"San Antonio Four Exonerated
"IN THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TEXAS
According to Applicants’ expert, Dr. Alexandria Doyle, the sexual-assault allegations in this case do not pass “the smell test.” This emotional response certainly captures the sense of outrage that so many harbor about these cases. Whether it is in articles or a documentary, these cases involving “The San Antonio Four” have been well dissected in popular media.
In the summer of 1994, two young girls alleged that four young lesbian women, including the girls’ aunt, had spontaneously and violently gang-raped them on two occasions within a single week. The who-what-when-and-where changed from the outcries, to the statements made to the police, to the statements made to the examining doctor, to the testimony at two trials. But those inconsistencies were easy to set aside given the physical findings associated with child sexual abuse found by Dr. Nancy Kellogg, who asserted that the older child showed physical, objective signs of sexual abuse: In light of Dr. Kellogg’s testimony, the girls’ stories had the ring of truth.
“Dr. Kellogg has retracted her testimony about the physical indicators of past trauma. She now agrees with the defense that there are no definitive signs of sexual abuse, and she has acknowledged that her testimony at trial was wrong.”
All parties and courts, including this one, agree that all four Applicants are entitled to have their convictions and sentences vacated because of the introduction of what is now known to be scientifically invalid or inaccurate evidence.
Finally, the Applicants have presented new expert testimony that they are not sex offenders. None of the four Applicants fit the profile for sex offenders, and psychological evaluations have confirmed this.
"Sex Offender Fights Removal From Hospice
"By IZZY KAPNICK Friday, September 09, 2016 - Last Update: 11:01 AM PT
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CN) - A Florida city's sex-offender law faces scrutiny in litigation over whether a wheelchair-bound former doctor, convicted of patient abuse in the 1980s, should be forced out of a hospice due to its proximity to a school.
A Palm Beach County court petition filed Aug. 31 claims Jack Ehrhart, a hospice patient with end-stage Alzheimer's disease, has been threatened with arrest if he does not move out of Heartland of Boynton Beach, a nursing home near a local preschool.
The City of Boynton Beach purportedly issued a notice to Ehrhart and the hospice accusing them of violating an ordinance that prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school, daycare center or playground.
To Read The Rest Of The Story Click Above.
" The challenge of elderly sex offenders Where should they live? What if their health and minds are failing?
By Nicki Gorny Posted Nov 20, 2016 at 2:01 AM
By the time deputies arrested Thomas Bernard Brown for failing to register as a sexual predator, he had built up a 10-year record of consistent registration in Marion County.
That’s 42 check-ins, as his attorneys and his friends pointed out at a sentencing hearing in June. When it came to No. 43, Brown, 72, who has since been diagnosed with early stages of dementia, says that he simply forgot.
“My only crime, your honor, is that I have become old and forgetful,” he told Circuit Judge Robert Hodges that day.
To Read The Rest Of The Story Click Above.
"Knoxville sexting case embraces 'free the nipple' message
"Grant Rodgers , firstname.lastname@example.org 6:43 p.m. CST November 11, 2016
The message of the "free the nipple" campaign is coming to the federal courthouse in Des Moines.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa announced Friday it is joining a federal lawsuit brought in September against Marion County Attorney Ed Bull for threatening to bring a sexual exploitation charge against a teenage girl who sent two suggestive photos of herself to a high school classmate. The lawsuit asked a judge to block Bull from prosecuting the teen, claiming that the photos were protected free speech under the First Amendment because they were not obscene. Neither photo contained nudity.
"Neither photo contained nudity.
An amended complaint announced by the civil liberty group embraces the ethos of the "free the nipple" movement, which argues that laws used to punish women for exposing their chests — when men can do so without consequence — are outdated, discriminatory and violate the equal protection clause enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
“This lawsuit is the result of efforts made by my office to respond to a situation where numerous juveniles had exchanged sexually explicit photographs," Bull said in a September statement. "Rather than take every juvenile to court, I looked for a solution that would help them learn from their mistakes and hopefully prevent their behavior from being repeated, while allowing them to avoid having a criminal or juvenile conviction or even a charge on their record."
