KNOWINGLY TRANSPORTING OR AIDING IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF VISUAL DEPICTIONS, VIA INTERSTATE COMMERCE, OF A MINOR ENGAGING IN SEXUALLY EXPLICIT CONDUCT; AIDING AND ABETTING
THE DETAILS SURROUNDING THE CRIME
Law enforcement officials are seeking information which will lead to the identification of this unknown suspect. On January 2, 2008, a federal grand jury in the United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, indicted this individual and charged him with knowingly transporting or aiding in the transportation of visual depictions, via interstate commerce, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Images of this person show him abusing a young girl.
The individual is described as a White male, approximately 180 to 200 pounds, balding with brown hair.
The current whereabouts of this individual are unknown.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS CASE, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR THE NEAREST AMERICAN EMBASSY OR CONSULATE.
ROBERT S. MUELLER, III DIRECTOR FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535 TELEPHONE: (202) 324-3000
Loophole in sexual predator law By DUANE MARSTELLER and NATALIE NEYSA ALUND Herald Staff Writers
MANATEE - Ivey Edwards' lengthy criminal record included a Sarasota County conviction for sexual assault. But those living with him in a Jacksonville nursing home didn't know it - until he was charged with raping a fellow resident.
Officials at Manatee Glens were unaware that Thomas Ango Oliver was a sexual predator when he was taken there for a mental-health assessment. They found out a day later - after a nurse allegedly caught him molesting a female patient.
Both places didn't know because they weren't required to be told, even though Florida has a law requiring public notification of sex offenders.
These incidents and others underscore what experts and notification advocates say is a long-standing gap in state laws nationwide:
Laws requiring public notification of sexual offenders and predators have long focused on protecting children - but not vulnerable adults such as those in nursing homes, hospitals and mental health facilities. As a result, an untold number of people are placed in greater jeopardy of being sexually assaulted.
"There's not only people out there who abuse children, but people who specifically prey on adults," said Judy Cornett, executive director of Safety Zone Advocacy, a national non-profit organization that provides education on safety, prevention and intervention on sex crimes against children.
"Any business, hospital or nursing home - I think it should be required to do a background check on those who come in," she said. "Hospitals could be a little tough. But nursing homes, I think it should be mandatory. There should be a law passed."
Such laws exist in a few states, but Florida has none despite a previous legislative attempt.
As a result, those living and working in Florida's nursing homes - as well as residential treatment centers, hospitals and other facilities - remain unknowingly at risk, advocates say.
"When you put predators in with the prey, somebody's going to get bit," said Wes Bledsoe, founder of A Perfect Cause, an Oklahoma City advocacy group that has documented hundreds of registered sex offenders living in the nation's nursing homes.
But some question whether expanding the notification laws is warranted.
They contend that sexual assaults in nursing homes and other residential facilities are rare, and that constant supervision of residents is an effective deterrent. They also raise privacy concerns, citing federal confidentiality laws.
"You have a lots of eyes and ears in a nursing home," said Ed Towey, spokesman for the Florida Health Care Association, a trade group representing the state's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
"Staff at facilities, they're trained to be on the lookout and be aware and look for signs. They're vigilant, but . . . checking criminal backgrounds and notifying others (of sex offenders in the facility), they can't do."
Notification required, limited
Under Florida law, sex offenders are those convicted of a sex-related crime. Sexual predators, which are designated by courts, are those convicted of a first-degree felony sex crime or multiple sex crimes.
Digg it del.icio.us AIM Within 48 hours of their release from incarceration or establishing a new residence, even if it is temporary, both offenders and predators must register with their local sheriff's department. Information they must provide includes name, home address and place of employment, if any.
In turn, sheriff's departments must notify the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and day-care centers, schools and facilities with children within a one-mile radius of a predator's home. State law does not require active community notification of sex offenders, but that information is publicly available via an Internet site.
In Manatee, the sheriff's department goes beyond the law's requirement, extending notification to all residences and businesses within that one-mile radius.
Volunteers from the department's crime prevention unit do that by going door-to-door, said sheriff's Detective Carol Montague, who works in the department's sex offender unit.
"If someone on the list moves within a mile of a hospital or nursing home, we would pass out fliers there, to someone in administration there, especially if they were a predator," Montague said.
