Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Teen rapes his aunt

Evans Teen Accused Of Raping His Great-Aunt

A 16-year-old Evans teen is accused of raping his great-aunt. Richmond County investigators say the woman is mentally disabled and cannot speak.

"It's a case you don't see every day. That's what makes the case disturbing," said Sgt. Richard Roundtree, Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

16-year-old Michael Hawes is accused of raping his 54-year-old great-aunt. Investigators say she's mentally disabled and can't speak. Officers say Hawes came to the woman's home while she was alone Monday evening and assaulted her.

"We find most people who are sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone they are acquainted with but it's not often that family members are the perpetrators and that's why this case is unique," said Roundtree.

Investigators say Hawes will be charged as an adult. He could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison if convicted. He's scheduled for a bond hearing Wednesday.

Video here:

South Carolina wants less restrictions

Aiken County's New Sex Offender Proposal
NEw proposal proposes educating residents on offenders' infractions

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 - 06:28 PM

Aiken County has some new proposals for sex offenders living there, but they may not be the rules you think they are...the county wants to allow sex offenders to live and work in the area with less restrictions, and they also want to educate the community about what these sex offenders are actually registered for.

WJBF-TV News Channel 6's Joy Howe has the story of one family's struggles.

Aiken, SC -- There are over 350 sex offenders listed in Aiken County...many of them are haunted by a past mistake that may have seemed harmless, but now marks them forever.

Courtney Vera, Aiken, SC: "It's very stupid that he's having to do that."

Courtney Vera's husband used the bathroom on the side of the road almost ten years ago.

Vera: "It's not anything related to do with children, or sex, or anything that consists of that, and I don't think that it's right. It's wrong."

Aiken's County Council is evidentally in agreement...that's why they are proposing a plan to change some of the strict laws in the county. The law now bans sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet from a church, school, park, or any other place children gather...and if one of those moves into the neighborhood, a sex offender must move out, regardless if they were there first.

LaWana McKenzie, Aiken County Council: "You want to be tough, and laws should be tough, but you also have to be fair, and I'm not so sure that that system has a great deal of fairness in it."

The council also wants to allow registered sex offenders to work in the areas where there may be children.

McKenzie: "Common sense tells you it is much better for these people to be employed and busy, and not just wandering and looking for ways to get into trouble."

Vera hopes the new law passes, so she and her family won't have to move, if a school is built nearby. She and her husband are paying steep fines for something done so long ago.

Vera: "Because we have our son over there, that's fighting in the war, and it's messed up because sometimes he needs money and stuff and we got bills and we got children here that we're having to take care of, and I think it's wrong. Not just that he's registered as that, but we're having to pay money, too, that there's no sense in doing."

A list that keeps the names of sex offenders...may also be keeping families from living normal lives.

Council members say they have no patience for child molesters, and sexual predators, adding that they will continue to have no place near the children in their county. The council adds they have a tough job to do at their next meeting, but their number one concern is the safety of their children and the citizens.

That meeting will be Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at the County Council Building on Richland Avenue, in Aiken.

This guy shouldn't be on the registry to begin with. I'm all for educating the public on offenders infractions, and I have always said that offenders who's crimes did not involve children should not be affected by residency restrictions. On that note, residency and work restrictions should be held in place for those who violate against children.

Aiken County Sex Offender Law Too Strict, Critics Want Changes

Aiken County Council will try to iron out details of a proposed sex offender law--some say the current law is too strict to enforce.

Like many day care managers Judy Thompson, of Building Blocks Child Development Center, wouldn't mind having a new sex offender law in Aiken.

She's knows 76 sex offenders live near her school, one just three blocks away.

“Yes it would make the children safer but if they've done a hideous crime, I think they should be in jail. I don't think they should be living next door to anybody,” said Thompson.

But at least 200 of them do live in Aiken County. 15 sex offenders moved from Richmond County after Georgia passed a similar law. Council member LaWana McKenzie, a co-sponsor of Aiken's proposed law, admits changes are needed.

She says if passed today too many offenders would have to move or quit their jobs because they live or work within a 1,000 feet of where a child would be.

“I do think it will pass council eventually but we want to pass it in the best form were we can be fair and tough,” said McKenzie.

Critics say part of being fair includes allowing sex offenders who already live in Aiken County to stay there if the law is passed.

