Thursday, November 19, 2009

Michael W. VanNess - Repeat Sex Offender - Didn't "Intend" to get caught

VanNess was convicted in 2006 for sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl in North Carolina.

QUEENSBURY -- The registered sex offender who is accused of climbing through the bedroom window of a young girl plans to argue at trial that he did not intend to commit a crime when he went to the home.

Michael W. VanNess, 26, of Glens Falls, faces felony counts of second-degree burglary and disseminating indecent material to a minor in connection with allegations related to the allegedly burglary last summer.

Last week, a Warren County grand jury added three felony charges accusing him of possession of a sexual performance by a child. Those counts were filed after a State Police examination of a computer he used yielded child pornography, according to court records.

Trial in the case has been scheduled to begin Dec. 7 in Warren County Court.
VanNess was arrested early on the morning of July 11, after an Aviation Road, Queensbury, man allegedly caught him climbing through his 14-year-old daughter's bedroom.

He has also been accused of sending the girl a digital picture of his genitalia through a cell phone before the incident at her home. A misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child pertains to his alleged effort to lure a 15-year-old girl to a bar parking lot late on the night of July 8.
The weightiest charge VanNess faces is the burglary count. That crime requires proof that a person entered a home with the intent to commit a crime.

VanNess told police that he went to the girl's home at her request because she told him she had written notes for him. He told police he had left notes for her inside her window two nights earlier.

VanNess' lawyer, Warren County Public Defender John Wappett, said the defense plans to argue that VanNess did not intend to commit a crime when he went to the home, and he questioned whether VanNess went in the home at all.

"We don't think he entered the place to begin with," Wappett said.

Any part of a person's body entering a building constitutes entry of the building. A local man was convicted of second-degree burglary in 2003 after a Queensbury homeowner saw just his head poking through a basement window.

VanNess has rejected a plea deal that would require he serve 12 years in state prison.
He could face up to 15 years on the burglary count, and up to 4 years each on the disseminating indecent material and child pornography counts.
VanNess is a Level 1 sex offender because of a 2006 conviction for sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl in North Carolina. He is due in court Friday for pretrial hearings.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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