But a nursing home or any other facility is notified only if it's within the one-mile radius. Otherwise, they aren't told.
Such was the case with Oliver, who was designated a sexual predator after his 2004 conviction for molesting a 10-year-old girl in Polk County. When he was placed in a Palmetto halfway house after being released from state prison in December, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office told residents and businesses within a mile of the facility.
Manatee Glens is in Bradenton, more than a mile from the halfway house.
So the facility did not learn of Oliver's predator status when deputies took him there Dec. 30 under the state's Baker Act. As a result, Oliver was allowed to mingle with other patients, including the woman he is accused of assaulting on Dec. 31.
Manatee Glens' officials have said Oliver's movements would have been restricted had they known he was a predator. But the deputies who took him there were not required to tell the facility.
That likely will change, Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube said.
"Whether you need new laws, I'm not sure," he said. "But I do know one thing: Because of the Manatee Glens incident, a policy is being considered in which there will be a box to check on the Baker Act form that notes if a person is on the registry."
Disparity in the law?
All agree schools and day care centers should be notified because children are among society's most vulnerable. All also agree the disparity in notification laws stems from how they originated: well-publicized crimes against children.
Minnesota became the first state to require sex offenders to register with law enforcement in 1991, two years after an armed, masked man abducted 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling as he rode his bicycle near his home. The boy has never been found.
Other states, including Florida, quickly followed in creating their own registries - something all states were later required to do under a federal law named after Jacob. But the general public had little or no access to that information.
That changed after the 1994 rape and murder of Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old New Jersey girl, by a neighbor who was a convicted sex offender. New Jersey quickly made its registry public through Megan's Law, which later led to a federal version requiring all states to provide widespread public notification and information about sex offenders living in the area.
As a result, "Most of the required notifications at this point are to schools, day care centers, Boy Scouts, anything involving children," said Charles Only, a research associate with the federal Center for Sex Offender Management in Silver Spring, Md.
"You usually don't see nursing homes or other facilities being told, unless they're within the radius" of an offender's home, he said.
A Perfect Cause's Bledsoe said "an absolutely huge bias against the institutionalized" is a big reason for the disparity.
"What's the difference between putting them (sex offenders) in a day care center or a nursing home? If it's insane to put them in a day care center, then it's equally insane to put them in a nursing home."
Long-term care facilities
But the latter has happened hundreds of times, according to Bledsoe's group.
In a pair of reports published in 2004 and 2005, A Perfect Cause said it found 800 registered sexual offenders in long-term care facilities in 36 states. Of those, 58 were in Florida - including two in Bradenton facilities who have since died.
Those offenders committed more than 100 crimes, including murder, rape and assault, against fellow residents, the group said.
Its findings led several states - California, Illinois, Oklahoma and Virginia among them - to begin requiring nursing homes to check prospective residents' criminal backgrounds and/or notify residents or their guardians if convicted sex offenders live on the premises.
Florida considered the idea in 2005, prompted in part by the Edwards' case where he sexually assaulted someone in a Jacksonville facility.
State records show Edwards' criminal record dated back to 1945, including convictions in the 1960s for sexual assault and child molestation in Sarasota and Jacksonville. But other residents and their families didn't know that when the state placed him in the Jacksonville facility in 2002.
Shortly after he arrived, a nurse caught Edwards allegedly raping a 77-year-old comatose woman. Edwards, then 82, was charged with sexual battery but later was found incompetent to stand trial and sent to a state mental hospital, records show.
The case prompted Florida legislators in 2005 to consider requiring nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to check potential residents' names against the state's registry and deny admission to those on it. But the measure died in committee and has not resurfaced since.
Towey said the measure had several major hurdles, including the potential cost, and would likely have created backlogs in criminal background checks. Another issue was what to do with prospective residents, many of whom were ready to be discharged from hospitals, while waiting for results, he said.
"It was a seemingly simple solution to a big, complicated issue that had nursing homes kind of caught in the middle," he said.
With no action at the state level, some local jurisdictions have taken steps to protect seniors. Among them is Hillsborough County, which last year banned sexual predators from living within 1,000 feet of senior-living centers.
Local case bares loophole
The Manatee Glens incident might result in some changes in Tallahassee.
