July 19, 2014

Researchers: Decriminalized Prostitution in Rhode Island Led to Fewer Rape, Gonorrhea Cases

7-19-2014 Rhode Island:

A loophole in Rhode Island law that effectively decriminalized indoor prostitution in 2003 also led to significant decreases in rape and gonorrhea in the state, according to a new analysis published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“The results suggest that decriminalization could have potentially large social benefits for the population at large – not just sex market participants,” wrote economists Scott Cunningham of Baylor University and Manisha Shah of the University of California, Los Angeles, in a working paper issued this month.

Mr. Cunningham and Ms. Shah got an opportunity to study the effects of decriminalized prostitution on crime and public health because Rhode Island lawmakers made a mistake. A 1980 change to state law dealing with street solicitation also deleted the ban on prostitution itself, in effect making the act legal if it took place indoors. The loophole apparently went unnoticed until a 2003 court decision, and remained open until indoor prostitution was banned again in 2009.

As you might expect, the economists found that decriminalizing indoor prostitution was a boon to the sex business. “Decriminalization decreased prostitute arrests, increased indoor prostitution advertising and expanded the size of the indoor prostitution market itself,” they wrote.

Rhode Island also saw “a large decrease in rapes” after 2003, while other crimes saw no such trend in the state, they wrote. There also was “a large reduction in gonorrhea incidence post-2003 for women and men,” they wrote.

The economists then used several economic models to track the decriminalization’s effects versus other possible causes. They found “robust evidence across all models that decriminalization caused rape offenses and gonorrhea incidence to decrease.” One model estimated a 31% decrease in per-capita rape offenses and a 39% decrease in per-capita female gonorrhea cases due to the decriminalization of indoor prostitution.

In the paper, they speculated about several possible reasons for the declines. For instance, they wrote that it’s likely at least some of the decrease in rapes was “due to men substituting away from rape toward prostitution.” And the decrease in gonorrhea jibes with “other empirical evidence showing that prostitutes who work indoors practice safer sex and are less likely to contract and transmit STIs,” they wrote.

In any case, Rhode Island’s experience provided a window into understanding the potential consequences of politically sensitive policy questions surrounding sex work. “Indoor prostitution was ultimately re-criminalized in 2009, but from 2003 to 2009, Rhode Island was the only state in the U.S. with unbridled decriminalized indoor prostitution and prohibited street prostitution with the decision being made in such a significant and unanticipated way,” Mr. Cunningham and Ms. Shah wrote. ..Source.. by Ben Leubsdorf

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July 18, 2014

Police: Florida father beats accused child abuser

7-18-2014 Florida:

A Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his 11-year-old son early Friday morning, police said.

The father called 911 around 1 a.m. after he walked in on the alleged abuse, police said. When officers arrived, they found Raymond Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth.

"He is nice and knocked out on the floor for you," the father told the 911 dispatcher. "I drug him out to the living room."

The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/1tZV6o9 ) reports that the father — who was not identified by police — told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy.

When asked by the 911 dispatcher if any weapons were involved, the father said "my foot and my fist."

The father has not been charged with any crime.

"Dad was acting like a dad. I don't see anything we should charge the dad with," Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood said. "You have an 18-year-old who has clearly picked his target, groomed his target and had sex with the victim multiple times."

Frolander is charged with sexual battery on a child under 12. He is being held without bail. It was not immediately known whether he'd hired a lawyer.

According to the arrest affidavit, Frolander admitted the abuse. ..Source.. by Yahoo News

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July 17, 2014

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)

7-17-2014 National:

Youth Online lets you analyze national, state, and local Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) data from 1991 - 2013. Data from high school and middle school surveys are included. You can filter and sort on the basis of race/ethnicity, sex, grade, or site, create customized tables and graphs, and perform statistical tests by site and health topic. ..Source.. by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 1991-2013 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data. Accessed today.

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July 16, 2014

Funding for Island County sex offender program

Costs $659.00 each to know where each sleeps for a few hours of the day or night! What a waste of taxpayer money.
7-16-2014 Washington:

The Island County Sheriff’s Department will receive $75,778 for the Registered Sex Offender Address and Residency Verification Program.

State funding in the amount of $4.8 million was allotted in 2012 to local law enforcement for fiscal year 2012 under state code for the verification of sex and kidnapping offenders.

This annual award is effective July 1 through June 30 of next year.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said he keeps track of roughly 100-115 sex offenders county wide.

