Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Convicted child molester has Carson trial date set

A February trial date has been set for convicted Washington state child molester James Ernest Hope in the 2001 molestation of two Carson City girls.

Defense attorney John Oakes noted in Carson City District Court on Monday that he had a plea agreement "sitting on his desk," but no decision had been made.

Judge Todd Russell set aside Feb. 5-8 for the trial, and he also set a status check hearing for Nov. 13 at which time any plea negotiation that have been made may come to light.

Hope, 43, fled Nevada in 2004 while awaiting trial on five felony charges here.

According to investigators, the assaults occurred in 2001 when the girls were ages 4 and 6. He was bound over to District Court in July 2004.

After Douglas County issued a warrant for his arrest on allegations that he'd improperly touched a Minden 10-year-old, he disappeared.

He was captured a year ago in Washington under an assumed name and convicted of felony child molestation in the first degree and gross misdemeanor communicating with a minor for immoral purposes for a separate offense for which he received a life sentence.

His Washington parole depends on completion of a two-year treatment program for sex offenders and a psycho-sexual assessment that he is at low risk to offend.

Hope was returned to Douglas County in July where he is being held without bail.

He waived a preliminary hearing last month in East Fork Justice Court and was expected to plead to one count of lewdness with a child under 14.

Hope did not appear at the hearing here on Monday.

Now alleged molester faces kiddie porn rap

An accused child molester from the Midland Beach section of Staten Island is in even deeper water after a stash of kiddie porn turned up on his home computer, police allege.

James Bova, 46, who was arrested back in September on charges he used a vibrating massager to molest his young daughter's pre-teen friends, had collected several videos and pictures of pre-pubescent girls forced into having sex, police allege.

Cops re-arrested Bova yesterday, charging him with 20 counts each of promoting a sexual performance by a child, and possessing a sexual performance by a child, both felonies.

Bova, who was already being held on $500,000 bail, was arraigned on the new charges yesterday, and ordered held without bail.

He's being kept at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where he was transferred after a recent suicide attempt, a law enforcement source said.

Bova used the pull-off cap of a "quarter-drink" bottle to try and cut his wrists, but it wasn't clear if he was genuinely trying to kill himself or if he wanted to get transferred from Rikers Island and away from general population inmates, the source said.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Child sex-abuse cases on the rise

There has been a dramatic rise in recent weeks in the number of child sexual-abuse cases being reported, especially from within the haredi community, according to the National Council for the Child. The NCC, a nonprofit organization, has demanded that the government provide free counseling services to all child victims of abuse.

"We are now seeing the negative results of people who were abused as children but who were left untreated," NCC executive director Dr. Yitzhak Kadman told The Jerusalem Post Monday. One in three victims who did not receive post-abuse therapy were likely to become offenders later in life, he said.

Kadman said the increase in reports of sexual abuse against children, which he estimated had risen from 15-20 reported cases a month to 40-45, was also due to growing violence within society in general.

"Sexual abuse is not really about the sex but about the violence that surrounds it," he said.

Over the weekend, in separate incidents, security guards - one from a school and another from a kindergarten - were arrested on suspicion of molestation. Sunday night, a 12-year-old girl from Pardess Hanna was found naked with signs that she had been slipped a date-rape drug and raped by two 13-year-old boys.

The rise in the number of reported and publicized cases could also be connected with increased awareness about such crimes, Kadman said.

"When one person reports such a crime, that gives strength to others who have gone through similar experiences to talk about what happened," he said.

Reports of sexual abuse within the haredi community have grown by more than 30 percent in the last few months, Kadman said.

"Considering their share of the population, the fact that 30% of those reporting sex abuse to us comes from within the haredi community is a dramatic rise," he said.

Kadman said he welcomed the haredi community's increased willingness to report such incidents because in the past they were not talked about.

"In the past, the rabbis would just give orders to the known sex offenders to leave the community, believing that shunning them was just punishment," he said. "But they would simply move on to another neighborhood. Now, the [haredi] public has started to put pressure on the rabbis to deal with this phenomenon."

The rise in reports of sex abuse was also highlighted on Monday by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry, which announced that it was creating a NIS 8 million fund to offer child victims necessary counseling services. Currently, only those who can afford to pay for private post-trauma therapy are able to ensure that their children receive treatment.

The ministry's figures showed a 16% increase over the past six years in the number of child molestation victims. They also indicated that the number of teenage sex offenders was steadily growing, with 669 reported in 2006 compared to 504 in 2000.

The new initiative, which includes financial contributions from the National Insurance Institute and the private Sacta-Rashi Foundation, will go toward broadening existing treatment centers, establishing new centers and increasing social-welfare budgets in this area. It is set to start at the beginning of 2008.

"As a result of budgetary problems in the past, many children, mainly from low socioeconomic backgrounds, did not receive treatment or counseling after being abused," Welfare and Social Services Ministry director-general Nahum Itzkovitz said. "I hope that the additional budget will allow us to help every child who falls victim to sexual abuse and increase the number of professionals involved in the treatment of such children."

Kadman was cynical about the move, saying the ministry should focus more on ensuring that every abused child receive one-on-one counseling from a trained professional.

"Opening seven or eight treatment centers is simply not enough," he said. "There are more than 300 localities in Israel and every child should have access to such treatment. We have been fighting for this for many years and will continue until the government announces in writing that it has implemented a viable solution."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Perverts face new bans

PEDOPHILES can now be banned from using the internet under tough world-first laws introduced in South Australia.

Police will also have the power to seize a pedophile's computer at any time without a court order and examine its contents.

The Pedophile Internet Ban legislation – which became law last week – allows judges to issue restraining orders preventing pedophiles from using a computer to target children through chatrooms and message boards.

Police have appointed two full-time detectives to the Child Exploitation Investigation Section to tackle the growing number of cyberspace stalkers.

The legislation is the second Bill drafted by the SA Family First party targeting child sex offenders.

The first removed the statute of limitations that prevented pedophiles who committed sex crimes against children before 1983 from being charged.

"This new law was designed to further target pedophiles and crack down on their ability to do our children harm," Family First MLC Dennis Hood said.

"As far as I'm concerned pedophiles are the lowest of the low and every possible means should be used to put them behind bars."

Mr Hood said the legislation was unique in the world.

SA judges had never before issued a court order to restrict a pedophile's access to a computer because legal argument could be mounted they did not have the power.

"This new law specifically gives judges that right to keep pedophiles off the internet," Mr Hood said.

"The new law also gives police specific powers to enter a pedophile's residence and seize their computer without waiting for a court order.

"This is important because warrants can sometimes take days or even weeks to be issued in which time damage can be done."

Mr Hood said the internet was increasingly used as a tool by pedophiles to target youngsters.

"A recent American Medical Association Journal estimated that 89 per cent of sexual solicitations directed at minors now occur online," he said.

Det-Insp Mark Trenwith urged parents to restrict computers to common rooms in the house so they could be aware of what their children were doing while online.

"If there is one thing parents should do to protect their children is not allowing them to have a computer in their bedroom," he said.

"I can't recall a case we have investigated where the computer hasn't been in a bedroom."

Mr Hood said he was delighted the Family First legislation received the votes of the State Labor Government and Liberal Opposition to become law.

“It’s not all about you”

Stephen Lynn Pentecost, 43, a former minister from Fishers who pleaded guilty to molesting a 15-year-old female relative during a three-year period, was sentenced Friday to 32 years for his crimes.

Hamilton Superior Court 2 Judge Dan Pfleging handed down the maximum sentence possible after attorneys argued over how long Pentecost should spend in prison.

In a plea agreement, Pentecost admitted guilt to one count of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class B felony and two counts of child molesting, both Class C felonies. Six other counts were dismissed.

Fishers police arrested Pentecost April 28, 2005, after the girl told authorities at Chaucie’s Place child advocacy center he had molested her on numerous occasions.