The incident came up Tuesday before the House Committee on Healthy Families, which was hearing testimony on a proposal to toughen penalties for sex offenders, said Rep. Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican who chairs the committee.
As a result, the committee likely will look at possibly broadening the state's notification laws during the upcoming legislative session, he said Friday.
"I think it's time we supplement the existing law to make sure that people operating health care or treatment facilities are noticed or on notice so that proper precautions can be taken," he said. "I think it's time we made a change in that area of the law, and I'm going to do what I can to make that happen."
Galvano said he didn't know how far any proposed changes would go, including whether other residents or patients should be notified.
They should be, Bledsoe said.
"It's our moral obligation to protect the disabled and elderly, and we're failing them," he said. "Each one of us has the potential of going into a long-term care facility. We've got to do a better job, because if we don't, we could one day be potential victims ourselves."
To access the state's sex registry online, visit www.FDLE.state.fl.us or visit www.manateesheriff. com and click the link to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Web site.
Under the law, a sex predator or sex offender must provide the following to authorities:
• Current address
• Place of employment
• Names of institutions of higher learning, including high schools and college, if they are enrolled.
When a sex predator establishes a residence, within 48 hours the sheriff's office is required by law to notify all schools, churches, day cares and neighborhood within a one-mile radius.
Legislator wants to limit where sex offenders may work By Elizabeth PerryTuesday, December 11, 2007 12:32 PM CST
A bill state Reps. Cynthia Davis, R-19th District of O'Fallon, and Jane Cunningham, R-86th District, of Chesterfield, plan to introduce in the next legislative session would limit where convicted sex offenders may work.
The bill would prohibit convicted sex offenders from working within 3,000 feet of places where children congregate, including a school, park, library, day care center or public pool, Davis said.
Davis said she will present the bill to the state House of Representatives on Jan. 9, the first day of the coming legislative session.
Davis said she was inspired to sponsor the bill because of a story she heard from day care owner Mike Price.
A detective stopped by Price's day care to ask if he knew that a registered sex offender lived nearby. The detective also told Price a different convicted sex offender worked across the street from his day care.
"It's necessary for us to react with additional safeguards," Davis said.
Price said he couldn't believe there was no law limiting where registered sex offenders may work.
"Well, we're going to make one," Price said.
Price asked Davis to write the legislation.
If you can restrict where they live, Price reasoned, "you better be able to restrict where they work."
In 2006, O'Fallon adopted laws making it illegal for convicted sex offenders to live within 3,000 feet of public libraries, pools and schools, and within 2,000 feet of day care centers and parks. This made 67 percent of the city uninhabitable to convicted sex offenders.
The state statute prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet or those areas.
Currently, registered sex offenders are required to tell police where they work, but there is no law forbidding where they may earn money, O'Fallon police spokeswoman Diana Damke said.
"The world is becoming a much more dangerous place, particularly with the proliferation of Internet pornography," Davis said.
Maggie Menefee, executive director of The Child Center in Wentzville, an organization that works with police to help sexually abused children, commended the lawmakers for trying to protect children, but urges caution.
"I'm not against what they're trying to do, but I just want people to think about the education process and how adults and parents are ultimately responsible for the protection of their child," Menefee said.
The Child Center provides free educational seminars on sexual abuse prevention to schools. For more information call 636-332-0899.
Sex Offenders: No Boundaries? We investigate. Last Update: 12/20/2007 5:51 pm
NBC 15 News has uncovered a new way sex offenders are going unnoticed.
Our investigation began with a story we first reported Tuesday.
Michael South, a convicted sex offender who is registered in Mobile County was caught in Jackson County, Mississippi. Police say he was nude in a park and looking to sexually assualt someone else.
Just 6 weeks ago, South was spotted in that same park, trying to entice a child. South was on probation, so how was he able to cross state lines?
Even though it appears Michael South broke his probation, police say he didn't.
Sex offenders, even ones on probation, only have to check in with officers twice a year in Mobile County. That law made it easy for Michael South to leave his home in Prichard and drive 45 miles across state lines to Jackson County, allegedly commit more sex crimes, and then back again, without anyone ever knowing it.
Everyone in a local mobile home park knows behind one no trespassing sign, is Michael South's home, and that he's a sex offender.
James Washington has 6 kids. "You've got predators living in your neighborhood its pretty scary."
