Friday, February 8, 2008

Only 2% of child porn cases are investigated!

Funding sought to fight child porn

Friday, February 8, 2008

There are 467 known computer hard drives containing child pornography in Woodbridge, 353 in Manassas and thousands more throughout the state, according to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

But a lack of resources has meant that cases that often involve the trading of images and videos of children have gone unpursued.

"Alicia's Law" - named for a 13-year-old Pennsylvania girl who six years ago was brought to Northern Virginia by an online predator, raped and tortured - aims to fix that.

The proposed legislation, sponsored by Del. Brian J. Moran, D-Alexandria, calls for $18 million, which would fund three initiatives, said Jesse Ferguson, a spokesman for Moran.

Of that, he said, approximately $6 million would go to expanding the regional task force by putting a cyber unit in each county; about $9 million to create three regional computer forensic labs that would alleviate the current backlog; and the last $3 million would go to the Department of Criminal Justice Services for grants that would provide incentive for other localities to track and catch online predators.

"Recognizing that we're in a tough budget year and a tough fiscal climate for the state, we are hopeful that the appropriations committee is going to be fund some of this initiative," Ferguson said. "We recognize that we won't get it all, but the urgency is too great to not get some."

Ferguson said they would find out how much money will be allocated to this initiative when the House Appropriations Committee releases its budget proposal Feb. 17.

During a recent briefing in Richmond on the proposed law, officials with the northern and southern Virginia ICAC task forces said law enforcement has logged more than 215,000 felony transactions of child pornography in the state since 2005.

Meanwhile, there are only 48 people trained and licensed in the state to investigate these crimes, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

The testimony of Flint Waters, lead special agent of the Wyoming ICAC Task Force, before the House Judiciary Committee in October 2007 underscored the challenges felt by law enforcement agencies trying to combat this problem around the nation.

"The bad news is that while my task force and the ICAC network can tell you how to interdict tens of thousands sexual predators tomorrow, the vast majority of these leads will never be investigated," Waters testified. "In fact, less than 2 percent of these crimes that we know about are investigated due to the sheer lack of resources. Most of these victims will not be rescued.

"I'm here today to testify about what many of my law enforcement colleagues are not free to come here and tell you. We are overwhelmed, we are underfunded and we are drowning in a tidal wave of tragedy. We don't have the resources we need to save these children."

This is just stupid.

Vermont case pits Fifth Amendment vs. child porn probe

Associated Press - February 7, 2008 2:05 PM ET

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Experts in online privacy say they're keeping an eye on a criminal case in Vermont in which a New Hampshire man allegedly caught with child pornography in his laptop computer is being pressed to provide his password so investigators can see what's in the computer.

Sebastien Boucher, of Derry, New Hampshire, was arrested in December 2006 as he tried to enter the United States at Derby Line and a border agent looked in his laptop.

Authorities say they found files containing disturbing child pornography and seized the laptop. When they later tried to access the computer, they couldn't get in because it was encrypted and they didn't have the password.

A grand jury subpoenaed Boucher to force him to reveal the password, but he balked and a federal magistrate in Burlington upheld his right to do so, saying that if he were forced to give it up, it could violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

He has already been caught, so how can this be self incrimination if they already know it's in there? That is like refusing to give the cops your car keys when they can plainly see a pot plant in your car. Don't they have computer geeks to just hack the thing?

I wanna kick his soccer balls!

Former Elk River coach charged

Eric Hawkins, left, and his attorney, Todd Kenyon, left the Sherburne County District Court on Wednesday after a hearing. Hawkins has been charged with two counts of sexual assault.

The banned youth soccer league coach is accused of molesting one of his players, a 14-year-old girl. He did not enter a plea.

By PAUL LEVY, Star Tribune

A former Elk River youth soccer league coach has been charged with two counts of sexual assault for allegedly asking a 14-year-old player to disrobe and then touching her, and, on another occasion, exposing himself to her -- more than a year after he had been banned from coaching.

Eric James Hawkins, 44, did not enter a plea Wednesday in Sherburne County District Court. He was charged in November with first- and second-degree sexual assault, both felonies.

Hawkins had been suspended by the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association in 2003 for sideline behavior during his games and should not have been allowed to coach MYSA-sanctioned teams, the association's executive director, Candace Daley, said Wednesday.

In October 2006, Hawkins was ordered by Hennepin County District Court to pay $220,000 to the MYSA after he and five other defendants were found sending defamatory e-mails concerning the MYSA, Daley said.

Court documents said he had driven the player to practice and games on several occasions during the winter of 2004-2005. But one evening, en route to a soccer clinic in Plymouth, the coach pulled over on a road unfamiliar to the girl, parked his car and asked the girl to remove her shirt and bra, the girl told authorities.

According to court records, the girl told Hawkins she did not want to remove her clothes, but the coach insisted. Hawkins then told her to remove her pants and when the girl balked, the coach told her "that she needed to," according to court documents.

Hawkins then touched the girl, even though she asked him to stop, the girl told authorities. After Hawkins allowed the girl to put on her clothes, he threw $25 at her, according to court documents.

Later, in the fall of 2005, Hawkins was driving the girl, still 14, to a soccer game when he pulled his car over, unbuttoned his pants and exposed himself to her, court records state. Hawkins then forced the girl to touch him with her hand. She pulled away, telling him it was "gross."

Court records indicate that Hawkins had been suspended by the MYSA for inappropriate language and taunting during games, according to MYSA records.

Hawkins' court hearing lasted less than five minutes; another hearing is scheduled for April 4. Hawkins, who coached in the Elk River United youth league, told Judge Alan Pendelton that he now lives in South Carolina.

Hawkins did not respond to a reporter's questions after the hearing.

Under MYSA's risk-management policy, youth soccer leagues are responsible for background checks for coaches and are made aware of the risks to children of adults who have committed previous sexual offenses.

Hawkins is not known to have had any criminal history prior to these charges.

3 strikes, YOUR OUT!

Twice-convicted rapist faces new child pornography charge

A federal indictment was filed Tuesday against Timothy Allen Cain, 56, of St. Paul.

Timothy Allen Cain
Minnesota Department of Corrections

A two-time child rapist from St. Paul has been charged with one count of possessing child pornography, authorities said Thursday.

The federal indictment filed Tuesday against Timothy Allen Cain, 56, stems from an incident a year ago and alleges that he possessed computer images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

If convicted, Cain faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to state records, Cain was convicted in Hennepin County in January 1986 of first-degree sexual conduct with a female age 13 to 15 and sentenced to 4 1/2 years in the workhouse.

The records also show a July 2000 conviction in Ramsey County for first-degree sexual conduct. His victim was younger than 13 and also female.

Sentenced to more than nine years in prison, Cain was placed on supervised release in June 2006.

On Feb. 7, 2007, he was arrested on the federal child porn charge and returned to state prison about two weeks later for violating the following terms of his release: operating a computer with internet access, possessing sexually explicit material, possessing a dangerous weapon and failing to complete sex offender treatment programming.

Cain is now at the Moose Lake correctional facility.