Defense attorney Karl Hadley asked the judge to consider giving his client 15 years in prison plus community service, saying it would best allow Pentecost to be rehabilitated at get back into society.

But Hamilton County Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie Smith said Pentecost demonstrated manipulative behavior toward his estranged family even behind bars, flagrantly violating a no-contact order by sending his ex-wife several letters and even calling his mother’s house while his family was visiting her.

“That is unbelievably manipulative behavior. He has perpetrated an incredibly heinous crime … even as a man who has been trained as a minister,” Smith said. “If you look and read between the lines in his letters, it’s all about Stephen Pentecost … the cost to him … not the cost to his wife or family.”

Pentecost’s son, who stood about three feet away as his father listened, read a statement he had written expressing his anger.

“I’ve been more relaxed since I haven’t seen you. My grades are improved,” he said. “I just don’t like you anymore.”

The most emotion from the courtroom came from the victim, now 18, who said she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, has depression, insomnia, panic attacks, hears voices and has thoughts of suicide.

“I’m sad because I don’t remember most of my childhood,” she said. “(You were) a preacher and I can’t even go to church.”

Pentecost’s ex-wife, Michelle, said he knew what he was doing and tried to keep it a secret, telling his victim his wife couldn’t take the news.

“I’ve waited 2 ½ years for this nightmare to end,” she said.

Pentecost did not apologize directly to his family, but asked to be sent to rehabilitation as soon as possible.

“I realize what I’ve done is wrong,” he told the judge. “I realize I’ve lost my family. I also realize I need some help.”

Pfleging, however, apologized to Pentecost’s family for not being able to give a harsher sentence.

“It’s not all about you,” he told Pentecost. “I don’t have enough years to give you for what you’ve done.”

Pentecost also received four additional years of probation when he is released from prison, will have to register as a sex offender and pay more than $11,200 in restitution.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Do I really know my neighbor?

A 65-year-old Warner Robins man was sentenced today to 35 years in prison for molesting two neighborhood children and for producing a video of himself in sexual acts with his dog, a Houston County prosecutor said.

John Charles Huff, who lived in the 100 block of Victor Street, will likely serve 30 years before being eligible for parole, District Attorney Kelly Burke said.

Huff, a retired hardware salesman, probably will die in prison, Burke said, although the parole board does sometimes release inmates who are near death to die at home with family members.

Regardless, Huff will never be in a position where he can victimize children again, the prosecutor said.

Huff pleaded guilty today in Houston County Superior Court to four counts of child molestation, two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of bestiality.

Senior Judge L.A. "Buster" McConnell Jr. sentenced Huff immediately after the plea was entered, the prosecutor said.

According to Burke, children in the neighborhood often gathered at Huff's home to use several computers he had set up for that purpose.

In February, two of the children, girls age 8 and 10, reported they had been molested by Huff, the prosecutor said.

Huff, a Missouri native, pleaded guilty to touching the children and masturbating in front of them, Burke said.

Huff had a video surveillance system in his home that he used to tape the acts, and he also taped himself performing sexual acts with his dog, the prosecutor said.

Burke said. "It is what every parent fears. Do I really know my neighbor?"

Becky Purse

Trial Set For Teacher Accused Of Molesting Students

Shenendehowa elementary teacher Christopher Culver, accused of sexually abusing eight of his first grade male students, is headed to trial on the charges in Saratoga County Court on Nov. 26.

Prosecutors say the accused child molester touched the genitals of six young boys in his classroom earlier this year, two of them under their clothing. Culver has been indicted on 41 felony counts including 29 counts of first degree sex abuse and 12 counts of second degree sexual contact against a child. He has also been charged with eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

All eight of his accusers are expected to testify against him at trial.

In September, Saratoga County Court Judge Jerry Scarano ruled that statements Culver made at the time of his arrest can be used against him at trial.

Culver, 32, of Clifton Park, a native of Chestertown and a teacher at the Okte Elementary School, part of the Shenendehowa School District, remains free on $50,000 bail and is on paid suspension from his teaching duties. He faces up to 20 years in state prison if convicted.

He is being represented by Terrence Kindlon of Albany who had argued for the suppression of Culver’s statements made to police, saying that they were not voluntary and had been made outside the presence of legal counsel.

Culver and his wife are separated and he is living in Chestertown with his parents.

Culver was first arrested in February after a parent called a victims’ hot line, saying that in talking with her son, the boy had made admissions concerning an alleged incident in the classroom occurring on Feb. 5 in which Culver allegedly touched the boy’s “private parts”.

At least three lawsuits have been filed against the school district and Culver by parents of students who have accused Culver of sexually molesting their sons during the past school year.

Culver, the father of a young child, was a popular teacher and had been employed by the district for eight years. After his arrest on Feb. 11, other alleged victims among the 6 and 7 year old students in his 21-student class levied additional allegations against him.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I tickle students, and I am trying to stop

The trial of a former first-grade teacher accused of molesting four female students got under way late Tuesday afternoon, and the defense team made one thing clear: The jury is going to be there awhile.

"This man's freedom is enough to inconvenience you. You will be here into next week," defense attorney Reagan Wynn promised the panel of six men and six women.

Jose "Joe" David Soliz, 29, who taught at Worth Heights Elementary School, is on trial in state District Judge Scott Wisch's court. He is accused of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, punishable by up to life in prison, and three counts of indecency-fondling, each punishable by up to 20 years.

During her opening statement, prosecutor Rebecca McIntire, who is teaming with Bill Vassar to try Soliz, told jurors that she was "not going to sugarcoat it."

"This is a very important case," she said. "It has to do with our children -- and our children being victims."

McIntire said four girls who came from "simple, unsophisticated" families would testify that they were "tickled" by Soliz. They were so young that they didn't realize his actions were sexual and criminal, she said.

"This case is not about tickling," McIntire said. "This case is about child molestation."

McIntire said that the allegations surfaced April 3, 2006, when a girl was taken to Cook Children's Medical Center after telling her mother that it hurt to use the restroom. The child, a first-grader, later said that Soliz touched her "in between" while tickling her.

The second accuser, also a first-grader, surfaced a few days later when investigators questioned Soliz's class. The girl told officials that Soliz tickled her under her shirt on the breast in the classroom.

On April 8, 2006, McIntire said, the Star-Telegram ran an article about Soliz's arrest, prompting a third accuser to come forward. The girl, a fifth-grader who was in an after-school program, also said Soliz tickled her under her shirt in the classroom.

The fourth accuser made allegations against Soliz in July when she learned that prosecutors, preparing for trial, wanted to talk to her about her former teacher. That child also said that Soliz tickled her on her breast in the classroom, McIntire said.

McIntire told jurors that the only thing the girls had in common was their teacher and that they had no motive to lie.

Wynn, who is teaming with Jeff Kearney to represent Soliz, had a different view.

"An innocent man is sitting right over there," Wynn said during his opening statement after McIntire took her seat. "And I don't mean presumed innocent. I mean he did not do these things."

Wynn told the jury that Soliz was a devoted educator who chose to teach struggling kids at a "bad school in a bad neighborhood."

He said that the first accuser, whom Soliz made repeat first grade, "flat-out lied" and that hysteria over a "child molester" in the school soon followed. He said investigators interviewed the children in such a way that they would eventually tell them what they wanted to hear.

Furthermore, Wynn said, the girl who came forward after the article ran had at the time recently been taken out of a psychiatric hospital and had a "psychotic aversion" to going to school and would do anything not to go back. The fourth girl, Wynn said, had been questioned 16 months earlier but never said anything.

After opening statements, Bobby Whiteside, assistant director of special investigations for the Fort Worth school district, testified that when he first confronted Soliz with accusations in April 2006, Soliz seemed remorseful and acknowledged that he tickled students but denied that it was sexual.

"He said, 'I tickle students, and I am trying to stop. I have never tickled them maliciously,'" Whiteside said.