So authorities say South went somewhere else, somewhere he wasn't known.
As we first told you last night, that place was a park in another state- Mississippi.
Police say he walked around naked, trying to lure unsuspecting children while they played.
Back in Prichard, Washington says, "he would leave and come back at night. Pretty much he was never home."
Police say South went back to that park multiple times, and got away with it. Here's why.
Chief Lawrence Battiste of Prichard Police Department says, "It was easy for him to go wherever he needed to go as long as he met the compliance; as far as amount of time he stayed away from his residence." The amount of time sex offenders can leave their home is 3 days, they can go wherever they want, but here's the catch- Offenders don't have to tell authorities. "A lot of times they may leave the jurisdiction and we may not even know they are leaving."
The same goes for Mississippi. Sgt. Mick Sears of Jackson County says offenders can easily go back and forth between states.
"I'm sure it happens all the time. It's easy for them to get lost. They can register at the same address for months at a time and not really be there."
And a way for offenders to slip under the radar and into unsuspecting neighborhoods and parks where there aren't any signs of their criminal pasts.
In Prichard, there are 55 registered sex offenders. Police have lost track of two of them. The rest are in compliance, but again, so was Michael South.
He is charged with trying to entice a child, he could spend up to 20 more years in prison. Police tell us they rely heavily on the public to alert them when a sex offender leaves the area. They say tips are the best way for them to find out.
Home For Multiple Sex Offenders Sparks Concern In NW Jax
Fri Jan 11, 1:43 PM ET
Concern is building in a Northwest Jacksonville community where neighbors say a home for multiple sex offenders is too close for comfort.
Residents who live along Wandering Trail said they recently started receiving fliers in the mail from the sheriff's office letting them know a sex offender had moved into the area.
They said they later found out there were multiple offenders living under the same roof near a place where their children play.
"There's nothing wrong with rehabilitating, but you don't rehabilitate someone with that type of a problem near 15 children," said resident Diane Knowles.
"(I'm) very worried. Sit up at night wondering if someone's going to try and get in window or not," another resident told Channel 4.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Web site lists six sex offenders registered as living at the same address on Wandering Trail.
Channel 4 learned a religious organization called Philadelphia Christian Center owns the property where the sex offenders live.
A member of that organization told reporter Scoot Johnson by phone that there's "nothing to talk about" and that the home "meets all the legal requirements."
However, that did not mean much to Wandering Trial neighbor Larry Knowles.
"I told him that didn't matter to me," he said. " There's a lot of children around here, and that all that matters to me."
The community invited city officials to a meeting Thursday evening to determine if the sex offender's living situation is illegal.
"Only if they're unrelated. If there are six unrelated people living in single family dwelling, that could be a violation of the zoning code," said Charlie Wilson, of the city of Jacksonville.
The city's code compliance division said it had not determined how many people are actually living in the home. Neighbors said they know of six offenders who have lived in the home, but one of the sex offenders may have moved.
Officials said there's no law of which they are aware that would limit sex offenders from living in the neighborhood near Wandering Trial.
The city's investigation of the living situation is ongoing.
Subject to the ban: Tier III offenders who commit the following offenses in which the victim was 15 or younger: Rape Sexual battery Gross sexual imposition with victim under 12 Aggravated murder with sexual motivation Murder with sexual motivation Felonious assault with sexual motivation Involuntary manslaughter when committed with sexual motivation Kidnapping with the intent to engage in sexual activity.
Legislation introduced by Ohio Rep. Jennifer Garrison, D-Marietta, this week would ban the most serious sex offenders from schools, a move local residents say they wish would have happened years ago.
“I’m surprised this hasn’t already been the law,” said Bill Roberts, 42, of Marietta. “Why would we ever want sex offenders near our schools?”
The bill would bar Tier III sex offenders who had victimized someone 15 or younger from schools, preschools and day care facilities in the state.
“It’s important for Ohio law to represent policies that protect our children from those who wish to do them harm, and this legislation will work to accomplish that goal,” Garrison said in a recent news release. “This bill will protect Ohio’s children when their parents send them off to what is supposed to be a safe haven: Their school.
There are about 14,000 Tier III offenders in Ohio who would be affected by the bill.If the bill passes, those found on school premises would face a fifth-degree felony charge, with a sentence of six to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Juvenile sex offenders would be exempt from the ban.