Please click on title to read full story.
"Justice denies Michigan's appeal to halt sex offender ruling
" Associated Press , WZZM 11:18 AM. EST November 15, 2016
LANSING, MICH. - A U.S. Supreme Court justice has rejected Michigan's request to halt a lower court decision that found the state unconstitutionally put additional restrictions on sex offenders long after their convictions.
Justice Elena Kagan denied Tuesday the emergency appeal for a stay.
“In August, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said changes to Michigan law in 2006 and 2011, which included retroactively restricting sex offenders' movements near schools, penalize offenders as "moral lepers.”
“In August, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said changes to Michigan law in 2006 and 2011, which included retroactively restricting sex offenders' movements near schools, penalize offenders as "moral lepers."
Schuette's office couldn't immediately be reached to comment.
Michigan has the country's fourth-largest sex offender list, with more than 42,000 registrants.
Michigan prohibits all registrants from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of school property.
" Life On The List
"Collateral Damage in America's War on Sex Crimes
"A Residence Ban Forced This Family into Homelessness for Almost Two Years
Legislators who advocate restrictions on where those on sex offender registries can live often admit that their real purpose is to get registrants out of town altogether. One city has come closer than any other to making permanent exile a reality: Lewisville, Texas.
Most cities and towns with residence bans prohibit registrants from being near “places where children gather”: parks, schools, and daycares. But in 2008, Lewisville passed a law that defined those places to include just about everything: parks, playgrounds, schools, swimming pools, recreational facilities, day cares, and video arcades. The town’s 1500-foot ban makes 99.75 percent of the city’s houses off limits to registrants and their families.
So imagine the dilemma facing Lewisville’s Aurelio Duarte, his wife Wynjean, and their two teen daughters. In 2006, Aurelio Duarte was convicted of online solicitation of a minor and served 3 years in prison. When he got out in June 2010, he returned to Lewisville to rejoin his family.
But the city’s residency ban meant that the family had to move when Aurelio came home. So the four of them got a one-room, 275-square-foot motel room on an interstate service road, one of the few places that wasn’t in a banned zone. (A swimming pool has since been built nearby, so it’s since become off limits.) They thought their stay would be temporary.
The Duartes wanted to stay in Lewisville–the daughters had grown up in the city’s public school system, and Wynjean worked between 60 and 70 hours a week at two jobs near the city.
So over the course of 18 months, they looked for a house to buy or an apartment to rent within the .25 percent of the city open to them. Miraculously, nine times they found houses for sale that they thought might not be in a no-go zone. But each time, when they contacted police to find out whether they had permission to make an offer, the police either turned them down or took so long to reply that the houses were sold to someone else in the meantime.
" “Grits for Breakfast”
" Welcome to Texas justice: You might beat the rap, but you won't beat the ride.
" Acting Houston chief declined to engage in Halloween sex offender hype
" Tony Blais Tuesday, November 01, 2016
Grits has complained for years about law enforcement hyping the dangers of sex-offenders on Halloween. IMO they're politicized scare tactics with little basis in reality that ignore the more significant and obvious threats facing families and kids. Indeed, readers are so used to these annual polemics that one commenter chimed in to complain I hadn't written this year's version.
Certainly a lot of sex offender hype went on in the press this year. Searching the terms "Halloween, sex offender" on Google News brought back 264,000 results. All those on the top pages were police PR pieces; none of them actually documented a child harmed or even approached by a sex offender on Halloween.
So I was pleased to see the Acting Houston Police Chief break that mold and issue a Halloween warning focused on the real dangers facing kids Halloween night. Reported the Houston Chronicle:
Acting Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo reminded motorists to take extra precautions this year.
"Please be aware of your surroundings and slow down," she said recently.”