Pedophile gets 25 years under 'Jessica's Law'

A 62-year-old Sterling Heights man will serve at least 25 years in prison after he lost his argument against a new law that requires such a sentence for molesting a 7-year-old girl. Donald E. Fitzpatrick received a 25- to 40-year prison sentence Wednesday under "Jessica's Law," a law that took effect in September 2006 to more harshly punish pedophiles.

He is the first defendant in Macomb County and may be the first in the state to be sentenced under the law, part of which requires a 25-year mandatory penalty to an adult who sexually assaults a child under 13.

If the new law was not in effect, sentencing guidelines would have showed a range of nine to 15 years in prison, although circuit Judge Matthew Switalski could have exceeded guidelines if he found "substantial and compelling reasons."

One of Fitzpatrick's attorneys, John Royal, argued that the law is unconstitutional, but Switalski of Macomb County Circuit Court disagreed. He compared the mandatory minimum sentence to habitual offender status and third-time drunken driving cases that elevate to felonies, in which a jury sorts out the facts and the judge determines the sentence.

Switalski said little to Fitzpatrick before sentencing him.

"Things speak for themselves," Switalski said.

A jury in August found Fitzpatrick guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for digitally penetrating the girl about Sept. 30, 2006, in the living room of his Takoma Drive home. The girl is the granddaughter of a longtime female companion. Two other girls and three adults testified of sexual abuse at Fitzpatrick's hands as "prior acts" evidence.

The jury acquitted him on a second count of the same charge.

Assistant Macomb prosecutor Rebecca Oster called Fitzpatrick's actions a "prime example of predatory behavior." Fitzpatrick gained the trust of victims by ingratiating himself in his girlfriend's family by buying little girls expensive gifts, including a horse for one of them, she said.

"He has special interest in children aged 7 to 10," Oster told the judge. "He acts out when he thinks he can get away with it. He used his position of trust as a trusting grandfather figure."

The victim's mother said no one in the family suspected the abuse until the first girl revealed it, followed by the others.

"If I would've known (about the abuse), he would not be here today," the woman said. "He was accepted by the entire family as a grandfather."

She said Fitzpatrick was at the hospital for the birth of her children, including the victim.

"He held them the day they were born," she said.

The victim's mother said Fitzpatrick's assault has negatively affected her daughter, now 8, who is receiving counseling.

"She cries all the time and doesn't want to be a little kid," she said. "We're told she suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome."

A letter by the victim, now 8, was read in court.

"I don't want him to do this to anyone else," her letter said. "I want him to stay in jail until he dies."

During arguments prior to the judge issuing the sentence, defense attorney Royal also argued that it was not established "on the record" that Fitzpatrick is older than age 17, a requirement under Jessica's Law.

Judge Switalski asked Fitzpatrick his age, at which point Royal told him not to reply. Oster intervened and noted that Fitzpatrick was born Oct. 20, 1944.

The Abuse did not merit Leniency

A judge sentenced a Ridgefield businessman on Tuesday to eight years, two months in prison for molesting two family members.

Don W. Winton, 53, has been in the Clark County Jail since pleading guilty July 5 to two counts of first-degree child molestation and one count of third-degree child molestation.

He will be transferred to prison Nov. 23.

Defense attorney Tom Phelan argued that Winton should be sentenced to a year in the Clark County Jail and then outpatient therapy for sexual deviants under the state's Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative.

"Mr. Winton is an ideal SSOSA candidate," Phelan said, citing three psychologists who said Winton has done well so far in therapy and is considered a low risk to reoffend.

Superior Court Judge Robert Harris said that while Winton may qualify for SSOSA, the abuse he subjected two young girls to did not merit leniency. Harris sided with Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kim Farr, who said a SSOSA sentence would be "a pat on the wrist" for the multiple times Winton abused the girls and the emotional scars he has left.

The abuse came to light a year ago, when one girl wrote about it in a notebook discovered by a teacher.

One victim told Harris that Winton used to take her on overnight trips for his import antiques business and abuse her in hotel rooms.

Both victims said they were in elementary school when the abuse began.

One victim, now 21, wrote in her statement, which was read Tuesday in court by a family friend, that she remembers as a young girl watching her mother leave for night classes, hoping she would turn around so she wouldn't be left with Winton.

The victim wrote that she wanted Winton to be humiliated and live in fear in prison so he can begin to understand how she felt all those nights when he came into her bedroom.

The sentence is a minimum term; once that term is complete, Winton could still be ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison by the state's Indeterminate Sentence Review Board.

Before his arrest, Winton was known as a vocal critic of former Ridgefield School Superintendent Mary Vagner. Winton helped defeat a $56 million bond measure in 2005 by arguing that Vagner's administration did not put students' needs first.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gary Glitter misses out on amnesty

VIETNAMESE President Nguyen Minh Triet has given amnesty to more than 8000 prisoners but British pop singer Gary Glitter, jailed for child molestation, was not on the list, officials said today.

A total of 8018 prisoners will be freed from prison including 13 foreigners and 48 others will not be placed behind bars in honour of the communist country's National Day.

Vice minister for public security Le The Tiem said 11 of those freed had been convicted for violating national security - a charge usually filed against political dissidents.

But an amnesty request by Glitter - the disgraced 1970s pop star who was sentenced to three years in jail in March 2006 for committing obscene acts with two girls, then aged 11 and 12, in southern Vietnam - was denied as expected.

In February, Glitter received a three-month term reduction to mark the traditional Tet lunar new year, moving his official release date forward to August 2008.


You Should Die In Jail

A young girl who was molested by a trusted elderly family member sat in court with her parents Tuesday, listening as a New London judge sentenced 80-year-old James J. Nieto to 30 years in prison.

“You should die in jail,” Judge Stuart M. Schimelman told Nieto after referencing “heartbreaking” evidence of damage to the girl and her sister.

The 10-year-old in jumper and tights had come to court expecting to deliver a victim impact statement, but she changed her mind when a marshal led the man she had known as “Doc” into the courtroom.

Nieto, who has been imprisoned since a jury convicted him Sept. 10, looked thinner and more fragile, wearing tan prison scrubs, than he had at trial, when he pushed his disabled wife's wheelchair into court daily and wore business suits.

The young victim left the room for a few minutes after catching sight of him. Her older sister, who suffered a more invasive assault by Nieto over a longer period of time, had chosen not to attend at all.

Their mother spoke on their behalf, giving free rein to the anger that had grown since she discovered Nieto, of New Rochelle, N.Y., molested her daughters during gatherings at a relative's home in Voluntown. She said Nieto had destroyed her children's trust. The children are related to Nieto through marriage.

“I hope while you're in prison, the same thing happens to you,” she said. She wished on him the same feelings of being small and overpowered. She hoped there would be nobody for him to talk to or trust. She told him to “live for a long time” with the knowledge of what he did to her daughters.

Nieto did not visibly react or speak during the sentencing.

Prosecutor Theresa Anne Ferryman said she continued to be startled by his callous and flip attitude toward the offenses. She said Nieto fondled the older sister multiple times and digitally penetrated her vagina. He had groped the younger girl more recently before the girl stopped him and disclosed the assaults to an adult family member.

“I don't want to leave this case without commenting on the tremendous pain that was caused to this family,” Ferryman said.

Nieto confessed to police and several family members after he was confronted about the crimes. He had pleaded not guilty following his arrest and, in taking the case to trial, rejected a plea offer of eight years in prison. Both victims had testified at the trial, and the jury deliberated for just 20 minutes before convicting him.

Defense attorney Eugene J. Riccio emphasized Nieto's lack of a prior record, his “excellent history” as an educator in New York City and good military record. He said it was very unusual to see somebody Nieto's age in this type of situation. He said there was no way to rationalize the offenses.

“People who engage in this activity are undeniably ill,” Riccio said. He noted Nieto has physical and mental problems. He said the state, with its offer of eight years in prison, had given his client no alternative but to take the case to trial.

