

Like Ansari's defenders, some say Dunn, 21, went too far: What began as overdue acknowledgment of a vast sexual harassment problem has devolved into unfair and unsupported charges against men. Middlebury may expel Dunn, and she is worried that sanctions by the college could derail her plans to graduate in May and attend law school in the fall.

But other observers see Dunn's list as an act of bravery and, perhaps, desperation.

"There is an epidemic of sexual assault and everything else you can think of — violence, belittlement, discrimination, stalking, coercion — which happens on college and university campuses every day," said Felicia Kornbluh, a feminist and associate professor of history at the University of Vermont.

Women have issued warnings about men for a long time, and Dunn's list is a modern way to frame the message, Kornbluh said. It's "like what we used to do with writing names on the bathroom wall," she said. "It's sort of the weapon of the weak."

The list is a reminder that many victims don't feel they can trust in police or campus judicial systems to seek redress, Kornbluh said: "It's a sign of our utter failure institutionally."

Numerous students have shared stories with her of being victimized, she added. "It's pretty ubiquitous, and I hear no stories in which people used the university or other judicial procedures and got relief. That basically never happens," Kornbluh said. "So here we are. If I was an undergraduate, I might be writing on Facebook, too."

Culture Shock

Dunn said yes to Middlebury four years ago without ever having seen the place. The Atlanta, Ga., resident picked the college in part because it is known for its foreign languages and offered Arabic, which she'd studied in the rigorous International Baccalaureate program at her public high school.

Middlebury also offered financial aid to cover most of the cost of her four-year education. The teen was too busy with exams at the time to take advantage of an invitation to fly up and visit. Dunn, whom her friends call Liz, turned down similar offers from Brandeis University, American University, and the College of William and Mary to come to Vermont.

Dunn was eager to get out of the South and experience a new culture, a new place. But the transition for the African American daughter of a single hotel housekeeper mom was "jarring," as Dunn described it on a couch inside Middlebury's on-campus radio station, WRMC 91.1 FM, on the second floor of Proctor Hall. (She hosts a weekly program, "Cannabis Feminist," that explores "the intersections of marijuana, feminism, race, class and the prison industrial complex.") The mostly white, mostly wealthy and very sports-oriented school culture at Middlebury was indeed unfamiliar.

And, like many new college students, Dunn found herself navigating social situations for which she was unprepared. One night during her first year, she attended a party, met a guy and went to his room. According to Dunn, the student, a senior, plied her with alcohol to the point where she was "very drunk." They had a sexual encounter even though Dunn now says she "didn't really know what was happening" and "didn't really consent to a lot of what was happening."

Dunn tearfully explained that, the next day, she knew something terrible had occurred but didn't want to fully admit it to herself. She never reported the incident to police or campus judicial officers because she did not want to face humiliating questions that "chip away at you" and blame the victim, she said.

But she came to view the encounter as a sexual assault. And late last year, inspired by the #MeToo movement — and the "Shitty Media Men" list circulating online with claims about professionals in that industry — Dunn accused the student in her December 12 Facebook post that quickly grew into a list of 36 men. She revealed only his first name and encouraged other students to direct message, aka "DM," her on Facebook with the names of their abusers. She promised to add them to her list.

"The messages just started pouring in," Dunn recalled, adding that she was surprised by how many students wanted to share their experiences of being victimized by harassment and sexual assault. "There's just a lot of collective pain and trauma that people have experienced here," Dunn said of Middlebury College.

Before Facebook took it down due to complaints, the post listed the offenders — almost all by both first and last names — along with various accusations after each one, from "serial rapist" to "emotionally abusive" to "treats women, especially black women, like shit."

Dunn's post ended with these words: "here's to not being complicit in 2018 and feel free to dm me more names to add to this status because I could really give a fuck about protecting the privacy of abusers."

All of this happened as students were preparing to leave campus for the holiday break. Before she headed home to Atlanta, Dunn got a call from a campus judicial officer asking to meet. Initially, the purpose seemed to be to offer her comfort and support as a victim of sexual assault, Dunn said. But then the officer, whom she won't name, asked her to identify and provide contact information for those students who gave her the names of the men on the list.

Dunn said she refused to cooperate because she had promised to protect the privacy of the victims; she has since deleted all of their messages. Then, last week, Dunn said she was summoned again to meet with Middlebury judicial officers. On January 17, they told her she was officially facing college discipline for violating the privacy of other students — that is, those individuals she outed on the list.

