September 1, 2014

UB notifies campus of Level 2 sex offender in mass email

This is no more than harassment, vigilantism uncalled for, the State issued no such a notice no more than him being placed on the registry (Public Notified), accordingly there is no law requiring further dissemination of information. See highlight, the University made a decision to use the UNIVERSITY THREAT ALERT system, when there is no threat, which has never before been so used.
9-1-2014 New York:

Student’s photo, crimes, description linked to UB Alert sent out on first day of class

University at Buffalo (UB) sent out a campus-wide email alert Monday notifying all students and staff that there is Level 2 sex offender enrolled in classes. “To my knowledge, this is the first time UB has needed to post or send such a notice,” said UB Spokesman John Della Contrada in an email.

The email alert directed the campus community to a link from New York State’s Division of Criminal Justice Services’ website that included the student Daniel Lampke’s crimes, photo and current address. He was convicted of attempting to possess materials of sexual performance by a child, according to the New York State website.

The site also listed the crime as involving pornography, use of a computer and no force or weapon. Lampke, 21, was charged with a misdemeanor, served no jail time and has six years of probation.

“University Police do not think there is a specific threat,” Della Contrada said. “This is a matter of following state law and providing the campus community members with information they have the right to know.”

Lampke did not respond to The Spectrum's request for an interview.

Students such as Anokhi Patel, a senior biomedical sciences major, questioned why the email was the method necessary if the student poses no threat.

It’s a SUNY precedent, according to Della Contrada.

By law, the university is required to make information about Level 2 and 3 sex offenders available to the public. SUNY’s Office of General Counsel, which offers legal advisement to the SUNY Board of Trustees, told UB to provide the information by emailing the entire campus community rather than just posting a notice on a UB website, according to Della Contrada.

After repeated phone calls, SUNY representatives did not return The Spectrum’s request for an interview by the time of press.

Chief of Police Gerald Schoenle said although the decision to send the notice via email “was made higher up,” UPD recommended the same procedure.

SUNY consistently recommends “campuses actively communicate” Level 2 notifications to students, faculty and staff, Della Contrada said. He described handling the situation as “new territory for the university” and said SUNY’s legal guidance was appreciated.

UPD has received little negative reaction to the email – but that hasn’t been the case in all SUNY schools that have followed the same sort of procedure.

In 2011, SUNY Geneseo posted a notification on its Facebook page – similar in content to that of UB’s email – about a student who was a Level 3 sex offender. The differing levels indicate the perpetrator’s risk of repeat offense.

Geneseo’s post sparked a heated online debate of if sharing the information in that way was appropriate. Geneseo’s website states it also uses an email alert system to notify the campus community of Level 2 and 3 offenders.

Chuck Leonard, a junior exercise science major, thinks sending out an email to the whole campus the way UB did was the best method to share the information.

“You can’t leave it to be stumbled upon on a website,” he said. “It’s in the best interest of the students to know.”

Lampke, after meeting with UB Judicial Affairs, is ineligible for on-campus housing and barred from non-academic activities for at least one year, according to Della Contrada. The court’s imposed sanction did not include any higher education restrictions.

“We certainly don’t want anyone to harass this individual who is on probation and trying to get an education,” Schoenle said. “He has a right to attend school at a public university.”

Felony charges – which Lampke did not have – require a student’s status and edibility to attend a SUNY school to be reviewed and potentially terminated. Misdemeanors do not require the same review under SUNY’s ex-offender policy.

Lampke, who is listed a linguistics major on UB’s directory, was accepted into the university last academic year, according to Della Contra. That was prior to his March 2014 conviction.

UB’s need to notify the campus of Level 2 and 3 sex offenders falls under the Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act of 2000, which requires registered sex offenders to notify any institution they are attending of their legal status.

The act is an amendment to Megan’s Law, which compels law enforcement authorities to make information about registered sex offenders available to the campus community. ..Source.. by SARA DINATALE

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Mix-up nearly costs sex offender 5 years in prison

ANy conviction in this matter is a miscarriage of justice; the man followed the spirit of the law and police instructions.
9-1-2014 Virginia:

Although it may have seemed innocent enough, picking up his 13-yearold stepson from Salem Church Middle School on May 14 almost cost a county man five years in prison.