If a school or church is built within 1,000 feet of where a sex offender already lives, that offender would not be forced to move.

Critics say the law should be enforced in both cities and unincorporated areas and clearly define who the law should apply to.

“There's a lot of different things people do that require them to be registered as sex offenders and it is very narrow in scope when you look at the state law,” said McKenzie.

A law, if brought to Aiken, may need more tweaks before it’s passed.

The council has already passed two readings of the proposed law. McKenzie hopes after the changes, a final reading will be passed next month.

Ohio sex offenders are whining again

Ohio's new sex offender classification laws

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Sex offenders across the state are vowing to fight the changes to the new laws.

Sex offenders across the state are vowing to fight the changes to the new sex offender classification laws. A local sex offender says the new law is an extra punishment. The 53-year-old sex offender is fighting the state's new sex offender registration requirements.

In 1999, the Seneca County man was convicted of gross sexual imposition. He touched an underage girl, but he says he regrets violating his victim, a crime he says he has done time for.

Ohio's new sex offender registry requires the offender to now register for 25 years instead of 10 years.

Prosecutors say the new law will help protect the community.

Attorney Richard Kahler represents the sex offender in our story. He says people across the state are challenging the new law just like his client.

Judge Michael Kelbley says as he hears the cases, he plans to talk to judges in Lucas County to see how they are handling them.

According to investigators, research shows most convicted sex offenders commit many assaults before they are caught. Many offenders have no official criminal record or sex crime history.

On the web:

New York sex offender registry flawed

Flaws of New York sex offender registry revealed


9:21 PM EST, January 15, 2008


State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released an audit Tuesday of the state sex offender registry that, while generally positive, found "significant" flaws with its administration.

According to the findings, one-fourth of the records investigators surveyed had mismatched driver's license information and, in some cases, license details for the wrong people were given out as those of offenders.

Auditors randomly sampled license data for 200 of the state's 23,000 registered sex offenders, and found "a quarter of the records did not match," DiNapoli spokeswoman Jennifer Freeman said. "If you apply this to the entire database, we are concerned that this problem may be significant."

The audit also found the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, legally responsible for maintaining the sex offender registry, in some cases failed to follow up with local law enforcement agencies that were trying to locate offenders."

DCJS is not reaching out to local law enforcement to find out the status of these investigations," Freeman said. "We don't want to see any sex offender missed because of miscommunication between Justice Services and local law enforcement.

"The Division of Criminal Justice Services said it had corrected the errors in the driver's license data and was moving to improve communications with local law enforcement.

"We are working diligently to implement the recommendations," said Janine Kava, a spokeswoman for the agency. "We want to ensure that the state's sex offender registry remains accurate and up to date and continues to be an important resource for the public."

Kava said the agency has begun working closely with local police forces to issue arrest warrants for those who fail to register their addresses with authorities. The DCJS has also begun posting names and photos of missing sex offenders on the agency Web site and appealing to the public for help in finding them.

Advocates for victims of sexual abuse welcomed the audit findings."We commend the comptroller for making child safety and community safety a top priority," said Laura Ahern, director of Parents for Megan's Law. She said complaints from the community regarding inaccuracies in the registry were among the most common her Stony Brook-based group receives.

"The registry is only one tool, but if it's going to be a tool the government is providing it has to be accurate," she said.

Ahern took issue with DiNapoli's recommendation that the state record calls it receives to the hotline offering information on registered offenders for training and quality purposes.

"Somebody who is victimized has a fear that somehow or another that information would get back to the offender," Ahern said. "So they don't call."

New York better get on the ball and fix these issues. I smell a lawsuit!

Sex addict wants to live near kids!

Recovering sex addict says law doesn't make sense


Since last summer, Robert Rawles estimates that he has spent about $3,000 renting a Lafayette motel room where he must sleep at night.

But Rawles, a convicted child molester, said that hardship pales in comparison to having to leave his 91-year-old mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, home alone.

"I'm already concerned when I leave for work. All night ... it's very easy for someone to break in here," he said. "Is it protecting children by me living in a motel at night? No."

Rawles is one of three convicted sex offenders against children in Tippecanoe County who are challenging a state law that took effect July 1, 2006, prohibiting them from living within 1,000 feet of a school, youth program center or public park.