Offenders level I through III are required to undergo face to face verification every three to 12 months depending on the level of their offense.

The program was initiated by the state in response to the 2007 abduction, rape and murder of 12-year-old Zinna Linnik of Tacoma.

Terapon Dang Adhahn, who was convicted of the crime, was previously convicted of a sex crime but was considered a “low risk” Level I sex offender. The lack of proper registry reporting factored into the crime, leading to a statewide debate on sex offender monitoring, according to news reports. ..Source.. by South Whidbey Record

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State Auditor says problems persist with Sex Offender Registry

7-16-2014 Vermont:

Vermont’s Sex Offender Registry is still struggling to provide accurate information through its overhauled online registry, according to an audit released Wednesday.

The Auditor’s Office found errors in 11 percent of records in the registry, or 253 of 2,340 records, according to its report.

Errors range from offenders being included in the registry when they don’t meet the criteria or being omitted when they do meet the criteria. Offenders are typically placed on the registry for 10 years or for life, and many of the errors identified were related to the length of their registration.

The audit found 71 errors in records posted to the online registry. In one case a deceased offender was still listed in the registry.

The public has an expectation that the registry contains accurate information, but inaccuracies also have serious, harmful consequences for released offenders, State Auditor Doug Hoffer said.

“We don’t have to like (sex offenders) for us to respect the fact that when they get out of jail, the statutes say that certain people are supposed to be on the registry and certain people aren’t,” he said. “You wouldn’t want to be one of the people that’s mistakenly put on this registry.”

The audit follows up on a similar audit in 2010 that identified many of the same deficiencies that still plague the system, Hoffer said.

Vermont’s Sex Offender Registry is maintained by the Vermont Criminal Information Center within the Department of Public Safety and relies on information from courts and the Department of Corrections.

Jeff Long, director of the criminal information center, said he hopes that people understand how the error rate in the auditor’s report is defined.

“A listed 11 percent error rate doesn’t mean we’re missing 11 percent of offenders,” Long said. “It means there was a data error in 11 percent of offender records.”

The definition of an error was also created by the auditor’s office for the purpose of the report, he said.

Department of Corrections Commissioner Andy Pallito thanked Hoffer for looking into the registry and said his department is working to help improve the system.

“I’m pleased with the progress that the DOC has made to date and the Department will work to implement the SAO’s recommendations,” Pallito said in an email.

In February 2013, Vermont transitioned its online registry to OffenderWatch, a computer program used by many states to track sex offenders, which Pallito said will “help to streamline this process with few errors.”

Hoffer acknowledged the state’s progress, but said that the improved records system is only as good as the information fed into it. The new audit also covers errors identified in the online registry as of December 2013, almost a year after the state made the switch to OffenderWatch.

The audit is a snapshot of the offender registry, Long said, and problems with the new computer system were being addressed while the report was being compiled.

The audit also showed the state is not following statutory requirements to track whether sex offenders required to be are in treatment and showed some difficulty in tracking changes in offender addresses.

Responsibility for improving the registry is spread across the criminal information center, the public safety department, the courts and corrections, Hoffer said.

He suggested those parties reconvene a working group launched after the 2010 audit was released to make sure deficiencies in the registry are resolved.

Lawmakers are expected to revisit whether the state’s online registry should make public the addresses of sex offenders in the coming legislative session – a decision that’s to be based partly on whether the information is reliable.

Hoffer declined to comment on whether he believed the state should go forward with making offender’s addresses available online, saying that’s a decision for lawmakers and the administration. ..Source.. by Morgan True

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Are Child Sex-Robots Inevitable?

7-16-2014 National:

With every new technology comes a way to use that technology for sex. Porn dominated the early Internet. Smartphones became the mailing service for scandalous selfies. Google Glass has already been used to make (and watch) an immersive XXX film starring that James Deen.

So, it’s not surprising that when academics get together to talk about robots, their potential erotic use comes up. Rosie won’t just be doing the Jetsons’ housework, wrote a business professor and a futurist a couple years back, she’ll be working the corner as a robot prostitute.

They argued robot sex workers would eliminate human exploitation, ensure a disease-free experience (as long as the robots were hosed down after), and could be enjoyed in places where prostitution is illegal. It may sound weird, but think about the intimate relationship you have with your iPhone. You’ve taken it to bed multiple times already; imagine if Siri could actually massage you.