She also recommended that:
Parents should inspect candy before it is eaten;
Children should have a light source or reflective clothing;
Children not walk alone while trick or treating;
And that was it. Thank you, Chief Montalvo, for declining to indulge in the fear-hyping surrounding sex offenders which has become an annual media and law enforcement ritual. Well done.
" Posted by Gritsforbreakfast at 9:32 AM
"No Evidence Whatsoever That Sex Offenders Attack Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween
"National Reform Sex Offender Laws challenges you to find a single example.
"Lenore SkenazyOct. 31, 2016 9:15 am
Sometimes you gotta think outside the trick or treat bag. So kudos to the National Reform Sex Offender Laws organization for tackling the persistent, unfounded myth that sex offenders lure trick or treaters to their doom on Halloween.
To help America move beyond this zombie-like fear that refuses to die, the organization is challenging the media to find even one case of a registered sex offender preying on a trick-or-treating minor.
Just one. Ever.
This challenge is in the vein of Joel Best's decades' long hunt to find any child who had been poisoned by a stranger's candy on Halloween. Just one. Ever. The University of Delaware sociologist scoured newspapers from as far back as 1958 to find stories of any child this had happened to. All he found was one boy poisoned by the Pixy Stix given to him by his father— after dad took out an insurance policy on the boy's life.
The father was found guilty of murder and executed.
Now RSOL group is pointing out that despite the news media's penchant for displaying maps of registrants' homes and warning parents about "places to avoid on Halloween":
RSOL's own research reveals absolutely no reports, past or present, of a random child being abducted or assaulted while engaged in Halloween activities by someone on a sex offender registry. Furthermore, according to Dr. Jill Levenson and a study done at Lynn University, no correlation exists between Halloween and an increased risk of sexual harm to children.
Sandy Rozek, RSOL's communications director, states, "I know what I'd like to see. I'd like them to put up a map showing all the places a child has been attacked on Halloween by a registered citizen. You know what that would look like? No dots – none."
She's right. That Levenson study looked at Halloween crime reports from both before and after laws were put in place that required registered offenders not to participate:
[T]he authors' findings indicated that there was not an increased rate of non-familial sex crimes against children aged 12 years and under on or just after Halloween. In fact, findings were invariant across the years – both prior to and after the restrictive policies became popular.
In other words, the laws requiring sex offenders not to answer their doors on Halloween, and/or to turn off all lights, or to spend the evening in the custody of law enforcement—none have had any effect, because they are preventing a crime that wasn't happening in the first place. RSOL shares this story:
" Public sex offender registry system: Ineffective and wasteful
"By Sandy Rozek 10/31/16 12:03 AM The Washington Examiner
In 2009, Mark B. was convicted of a sexual crime, served 13 months in prison and put on the public sex offender registry. Fearing he would be unemployable at any meaningful job, Mark started his own company traveling to antique shows to take old-fashioned photos for people. The business was successful, and he was proud to provide for his family and be a contributing member of society.
In 2016, it fell apart. An unknown person sent anonymous emails to his largest clients telling them of his status and sending a link to his public registry listing. The resulting emails to Mark severing the business relationships alluded to "public safety" and "parent concerns." The anonymous emails continued, and Mark faced bankruptcy. He is slowly rebuilding, but living every day fearing his new accounts and the old ones he still has will receive a similar email and cancel as the others did.
Proponents of the public sex offender registry say it's needed to help parents protect their children from sexual predators, but there is no evidence it does that. Very few registrants meet the criteria for predation. Furthermore, the vast majority of sexual crimes, especially against children, are committed not by those on the registry. They're committed by those close to the victims in trusted, often familial, positions. Re-offense by those on the registry living in the community has always been, across the board, in single digits before Megan's Law and afterwards.
Academic analyses and research studies have consistently failed to show a public safety benefit, or any beneficial results, from public notification — no reduction in sexual offending by rapists, child molesters, recidivists or first-time offender.
Due to its failure to benefit public safety, the current registry system is wasteful. It's impossible to estimate the totals spent because expenses are covered both by the federal and local governments. Even by conservative standards, many millions in taxes are squandered with no meaningful return.