One of their attorneys is hopeful that a recent Indiana Court of Appeals ruling -- which determined that a legal change to sex offender requirements violated one man's constitutional protection against retroactive laws -- will benefit his client.

In the appeals court case, legislation was amended to require Todd L. Jensen to register as a sexually violent predator two years after he was released from probation. But at the time of his sentence, the law required consultation with two experts to determine if someone was a predator who might be a repeat offender.

"It's not the same portion of the statute ... but I find this particularly interesting because they make note of the fact that legislators made a lot of changes to this statute in 2006," said Lafayette attorney Earl McCoy, who is representing one of the convicted sex offenders forced to move under the new law.

His associate, Chad Montgomery, is handling the third lawsuit filed in Tippecanoe County. Rawles' case was filed by attorney Kenneth Falk of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

"We believe the changes in statute affected our clients' rights to ex post facto laws," McCoy said.

Ex post facto law refers to the increase of a penalty or punishment after an offense is committed.

But Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington, who is named a defendant in the three lawsuits, said he does not agree. The appeals court ruling specifies that Jensen's retroactive lifetime registration requirement violated the Constitution "as applied to him," Harrington pointed out.

"I believe that the 1,000-feet rule is very safe as far as ex post facto," he said. "No court so far has disagreed with this. As prosecutor, I will be following the law."

Harrington said he also was told the Indiana attorney general's office plans to petition that the Jensen case be heard by the state Supreme Court.
Even Rawles, who is required to register for life as a sex offender, does not think the decision will affect his case. But he believes the law was a poor move by legislators.

"I feel like I've paid for my crime," said Rawles, who gets Depo-Provera contraceptive injections to lower his sex drive. "If I didn't work, I could stay here all day, I just can't sleep here. The law makes absolutely no sense.
"I'm a recovering sex addict. I've not been cured, but I feel I've got the addiction under control."

Tippecanoe Circuit Court Judge Don Daniel, who is presiding over one of the sex offender lawsuits, and Tippecanoe Superior Court 2 Judge Thomas Busch, who is hearing another case, said they have not yet read the Jensen ruling.

But both judges say the way the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court rule often has strong bearing on their decisions.

"I'm always glad to have their guidance," Daniel said. "This is a new area of the law for all of us."

Lafayette resident Patricia Keaton, who lives on the city's south end, said she hopes the appeals court decision does not have an effect on local cases. She believes the legislation is meant to protect children, not the offenders.
"I'm a mother myself, and I can't imagine how the parents of children who have been molested feel," Keaton said. "But I feel, for those victims, that the law is just."

Sorry, but the sex addict needs to put mom in a nursing home. He doesn't seem too worried about her or else he would take her with him, or just move. This is just his excuse to get out of compliance with this law.

Indiana sex offender wants to stay home

Law violates property rights, sex offender says


A man known only as John B. Doe in court documents has until late 2010 before he no longer has to register as a sex offender in Tippecanoe County.

In the meantime, he's been staying with acquaintances. But his wife and three stepchildren still live in their Lafayette home.

"My concern is I could be repeatedly made to move," Doe testified during a hearing Tuesday afternoon in Tippecanoe Superior Court 2. " ... I feel it's a violation of my civil rights. I served my state-approved punishment."

The man was one of 28 convicted sex offenders against children in Tippecanoe County who were forced to move under changes to an Indiana law that prohibits them from living within 1,000 feet of a school, youth program center or public park.

The legislation is being challenged through three lawsuits filed here and a handful more filed throughout Indiana.

At issue for Judge Thomas Busch is whether John B. Doe -- whose home is near a now-vacant Lafayette school and a church that offers day care -- has any property interest to the house his wife purchased 10 years before they married.

The man is named in the mortgage but not the deed. The family remodeled much of the home four years ago, in part as a tribute to a son who was killed in a car crash. They had planned to move out of the state before his death, which the teen was against.

"A central question is if passage of the law violated his property rights," said Busch, who has not ruled. "He put a substantial amount of money into the residence."

John B. Doe pleaded guilty in May 2000 to child seduction, a Class D felony, for having sexual contact with his former stepdaughter, then 16 and of the legal age of consent.

The crime typically may not fall under the new statute, but authorities determined it fit because Doe was in a position of authority.

Busch must also decide whether the law violated the man's rights against retroactive punishment; Doe already completed his sentence and probation for the crime.