"I could be facing suspension or expulsion. Middlebury judicial affairs has refused to take anything off the table right now," said Dunn, who is majoring in gender, sexuality and feminism studies. The possibility that she might not be able to finish at Middlebury is sobering, she said, but she still feels she did the right thing.

"This harm is being done by, like, specific people and by specific individuals, and if we want to move toward a conversation about, like, healing and accountability and growth, there needs to be some acknowledgment that harm was done," Dunn said. "So I think that the list was collectively generated not only by me, but by a pretty large group of survivors. It was like taking a moment to say, 'This is our experience. This is what happened to us.'"

Students weren't eager to speak to this reporter about Dunn or her list on a snowy afternoon last Thursday. More than half a dozen males declined to comment on the record about the controversy, but each was aware of it. The roster continues to circulate, they said, because so many people took screenshots of the post before Facebook pulled it down.

"For someone to just post a name, post an allegation and not have anything to back it up, it's hard to respect that," said a male first-year student on campus who did not want his name used. Others said the post "freaked" students out but triggered necessary conversations.

Samantha Valone, a Middlebury sophomore from the Boston area, said it was a good thing to call attention to sexual violence. But, she added, "I just kind of feel bad for some of the people who were maybe accused and are innocent, because their lives are pretty rough right now."

The range of misdeeds, alleged or real, also varied widely, she noted, from emotional abuse to the much more serious "serial rape," and "they maybe shouldn't have been put on the same list," Valone said.

After Facebook took down the list, some students decried the decision online and even accused the social media giant of being complicit in sexual assault, observed Nathaniel Wiener, a Middlebury College senior and a reporter for the student newspaper, the Middlebury Campus, which published a December 23 story on Dunn.

But other students immediately felt the list was unfair and still do, Wiener said last week. The controversy comes on the heels of another Middlebury mess that went national last March, when student protesters shut down a talk by The Bell Curve coauthor Charles Murray and injured a professor in the process.

Dunn helped organize that public demonstration, too, calling Murray's race-based theories about intelligence deeply offensive. On November 13, she took part in a "performance activism" piece in front of Proctor called "Laurie's Big Apology." Students in cheerleading getups waved metallic pom-poms as they lampooned Middlebury president Laurie Patton's effort to respond to continuing protests around the Murray event during a town-hall-style meeting she had convened a few days earlier.

To see the college headed back into the headlines over a new scandal upset a number of alumni, according to Wiener. Some reached out to him to ask about Dunn's motivations with the list. "My answer was, 'I don't know,'" said Wiener.

It didn't help that immediately after the social media blast, the college issued emails to the student body that appeared to take one side, and then the other. The first urged victims to report harassment or assault to the college judicial office. The second urged people falsely accused to report that, too, to the same office. The messages just added to the confusion around the list, Wiener said.

"It was like you get into a fight in the schoolyard, and your parents say, 'Well, I don't really know what happened, but make sure you don't do it again,'" Wiener said.

The federal law known as Title IX prohibits Middlebury and other educational institutions from discriminating on the basis of gender. Although it is well known for improving women's access and participation in athletics, the statute also provides guidance on campus judicial reviews of sexual assaults.

College officials would not confirm that Dunn is facing possible sanctions, nor would they say if any of the individuals on the list might be. A request to interview Patton was denied. But college spokeswoman Sarah Ray offered this statement on her behalf: "Middlebury takes all allegations regarding sexual assault and discrimination extremely seriously. Our policies encourage reporting of assaults and ensure that allegations are investigated thoroughly, fairly and confidentially. The public posting of allegations raises many issues for our community and has no role in a fair and balanced process.

"An investigation into all aspects of this incident is under way," the statement continued, "and we will work to ensure that Middlebury carefully follows its policies regarding sexual assault, harassment and other Title IX allegations, as well as its policies regarding respect for persons."

Justice or Witch Hunt?
This is not the first time social media has been used in a campus sexual assault allegation. Alec Rose is a Santa Monica, Calif., attorney with a national practice that specializes in college assault cases. He's not representing anyone in connection with the Middlebury incident.

One of his clients was recently cleared in a campus judicial review process, and the alleged victim chose not to appeal but later tweeted the young man's name with the accusation that he was a "rapist loose on campus" and that the college was whitewashing that fact, Rose said. "It was very devastating for the young man," and he withdrew from the school, according to Rose, who declined to release more specific details.

Meanwhile, the accuser could have channeled her anger into an appeal, he added. Using social media as it was in that case, and in others, can be deeply unfair, Rose said: "I think it's a dangerous way for somebody to seek redress, both to them and the people they are accusing."

He had a similar reaction after reading the story about Dunn's list on Babe.