A forensic psychologist and longtime critic of the public notification and tracking program, Bill O'Leary, put it this way: "One of the most unethical pieces of the situation has been saying that we need to do this to prevent sexual abuse when we know statistically that this has nothing to do with preventing sexual abuse."
Academics have been writing about the failure of the public sex offender registry system to accomplish its stated goals for many years, and yet the system proliferates. Just as scholars and research have shown the failure of the current system, they also show what's needed to effect any meaningful reduction in sexual crime. The focus must shift to reintegration, education and prevention.
The sex offender registry must revert to its original, intended purpose: A law-enforcement tool, not a punish-and-shame tool in the hands of politicians and a largely uninformed public.
After punishment, former offenders must have opportunities for research-based treatment, stable housing, employment and family and community support. Former victims must have access to services that focus on healing. Strong, research-backed programs of education and prevention must be implemented in schools and communities.
A year ago, the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation called for the creation of a stable funding stream dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse and exploitation. In an indication of just how unbalanced our child protection priorities have become, the group wants that funding stream to get at least 1 percent of the millions currently spent on "after-the-fact" responses like sex registries and civil commitment. The funding hasn't happened.
No one disagrees that lowering the rate of sexual crime and protecting children from sexual abuse are priority goals. The current system has had more than 20 years to meet these goals, but failed. It is time to let evidence lead the way in reforming the system. We can't afford to wait any longer.
" Edmonton judge rules national sex offender registry is unconstitutional for sex offenders
" Tony Blais October 26, 2016 | Last Updated: October 26, 2016 7:12 PM MDT
An Edmonton judge has ruled that the national sex offender registry is unconstitutional as it is “over broad and grossly disproportionate” and violates people of their charter rights.
In a recently released decision involving the case of an Edmonton man convicted of two sexual assaults, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Andrea Moen found the Sex Offender Information Registration Act removed judicial discretion to refuse to place offenders who present no risk of reoffending on the registry.
“In my view, the mandatory registration for all sex offenders upon conviction of two or more offences, without regard to the seriousness of the offences or the offender’s propensity to reoffend is over broad,” said Moen, noting the goal of the legislation is to help police investigate past crimes and prevent new ones.”
“In my view, including offenders on the registry who have little to no chance of reoffending bears no relation to protecting the public. Subjecting all offenders, regardless of their future risk, to onerous reporting requirements, random compliance checks by the police and internal stigma, goes further than what is necessary to accomplish the goal of protecting the public, and is therefore over broad,” said Moen.
The judge’s decision, which would not be binding on courts across the country, but could be persuasive, is not final yet. She has given the Crown, which opposed the sex offender’s application, until Nov. 30 to return to court with further charter arguments or a possible legal remedy in the case.
On June 26, 2015, Eugen Ndhlovu, 25, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and was sentenced to six months in jail followed by three-years probation. He would also have been placed on the national sex offender registry for life; however, he challenged the constitutionality of the mandatory lifetime registration.
Court heard that on March 12, 2011, Ndhlovu was invited by a woman, who can’t be identified under a court-ordered publication ban, to attend a party billed on Facebook as a highly sexualized Jersey Shore event that was to have a stripper pole available.
Ndhlovu, who was born and raised in Zimbabwe, had declined because he was working the next day, but the woman insisted on his attendance, arranged a ride for him, and told him he could stay overnight and get a ride to work the next morning.
The pair and a mutual friend, who also can’t be identified, began drinking at the home that evening and, as the night progressed, the two women each reported instances where Ndhlovu sexually touched them without their consent.
Court heard Ndhlovu touched each woman’s buttocks while the three were posing for a picture. He also placed his hands on the friend’s thighs and buttocks during a conversation in the kitchen.
In the early morning, the first woman woke up to find Ndhlovu’s fingers inside her and told him to stop. He tried again, telling her it would “feel good.” She pushed him away and he left the home.