Attorneys for the defendants, Tippecanoe County Sheriff Tracy Brown and Prosecutor Pat Harrington, have argued legislators created the law to protect children -- not for additional punishment to offenders.

No one but the crazy lady he is with now trusts this man around kids.
He is just looking for some other teen girl to molest. What is this woman, stupid or blind? Maybe both.
Comment posted to this story:

Reader Comment
Posted by: Not Really on Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:50 am
I know the victim and the offender, and that whole situation was a mess! Both of them were in the wrong, and knowing the facts, do I think he would make the same mistake again, NO. Does that mean that I would want to live next to him with my children, no. I never really liked the guy in the first place, but I don't really think that he is a danger to society. Oh, the mother of the 16 is not with him anymore. He has a new family with step-children.

Can't find a predator in California?

Sex offender screening program fails to show meaningful results

By John Simerman, Contra Costa Times
Article Last Updated: 01/15/2008 10:24:35 PM PST

Although the state spent $25 million more last year to screen thousands of violent sex offenders for mental illness, records show the effort resulted in none being sent to a state hospital after completing a prison term.

The screening was launched in 2006 under laws that legislators and voters passed to try to keep sexual predators behind bars after they've completed their prison sentence.

While local prosecutors say they're filing more court petitions to commit offenders to state hospitals, experts say most of the newly eligible convicts simply don't meet the expanded definition of a Sexually Violent Predator.

"We were really identifying the highest-risk sex offenders for the most part" before the law changed, said Amy Phenix, a psychologist who evaluates inmates and trains other evaluators under a contract with the state Department of Mental Health.

"I haven't noted any cases where they wouldn't have qualified before, and they do now, that I would recommend for commitment."

Proposition 83, along with state legislation, expands the list of sex crimes that qualify an inmate for commitment. An inmate can be committed for an offense against a single victim, rather than the multiple-victim requirement under previous laws.

The changes created a wave of soon-to-be-released inmates who were screened to determine if they have a diagnosed mental disorder that makes them "likely to engage in sexually violent, predatory criminal conduct without appropriate treatment and custody."

Referrals from corrections officials to the mental health agency ballooned from a monthly average of 45 to nearly 750, according to agency data. The number of SVP candidates who were given full psychological evaluations rose to nearly 2,500 from about 240 in the year before the change.

The increase has led to a nearly sixfold rise in the number of former inmates being held at Coalinga State Hospital past the end of their sentences, awaiting commitment trials, as well as delays in ordering evaluations for inmates approaching their release dates.

The state pays about $12,500 a month to house a former inmate in Coalinga, more than twice the cost of prison housing.

In the meantime, the number of commitments ticked up from 24 to 27 last year, but all 27 would have qualified under the earlier law, said agency spokeswoman Nancy Kincaid.

Psychologists say some disorders can be diagnosed only with recurring behavior over at least six months. For many inmates with a single sex offense, there is no verifiable pattern.

"It's casting a larger net to look for more of the fish you want to find," said clinical psychologist Mark Miculian, who does SVP evaluations for the state. "You are also going to capture a lot of fish you may not want."

Two psychologists are assigned to independently evaluate each inmate. If they disagree, two more are assigned. The state pays about $7,500 for each pair of evaluations, said Kincaid.

The annual cost for evaluations this year is projected at $27 million.

Supporters say the new law will prevent some of the worst violent offenders from slipping through the cracks. Critics, including some mental health experts, say it has done little more than feed a cottage industry for state-hired psychologists.

Since California's law went into effect in 1996, 582 offenders have been committed under the program. Fewer than a dozen have undergone a five-step treatment program and been released, according to the agency.

Obviously they have set the criteria too high. They could not find one sex offender who was at a high risk to reoffend? This is bologna because if they were not then they wouldn't be classified as a predator in the first place. I think the state needs to look into this.

New York to limit Level III sex offenders

NYC Councilmen propose new restrictive sex offender laws

2:28 AM EST, January 16, 2008

Associated Press Writer

The city's most dangerous sex offenders would be barred from living within 1,000 feet of a school or park, under a new proposal from three City Council members. Their plan could make it difficult for the offenders to find housing in a city where residents are stacked in high-rise buildings and crowded neighborhoods.

"The act of preying on children is the most depraved and unforgivable act imaginable," Minority Leader James Oddo said in a statement Tuesday.