A dozen other states have already enacted similar legislation, although there has been some argument against banning the offenders from public places, like schools and especially parks, as some municipalities have done.
A sex offender in Lafayette, Ind., was one of several to challenge a ban that kept him from a park in the community where children frequently played.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ultimately upheld the ban, after considering the argument of whether the ban was a punishment or a civil regulatory measure to protect the public.
Parent Sarah Bays, 31, of Belpre, said she has no problem with the proposed bill, now awaiting assignment to a House committee for hearings.
“I think protection is the most important thing to think about,” she said. “I don’t think it would be a violation of anyone’s rights, any more so than any law that protects people. If you break the law, you may end up having to give up some things.”
Bays said she’s never really worried about sex offenders being at the schools.“These days, you hear so much about other school violence that you worry about that,” she said. “But as far as sex offenders, I feel like my children are safe from that at school. They’re never alone; there are always teachers watching them.”
Myths and Facts about Sexual Offenders: Implications for Treatment and Public Policy Timothy Fortney1, Jill Levenson2, Yolanda Brannon3 & Juanita N. Baker4 1Florida Institute of Technology, 2Lynn University, 3Florida Institute of Technology, 4Florida Institute of Technology
Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent perceptions about sexual offenders are based on empirical evidence or misconceptions. Background: Sexual offenders have often been under the spotlight of media attention and public censure. Legislatures in the United States and abroad have passed increasingly restrictive and intrusive laws in order to protect the public from convicted sexual offenders. Sex offender policies are often passed hastily and are not based on scientific evidence but on emotional reactions to high profile, violent, disturbing cases. Method: Data were collected in Brevard County, Florida from 192 community members and 125 sexual offenders in outpatient treatment, all of whom were surveyed regarding their knowledge about five common themes. Comparisons between groups were analyzed, as were comparisons between participants’ responses and published data. Results: Results revealed that both sex offenders and the public overestimated the rate by which strangers victimize children, and overestimated the number of sex offenders who were victims of sexual abuse in childhood. Both offenders and the public overestimated the number of sex crimes that come to the attention of authorities. The public more extensively than offenders overestimated the frequency of sexual recidivism rates and underestimated the efficacy of sexual offender treatment in comparison to the literature. Conclusions: Common misconceptions may interfere with offenders’ treatment and reintegration into society as well as influence legislatures to pass laws that are misguided and inefficient. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
Some interesting excerts from this study:
Given the enormous attention that is paid to sexual offenders, both in the U.S. and internationally, there is a specific need for more accurate information to be disseminated to the public.
The Department of Justice reported that 34% of sexually abused minors were assaulted by relatives and 59% of their perpetrators were acquaintances (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000). About 49% of victims under the age of 6 are abused by family members and only 7% of sex crimes against minors are perpetrated by strangers (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000). Comparatively, in 73% of adult sexual assault cases, the perpetrators were relatives or acquaintances, with 27% described as strangers (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000).
In 2004, nearly 210,000 rapes and sexual assaults occurred in the U.S. involving victims over the age of 12 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2005). Sexual crimes, like most crimes, tend to be under-reported, and actual victimization rates are believed to be much higher than rates of detection. Though 50% of violent crime victims over age 12 contacted the police, only 36% of the sexual assault victims over age 12 reported the crime to authorities (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2005). Sexual abuse of young children is even more likely to go unreported for many reasons, including dependence on caretakers, minimal interaction with outside protectors, underdeveloped cognitive abilities, and diminished capacity to articulate (Finkelhor, Ormrod, Turner, & Hamby, 2005; Fontanella, Harrington, & Zuravin, 2000). Studies using polygraph examinations to elicit disclosures have found that sex offenders have often committed sex crimes that went undisclosed and were never reported to police or child protection agencies (Ahlmeyer, Heil, McKee, & English, 2000; English, Jones, Pasini-Hill, Patrick, & Cooley-Towell, 2000; Heil, Ahlmeyer, & Simons, 2003). Official reports are therefore likely to underestimate actual incidence of sexual violence, and rates of detection for sex crimes against young children are probably lower than the 36% described by the Department of Justice.