Joseph Patrick Runyon Sr.’s wife had just started a new job and when school officials called her to pick up her son from school early, she asked Runyon if he would pick the boy up.

Runyon agreed, and in the process of checking in with office personnel at Salem Church Middle School, they discovered he was on the State Police Sex Offender Registry.

School officials then checked with Trooper Michael King, who coordinates the sex offender registry in Chesterfield. King confirmed that Runyon was a sex offender, but that he also had permission to go on property where his son attends school. King couldn’t recall which school, but instructed Salem Church Middle School officials to allow Runyon to take his stepson home.

On further investigation, however, it was determined that Runyon had permission to enter Bellwood Elementary School, not Salem Church Middle. Runyon was then arrested by Chesterfield Police on a felony charge of a sex offender being on school property.

Runyon, 37, of 2000 block of Willis Road, was scheduled to be tried on the charge last week in Chesterfield Circuit Court before Judge Frederick G. Rockwell III.

Moments before the trial was to begin, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry S. Hogan and defense attorney Denis C. Englisby came to terms on a plea agreement.

When Hogan recounted the facts in the case to the court, Judge Rockwell said there was a “substantive basis” for him to accept the plea agreement. Runyon agreed to an Alford plea, meaning that while he was not admitting guilt, he does acknowledge that if the case had gone to trial, county prosecutors would have had sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction. ..Source.. by Ben Orcutt

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August 30, 2014

Federal Cybersecurity Director Found Guilty on Child Porn Charges

It is amazing that a man with his obvious background knowledge of the Internet actually believed that the Tor network could protect his activities. Clearly he needs serious help with his addiction.
8-30-2014 National:

As the acting cybersecurity chief of a federal agency, Timothy DeFoggi should have been well versed in the digital footprints users leave behind online when they visit web sites and download images.

But DeFoggi—convicted today in Nebraska on three child porn charges including conspiracy to solicit and distribute child porn—must have believed his use of the Tor anonymizing network shielded him from federal investigators.

He’s the sixth suspect to make this mistake in Operation Torpedo
, an FBI operation that targeted three Tor-based child porn sites and that used controversial methods to unmask anonymized users.

But DeFoggi’s conviction is perhaps more surprising than others owing to the fact that he worked at one time as the acting cybersecurity director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. DeFoggi worked for the department from 2008 until January this year.

A department official told Business Insider that DeFoggi worked in the office of the assistant secretary for administration as lead IT specialist but a government budget document for the department from this year (.pdf) identifies a Tim DeFoggi as head of OS IT security operations, reporting to the department’s chief information security officer.

The porn sites he’s accused of using—including one called PedoBook—were hosted on servers in Nebraska and run by Aaron McGrath, who has already been convicted for his role in the sites. The sites operated as Tor hidden services—sites that have special .onion URLs and that cannot normally be traced to the physical location where they are hosted.

Although anyone could use the sites, registered users like DeFoggi—who was known online under the user names “fuckchrist” and “PTasseater”—could set up profile pages with an avatar, often child porn images, and personal information and upload files. The site archived more than 100 videos and more than 17,000 child porn and child erotica images, many of them depicting infants and toddlers being sexually abused by adults. ..Continued.. by Kim Zetter

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August 29, 2014

Wisconsin man ordered to pay restitution to child porn victim in North Dakota

This is victim one, he has ??? more should they come forward in the future.
8-29-2014 Wisconsin, North Dakota:

A Wisconsin native living in Fargo, N.D., recently became the first person in that state ordered to pay restitution to a child pornography victim, following a United States Supreme Court decision this year about child porn restitution.

Robert Carey Evans, 58, of Waukesha, was ordered by a district judge on Aug. 21 to pay $3,250 to a victim who appeared in child pornography he possessed, according to a release from the United States Attorney's Office District of North Dakota.

This order is in accordance with Paroline vs. United States, a Supreme Court decision from April that says child porn possessors can be held liable for losses caused by trading a victim's image. The decision held that district courts can order restitution to victims for the circulation of child pornography.

Evans was found guilty of 14 counts of child pornography possession in October 2013, and sentenced to 10 years in prison in February. Investigators had seized more than 13 hard drives and 43 DVDs containing child porn from his Fargo apartment, featuring more than 22,000 images and 1,400 videos, according to the release.