“The anger is understandable,” Riccio said. “I just don't want the court to sentence this man as someone who walked away from a reasonable resolution.”

Schimelman commended the attorneys before sentencing Nieto.

“Many might feel Mr. Nieto should have no defense and no trial, but that's not the society we are,” he said.

The judge said he considered Nieto's background and education a detriment, because Nieto “certainly realized the crimes he perpetrated on these children.”

“I firmly believe that if we do not take action against those who perpetrate these types of crimes we are not a civilized society,” Schimelman said. No one wants to send an 80-year-old to prison, the judge said, but he had seen and heard the evidence of harm done to the children.

Riccio said he plans to appeal the verdict and asked the judge to set an appeal bond, so that Nieto could be released while the case is pending. The judge denied the bond, and a marshal led Nieto back to the courthouse lockup.

Convicted murderer and pedophile sentenced to death

A convicted murderer and pedophile has been sentenced to death for killing two young sisters more than a decade ago in Fort Lauderdale.

Howard Ault was first sentenced to death eight years ago. But the Florida Supreme Court threw out the sentence because a potential juror had been wrongly dismissed. The conviction was never thrown own.

A new jury in August again recommended the same fate for Ault.

He's accused of luring 11-year-old DeAnn Mu'min and 7-year-old Sybilla Jones to his apartment, promising them Halloween candy. He raped and strangled the older girl before strangling her younger sister. He then hid the bodies in his attic. He had been on house arrest for a prior sexual assault at the time.

His lawyer argued for leniency, claiming that his client was mentally ill and had been sexually abused as a child.

Associated Press

Repeat Child Molester also had Child Pornography

A 73-year-old accused of sexually abusing young girls and possessing child pornography failed to show up for his court appearance in New London Tuesday, prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his re-arrest.

Robert J. Sharp of 202 Westwood Park, Norwich, is a former Bible study teacher and cab driver who has told police he has “a sickness in his head.” He is charged with first-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault, three counts of risk of injury to a minor, disorderly conduct and possession of child pornography.

Sharp had been free on $275,000 bond. On Monday, when he failed to appear in court, Judge Susan B. Handy called his existing bonds and set a new bond of $610,000, cash or surety. A review of his court record shows he has a history of sex crimes against children dating back to 1985.

In the most recent case, Sharp was charged last month with groping a girl who was in his Bible study class beginning when the girl was 5 or 6 years old. The girl disclosed the assaults to her pastor, who then contacted the Department of Children and Families. A DCF social worker contacted Norwich police, who interviewed the victim and prepared an arrest warrant. The girl, now 14, said Sharp molested her over a period of several years, saying, “This is our little secret” and “I love you.”

They were both members of Biblical Ministries of Connecticut, an alternative church group that met in Norwich's Mohegan Park during warm months and in a leader's apartment in New London when it was cold. In September, Sharp admitted to police that his “screwed-up mind” became attracted to the girl and that he had started touching her inappropriately when she was 6 or 7. He said the girl was curious and that he assumed she wanted him to touch her. Sharp left the fellowship three or four years ago.

During his interview with police, Sharp said that in the 1980s he had been the leader of a Groton fellowship and had volunteered to travel the country, “spreading the fellowship word.” He said that he had been caught inappropriately touching a 4- or 5-year-old child in 1985 or 1986 while stationed in Tucson, Ariz.

Another court file indicates that New London police charged Sharp with risk of injury to a minor and disorderly conduct in September 2004 after a 9-year-old girl disclosed that Sharp, while working as a driver for Curtin Livery Service, had touched her inappropriately while driving her to appointments. Sharp applied for accelerated rehabilitation, a program that enables first-time offenders to clear their record if they comply with a probationary period. The case remains open, a likely indication that Sharp did not successfully complete the probation.

In June, New London police had charged Sharp with possession of child pornography. While investigating a complaint that Sharp had groped a young girl whom he transported regularly in New London, police asked Sharp if he had any pornographic material at his home. Sharp responded that he had “some videotapes of females doing nasty stuff” and e-mails of nude 13-year-olds. Police seized his computer and performed a forensic examination, finding 246 files containing images of pre-pubescent children, according to a his court file

Karen Florin

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Popular Pedophile Hunting Grounds

Christopher Neil will face new charges in connection with a second Thai youth who has accused the Canadian pedophile suspect of abusing him several years ago, Thai police said Tuesday.

Neil, the subject of an international police manhunt after police decoded digitally disguised photos of apparent abuse posted on the Internet, was arrested in Pattaya, Thailand, last week.

The 32-year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C., is alleged to have abused young boys in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand several years ago. However, until now he has been charged in only one case involving a Thai youngster who was nine years old at the time of the alleged abuse in 2003.

Thai police said that additional charges would be filed against Neil after a second boy testified that he sexually abused him four years ago.

The new charges are based on an account by the nine-year-old's older brother who was 14 when he was allegedly molested, also in 2003. Neil has denied any wrongdoing.

The older boy, now 19, told police questioners that he was lured by another boy to Neil's apartment in Bangkok in May 2003 to play computer games a few times. During his third visit, Neil molested him.

"Neil took off the child's clothes and took photos of him naked. Neil asked the child to touch his sexual organ and he also touched the child's sexual organ," said Lt.-Col. Manat Thongsimuang, deputy chief of the police division for Suppression of Crime Against Children, Juveniles and Women.

Manat said the new charges expected to be filed Wednesday are taking away a child under 15 without parental consent with intent to molest, punishable by up to 20 years in prison; and sexual abuse of a child under 15, punishable by up to 10 years.

Photos of the siblings were among some 200 pictures found by Interpol on the Internet, which had the face of the perpetrator digitally obscured.

Computer experts with the German police manage to unscramble the photos so that the man's face was recognizable. Interpol circulated the photos publicly and subsequent tips allowed them to identify Neil as a suspect.

Neil refused to speak to an Associated Press reporter who visited him Tuesday at Bangkok Remand Prison.

Canadian authorities have said they will seek his extradition, but have not yet done so, according to Thai officials. Canada has sex tourism laws allowing prosecution for crimes committed overseas.

Neil had taught at schools in Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam since 2000. Before then, Neil worked as a chaplain in Canada, counselling teenagers.

Pattaya is known for its nightlife, thriving sex industry and popularity among foreign fugitives and criminal gangs. Several countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, are popular with pedophiles because of poverty that drives children and their parents to accept money for sexual favours, and because of sometimes lax law enforcement and justice systems.

Little Man Syndrome

Pedophiles are significantly shorter on average than men who are attracted to adults, according to a new study out of Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Similar height differences can be found in men who crave sex with pubescent teenagers, say study researchers, who speculate the link between stature and pedophilia might be traced to conditions in the womb.

The study – which looked at 1,200 men, most of whom were assessed for sexual disorders between 1995 and 2006 at the centre – was published yesterday in Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment.

It found pedophiles were 2 cm shorter than the average Canadian man, who stands 178 cm or 5 feet 10 inches tall, a statistically significant difference.

"It's about double the effect that would happen if a mother smokes while she's pregnant," said CAMH psychologist James Cantor, the study's lead author.

The height of men in the study who were attracted to young teenagers – known as hebephiles – was right in the middle of the pedophile and non-pedophile average.

Cantor stressed the vast majority of shorter men have no sexual desire for children.

But for men who are pedophiles, the pre-birth conditions that affected their growth could also have interfered with the sexual wiring of their brains.

While nothing in the study pointed to the exact time such a neurological change occurs, Cantor said earlier research indicates it happens in the womb.

"Pedophiles are (also) about three times more likely to be left-handed and that's something that really only happens with brain organization before birth."

Cantor said the suspected biological link to the disorder does not lessen the culpability of pedophiles who act on their sexual urges.

"The best analogy is that the great majority of males are attracted to women for biological reasons, but that doesn't excuse rape," he said.