Research has revealed a wide variation in the estimated incidence of childhood sexual abuse among offenders (Hanson & Slater, 1988; Hindman & Peters, 2001; Schwartz, 1995). It is often assumed that early sexual maltreatment creates a cycle of abuse that will be repeated when the child becomes an adult. Among incarcerated criminals, 45% described themselves as being the victim of sexual assault (Schwartz, 1995). Becker and Murphy (1998) estimated that 30% of sexual offenders were sexually abused as children. An earlier study (Groth, 1979) found that 63% of incarcerated sex offenders reported being sexually abused as children or being pressured into sexual activity by an adult. A meta-analysis of empirical studies containing a total of 1,717 subjects found that 28% of sex offenders reported a history of childhood sexual abuse, (Hanson & Slater, 1988) significantly greater than the 17% rate of sexual victimization of boys in the general population suggested by Hunter (1990). Results of another study showed that 67% of sex offenders initially reported experiencing sexual abuse as children, but when polygraphed, the proportion dropped to 29%, suggesting that some men may fabricate or exaggerate early childhood trauma in an attempt to rationalize their behavior or gain sympathy from others (Hindman & Peters, 2001). A review of all published empirical articles written in English after 1989 found that the average child sexual abuse rates in the general public were about 17% for women and 8% for men (Putnam, 2003). So, in general the research suggests that slightly less than a third of sex offenders report childhood sexual victimization, which appears to differ markedly from reported rates in the general population.
In a longitudinal study that followed 4,724 known sex offenders over a period of 15 years, 24% were charged with, or convicted of, a new sexual offense (Harris & Hanson, 2004). The U.S. Department of Justice found that 5% of 9,691 sex offenders released from prison were re-arrested for new sex crimes within three years (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2003). In two meta-analyses of 82 recidivism studies involving over 29,000 sex offenders from the U.S., Canada, and Europe, recidivism rates were observed to be 14% over four to six years (Hanson & Bussiere, 1998; Hanson & Morton-Bourgon, 2005). Contrary to oft-cited rhetoric, rapists are more likely to reoffend than child molesters, with average recidivism rates of about 20% and 13% respectively (Hanson & Bussiere, 1998).
The randomly designed Sex Offender Treatment and Evaluation Project (SOTEP) study found no differences between treated and untreated groups in sexual or violent reoffending of both rapists and child molesters over an eight year follow-up period (Marques, Wiederanders, Day, Nelson, & van Ommeren, 2005). When those who had successfully completed treatment goals were compared with those who had not, however, there was a significant difference with treated groups demonstrating lower recidivism rates (Marques et al., 2005). Other studies have concluded that sex offenders who did not participate in psychological treatment had a higher recidivism rate (17%) than those who received cognitive behavioral therapy (10%) (Hanson, Gordon, Harris, Marques, Murphy, Quinsey, & Seto, 2002). Treatment for first time offenders seems even more promising; 9% of first time offenders in treatment recidivated, compared to 27% of those who went untreated (Nicholaichuk, Gordon, Gu, & Wong, 2000).
For instance, studies in Washington and Wisconsin found that most residents were familiar with Megan’s Law and strongly supported community notification (Phillips, 1998; Zevitz & Farkas, 2000).
Since sex offending is kept secret and offenders often deny or minimize their deviance even to themselves, they are reluctant to reveal their status to others. Of course, public notification has increased awareness of sex offenders living among us, and extensive media attention often highlights egregious or recidivistic cases.
Table 2: Characteristics of the Sex Offender Sample FrequencyPercent Relationship to Victim Victim Type Parent/Parent Role 14 11% Child <6 6 5% Relative 19 15% Child 7-12 17 14% Friend of Family 14 11% Teen 13-17 62 50% Acquaintance 44 35% Adult only 11 9% Stranger 21 17%a Child & Teen 9 7% Not reported 13 10% Teen & Adults 1 1% Child, Teen & Adult 5 4% Not Reported 14 11%
Gender of Victim
Males 11 9% Females 93 74% Both Genders 8 6% Not Reported 13 10%
Number of Victims 2.4 Age of Victim 14 Months in Treatment 41
Note. a Those identifying victims as strangers were all internet related offenses.
Until parents are better educated about the situations in which children are likely to be abused, and the grooming patterns of offenders known to their victims, little can be expected in terms of enhancing child protection from sexual violence with policies that emphasize victimization by strangers.