"Without knowing that she had substance to back up her accusations against these 30 young men, I don't know how this could be deemed responsible," Rose said, adding: "It's certainly very humiliating to the people she reported on ... It may be a situation where some of them may not be able to recover their reputation."

Dunn said she considered the risk that someone would sue her for defamation of character when she posted the list, but she doesn't believe it will happen — in part because legal action would generate unwanted publicity. She hasn't heard from lawyers for any of the accused young men.

Another factor is the veracity of the claim. "In a campus situation, or in any situation where someone has alleged defamation by [an allegation of] sexual assault, one defense to that would be truth, that it actually happened," said Burlington attorney Ben Luna, who has no direct connection to the Middlebury situation but has represented students facing various charges and tried many sexual assault cases in his former career as a prosecutor.

"There's a whole host of issues at play here, legal and otherwise," Luna said.

Meanwhile, some female public figures, including French actress Catherine Deneuve, are warning that the #MeToo movement is turning into a witch hunt.

Is Middlebury an example of overreach on campuses?

"My immediate reaction to that is no," Luna said. Historically speaking, sexual assault has "been a grossly underreported crime," and victims have not felt able to go to the courts for many reasons, Luna said.

"There's a whole laundry list of reasons why an individual will not report, will not disclose," Luna said. "Some of those examples are the fear that no one will believe them, embarrassment. A lot of sex assault victims blame themselves." Luna said one teenage victim he worked with wasn't fully aware she had been violated. "She didn't really know what rape was," he said.

Back at Middlebury, Dunn is waiting to see how the college disciplinary process treats her. Her friends are petitioning against punitive action, and Dunn is applying to law schools.

She said she isn't concerned that her activism could adversely affect her chances of getting in. Her plan B: landing a job in the Bronx public defender's office.

Dunn has heard nothing from the man she personally accused and has never directly told him how she felt about the evening. Does she think he would view the incident as sexual assault? "Probably not," she said. "And that's another thing that is really typical here."

Men are sometimes raised to ignore social cues and feel a sense of entitlement, while women may be socialized not to say no or to accept things so men feel more comfortable, suggested Dunn.

Reactions from men on the list haven't all been negative. Some of the accused have "glared" at Dunn in the dining hall or said "not very nice" things, she allowed. But others have approached her to discuss the allegations and even said they wanted to create a forum for broader conversation.

Tyler McDowell, a junior from Pennsylvania, was accused on the list of making "fetishistic, racist, sexual comments about black women." He doesn't remember making such comments and does not know who claims he made them, McDowell told Seven Days.

Still, he doesn't feel he was treated unfairly. "I do not feel wronged by this. I also would stipulate that other men probably shouldn't, either," said McDowell.

The list was a "wake-up call" that should trigger discussion about the need for an end to the behaviors that were described on the list, he added. It's "one way of broadcasting kind of a general call for culture change."

Correction, January 25, 2018: Felicia Kornbluh called posting names a "weapon of the weak." And earlier version of this story contained an error.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Coalinga CA incorporated civil commitment center, lost a tax bill because the patients can vote, now wants a bill to exclude them from voting

 “[I]f the constitutional conception of 'equal protection of the laws' means anything, it must at the very least mean that a bare . . . desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest.” Department of Agriculture v. Moreno, 413 U.S. 528, 534 (1973), cited in Romer v Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996)

It is obvious this bill is retaliation for the voting preferences of those at the indefinite detention center at Coalinga.


AB 2839, as introduced, Arambula. Voter qualifications: domicile: sexually violent predators.
Existing law requires the Legislature to define residence and provide for registration and free elections for the purposes of voting in the state. Existing law defines a “residence” for voting purposes to mean a person’s domicile, and provides that the domicile of a person is that place in which his or her habitation is fixed, wherein the person has the intention of remaining, and to which, whenever he or she is absent, the person has the intention of returning. Existing law provides that at a given time, a person may have only one domicile. Existing law provides that a person does not gain or lose a domicile solely by reason of his or her presence or absence from a place while kept in an asylum or prison.

Existing law defines sexually violent predator, for the purposes of, among other things, classifying persons for commitment to the custody of the State Department of State Hospitals for mental health treatment, as a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense against one or more victims and who has a diagnosed mental disorder that makes the person a danger to the health and safety of others in that it is likely that he or she will engage in sexually violent criminal behavior.
This bill would provide that the domicile of a person who has been adjudicated a sexually violent predator and who is committed for an indeterminate term to the custody of the department shall be the last known address of the person before his or her commitment.


