October 22, 2012

Child Sexual Predator Project, launched by Northwestern DA David Sullivan, monitors sex offenders in Hampshire, Franklin counties

Caught Red-Handed, see how folks under supervision are closely monitored esp. on their computers.
10-22-2012 Massachusetts:

"Keith" is a 25-year-old Franklin County man who lives with his parents, works less than 20 hours a week and says he spends much of the rest of the time in his room playing video games.

He also is classified by the state as a Level 3 sex offender, previously convicted of indecent assault on a minor. Under the terms of his probationary sentence, he wears an electronic ankle bracelet and is not supposed to drink, do drugs or be viewing pornography.

And, that is a problem, because an external hard drive just found on his computer during a surprise visit by police and probation officers contained video files of some pretty graphic, hard-core sex scenes downloaded from various adult websites.

“What’s all this stuff?” asks Frank M. Glenowicz, chief probation officer for Franklin Superior Court. “‘Girls Slut Party?’ “Public Pickups?’”

Keith, not his real name, kind of shrugs in a sort of “I dunno” way, but his body language conveys the universal language of someone who has just been caught, both red-handed and red-faced, with something he shouldn’t have.

The visit was a compliance check for Level 3 sex offenders in Hampshire and Franklin counties in a program, the Child Sexual Predator Project , initiated last year by the office of Northwestern district attorney David E. Sullivan. The goal is to better monitor sex offenders who live in the two counties. At last count, there were more than 450 Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders in the two counties.

All people convicted of a sexual offense are required to register with the state Sex Offenders Registration Board, which assigns them to one of three categories of risk.
Level 1 offenders are of low risk, Level 2 of moderate risk and Level 3 offenders are those considered to pose a high risk to re-offend.

“If there are Level 2s and Level 3s out there, we check up on them,” said assistant district attorney Christine Tetreault, project director. “We want to make sure these people are where they are supposed to be.”

On a recent afternoon of the spot checks in Franklin County, The Republican and MassLive.com were allowed to tag along; the only condition was that the names and addresses of the offenders would not be used and photographs of their faces not published.

By teaming up with the Department of Probation, the DA’s office hopes it can ensure that sex offenders are living where they are supposed to be and also make sure they are complying with the terms of their release. If not, they could wind up back in jail.

The visit to Keith’s home began with Glenowicz and state police Sgt. Thomas F. Bakey giving him a Breathalyzer in his mother’s kitchen, checking to see who he had called on his cell phone, and asking if he has been keeping up with his court-ordered sexual therapy sessions.

Keith blew a 0.0 on the Breathalyzer, indicating no recent alcohol use, his telephone checked out and he assured them he was attending therapy.
And, then, they asked to see his computer.

Bakey carried with him an ordinary thumb drive which contains what he calls “newish software” developed by the FBI. Plug it into any computer, run the program, he said, and, in 20 minutes or so, it will conduct a review of all recent activity on the computer.

In particular, it will scan through all photo and video files in search of pornographic images, it will analyze Internet web addresses that were visited and red-flag ones that are questionable. And, it checks the contents of all emails and attached files, Bakey said.

It even reviews the search terms entered into a search engine. For example, if someone had used Goggle to search the phrase “hot teenage girls,” Bakey’s thumb drive would make note of it.

“We’re looking for obvious contraband, such as child pornography,” Bakey said. “But a lot of these sex offenders are not even supposed to have adult pornography without the consent of
their therapist.”

The software can even tell when an external memory device has been plugged into the computer, and this proves to be Keith’s undoing.

The scan showed a clean hard drive, but it also showed that at some point an external memory had been plugged into and then removed from his computer. When Bakey asked for it, Keith started hemming and hawing over its whereabouts while shuffling papers around on his desk in an attempt to find it.

Bakey felt around the top of the computer under his desk and came up with the external memory.

“Is this it?”
...continued... by Patrick Johnson, The Republican

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