Having an accurate picture of who is at risk can serve as a powerful relapse prevention tool to help offenders recognize and avoid situations in which they have opportunities to cultivate relationships for the purposes of grooming or re-offending. The stereotypical fear of a creepy guy snatching a child from a playground or luring a youngster into a car with promises of candy may allow sex offenders to continue to minimize their potential to reoffend with distorted rationalizations: “I would never do that.”
Both groups appeared to overestimate the number of offenders who were themselves victims of sexual abuse. Offenders, however, were more realistic in their impressions, perhaps due to some of them knowing that they themselves were not abused nor were many others in their treatment groups. Though the rate of abuse that our offenders reported is similar (albeit somewhat higher) to the literature in this area and higher in comparison to males in the community, the public perception that a majority of offenders are abused as children appears to be prevalent. Important to note is that we did not ask whether respondents considered themselves to have been abused, but rather we asked whether they had experienced sexual activity as a child or young teen with someone at least 5 years older. Males in particular do not always define such experiences as “sexual abuse,” though such events meet statutory criteria for a sex crime in most states.
Defiance theory suggests that harsh sanctions perceived as unfair by criminal offenders can set up a counter-therapeutic reaction when offenders lament the injustice of discrimination and rebel against society’s iniquitous treatment of them (Sherman, 1993). Ostracizing sex offenders may divert their energies and attention from the real task of learning therapeutic skills and positive cognitions to prevent future abuse, and leave them overly focused on their anger at society and sense of unfairness. (sounds like some sex offenders we all know)
Chandler police will check possible links between a man arrested Friday in connection with a series of sexual assaults on girls in that city and a serial rapist who has targeted women in northern California for years.
Chandler Detective David Ramer confirmed Sunday that investigators will be in contact with police in the Sacramento area who have been looking for a serial predator dubbed the NorCal Rapist. Santana Batiz-Aceves, a 39-year-old illegal immigrant suspected of being the Chandler Rapist, was deported twice for criminal charges in California in 1999 and 2003. Both convictions were in Sacramento County. At present, geography seems to be the strongest link between Batiz-Aceves and the NorCal Rapist, Ramer said. The California rapist targeted mostly Asian women in their 20s, while the Chandler attacks involved girls between the ages and 12 and 15 since the first attack in June 2006. “He’s made it very clear that his preference is young girls,” Ramer said of the Chandler Rapist. As to possible links with the NorCal rapist, Ramer added: “It’s not likely, but until they look at everything they don’t rule it out. Right now, the only similarity is that (Batiz-Aceves) is from Sacramento. If it were 13-year-olds that were the victims up there, the interest level would go up a lot higher.” Batiz-Aceves was arrested Friday and booked into jail on suspicion of 25 felonies related to the Chandler attacks, including kidnapping, child molestation, sexual abuse, sexual conduct with a minor, aggravated assault, burglary and trespassing. Police said Saturday that DNA evidence links Batiz-Aceves, a heavy equipment operator, to three of the sexual assaults. He was arrested at his home near Arizona Avenue and Ray Road by Chandler detectives. Police in California believe the NorCal Rapist may be tied to a series of attacks on 10 women in six counties dating back to 1991. Batiz-Aceves has lived in the Chandler area about 18 months.
Victim, 17, Latest In String Of Attacks In Queens Neighborhood
By Elizabeth Hur, CBS 2 QUEENS (CBS) ―
A neighborhood is on edge Sunday as women have been warned to watch out for a sexual predator that seems to be thriving in the area. Police in Queens are looking into a report of a young girl who claims she's been assaulted. The alleged attack occurred Saturday night, police told CBS 2, in the same neighborhood where four other similar attacks have occured. The news of another possible sexual assault has left women rattled and frightened. "I'm really scared because it's a shame that had to happen," said Felicia Kilpatrick, a South Jamaica resident. "It's ridiculous. Kids should be able to walk around feeling free not to walk around looking over their shoulder," neighbor Bernard Frasier told CBS 2. The levels of anxiety in the neighborhood is a result of a sexual predator who police say, has struck on several occasion since November of 2007. Police confirmed, prior to last night's alleged attack, there have been four attacks, 3 in November and 1 in December. Each time, according to authorities, the assailant threatened his victim with a knife, dragging his victims into a secluded area and sexually assaulting them. Two of the victims were just 15-years-old. In this latest incident, a 17-year-old girl told police she was just walking home late Saturday night when a man approached her with a knife and forced her into a secluded area, hidden by a wall of homes under construction where she was sexually assaulted. "I think he's sick. Whoever he is. He's actually sick to do something like that to a kid," said Bernard Frasier. "Nothing happens around here. It's a very quiet street, well this particular street is a very quiet street," Harvey Gray of South Jamaica told CBS 2. Some residents are surprised, while others have been more vocal. But one thing is sure among all the residents of the usually laid back atmosphere of the neighborhood, everyone is hoping for a fast arrest. "I hope is caught and I hope everyone's doing what they need to do to catch him," a concerned South Jamaican resident said. Investigators are asking the public for their help in locating the suspect's whereabouts.