SECTION 1. Section 2036 is added to the Elections Code, to read:
2036. The domicile of a person who has been adjudicated a sexually violent predator, as defined in Section 6600 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and who is committed for an indeterminate term to the custody of the State Department of State Hospitals, shall be the last known address of the person before his or her commitment.

After sexual predators swung an election, new law would change California voting rules


March 01, 2018 11:04 AM

Updated March 01, 2018 01:11 PM

Four months after the patients of Coalinga State Hospital doomed a 1-cent sales tax needed to maintain police and fire staffing in the city, the state Assembly is weighing a change to state voting law that would limit sexually violent predators’ voting rights.

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula – the Fresno Democrat whose district encompasses much of Fresno County, including Coalinga – proposed the change on Feb. 16. In an interview this week, Arambula said he became aware of the issue after The Bee’s initial reporting on the failed ballot measure in November.

“I was shocked to find out that sexually violent predators were able to affect an outcome on something as important as public safety,” Arambula said. “This impacted the jobs of 23 police officers and firefighters who are desperately needed in Coalinga.”

Arambula’s one-page bill would set the residence status of any sexually violent predator committed to an indeterminate term in a California state hospital to his or her last known address.

Current law allows some patients at Coalinga State Hospital to vote in Coalinga, as the city annexed the hospital years ago to increase its population – a common tactic for small cities hoping to appear larger to attract potential businesses. A larger population count by the U.S. census also can bring more federal and tax revenues to a city for law enforcement, housing, transportation and other needs.

The proposed change must pass the Assembly and Senate before the governor can decide whether to sign it into law.

In November, a group of patients and former patients – organized as a group called Detainee-Americans for Civic Equality (DACE) – opted to oppose Coalinga’s Measure C, which would have raised the sales tax to pay for existing public services. Voting records show most of the hospital’s 304 registered voters voted against the tax, which failed by just 37 votes.

Robert Ferguson, a former patient and registered sex offender living in Fresno, is the community liaison for DACE. On Tuesday, he sent out a letter to activists and the news media blasting Arambula’s proposed legislation and threatening to do everything he can to keep the assemblyman from winning re-election this year.

In his letter, Ferguson said that patients at Coalinga are civil detainees, not prisoners. Many have been in custody for decades and will likely spend the rest of their lives in the hospital, he added.

Patients have no ties to their former addresses, Ferguson said, whereas measures in Coalinga do have a limited impact on them . The proposed sales tax hike would have increased prices at the hospital’s cafeteria, for example.

Arambula said he did not speak to any patients about voting in last November’s election this specific issue prior to proposing the law.

“The sexually violent predators don’t even use” community services in Coalinga, he said. “It’s much more appropriate for them to vote in the communities they will be returned to.”

The fallout from the defeated tax measure continues to reverberate through both Coalinga and the state hospital system.

In January, the hospital was locked down after patients began acting out due to a ban on certain personal electronic devices. The patients contend the hospital crackdown was in retaliation for the election, while the Department of State Hospitals says it was due to the spread of child pornography using the now-outlawed devices.

The patients have filed a lawsuit against the state.

The city of Coalinga has also filed an unrelated lawsuit against Fresno County, claiming the patients should never have been allowed to vote and demanding the election results be voided.

Coalinga proposed the sales tax after tough economic times led to a $557,000 deficit in its annual budget. The city’s Kmart, a major income producer, closed down, and income from its embrace of cannabis cultivation has been slow to materialize.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Trump Supporters Dating Site used Registered Citizen as Face of the Website

I have to admit I'm on the fence with this one. It is no secret I'm very anti-Trump, and anything that makes Trump look like Jenna Maroney from 30 Rock is great with me, but at the same time, I'm pro-second chances for registrants. Either way, the whole flap over this story is Shiitake-worthy.

Morons Are Governing America.

Trump Dating Site Pulls Photo of Convicted Child Sex Offender From Home Page
*****  filmed himself having sex with a teenager in the ’90s

Sean Burch | Last Updated: February 20, 2018 @ 8:02 AM — the new dating site courting “Make America Great Again” supporters — couldn’t have picked a worse model for its featured image.

On the site’s splash page, users are greeted by the smiling face of **** , who it turns out is a convicted sex offender, as several local news outlets reported. **** was convicted in 1995 for filming himself having sex with a 15-year-old girl while he was in his mid-2os. His conviction is listed on public records.

