Saturday, July 18, 2009

Carl Courtright sentenced to life!

Granite City sex offender sentenced to life

Associated Press
9:48 PM CDT, July 17, 2009

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A federal judge has sentenced a Granite City man to life plus 10 years in prison for the production of child pornography and other offenses.

U.S. Attorney Courtney Cox announced the sentence against registered sex offender Carl Courtright III on Friday.

After a five-day trial in March, a U.S. District Court jury convicted Courtright on one count of production of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of bank fraud.

The 37-year-old Courtright is believed to be the first sex offender in the country to be charged with new offenses stemming from subscriber information disclosed by the social networking Web site MySpace.

Teen Commits Suicide After Sexting

Her teen committed suicide over ‘sexting’
Cynthia Logan’s daughter was taunted about photo she sent to boyfriend

‘Sexting’ leads teen to suicide

March 6: 18-year-old Jesse Logan took her own life after a nude picture of her was passed around by e-mail. TODAY’s Matt Lauer talks to her mom, Cynthia Logan, and Internet safety expert Parry Aftab about the dangers of “sexting.”

The image was blurred and the voice distorted, but the words spoken by a young Ohio woman are haunting. She had sent nude pictures of herself to a boyfriend. When they broke up, he sent them to other high school girls. The girls were harassing her, calling her a slut and a whore. She was miserable and depressed, afraid even to go to school.

And now Jesse Logan was going on a Cincinnati television station to tell her story. Her purpose was simple: “I just want to make sure no one else will have to go through this again.”
The interview was in May 2008. Two months later, Jessica Logan hanged herself in her bedroom. She was 18.

Conveying the message

“She was vivacious. She was fun. She was artistic. She was compassionate. She was a good kid,” the young woman’s mother, Cynthia Logan, told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Friday in New York. Still grieving over the loss of her daughter, she said she is taking her story public to warn kids about the dangers of sending sexually charged pictures and messages to boyfriends and girlfriends.

“It’s very, very difficult. She’s my only child,” Logan told Lauer. “I’m trying my best to get the message out there.”

It is a growing problem that has resulted in child pornography charges being filed against some teens across the nation. But for Cynthia Logan, “sexting” is about more than possibly criminal activity: It’s about life and death.

Last fall, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy surveyed teens and young adults about sexting — sending sexually charged material via cell phone text messages — or posting such materials online. The results revealed that 39 percent of teens are sending or posting sexually suggestive messages, and 48 percent reported receiving such messages.

‘She was being tortured’

Jesse Logan’s mother said she never knew the full extent of her daughter’s anguish until it was too late. Cynthia Logan only learned there was a problem at all when she started getting daily letters from her daughter’s school reporting that the young woman was skipping school.

“I only had snapshots, bits and pieces, until the very last semester of school,” Logan told Lauer.

After her picture was disseminated electonically, formerly upbeat Jesse Logan began skipping classes.

She took away her daughter’s car and drove her to school herself, but Jesse still skipped classes. She told her mother there were pictures involved and that a group of younger girls who had received them were harassing her, calling her vicious names, even throwing objects at her. But she didn’t realize the full extent of her daughter’s despair.

“She was being attacked and tortured,” Logan said.

“When she would come to school, she would always hear, ‘Oh, that’s the girl who sent the picture. She’s just a whore,’ ” Jesse’s friend, Lauren Taylor, told NBC News.

Logan said that officials at Sycamore High School were aware of the harassment but did not take sufficient action to stop it. She said that a school official offered only to go to one of the girls who had the pictures and tell her to delete them from her phone and never speak to Jesse again. That girl was 16.

Logan suggested talking to the parents of the girls who were bullying Jesse, but her daughter said that would only open her to even more ridicule.

“She said, ‘No, I need to do something else. I’m going to go on the news,’ and that’s what she did,” Logan said.

Finding Jesse

When Cynthia Logan decided to go public with her story, she told Lauer that a school official told a local television station that he had given Jesse the option of prosecuting her tormentors. “That was not so. It’s absolutely not true,” she told Lauer. “And if he did, why didn’t I get a notice in the mail that he gave her that option?”

Cynthia Logan is still contending with her grief over her daughter Jesse’s suicide.

After her daughter’s death, Logan quit her job and was hospitalized for a time with what she described as a mental breakdown. When she spoke about finding her daughter in her bedroom last July, tears coursed down her cheeks.

Jesse had been talking about going to the University of Cincinnati to study graphic design. Her mother thought she was over the worst of the bullying. Then one of Jesse’s acquaintances committed suicide. Jesse went to the funeral. When she came home, she hanged herself.

“I just had a scan of the room, her closet doors were open,” Logan told NBC News. “And I walked over into her room and saw her hanging. The cell phone was in the middle of the floor.”

Quest for justice

Logan said she’s been through six lawyers in what has so far been an unsuccessful battle to hold school officials responsible for the bullying of her daughter.