Police are anxious to find the man drawn here who has a whole community on high alert after several alleged sexual assault victims have come forward since November of last year.
LIBERAL, Mo. — Lydia Down, who was hiking at Prairie State Park on a chilly day, stopped to talk about a proposal by state Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington. Engler’s bill — Senate Bill 758 — would prohibit sexual offenders from going to state parks and historic sites. In its original form, the bill would have required certain sexual offenders to ask permission or to notify the site superintendent, but language is being prepared that would ban certain sexual offenders from state parks entirely. Engler was not available for comment, but Floyd Gilzow, deputy director for policy with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, said concerns were heightened by an incident in which a person contacted staff members about a sexual offender in a state park. He would not provide specifics about when or where. “We didn’t have any authority to ask him to leave,” Gilzow said of the offender. Asked about the bill, he said: “It’s to help our rangers deal with situations when they arise. Certainly, we want to do as much as we can to keep our park residents safe.” Down, a mother of four and a frequent visitor to Prairie State Park, said she likes the idea, but she isn’t sure it’s practical. “I want my kids safe, but how are they (park rangers) really going to know?” she said. “It’s not like they wear signs or something.” Engler’s bill is just one of the dozens pre-filed in the Missouri Senate, which began its session last week and which gets under full steam today. Everything from prenatal child abuse to displaying a burning cross is on the agenda. The wide spectrum of bills also includes illegal immigration and concentrated animal feeding operations. Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, has proposed legislation that would criminalize chronic prenatal consumption of a controlled substance. Offenders could face charges of child abuse, a Class C felony, and/or child endangerment, a Class A misdemeanor. “The purpose of the bill is to protect children from abuse at all stages,” Goodman said. While he is preparing language that would prevent women from escaping punishment by having abortions, he said SB 766 is not intended as anti-abortion legislation. “My goal is not to go beyond the situation I’m addressing,” he said. Sen. Jason Crowell, R–Cape Girardeau, is sponsoring legislation that would deny driver licenses to illegal immigrants. Crowell also is the sponsor of a bill meant to keep illegal immigrants from obtaining state or local benefits.
“If I invite you over to my house for dinner, you’re invited. Let’s have dinner,” Crowell said. “But if you come in my back door and steal out of my bread pantry, I’m going to be angry.” Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, wants to see SB 738, which deals with concentrated animal feeding operations, pass this time. “I first introduced this bill three years ago,” he said. “I want to get this done.” The legislation would give the DNR more control over enforcement of state air, odor and water pollution standards, and would allow the state to impose harsher punishment for violators, including surcharges. Companies that violate state standards at least six times in a 12-month period would forfeit their CAFO-related permits. “The department doesn’t really have enough power to act, and the penalties aren’t strong enough,” Nodler said. The bill was inspired by multiple issues in Missouri, including complaints against Renewable Environmental Solutions in Carthage over odors allegedly coming from its plant. Nodler said he aims to “sneak it through” if necessary so the bill won’t be bogged down with amendments that could stall its passage. Last year, a similar proposal was saddled with 23 drafted amendments, he said. “The best chance this has is if it comes up on a day when half the senators are asleep and not paying attention,” Nodler said. Other bills Sen. Yvonne Wilson, D-Kansas City, has introduced legislation that would criminalize the display of a noose or the burning of a cross for the purposes of intimidation. http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/local_story_013211753.html?start:int=0