The research has potential for a medical prevention for pedophilia, especially if the conditions that cause the disease can be identified and altered in the womb.

No one knows what percentage of men are pedophiles, but Cantor said it is a uniquely male condition and that his group at the centre assesses 250 to 300 men a year who are suspected of being pedophiles.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Let's not do that again

Milt Miley wanted a new trial. He might regret the appeal after getting an additional three years in prison.

A seven-woman, five-man jury deliberated for just over an hour Monday afternoon before convicting Miley on all 57 counts. The jury ruled he molested two teenage brothers over a four-year period. Richland County Common Pleas Judge James Henson sentenced Miley to 38 years in prison. Miley received 35 years after his May 2005 case, but he faced more charges this time.

Miley received a retrial because of a judicial error in the first case.

“We didn’t want to get into any bad acts or any previous convictions,” Prosecutor James Mayer Jr. said of this trial.

Defense attorney Joseph Salzgeber said another appeal is possible.

“We’re going to consider our options,” he said. “We’re obviously disappointed in the outcome.”

Assistant Prosecutor Bambi Couch-Page, who tried both cases with Mayer, hopes she never sees Miley again.

“It’s done, and we made sure everything was clean,” she said while accepting congratulations from a number of people.

The father of the brothers smiled as Henson read the verdict, while his sister clasped hands with the mother of Miley’s previous victim. The two women, near tears, were barely able to contain their joy.

Four of Miley’s loved ones sat quietly on the opposite side of the courtroom.
The victims’ father credited the state.

“I’m just so appreciative of the prosecutor’s office,” he said. “They really get after it.”
The brothers, who spent a combined 11 hours on the stand, were not present for the verdict. Their father discouraged them from attending.

“They’re doing better,” he said, “but there are still some issues they’re going to have to deal with the rest of their lives.”

Henson also declared Miley a sexual predator, meaning he will have to register with the county sheriff every 90 days for the rest of his life upon his release from prison.

Mayer predicted Miley would not make it out of prison.

“He’ll be an old man if he lives that long,” the prosecutor said. “It’s pretty hard to live that long when you’re in the Ohio penal system.”

Henson ruled Miley presents the greatest threat of recidivism.

“It’s not his first time,” the judge said. “It’s not even the second time.”

Couch-Page said Miley demonstrated a “behavioral blueprint.”

“He targets young boys,” she said. “He likes blond-haired, blue-eyed boys from families that are in a tumultuous time. He places himself in the role of father figure or someone who can be trusted.

“Mr. Miley doesn’t view his behavior as anything out of the ordinary.”

Salzgeber asked Henson for the lesser declaration of sexually oriented offender, pointing out he had been a law-abiding citizen for the bulk of his life.

Miley declined to address the court.

Jurors shook hands with Mayer and Couch-Page as they left the courtroom. Some also shook hands with Salzgeber, who admitted some of the defense witnesses didn’t help Miley’s case.

“Some of them were nervous,” he said. “That’s not always conducive to getting everything out there.”

The verdict concluded a grueling nine-day trial that saw three witnesses take the stand for more than four hours. Henson made note of the lengthy case as he retired to his chambers.

“Let’s not do this again,” he said to the attorneys with a smile.

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

Suicidal Pedophile

A 41-year-old Anderson man is being held on $100,000 full-cash bond at the Madison County Jail on four charges of child molestation.

Alvin P. Butler is accused of having sex with a 10-year-old girl multiple times beginning in July. He was arraigned on the charges Monday.

School officials notified police on Friday after the girl told them what was taking place, according to court documents. The girl said the molestations took place when he was watching her while her mother went to Bible study class.

When the girl’s mother learned of the allegations, she “accosted” him, according to the court papers. He attempted suicide when the woman confronted him, and was arrested at the Anderson Center.

Police and prosecutors sought the higher bond because Butler is considered a flight risk. He has a long criminal history and is wanted in Nevada on unspecified charges. He has only lived in Indiana for eight months and doesn’t have strong ties to Anderson.

Three of the child molesting charges are Class A felonies punishable by 20 to 50 years in prison if convicted. He is also charged with child molesting as a Class C felony, which carries a term of two to eight years behind bars. A fifth charge, of attempted child molestation, is also a Class A felony.

Pedophile Runs from Cameras

AN elderly man ran from the District Court today, minutes after denying any involvement in the sexual assault of two teenagers in the 1970s.

Lawrence John O'Shea, 69, of Adelaide, pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of indecent assault of a male, buggery, indecent interference and gross indecency.

Court documents allege the offences span the 1970s, occurring between:

  • AUGUST 1970 and November 1972.
  • MAY 1974 and October 1977.
  • FEBRUARY 1975 and October 1977.
  • MAY 1975 and October 1977.
  • JANUARY 1977 and February 1977.

O'Shea's lawyers presented the court with a copy of the allegations signed by their client.

He spoke only once, saying "ah, not guilty" when asked how he would plead.

He was remanded on continuing bail to appear again in December.

Outside court, O'Shea walked a short distance with a supporter before turning and running from the media.

Clutching a blue fishing cap to his head, he ran down Gouger St and ducked into the Central Market.

O'Shea then met up with his supporter and said it was "easy" to "give the cameras the slip".

The conversation, however, was recorded by the media, who had followed O'Shea.

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

See Pedo Run

Six years after he allegedly assaulted two sisters, convicted child molester James Ernest Hope is due in Carson City District Court next Monday to answer the charges.

Attorney Derrick Lopez, who represents Hope on a similar charge in Douglas County, said his client was scheduled by the Carson City District Attorney’s Office to appear Oct. 29.

Lopez told Douglas District Judge Michael Gibbons on Monday that he was trying to confirm that Carson City lawyer John Oakes would represent Hope as he has in the past.

Hope, 43, fled Nevada in 2004 while awaiting trial on five felony charges in Carson City. According to the victims, the assaults occurred in 2001 when the girls were ages 4 and 6.

Carson City authorities began investigating Hope in 2003 and charged him in 2004.

He disappeared shortly after Douglas County issued a warrant for his arrest in September 2004 after he allegedly improperly touched a 10-year-old Minden girl.

He was captured in Washington one year ago and convicted of felony child molestation in the first degree and gross misdemeanor communicating with a minor for immoral purposes for a separate offense.

He is serving life in prison with the possibility of parole and could be eligible for release as early as 2011. His Washington parole depends on completion of a two-year treatment program for sex offenders and a psycho-sexual assessment that he is at low risk to offend.

Hope was returned to Douglas County in July where he is being held without bail.

He waived a preliminary hearing last month in East Fork Justice Court and was expected to plead to one count of lewdness with a child under 14.

At issue is the impact Hope’s Washington conviction would have on any sentence in Douglas County or Carson City.

In a plea agreement which Hope has not signed, Douglas County would drop the enhancement of life in prison without possibility of parole if he pleaded guilty to one count of lewdness with a child under 14.

That means he could be eligible for parole in 10 years if he was determined to be a low risk to reoffend.

In an unsigned agreement that Lopez received from Carson City, in exchange for Hope’s guilty plea to two of five felony charges, the other counts would be dropped along with the enhancement.

He would face life with possibility of parole after 10 years and a $10,000 fine on the Carson City charges.

Douglas District Judge Michael Gibbons set Hope’s arraignment for Nov. 5, following his Carson City appearance to determine what charges he’s facing there.

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

'It was all about me'

With a proliferation of horrific allegations in the headlines, Canadians can be forgiven for thinking that child molesters are everywhere. But what is the actual prevalence of the problem, and how should we be dealing with it?

TORONTO -He began by cultivating the boy as a friend -- a method that would serve him well over the years.

Bob, then 30 years old, won the 12-year-old boy's trust during visits to the local fair, with trips to new movies and through gifts of candy and sports equipment.

Such attention and excitement no child could resist, and Bob knew it. He asked for nothing in return until one night, in the basement of a family home, he reached across the sofa and fondled the boy.