“We’ve had sex toys for as long as mankind, and womankind, have been around,” said Ron Arkin, Georgia Tech’s Mobile Robot Lab director, while speaking on a robot ethics panel at Berkeley on Friday. “But how will we deal with robot intimacy? Will we consider it beastiality? Could we use it to treat sex offenders?”

Once we start creating sex-robots, what will be the limits we put on them? It’s not a human being so you should theoretically be able to rock your human-like Rumba however you want, but there may be some situations that create moral panics even if the Cylon-victim involved is just a bundle of algorithms and plastic.

I asked the panel how society would deal ethically and legally with a hypothetical company that starts producing child sex-robots to satisfy deviant sexual desires. ..Continued.. by Kashmir Hill, Forbes Staff

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July 14, 2014

LAPD Detective from Castaic Appointed to State Sex Offender Oversight Board

7-14-2014 California:

Lauren Rauch, 48, of Castaic, has been appointed to the California Sex Offender Management Board.

Rauch has been sex offender program coordinator at the Los Angeles Police Department since 2014, where he has held several positions since 1989, including assistant coordinator for sex offender registration and enforcement units, inspector for consent decree, sex crime investigator, detective and field officer. Rauch is a member of the Institute of Criminal Investigation.

This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Rauch is a Republican.

About the Board:

Vision
The vision of the California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) is to decrease sexual victimization and increase community safety.

Mission
The vision will be accomplished by addressing issues, concerns and problems related to community management of adult sex offenders by identifying and developing recommendations to improve policies and practices.

Background:
On September 20, 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 1015, which created the California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB). The bill had been introduced by Assembly Members Judy Chu and Todd Spitzer and passed the California Legislature with nearly unanimous bipartisan support.

Because California is the most populated state in the Union and has had lifetime registration for its convicted sex offenders since 1947, California has more registered sex offenders than any other state with about 88,000 identified sex offenders (per Department of Justice, August 2007). Currently, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) supervises about 10,000 of those 88,000 sex offenders, of which about 3,200 have been designated as High Risk Sex Offenders (CDCR Housing Summit, March 2007). Additionally, there are about 22,500 adult sex offenders serving time in one of 32 state prisons operated by CDCR (California Sex Offender Management Task Force Report, July 2007).

While it is commonly believed that most sexual assaults are committed by strangers, the research suggests that the overwhelming majority of sex offenders victimize people known to them; approximately 90 percent of child victims know their offenders, as do 80 percent of adult victims [per Kilpatrick, D.G., Edmunds, C.N., & Seymour, A.K. (1992) Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. Arlington, VA: National Victim Center]. ..Source.. by Gov. Jerry Brown’s office:

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Hunt gets prison time for fire at sex offender’s home

See Also: Man convicted of setting sex offfender’s house on fire
7-14-2014 Wisconsin:

STURGEON BAY – A man who set fire to a registered sex offender’s residence was sentenced Monday to three years in prison.

T.J. Hunt, along with Justin Baker, set fire to the home where Jason Johnson was staying. Johnson is a registered sex offender, had moved in shortly before the Nov. 2 fire. Police said they set the fire because they didn’t want a sex offender living there.

Hunt was also placed on extended supervision for seven years.

Baker was sentenced to nine months in jail, a $500 fine, and community service. ..Source.. by FOX11News

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July 12, 2014

PA House Outlaws “Revenge Porn”

7-12-2014 Pennsylvania:

Just before the summer break, Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill that outlaws “revenge porn” in the state. Violators of the law would face two years in prison if the victim is an adult and five years if the victim is a minor. Presumably, those distributing photos of minors would also face child pornography charges.

Revenge porn is pornography that is distributed without the consent of the individual or individuals pictured. It generally takes the form of an ex-boyfriend posting dirty photos of his ex-girlfriend online once she’s broken up with him or wronged him in some way. (Hence the “revenge” part.) Obviously, the genders can be reversed, or both parties can be the same sex. It can also take other, similar forms. It’s been around for a while, obviously, but — as Internet usage expands and photos get easier to take and share online — there have been more calls to criminalize it explicitly.

Nine states have bills prohibiting revenge porn, including New Jersey. N.J. used its 2003 invasion of privacy law to prosecute Dharun Ravi after Rutgers student Tyler Clementi's suicide. Though Pennsylvania passed a bill that originated in the House, Berks County Democratic Sen. Judy Schwank originally pushed for the bill in the Senate earlier this year.

"We’ve been able to put these two bills together to retain the strongest features of both," Schwank told KYW 1060. ..Source.. by Dan McQuade

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