After Evans' conviction, one of his victims submitted a claim for restitution for losses she incurred from Evans' images of her.

She was the only one of Evans' victims to file for restitution under Paroline vs. United States, according to Jennifer Puhl, a prosecutor in the case. ..Source.. by Jason Silverstein

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Sex Offender Returns To Court

If "yelling uncouth comments" is a aggravated assault, why are other folks arrested for doing the same conduct? This is just unbelievable nonsense!
8-29-2014 Illinois:

A registered sex offender appears in Sangamon County today to answer to new charges.

__ pleaded not guilty to being in an area designated for children. Springfield Police say __ was in the petting zoo at the State Fair, which is the same as being in a school zone for sex offenders.

Fink also pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault. He is accused of yelling sexually explicit and lewd comments at people outside the fairgrounds. ..Source.. by WICS.com

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Mom: My Facebook post got 4-year-old dismissed from school

Lately we are seeing that "Public Image" is the single most important thing to schools and other businesses; so many articles tied to public image. Tarnish it, on purpose OR inadvertantly, and you will be attacked.
8-29-2014 Florida:

CALLAHAN, FL (WJXT/CNN) - A mom said Monday that her 4-year-old was expelled from his preschool for a message she posted on her personal Facebook page.

Ashley Habat said it happened after picture day at Sonshine Christian Academy.

"The administrator of the preschool checking him in; she's like, 'Well it's picture day, Will, are you excited?'" Habat said. "And, you know, he of course just went on to class, but I had mentioned that they didn't give enough notice. And she's like, 'Well, we put it in his folder last week.'"

She said she then took to the social media site to vent her frustration, never thinking the school would see her post. However, she also tagged it with the school's Facebook page.

"They couldn't see it, it was private to my friends only," Habat said.

The post read, "Why is it that every single day there is something new I dislike about Will's school? Are my standards really too high, or are people working in the education field really just that ignorant?"

The next day, she said she was asked by the office to stop by when she dropped off Will. A letter of dismissal stated the relationship with her and the school already had not gotten off to a good start on the first day.

"You utilized social media to call into question not only the integrity but intelligence of the staff," the letter said. "These actions are also consistent with sowing discord, which is spoken of in the handbook you signed."

Habat said she was in shock.

"Why would you expel a 4-year-old over something his mom posts on her private Facebook page only people on her friends list can see?" ..Source.. by CBS5az.com

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August 28, 2014

Minnesota’s predatory offender registry a tool, not protection

8-28-2014 Minnesota:

While they’re helpful tools, Minnesota’s predatory offender registry and notification system can lead to a false sense of protection and safety.

“It’s designed only to let law enforcement know where they’re living in the community,” said Donna Dunn, executive director of the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

The predatory offender registration law, created in 1991, includes a public listing of where higher risk offenders who’ve been convicted of certain predatory and sex offenses reside and notification meetings when they move into a community. Information about those with lower risk levels is accessible only to law enforcement — unless those offenders go missing or fail to register as required.

A tool

Le Sueur County Investigator Bruce Collins says the state’s predatory offender registry is useful, but only in certain circumstances.

“The predatory offender database has an enormous amount of information,” said Collins. “For example, it is set up especially for investigating sex crimes.”

The database, he said, can be valuable if a registered offender reoffends.

Collins said the Sheriff’s Department might refer to the database while investigating a rape or sex crime committed by a stranger or someone unknown to the victim, adding that they can enter the suspect’s physical description into the database and see if it matches any of the area’s predatory offenders.

Eric Knutson, the special agent in charge of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s predatory crime section said law enforcement agencies refer to the registry while investigating certain crimes to see if there predatory offenders live in the area, but couldn’t say what percentage of crimes are committed by past offenders.

Only a small percentage of sexual assaults are committed by strangers, Collins said.

According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network, approximately 73 percent of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.

Paperwork

Studies show a large percentage of offenders, even non-compliant ones, don’t typically violate mandated restrictions, which makes overseeing them, for the most part, a mundane chore.

But when offenders do go missing, local law enforcement agencies must try to track them down. ..Continued.. by JESSICA BIES

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Defense attorney raises concerns about Missouri proposal on evidence in child sex abuse cases

8-28-2014 Missouri:

A Missouri ballot measure that would allow allegations of past actions to be used against people facing child sexual abuse charges could lead to more wrongful convictions of the falsely accused, a prominent defense attorney said Wednesday.