"We as a government should not be forgiven if we fail to do everything we can to protect kids from these monsters."

Oddo and council members James Vacca and Joseph Addabbo introduced the proposal last week. It would affect only Level 3 offenders, who are considered to be at the highest risk of reoffending.

New York State does not restrict where sex offenders can live, but some counties and cities around the state have imposed such rules.

Last year, Putnam County approved regulations restricting sex offenders within 2,500 feet of feet of schools, parks, large apartment houses or any other place where children congregate.

Rockland County also established a 1,000-foot "child safety zone." But in the upstate city of Binghamton, a measure barring sex offenders from living within a quarter-mile of a school or school bus stop was repealed after concerns were raised about forcing offenders from their homes.

The New York City proposal's sponsors were unsure how much of the city would be off-limits to sex offenders if the legislation passed.

"I think people have a right to know that the area surrounding the schools where their children go is safe," Vacca said. "It's going to make our children and our school areas a safe environment."

An unsuccessful 2005 proposal would have required Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders in the city to live at least a quarter-mile away from schools and parks.

Child molestor faces child porn charges

Business leader faces child pornography charges

Posted by Amalie Nash The Ann Arbor News January 15, 2008 16:02PM

An Ann Arbor business executive accused of molesting boys he met through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County has been charged with possession of child pornography, officials said.

Prosecutors charged Michael John Brooks, 46, with four counts of possession of child sexually abusive material. Brooks is a vice president and chief compliance officer for Sigma Financial Corp. in Ann Arbor.

Washtenaw County Sheriff's Cmdr. Dave Egeler said deputies discovered child pornography on a computer disk seized during the molestation investigation. In November, Brooks was charged with four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is accused of assaulting boys he met through USA Hockey and Big Brothers-Big Sisters during a 12-year span dating back to 1995. The boys were between the ages of 8 and 16.

Brooks' attorney has denied the allegations.

Brooks is scheduled to have a preliminary examination Wednesday on the original sexual assault charges,. It's expected that he will also be arraigned at that hearing on the child pornography charges, which are punishable by up to four years in prison.

Ann Arbor youth mentor accused of sexual misconduct

Posted by Art Aisner The Ann Arbor News
November 28, 2007 07:39AM

An Ann Arbor business executive lauded for his work in mentoring youths is facing criminal charges that he molested boys he met through the Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Washtenaw County, police said.

Michael John Brooks, 46, is charged with four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is accused of assaulting boys between the ages of 8 and 16 during a 12-year span dating back to 1995, said Washtenaw County Sheriff's Cmdr. Dave Egeler.

Three accusers - including two brothers - came forward to police in October, alleging Brooks improperly touched them at his home and when he took them on short trips when they were children, Egeler said.

Mark Bilkovic, Brooks' Farmington Hills-based attorney, disputed the allegations and cautioned against calling the accusers - now 24, 20, and 18 - victims. He said Brooks has previously been accused of similar acts by at least one of the men outside the court system after Brooks refused to give him money.

"He categorically denies every allegation made against him by these individuals," he said.

Egeler said police are investigating whether additional victims exist, given Brooks' history of volunteer work with Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Washtenaw County and as a host for athletes involved in USA Hockey tournaments.

"We're seriously looking at all the information we have on him and his activities because we have reasonable concerns about him being a predator due to his connections with these groups," Egeler said.

Just last week, Brooks, a vice president and chief compliance officer for Sigma Financial Corp. in Ann Arbor, was named a finalist in the national 2007 Community Leadership Awards for mentoring excellence. The awards are given annually to recognize financial advisers across the county for exemplary leadership and community contributions.

In a written statement issued Tuesday afternoon, Big Brothers-Big Sisters officials said Brooks is no longer with the organization and emphasized they have a thorough screening process for all staff and volunteers.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news that one of our former volunteers has been identified in connection with an allegation of sexual misconduct," Jennifer Spitler, executive director, said in a statement. "Big Brothers Big Sisters has zero tolerance for abuse and we will continue to refine our practices to ensure the safety of all the children we serve."

A preliminary hearing that had been scheduled Tuesday in Washtenaw County District Court was adjourned to Dec. 11. Brooks remains free on $15,000 bond, court records show.

Local authorities arrested Brooks in Florida earlier this month after searching his Ann Arbor Township home, where they seized computers and other evidence, Egeler said.