She was joined on TODAY by Parry Aftab, an Internet security expert and activist in the battle to protect teens from the dangers that lurk in cyberspace. Aftab said that there are laws that apply.

“There absolutely is a law,” Aftab told Lauer. “It depends on the age of the child. If somebody’s under the age of 18, it’s child pornography, and even the girl that posted the pictures can be charged. They could be registered sex offenders at the end of all of this. Even at the age of 18, because it was sent to somebody under age, it’s disseminating pornography to a minor. There are criminal charges that could be made here.”

Aftab said that it is normal kids just like Jesse who fall victim to the perils of the Internet and the easy exchange of information on cell phones.

“We talked about her being a good kid, a normal kid. Those are most of the ones that are sending out those images,” she said. “Forty-four percent of the boys say that they’ve seen sexual images of girls in their school, and about 15 percent of them are disseminating those images when they break up with the girls.”

Aftab asked Logan to join her in her fight against the electronic exploitation of kids. “I’m going to get her involved in a huge campaign to allow kids to understand the consequences of this and allow schools to understand what they need to do to keep our kids alive,” she said.

Aftab turned to Logan to see if she would help.

“Absolutely,” she said.

Logan Ohio Bus Driver Guilty Of Sexual Abuse Of Children

Ex-Bus Driver Pleads Guilty To Sexual Abuse
Saturday, July 18, 2009 7:21 AM

LOGAN, Ohio — A former bus driver pleaded guilty on Friday to charges that he sexually abused two young girls.

Morgan Monroe pleaded guilty to two counts of gross sexual imposition.

"Had he went to trial on all the charges he would have faced significantly more," said Hocking County prosecutor Laina Fetherolf.

Monroe spent nearly 20 years working in the Logan-Hocking School District. He was a bus driver and custodian until his arrest in April, 10TV's Brittany Westbrook reported.

"I was really shocked," said parent Tracy Rose.

Rose's son is going to be in fifth grade, and she said at one time she applied to be a bus driver.
"Morgan trained me and he just didn't seem like... it was shocking," Rose said.

The district performed a background check on Monroe, but since he was never charged, nothing turned up, Westbrook reported.

Monroe will not be able to work at another school because of his current status as a sex offender.

In order to keep students safe, the school district said all of the buildings will have renovated security measures and the buses have cameras in the front and back, Westbrook reported.
Even so, Fetherolf said there is a reality that remains.

"There really isn't any way to know until they've been caught at least once," Fetherolf said.
Justice might only come from a brave victim's voice.

"I am hoping that if there are other victims of this particular defendant or other perpetrators that they will come forward so we can do whatever we can to help them," Fetherolf said.

Monroe did not come into contact with his victims through the district and Fetherolf said so far there is no indication that he abused any children in the district.

He could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Stay with 10TV News and for more information


Warren Ohio Predator Released To Another Predator

Sexual predator coming home
Prosecutor questions Warren man’s parole

By CHRISTOPHER BOBBY Tribune Chronicle
POSTED: July 18, 2009

WARREN - The Trumbull County prosecutor is questioning why the Ohio Parole Board would OK a prison release for a convicted sexual predator from Warren that allows him to live here with his brother - another sexual predator.

''He should only be released to an institution or halfway house where treatment is provided and required. One would never release a sex offender to another sex offender's care,'' prosecutor Dennis Watkins told parole officials in a letter earlier this week.

Watkins said in the letter he will challenge the July 27 release planned for Juan Wade, 46, who has served 23 years of a 7-to-25-year sentence.

The prosecutor's office was informed this week that Wade's approved plan for release involves him living in Warren with his brother Willie Wade of Bingham Avenue N.W. Watkins points out in his letter that Willie Wade recently was released from a prison in Georgia and is on parole after serving time on a rape conviction.

''I would request a hearing before his release to make sure that you have all the relevant information about his release in the community. According to forensic experts, Wade is a high risk to engage in a sexually oriented offense in the future,'' Watkins wrote.

Wade was sentenced July 30, 1986, by former Common Pleas Judge Mitchell Shaker after pleading guilty to three counts of rape that involved two girls and a boy. Wade was originally indicted on seven counts of rape and one count of child endangering involving five victims between the ages of 3 and 7.

Wade told a counselor and a clinical psychologist who examined him in 1999 that he was unable to cite specific reasons for the assaults, but he has taken sex offender programs in prison.

Currently in Lorain Correctional Institution, Wade ''does not take much responsibility for his deviant sexual behavior,'' according to the psychological report. The mental health experts labeled Wade a predator - a high risk to offend in the future - and say he should be required to continue in an outpatient sex offender treatment program.

Watkins said he believes that Wade was rejected for three other release plans, all of which include treatment programs.

''It's totally unacceptable for this defendant, a convicted sexual predator, to be released and placed to live with another convicted sexual predator in Trumbull County,'' Watkins said.