***'s picture, along with his wife Jodi’s, have since been removed from’s welcome page. The conservative-friendly site — which caused an uproar on Monday for only allowing straight men or women to sign up for the service– didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

FEBRUARY 20, 2018
11:18 AM
A Convicted Sex Criminal Was the Face of a Trump Dating Site
Madeleine Aggeler

As we’ve seen, dating can be hard for Trump voters. To even the playing field, some MAGA fans created, a safe space for those who hate safe spaces. The website has been off to a rough start, however, facing criticism for only making itself available to straight men and women, allowing people to sign up as “happily married” or “unhappily married,” and for featuring a picture of B** R***, a convicted sex offender, on its home page.

According to North Carolina’s WRAL news, in 1995, *** was convicted for taking indecent liberties with a minor after he taped himself having sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 25.

*** and his wife, Jodi, are active in North Carolina conservative politics, and for a time, the home page featured a picture of the couple smiling in matching Trump baseball caps. (The picture has since been changed.)

It is unclear who created the website, and what role the *** play, if any. Barrett Riddleberger would not agree to answer questions about the site, but did tell WRAL, “I’ve already paid my debt for something I did 25 years ago.”

On its (now ***-less) home page, says it is
“wrecking the dating game and giving like-minded Americans a chance to meet without the awkwardness that comes with the first conversation about politics.” It also includes helpful dating tips for users’s profiles like “Play a little hard to get but with a fun flare,” and “People who feel good about themselves make others feel good too.”

The Cut has reached out to for a comment on ***, and will update when we hear back.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Some people are actually stupid enough to think that giving high fives is "grooming"

I think most of my Shiitake Awards readers are Americans, but Predator Panic is just as bad across the pond.

I'm no Brit, so I had to look up the term "lollipop man" and it is the British term for a crossing guard, presumably due to the shape of their crossing signs on sticks resembling lollipops.

Lollipop man speaks out: 'I was told high-fiving kids was grooming'
Lollipop man Bryan Broom has spoken out about the complaints made against him to East Riding Council

ByAlex Grove
06:00, 10 FEB 2018
UPDATED 07:22, 10 FEB 2018

A respected lollipop man has admitted he resigned from his job after the council told him he could no longer high-five children because it could be interpreted as grooming.

Bryan Broom, 77, shocked parents and pupils alike after deciding to hang up his hi-viz earlier this week.

He left yesterday in an emotional afternoon and was showered with gifts and hugs from devastated children who urged him not to leave.

Bryan’s resignation came after complaints were made about him high-fiving youngsters as they left Kirk Ella St Andrew’s Community Primary School in west Hull.

And now, Bryan has revealed why he made the tough decision to quit doing the job he loved after almost two decades.

He said: “I used to high-five the kids until I was told it could be construed as grooming – that is what the council told me.

“It’s rather peculiar because two or three months ago there were pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge high-fiving at a school and I should have sent copies of those to the council.

“If it was good enough for the royal family why is it not good enough for me?

“If I carried on I would feel so frustrated that I would have to watch my Ps and Qs all the time.

“I wouldn’t know how to talk to people because I am a rather outgoing person.

“Maybe I do say some things wrong but generally I do, I think, a pretty good job.

“It makes me feel sad and I thought if this is what is happening to the world I don’t want to be a part of this.”

Since news of Bryan’s resignation broke among parents, mums have leaped to his defence and slammed those who have complained to the council about his behaviour as “pathetic” and “ridiculous.”

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has said that investigations were launched after complaints were made about Bryan’s conduct.

However, none of these were upheld.

In a statement, the council said: “The council had received a number of complaints from parents about the behaviour of Mr Broom.

"These complaints were investigated but not upheld. Mr Broom is choosing to leave of his own accord and we wish him well in the future."

Bryan condemned those who made complaints against him and slammed the perceived “political correctness” creeping into society, but was thankful for the support he received from many well-wishers.

“It means so much to me,” he said. “It proves that the majority of people are not into this political correctness and that they are the same as me.

“The ordinary people have come to my defence.

“This political correctness has been perpetuated by a small minority of people and in the last couple of days, the majority has proved to me that Mr and Mrs Ordinary are wonderful people and they don’t want this political correctness.”

After waving his lollipop stick for the last time on Friday, Bryan now plans to take a break by going on holiday for a week.

However, he expressed his pride and gratitude to those who showed up on his final day to give him the perfect send-off.

“It has been fantastic,” Bryan said. “I expected a bit of a fuss but it’s gone viral and I love it.

“I’ve had chocolate, gin, wine – you name it, and I’ve had some really nice messages from children saying ‘please don’t go.’

“It’s been wonderful and I feel so humbled that people think so fondly of me.”