85 years for child porn

Three men plead not guilty to child porn

By TRISTAN SCOTT of the Missoulian

A Missoula man and two Butte men pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court on Tuesday to charges of receipt and possession of child pornography.

If convicted, Jon Arnold Chaussee of Missoula and Toby Renner and James Lee Winn, both of Butte, face a mandatory minimum of five years in a federal prison. They could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervision. The men are currently released on special conditions.

The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia Hurd. However, it is unclear whether the cases are related.

On Monday, a 53-year-old Great Falls man, Kenneth Edward Threadgill, was sentenced to 85 years in prison for creating and possessing child pornography.

The Wyoming Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigated the case by targeting peer-to-peer file-sharing networks that offered child pornography on the Internet.

In November 2006, agents learned that a computer using Threadgill's Internet Protocol address was sharing images of child pornography with other peer-to-peer users.

A forensic analysis of Threadgill's computer equipment revealed more than 600 images of child pornography. The images include children less than 12 years old engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Agents discovered videos of a young female victim on camping trips with Threadgill. The girl is shown nude and engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Threadgill's vehicle is also shown in the video.

Digital images found on the man's computers show Threadgill with the same victim while both are nude. The pictures were apparently taken of their reflection in a mirror.

Other images show a victim younger than 2 who Threadgill photographed while baby-sitting for a friend. The child is shown on a quilt that agents located on Threadgill's bed. The child is nude in the image.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, Threadgill will likely serve all the time imposed by U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon. He will have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for good behavior, but the reduction cannot exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

Life for Child Molestors

Bill would give molesters life on 2nd offense

Associated Press
Tuesday, January 8, 2008

TALLAHASSEE — A legislative panel stood and applauded the father of 9-year-old-murder victim Jessica Lunsford on Tuesday before approving a bill he said would have prevented her death.

Mark Lunsford, sometimes pausing to choke back tears, spoke on behalf of the measure (HB 85) that would send child molesters 18 years or older to prison for life if convicted more than once of molesting a child under 12.

"If John Evander Couey would have got life for his second offense, I wouldn't have spent Christmas alone," Lunsford said.

Couey, 49, was sentenced to death last year for kidnapping Lunsford's daughter, raping her and burying her alive in his yard.

Couey, already a convicted sex offender, took the girl in February 2005 from her bedroom to his nearby trailer in Homasassa. Her body was found some three weeks later in a grave about 150 yards from her home in the Citrus County community.

The bill unanimously cleared the House Budget and Policy Council after lawmakers and the audience gave Lunsford a standing ovation. It next will go to the House floor after the Legislature convenes its regular annual session in March. An identical Senate bill (SB 496) has not yet had a committee hearing.

The measure adds the harsher penalty to the Jessica Lunsford Act lawmakers passed in 2005.

It includes tougher penalties for sex crimes against children and requires lifetime electronic monitoring for sex offenders who target children once released from prison. Another provision requires fingerprinting and background checks for contractors, vendors, sports referees and others who regularly go onto school property. Those convicted of certain crimes are barred from schools and their grounds.

The existing law already requires a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and permits a maximum of life for a first or subsequent offense for intentionally touching the breasts, general area of buttocks of a child in a lewd or lascivious manner.

Lunsford said many victims are psychologically scarred by such crimes.

"Which child has it the worst, one that survives or the one that dies?" he said. "No one will every hurt my daughter again. ... What about these kids who survive?"

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Dick Kravitz, R-Jacksonville, called child molesters "subhuman" and research has shown they cannot be cured because they have a natural desire for children.

"If that's your natural sex drive you're never ever going to stop offending," he said.

Canada "easy" on sex offenders

More needed to protect children from sex offenders; 'We need to have some mechanism in Canada where we're not forced to wait for the next victim, but we can keep these guys past their warranted expiry dates'

Posted 1 day ago

At least two prominent Canadian victims' rights advocates agree better safeguards are needed to keep repeat sexual offenders like Owen Sound native Philip Publuske away from potential victims.

"What does it take? How many children have to be harmed?" Heidi Illingworth, executive director of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, asked after being told Publuske is out of jail despite being convicted five times in the last seven years of sex crimes involving children.

"Generally, sex offenders are the biggest recidivists and (child pornographers) are very prolific offenders."