Before that encounter, there had been several attempts at groping, but this bold move would be the last -- with this boy. Bob would be in jail within two months, but would go on to abuse dozens of boys, eventually becoming one of North America's most infamous child molesters.

Almost 20 years since his first arrest, and almost 40 since he first offended, Bob is sitting in a church basement describing his life: "a mess."

For much of the past decade, he has been taking medication to dull the sexual urges and fantasies that at one time made young boys irresistible to him. He believes that the chemical castration as well as the support of his family and that of a group called Circles of Support has helped him reform.

"No more victims. Not from me. I can guarantee no more victims from me," he says.

Bob will speak only on the condition of anonymity because he is so reviled that the mention of his name is likely to distract from his message. His supporters believe any publicity could threaten an already fragile network rallying around pedophiles who seek out and commit to treatment.

A lumbering man in his fifties with greying hair, Bob's early childhood was full of family and sport. Then, when he was 10, he was sexually abused by a cousin, and then later by a family friend, and was left confused and isolated.

He quelled his troubled adolescent libido by throwing himself into athletics. In his teenage years, he disguised his passion for younger boys, between the ages of 10 and 14, as a love of sport, and became a coach.

When he was about 18, he began to prey on vulnerable team members, those with low self-confidence and remote parents.

"In the beginning, for maybe one iota, I did care [about the boys,]" he said. "But then the old instincts took over because I was going to get what I wanted. I knew what I wanted and I didn't care how I got it. It was all about me, me, me," he said.

Each potential victim began as a "friend" -- someone Bob could groom; someone whose hair he at first touched, later a shoulder, gradually progressing to the private parts.

Even after years of therapy, he still distinguishes himself from other abusers, adamantly denying he ever sodomized a victim. But, he allows, the way he touched them may have left them believing they had been.

His vocabulary is littered with phrases evocative of years of therapy; he routinely puts his hands in the shape of a wheel to explain "the offence cycle: pretend normal, building up, acting out and justification."

In and out of prison for most of his adult life, Bob said that for a number of years he was able to continue hiding his offences from family, friends and even, for a while, the public. His first sentence did not make the newspapers, which meant that while he was in jail, he convinced his family during collect calls home that he was travelling.

As other offences caught up with him, Bob confessed, and had to assure his siblings that he had never assaulted his nephews, and tried to tell his parents that they could not have prevented him from becoming a pedophile.

"You and Dad did absolutely nothing wrong. It was the choices that I made," Bob remembered telling his mother outside a courthouse.

Faced with a battery of lawsuits -- some from victims he does not recall or maintains he never abused -- Bob admits he is still fearful that a police officer will knock on his door again and level more accusations against him.

"That used to be in the front of my mind; now it's back here," he said, pointing to the base of his head.

He considers himself a "lucky one" because his family and a few friends have not abandoned him, although he acknowledges he must work "day-by-day, hour-by-hour" toward a trust that he may never regain.

Bob lives alone in a government-subsidized apartment. He washes daily, shaves, wears clean clothes and watches movies at a theatre where children do not attend. He avoids shopping malls, arenas and schools, and refuses to go to a McDonald's restaurant if he sees children inside. He does not feel attracted to them, he said, but does not want to jeopardize nearly a decade of not offending.

"I have to be motivated so I have no victims," he explained. Bob's goal is to keep making "the right decisions." After so much of an abnormal life, he relishes the bits of normalcy: He is grateful to receive an indifferent salutation, a business card, a wave.

Bob agreed to be interviewed because he hopes his story may inspire other sexual offenders to see themselves in his story, to "take responsibility" and maybe turn their lives around. Asked what he would like to tell a skeptical public about himself, he said: "Hate me for what I did, hate me for what I have done, but don't hate me for who I am because you don't know me." He said he cannot ask for forgiveness because he does not want to take the power away from the people he victimized. "If I ask for forgiveness, I've got the power. If they choose forgiveness, that's fine, that's their choice. I don't want to take the power away from them because I did take the power away from them. I made them feel vulnerable and powerless and that's enough of that."

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

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pedophilia: Southeast Asia's sordid secret

The arrest in Thailand of a Canadian man suspected of having sex with young boys has focused international attention on a sordid industry that peddles children to pedophiles across Southeast Asia.

Grinding poverty, poor policing and no shortage of demand ensure that exploitation of children for sex thrives throughout the region.

Despite some high-profile prosecutions of child sex abusers, experts say lack of cooperation among governments is hindering efforts to keep children safe from pedophilia.

The Friday arrest of teacher Christopher Paul Neil, 32, was the culmination of an unprecedented appeal from Interpol for public help in finding him.

Neil is accused of sexually assaulting 12 boys and posting 200 pictures of the crimes on the Internet.

His case is the latest to draw attention to the fact that children are readily available in Southeast Asia for sexual predators who travel from the West for the sole purpose of having sex with minors.

Probably the highest profile offender is former rock star Gary Glitter -- real name Paul Francis Gadd -- now in a Vietnamese prison convicted of committing obscene acts with two girls, then aged 11 and 12.

Campaign groups say much of the demand for child sex is homegrown and accuse authorities of often turning a blind eye, or even colluding in the abuse.

Lack of public awareness is compounded by lack of data, and punishments are rarely harsh enough to act as a deterrent. Even those caught and sentenced can often have their punishments downgraded by paying off their victims and accusers, experts say.

"There is a lack of awareness in the general public, and there is a lack of awareness among certain government officials," said Alexander Kruger, a child protection specialist at UNICEF in Thailand.

In Indonesia, authorities do not see the children as victims but prosecute them as illegal sex workers, said Arist Merdeka Sirait, who heads the National Commission for Child Protection group.

Indonesia has had a national action plan in place since 2000, and an anti-human trafficking law was introduced in 2006.

But experts say that even where laws exist, implementation is often ineffective.

Sirait estimates that about 40,000-70,000 Indonesian children fall into the sex trade each year, two thirds of them trafficked abroad, while the group ECPAT, which campaigns against child prostitution, says Vietnamese children are being sent to Cambodia, China, Malaysia and Taiwan for abuse.

After decades as a haven for child sex tourists, Cambodia has been cracking down in recent years, arresting or deporting at least two dozen foreigners since 2003.

But the country's most notorious child sex market, a brothel village near Phnom Penh allegedly closed in 2004, still operates, albeit driven underground and more difficult to monitor.

Cambodians make up a large percentage of pedophiles, according to rights groups in the field, but domestic pedophilia is treated as an ordinary crime rather than a social problem.

"We don't deny that Asian men like to have sex with children here, but we have received very little information about this," said Major General Bit Kimhong, director of the Interior Ministry's Anti-Human Trafficking Department.

Australia and Japan, sources of child sex tourists, have dealt with the issue in vastly different ways.

In Japan, criticized as the world's main producer of underage pornography, the number of prosecutions involving child prostitution and pornography has risen in recent years -- peaking at 1,080 cases in the first half of last year.

But, said Keiko Saito, a Tokyo-based ECPAT official: "The government has done nothing to stop sex tourists from Japan."

One Japanese man was sentenced to prison after having sex with a 15-year-old Cambodian girl and posting pictures on his homepage last year but his sentence was suspended after he paid the girl compensation.

By contrast, Australia introduced laws in 1994 allowing Australians engaging in child sex overseas to be prosecuted at home, with individuals facing jail terms up to 17 years.

The Philippines has one of Asia's most widely-used anti-child prostitution laws which has led to the arrest and conviction of child molesters and pedophiles.

The most celebrated case in recent years was that of Filipino congressman Romeo Jalosjos, who was convicted in 1997 for raping an 11-year-old girl who was "sold" to him by her father.

Rights groups estimate there are around 1.5 million street children, of whom more than 30,000 have been prostituted, in many cases by their parents.

Rooted in poverty, as elsewhere, the problem was exacerbated in the 1980s by US bases in the northern cities of Clark and Subic, where bars employed children who ended up as sex workers for American soldiers.