The proposed constitutional amendment is backed by prosecutors, sheriffs and police chiefs' groups.

It would allow past criminal acts — even alleged crimes that didn't result in convictions — to be used to corroborate victim testimony or demonstrate a defendant's propensity to commit such crimes when people face sex-related charges involving victims younger than 18.

If approved by Missouri voters in November, Constitutional Amendment 2 could make it more difficult for defendants to persuade juries and judges of their innocence, said Kim Benjamin, a Belton attorney who is the past president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

"You're now defending your entire life, your entire reputation, rather than this one act," she said. "It causes a tremendous risk for more people to be wrongly convicted."

One of Benjamin's most prominent clients was Burrell Mohler Sr., the patriarch of a western Missouri family who was accused along with his four sons of sexually abusing young relatives over many years. The charges ultimately were dropped in March 2012, after Mohler had spent more than two years in jail while awaiting trial.

The Missouri ballot measure would essentially undo a December 2007 decision by the Missouri Supreme Court, which struck down a state law allowing evidence of past sexual crimes to be used against people facing new sex-related charges involving victims younger than 14.

The court said in that ruling that "evidence of prior criminal acts is never admissible for the purpose of demonstrating the defendant's propensity to commit the crime with which he is presently charged."

The Legislature voted last year to refer the proposed constitutional amendment to the 2014 ballot.

Prosecutors say it would bring Missouri's evidence standards closer to federal ones. Under a 1994 federal law, courts may allow evidence of other sexual assaults or molestations of children younger than 14 to be used against defendants facing those charges. Those federal evidentiary rules have been upheld in several appellate court decisions.

Prior allegations are allowed to be used as evidence in child sex abuse cases by 11 states, according to a 2012 report by the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services.

Supporters of the Missouri ballot proposal have formed a campaign committee with the hopes or running advertisements for it, though the group had barely $1,300 in its account as of the end of June.

Benjamin said defense attorneys have not organized a campaign against the amendment, because she said they lack the money to do so. ..Source.. by DAVID A. LIEB

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LETTER: Criticism of Megan’s Law unwarranted

8-28-2014 New Jersey:

One of Bob Ingle’s recent columns, an inquiry into the effectiveness of Megan’s Law, while mercifully unrelated to Gov. Christie, stands for a newer, more unfortunate trend taking hold of journalism: the misrepresentation — or willful ignorance of — the facts.

Criticizing the law as having been “rushed through” for political gain, Mr. Ingle states that defenders of Megan’s Law — a law requiring the registration and monitoring of convicted sex offenders — insist that the purpose of the law “was not to end child abuse but to give communities information about where convicted sex offenders reside.” But Ingle says supporters have long misled the public with the impression that the law could and would do more.

Mr. Ingle also states that after its passage, Megan’s Law was “tied up in court for years.”

This is revisionist history. Megan’s Law was passed in late 1994, its constitutionality was challenged, considered and upheld by the state’s Supreme Court months later in 1995. The next few years saw only residual challenges respecting the specifics of implementation (disclosure of what information and to whom) but to say that the law was “tied up in court for years” is at best disingenuous.

Further, the Legislature, as they often do, express their “intent” in passing a law within the first few lines of the statutory language. With respect to Megan’s Law, that bit reads: “The danger of recidivism posed by sex offenders and offenders who commit other predatory acts against children ... require a system of registration that will permit law enforcement officials to identify and alert the public when necessary for the public safety.”

It continues by adding: “A system of registration of sex offenders and offenders who commit other predatory acts against children will provide law enforcement with additional information critical to preventing and promptly resolving incidents involving sexual abuse and missing persons.”

Mr. Ingle, despite this, condemns the law as absent a “clearly stated goal”, a “memorial” and “fuel for someone’s political career.” What about this purpose is unclear, or misleading? Any inference that the law would do more than what is stated above is a reflection on the citizen, who, like Mr. Ingle, did not feel it necessary to do their homework.

There is enough of our state’s real legislative evils to go around; our journalists should not be devoting their energies to the imaginary ones. ..Source.. by John Hart

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