Publuske was released Monday from the Maplehurst Correctional Centre in Milton after serving his most recent sentence for possession of child pornography. He was convicted of that offence in July 2007 after being arrested earlier that month at his home in Cambridge.

Police have warned he poses a risk to re-offend, but Illingworth said they are often powerless to do anything but warn the public.

"They're very limited in what they can do beyond that," she said. "We need to have some mechanism in Canada where we're not forced to wait for the next victim, but we can keep these guys past their warranted expiry dates.

Let's not just kick them out of prison and see who he hurts next."

Publuske's most recent sentence is the latest entry on a rap sheet filled with offences against children:

ø In February 2000, Publuske received 18 months in jail and three years of probation after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation. The charges involved oral and anal assaults on three young boys he met through a youth program in Owen Sound. Other charges, including possession of child pornography, were withdrawn in exchange for guilty pleas to the three offences.

ø In July 2003, Publuske was convicted of possessing child pornography. Police found 137 still images at his Kitchener home in March of that year, while he was still on probation for his previous convictions. He received six months in jail and two more years of probation despite telling the court how "deeply ashamed" he was of his crime.

ø Another child pornography charge from July 2004 was dismissed after a judge ruled Publuske's rights had been violated by police who searched his Kitchener home and found child porn on his computer. They initially arrested him for breaching his probation by failing to keep appointments with his probation officer.

"I'm not sure they (probation orders) do an awful lot of good," said Gary Rosenfeldt, the executive director of Victims of Violence. "Some of these people molest kids on the way to see their probation officers, so what do you do?"

Rosenfeldt and his wife Sharon helped to found Victims of Violence after their son Daryn was murdered by notorious serial killer Clifford Olson.

Rosenfeldt says he believes pedophiles like Publuske cannot be treated and should be locked away for as long as they remain threats - a lifetime, if necessary.

"It's a sexual preference. It's children that turn him on . . . and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it," he said.

"The only way to deal effectively with these people is to put them in a psychiatric centre and keep them for an indeterminate period of time. Other than that, we're going to simply put up with these people coming back on the streets."

Illingworth said there has been some success in treating pedophiles and re-integrating them into society, but it requires a very intensive support system she acknowledged doesn't and can't exist everywhere in the country.

"Letting these guys back into the community with very little supervision, that's certainly a very dangerous situation," she said. "We understand that a lot of society doesn't even support that, having an offender in the community even with that intense supervision, and when you look at it from the victims' perspective and the perspectives of the children who have been hurt, it's really difficult to want to give anybody another chance."

Both Illingworth and Rosenfeldt have high hopes for Bill C-27, legislation which would treat offenders in a way similar to "three strikes" laws do in some jurisdictions in the United States.

If the bill is passed, anyone convicted three times of violent or sexual offences and sentenced to at least two years in prison on each occasion would have to show why they should not be declared dangerous offenders, subject to indeterminate prison sentences with no possibility of parole for seven years.

But the success of any such law as it is applied to pedophiles depends on the willingness of prosecutors, judges and parole boards to recognize the seriousness of the situation.

"We have to take steps to protect our children," Rosenfeldt said. "It's recognizing by the Crown and by the courts of the reality of the situation, that there's no cure for these guys.

"They don't recognize this. They think that with a little bit of counselling, (pedophiles) can change and find older women more attractive. It doesn't work that way.

Canada has a long way to go in terms of protecting their citizens from dangerous sex offenders and pedophiles. Rosenfeldt has it right. These people are just wired wrong, and there is no way to "fix" them.

Free classes to teach personal safety

Bonita Middle School students get lesson in safety

Special to The Banner
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

If you couldn’t attend the PTC meeting last Thursday night at Bonita Middle School, you missed out on information that could one day save your child’s life.

Karen Leskin, PTC president, introduced the presentation, “Kids ’N Power.”

It was co-presented by Chad Wilbur, owner and 5th degree black belt instructor of ATA Black Belt Academy, and Dennis Hemberger, retired NYC police officer who served with the undercover pedophile squad.

Wilbur opened with an overview of self-defense tips and techniques. To a rapt audience of middle school students, Wilbur admonished that at the academy, “We teach the right time to use techniques of martial arts — we are not here to teach you how to punch and kick — no bullying.

“We teach life skills, courtesy, respect, discipline and how to react with the right moves to get away in a bad situation. There is one time and one time only to use martial arts — for self defense,” he said.