Repeat Child Molester

The victim said he did it. The accused even admitted that it happened. Yet neither proved to be enough to find a Holts Summit man guilty of molesting his granddaughter

Allen R. Johnson, 71, was acquitted of two counts of child molestation Wednesday in Callaway County Circuit Court after Judge Gene Hamilton ruled the confession inadmissible.

The trial began Oct. 16 and ended the next day, offering only the victim's testimony - and no physical evidence - for the jury to consider.

Charges against Johnson stemmed from a complaint made in May 2006 by the stepmother of his 12-year-old granddaughter - who claims that Johnson inappropriately touched her.

The statement asserts that the child told her stepmother that from age 6 to age 8 Allen Johnson touched her private parts, and had her touch his - which Johnson purportedly admitted to Callaway County Sheriff's investigators, adding also that he received sexual gratification from her touch.

Though Hamilton presented no explanation for his ruling, defense attorney Justin Carver thinks, “justice was done,” because he believes Johnson's admission was unlawfully acquired.

According to Carver, the confession was obtained during a time when Johnson should have been en route to the Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center in Columbia - based on a court order the police failed to immediately obey.

Carver backs that belief on the basis that another judge who initially heard the case also had granted his motion to suppress.

“This was an awfully interesting case, and one that doesn't happen often,” Carver told The Fulton Sun. “But, if two judges find what happened is that significantly flawed, that says there were some flaws there.”

The prosecution disagrees.

“Certainly it was devastating to the victim's family, who knew that the defendant had confessed and that the judge made the ruling that he made,” said Prosecuting Attorney Bob Sterner. “Based on the law and the way the judges understood it, the jury had to rule without the confession.

“And, there wasn't enough evidence to find him guilty beyond reasonable doubt.”

Sterner noted that there is no case law that tells if the investigator's decision to question Johnson before taking him to Mid-Mo was illegal. He said neither he nor Carver could find one that was even close.

Sterner also said that a judge can be asked to make written findings, but that wasn't requested at the time of the trial, and now it can't be done.

Knowing this, the victim's family longs for reasons why Johnson's constitutional rights are more important than their daughter's.

To the child's parents, the system needs to “find a better way to protect the victim.”

“He did this, and everyone up there knows that he's guilty,” said the stepmother, Candy Johnson. “If there was a confession to be heard there should be no way, shape or form that the jury shouldn't hear it.

“I hope they go sleepless every night of their lives knowing that they let that damn child molester go free.”

The child's father agrees, and claims this is not the first time Johnson has been accused of the crime.

“The man has been known twice before to have molested other children, including his own stepdaughter and sister,” Michael Johnson said. “But the law and the courts don't allow you to tell the truth.

“We did everything the prosecution asked us to do, and still it wasn't enough to get justice.”

The accused Allen Johnson, who now lives in Linn, said he's ready to put the case behind him.

“I've had a year of this and I've lost a lot,” Johnson told the Fulton Sun. “The whole thing was extinguished by several jurors and the judge Š and I'm through with it.”

Johnson elected not to comment on the other allegations of molestation that were made by his son Michael.
"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

How a flabby fiend stole a girl's innocence

IT started with an innocent "Hi" popping up on the girl's computer screen then blossomed into a whirlwind online romance.

The girl was only 14. She thought her suitor was a teenage boy.

Then it descended into a hell of sexual abuse at the hands of one of Australia's most conniving predators.

The nightmare started one Friday night when the year 8 Melbourne girls' school student was doing homework and instant messaging friends on the MSN network.

She found a new internet friend who wanted to talk. Little did she know she was already a victim.

Behind the flickering words on her screen sat flabby pedophile Bram Henderson, 34.

But in the online world he was teen hunk John. He complimented the girl's profile photo.

In the intense conversations that followed, the pedophile used multiple characters and an emotional arsenal of flattery, trickery, threats and guilt to manipulate the girl.

Using the abbreviated texting language of today's teens -- lol (laugh out loud), dw (don't worry), kewl (cool), lmao (laugh my a--- off), and *S* (smile) -- Henderson won her trust within five minutes.

Within 10 minutes Henderson asked where she went to school. Within 20 minutes of that first "Hi" he was trying to meet her.

John -- the 17-year-old bad boy with a heart of gold and handsome online photo -- was one of three online identities used by Henderson to ensnare his victim.

The virtual "troubled but romantic teen" character was from Sydney and didn't know many people, though he dropped names of the girl's online friends.

He sent her French poetry he claimed to have written and told her she was "the most beautiful girl I've ever seen".

She was flattered by the attention from the "charming, muscular teen", saying it was unusual for boys to take an interest in her.

Their first chat lasted six hours. Their daily conversations ran for three months and fill more than 300 pages.

As hours and hours of "talking" passed, flirting escalated to an exchange of elaborate invented sex stories.

When the intense online relationship was only days old, the pair exchanged online, or virtual, kisses and pledged their love to each other.

The pedophile soon had the girl's mobile number, but he was careful not to part with any of his contact details.

He harangued the girl more than 100 times for more photos of herself, with more and more requests for explicit shots. When the girl refused or stalled, he told her she had betrayed his trust. When she complied with his sick requests he praised her and pledged undying love.

As the danger to the girl intensified, friends warned her that the boyfriend she had not met could be a pedophile.

Henderson, as John, persuaded her that his accusers were flirts scorned over his rejection of them online.

The pedophile told the girl they were not really going out, so ". . . get with me 1 u like . . . and tell me about it".

But when she revealed she'd been petting with a boy her age, Henderson's John feigned betrayal.

He launched a guilt campaign against her -- that she shattered his vulnerable trust and must make it up to him.

The puppetmaster pedophile then created a new internet character, Larry -- John's best friend from Sydney.

Larry told of John's long, hard triumph over adversity and of a broken heart -- healed wounds the girl was at risk of re-opening.

In the real world, she tried to meet John at his purported building site workplace.

But, in different ways, Larry and John told the girl her presence at the site cost John his job and that he was forced to return to Sydney and his demons.

Larry told the girl her actions made John suicidal, that it was her fault -- but his boss would reinstate him if she slept with the boss.

Several times, at display homes, the girl was then abused by the pedophile -- posing as her "boyfriend's boss".

The young victim posted, "I don't like my thoughts any more" and questioned the existence of the teen with whom she fell in love.

Tip-offs from the girl's worried friends led police to Henderson meeting the girl.

He is serving a minimum six years' jail without internet access.

Convicted Charge Molester Charged in Another CAse

An Easton man sentenced to state prison for molesting a girl has been arrested on charges he molested a girl between 1997 and 1999, beginning when she was 4, city police said.

Donald H. Muskett, 31, was charged Thursday with aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault. According to court papers, Muskett molested the girl at a residence in the 300 block of Seitz Avenue.

He was recommitted to Northampton County Prison prison on $50,000 bail by District Judge Sandra Zemgulis of Easton.

Last month, Muskett received four to eight years in prison for sexual assault, three to six years for aggravated indecent assault, and one to two years for indecent assault. The sentences will run consecutively, meaning Muskett will spend eight to 16 years in prison. Muskett was baby-sitting the girl he molested. He was arrested in 2005 after the girl reported the abuse.

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

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Child Porn and Predators

A Florida man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on child pornography charges that stemmed from his run-in with border agents in Windsor.

Enrique Devarona, 21, of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., was detained by customs agents on Christmas Day at the Ambassador Bridge while en route to a hookup with a 16-year-old girl he met on the Internet.

Agents found children's toys, women's lingerie and child pornography on a laptop computer in Devarona's car. The images included hardcore pictures of naked men engaged in sexual acts with children as young as a year old.

When he was caught, Devarona was travelling to Tillsonburg where he was meeting a 16-year-old girl from St. Catharines, according to testimony in a Windsor court.

After pleading guilty in Windsor to importing child pornography into Canada, he was sentenced to 61/2 months in jail in late March.

The Canadian case prompted U.S. authorities to start an investigation, said Ivan Ortiz, spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. U.S. officials searched Devarona's home in Santa Rosa Beach.

"We could not have done this without the Canadian Border Services Agency and the Windsor police department," Ortiz said. "They played a significant role."

Devarona was deported to the U.S. upon his release from Windsor Jail. He was sent to federal court in the Northern District of Florida in Pensacola to face charges of possession of child pornography and transporting and shipping child pornography across state lines.

Devarona pleaded guilty in May and was sentenced Sept. 26 to 10 years in prison and a $1,000 fine. After his release from prison, Devarona will have to serve 10 years on mandatory supervision. He will be listed as a sex offender in Canada and the U.S.

Windsor Star

Jerome Franz Gonzalez

A jury on Friday found that a man attempting to be paroled to Humboldt County was a sexually violent predator, meaning he'll now be sent to a state hospital for an indefinite amount of time.

Deputy District Attorney Allan Dollison said a Humboldt County jury made the determination about Jerome Franz Gonzalez, 61, after a trial.

There was no new crime. The trial was specifically to determine if Gonzalez was officially a sexually violent predator. Once a jury makes that determination, a person can then be sentenced to treatment at a state-run facility.

Dollison said Gonzalez has been convicted of sexual crimes in the past in Placer and Del Norte counties and lived in Humboldt County between 1992 and 1999.

In 1999, he was convicted in Humboldt County for attacking a woman with a rock and sentenced to prison.

He was due to be released from Mule Creek Prison into Humboldt County, but because of past convictions and statements made by Gonzalez, he was subject to the trial “to determine if it's likely he'll commit crimes in the future,” Dollison said.

One of the key facts in the trial is statements Gonzalez made in a 2004 examination, according to Dollison.

”He indicated that he couldn't guarantee that he wouldn't do it again,” Dollison said.

He'll now be sent to a civil facility for treatment.

”Basically, he'll be sent to a state hospital,” Dollison said.

Gonzalez's attorney, Kevin Robinson, declined to comment on the case.

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lock 'Em Up

Alberta's proposed mental health act changes may hand police one heck of a Christmas present: confinement conditions that could also make it the toughest anti-pedophile law in Canada.

But civil liberties advocates say that the changes are so broadly worded they could also lead to people being indefinitely confined for conditions as publicly harmless as anxiety and depression.

Lawyers for Alberta Health confirmed yesterday that the new law, which is expected to pass this fall, could be used to confine any person with a recognized mental health condition indefinitely.

That's assuming two doctors studying the patient in question issue letters indicating they believe the person, once released, is a threat to themselves or others or is refusing treatment.

Under the standard definitions for psychiatric conditions, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association -which help make up the definitions used in Canada - that would include pedophilia.
Police say that given their years of fighting defence lawyers over whether pedophiles are principally criminals or incredibly sick - and given their high rates of reoffending and the belief that pedophilia is incurable - indefinite confinement is the way to go.

"As far as curing pedophilia, I'm not saying it could never be the case," said Staff Sgt. Todd Laycock, of the Edmonton police ZEBRA child protection unit.

"But I see a value in a provision that allows the medical community to make an assessment and, if they are an ongoing danger to the public, keep them under treatment until cured."

A particular provision of the changes, which await third reading and assent in the fall, is the suggestion that confinement could be ordered on the basis of a patient refusing treatment, along with being an ongoing danger to the public.

That includes some of the pedophiles police have dealt with, said Layock.

"We see the whole gamut, from those who offend once and feel awful, and would do anything to turn back the clock, to those at the other end of the spectrum who feel they have done nothing wrong.

Jeremy Loome

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pedophile Remission

The people rested their case Tuesday in a hearing held to determine whether a man twice convicted of molesting young children should be declared a Sexually Violent Predator under California law.

Jerome Franz Gonzales, 61, could face involuntary civil commitment — an open-ended sentence at a locked psychiatric facility — if the jury finds three elements in the case: that Gonzales committed qualifying prior offenses, that he suffers from a diagnosed mental disorder and that his mental disorder is such that he would likely re-offend if released.

But an expert testified Tuesday that he did not believe the criteria had been met.

Dr. James J. Park, a clinical psychologist testifying on behalf of Gonzales, said the man’s release would pose “a very low risk” to the community.

“He is very unlikely to re-offend,” Park said, adding that in his professional opinion Gonzales “does not have a diagnosed mental illness that presupposes him to sexually criminal acts.”

Park interviewed Gonzales twice — in 2005 and 2006 — and diagnosed him with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder and a personality disorder with antisocial and narcissistic features.

Park also diagnosed Gonzales with pedophilia and alcohol dependence, but said both conditions were in remission.

“If it is not actively going on at this particular time, then it is in remission,” Park said.

Gonzales declined to be interviewed by experts who argued for his commitment, and also refused to participate in the Sexual Offender Commitment Program at Atascadero State Hospital, where he was previously sent for treatment.

But on cross-examination, Park volunteered that 80 percent of ASH patients do not participate in the SOCP.

“I don’t fault him at all for not doing that,” Park said, adding that patients who do participate can spend between six and 10 years working through just one phase of the five-step program.

Park argued that the program itself was fundamentally flawed, focusing too much on details of past offenses in an attempt to prevent relapses.

Preventing relapses should be the goal of sex-offender treatment plans, Park agreed, but said the SOCP approach had been criticized for instilling a sense of shame in participants.

“Shame,” he said, “is looking at yourself as scum.” It’s a negative emotion that, in Park’s opinion, actually increases the risk of re-offense.

A contentious cross-examination by Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Allan Dollison followed, with Dollison grilling Park on numerous details of his testimony.

The psychologist conceded that he had performed only 30 SVP evaluations in his career, and in each case that proceeded to court had always argued against civil commitment.

Dollison questioned whether Park had taken into account in this case a report from one examiner that stated Gonzales had admitted molesting children as many as 10 times, although he had been charged in only two cases.

Park answered that Gonzales told him that, on the advice of a doctor, he had fabricated the additional offenses in order to qualify for a treatment program — even though, as Dollison quickly noted, Gonzales was refusing to participate in the program currently available to him.

Dollison asked at one point if Park believed Gonzales’ pedophilia had been cured.

“There is no cure,” Park said, “so I would not even use that terminology.”

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

Saturday, October 13, 2007

American Pedophile Clown

An American national who worked as a clown at an orphanage in Davao Oriental was charged with child pornography and other offenses in the US after authorities discovered photos of naked young boys in his digital camera.

Paul Carlock, a 57-year-old former police officer, worked as "Klutzo the Clown" for about a decade in the House of Joy orphanage in San Isidro, Davao Oriental.

Carlock was arrested by airport authorities after his bags were found to have images on his camera and computer of naked boys, most about 9 or 10 years old, from the orphanage.

Arrested Tuesday in the midwestern state of Illinois, Carlock was charged with knowingly possessing child pornography and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.

Friday, October 12, 2007

1.4 million photos

Polish police, with assistance from Interpol, have arrested 55 people on pedophilia-related charges during the search of 543 apartments across Poland.

Zbigniew Urbanski of the Polish police headquarters said people distributing child pornography on the Internet may face up to 8 years in jail, while those possessing incriminating pictures may be jailed up to 5 years, Polish Radio reported Friday.

Urbanski said police in Austria and the Netherlands had supplied Internet addresses of computers from which thousands of CD and DVD contents were disseminated or downloaded. More than 300 arrests involving child pornography were made in France during four days of raids that began Monday, the BBC reported. More than 1.4 million photos and 20,000 videos were seized.

Police were continuing activities in search for more members of the pedophilia ring as more links could be uncovered on the 435 seized personal computers in Poland.

One of the arrested people had more than 150,000 pornographic pictures of children, Urbanski said.