Wilbur told parents they should teach and review safety tips with their children regarding: strangers approaching their child, what to do if someone touches them the wrong way, and how to encourage children to trust their own intuition and instincts in an uncomfortable situation.

Parents were further instructed to set up a “secret code word” with their children. This word would be required by anyone, other than the parents, picking up the child from school or other activity.

“Parents, you have to tell your kids that pedophiles could be professional people, relatives, or the guy next door. They will lure your kids with money, pets, candy or even a request for help. Adults don’t ask a child for help,” he said.

Parents should know where their children are at all times, and know numbers to call if their child is missing.

“There are three levels of self defense: thinking your way out of a bad situation; seeing your way out of a bad situation; and defending yourself in a bad situation. Your body belongs to you. Whatever your bathing suit covers, is your area – that is your safe zone,” Wilbur warned. “Remember, your first line of defense is run – get free and run. And scream. Loud.”

Cody Leskin, sixth-grader and first-degree black belt student at ATA said his self- defense training “makes me feel safe.”

Hemberger continued the presentation with sobering statistics about sexual offenders and pedophiles via fact sheets.

“The average victim who is abducted and murdered is approximately an 11-year-old girl who is described as a ’low risk, normal’ kid from a middle class neighborhood with a stable family relationship who has initial contact with their abductor within a quarter of a mile from her home,” he said.

To drive home the vulnerability of such a youngster, he had an 11-year-old female student stand while he gave the description. It worked, as shivers ran through the parent audience. Hemberger said there are 536 registered sexual offenders and 47 registered sexual predators in Lee County alone, with nine registered in zip code 34135.

Packets for child’s DNA sample were passed out with other tips for collecting other identification samples and how to store them in the event of an abduction.

The program concluded with a demonstration of moves effective in warding off an attacker. Assisted by Cory Carbary, St. John Neumann High School junior and current ATA martial arts student, a second-degree black belt, Wilbur selected several students and showed them the power they already have and could use in an emergency.

“Martial arts training is so important – there’s always someone bigger out there. We have to alert the kids to the danger that’s out there today,” said Carbary.

Wilbur has plans to offer the program bi-monthly, free and open to the public.

For information, call Chad Wilbur at ATA Black Belt Academy, Naples 593-5456 or at the Bonita Springs location at 948-8610.

Chad also needs to tell these kids that it is okay to do this to people that they know who try to violate their "safety zone". Uncle Bob and cousin Bill need a swift kick in the nether region if they try to get their jollies too!

Why the housing market is down!

Sex Offenders Could Affect the Value of Your Home

The results of a study evaluating the impact of sex offenders who live in a neighborhood and their impact on property values has just been released.

The study, specifically, focused on Mecklenburg County. Compared to other states, North Carolina has a good record for keeping track of registered sex offenders. In Mecklenburg County, there are more than 500 registered sex offenders.

The two economists who conducted the study monitored home sales in the county for one year. They tracked where sex offenders moved in and out of neighborhoods. According to their study, the resell value of a home decreases if a sex offender lives within one-third of a mile of the home.

In Mecklenburg County, home values dropped about 4-percent in neighborhoods with registered sex offenders. For example, a home valued at $150,000 lost about $6,000 of its value due to the presence of a sex offender who lived down the street.

Researchers found that sex offenders are responsible for a $58 million decrease in property values in Mecklenburg County.

No wonder homes across the nation are not selling!

Daughter Swapper

Daughter Swap

A man in Huntersville is accused of offering to swap his own daughter for sex in exchange for sex with another man's daughter.

According to the Huntersville Police Department, the man arranged a meeting last week after trying to swap his 10-year-old daughter for sex.

Several agencies are working on this case and we expect them to make an arrest soon.

WBTV News is not revealing the man's name or showing his face in order to protect the girl's identity.

We have learned the man lives in a big house, has two children and runs his own computer program.

He joined a sex-driven chat room using the screen name "daddaughter10nc."

From his home in Huntersville, he started messaging back and forth with a man in Fairfax, Virginia.

They talked about swapping their daughters for sexual activity. The Huntersville man even admitted to having sex with his own daughter.

He didn't realize the man in Fairfax County was actually a cop.

On the day of the arranged swap, the dad was surprised when Huntersville PD knocked on his door with a search warrant.