Archive

Posts Tagged ‘kidnapping’

NANCY FALLING FROM GRACE…

July 9, 2011 8 comments

WWH – An open letter to Nancy Grace.

By Diana May Waldman

Dear Nancy,

You are truly grinding on my very last nerve. You’ve always gotten on my nerves, but as of lately, I can no longer bear to hear your voice. When I think about you my brain conjures up words like, “yellow journalism” and “sensationalist” and of course, “scandal monger.”

The mere tone of your voice screams dominatrix. Hey, and that’s okay. Whatever floats your boat. But, it goes beyond being a crusader, as you have self titled yourself. In my opinion, you more resemble a fire breathing dragon of bullshit.

Would I want to sit down for a cup of coffee with you? No.
Would I want to high five you and say, “Hey, girlfriend!” No.
Do I think you are true advocate for the missing?” No.

I mean, I believe you may have started out that way. But, somewhere along the lines, the glitz, the glamour of it all, the chinking of change filling up your money jar, got in the way. You fell from GRACE.

That couldn’t have become any clearer to me than during your coverage of the Casey Anthony trial.

Being a former prosecutor gives you the right to an opinion, but it never gave you the right to become judge and jury. And an opinion is not the law. Nor is a hunch. While people stayed riveted to the trial of Casey Anthony–the young mother accused of killing her daughter–they formed an opinion. People talked about it and listened for the evidence. But, see, most of us are ordinary people. We don’t have a television show. We can’t warp the minds of people or strong arm them into our way of thinking. You can and you have.

You tried Casey Anthony a long time ago and your verdict was a guilty one. Now, I am not saying that I don’t think Casey was guilty. It’s just I wanted the facts. I wanted to figure out if she was guilty or innocent from my head and not my heart. Everyone wants justice for a baby that died and was discarded like trash. I can’t say with 100% certainty that Caylee Anthony was murdered, because I don’t know. Did the evidence show me that? No. I wish I could say yes, but I still don’t know if she was murdered or killed by accident. But, you seem to have those answers.

See, I think you muddied the waters here. I think you took it too far. You were part of a careless smear campaign that created so much attention to the situation that a jury had to be selected elsewhere. You couldn’t just stick with the facts. You had already brainwashed people into believing that Casey Anthony was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

When Casey was found not guilty, you painted a gruesome picture for your audience, speaking in that scary story voice of yours, relaying the details of Caylee’s death. Frankly, it was a really creepy bedtime story and you ended it with nostrils flaring and stating, “The Devil is Dancing tonight!” Damn, I just about pissed my pants. I sure as hell hope you didn’t tell that bedtime story to the twins last night. You were on the brink of riling people to the level of vigilante justice.

See, I still haven’t forgiven you for your statements following the suicide of 21-year-old Melinda Duckett. Remember when you interviewed her? You lured her to your show and then…BAM! You do remember, Melinda, right? She was the mother of a missing 2-year-old, Trenton. You peppered her in prosecutor style. You pummeled her with accusing questions and she couldn’t even speak. When Melinda told you that she could not answer specific questions because she was told not to, you replied, “Ms. Duckett, you are not telling us for a reason. What is the reason? You refuse to give even the simplest facts of where you were with your son before he went missing. It is day twelve.”

The very next day Melinda shot herself. Do I think you were responsible for her death. No, I don’t. Do I think Melinda was responsible for the disappearance of her son? I don’t know. Now we might never know. At the time of her appearance on your show, police stated that she was NOT a suspect at the time. My point being, you blew it.

And you made no apologies for it. You simply stated, “If anything, I would suggest that guilt made her commit suicide. To suggest that a 15- or 20-minute interview can cause someone to commit suicide is focusing on the wrong thing.”

You convicted her even after she was dead and went on to say, “I do not feel that our show is to blame for what happened to Melinda Duckett. The truth is not always nice or polite or easy to go down. Sometimes it’s harsh, and it hurts.”

You reached a settlement of $200,000 to create a trust fund for Trenton. Trenton has never been found.

I’ve also not forgiven you for what you attempted to pull during the Elizabeth Smart case. Remember Richard Ricci? He was the guy who was arrested because he worked at the Smart’s home and because he had a criminal background. You repeatedly stated that he was GUILTY. Even went as far as to say his girlfriend was involved in the cover up. You were still openly accusing him, even when he later DIED in custody. How horrible you must have felt when it was later revealed that Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee kidnapped her and Ricci was an innocent man.

When asked if you felt sorry that you accused Ricci you responded by saying,” Ricci was “a known ex-con, a known felon, and brought suspicion on himself, so who could blame anyone for claiming he was the perpetrator?”

Shame on you, Nancy.

I don’t like you, Nancy. And I don’t believe you are a crusader or an advocate for victims rights. You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You’re a fraud, a fake and a phony. You’re a sensationalist and a judgmental bitch who has never been held accountable for her mistakes. Over 2300 people are reported missing every single day. Think of all the time you have spent spewing out all your hateful and judgmental bullshit that could have been used to make people aware of the faces and FACTS regarding those who are still missing. Think of all the hundreds of times you said, “TOT MOM” when you could having been saying, “Brian Sullivan, Derrick Hennigan, Tyler Thomas, Brittnee Drexel, Tabitha Franklin, and the names of thousands of others who are missing. Think of all the times you could have reminded your audience of Monica Caison and the C.U.E. Center and help fund REAL searchers. People who are out there searching instead of spewing hatred.

You suck, Nancy. I find you guilty of brainwashing propaganda. I find you guilty of bullying and character assassination. I find you guilty of evoking fear into people and doing it in the name of your Christian God.

You got lost in the money jar. So, say good night, Gracie. Pack it up, shut up and go home and stop exploiting people for your OWN cause.

Diana May-Waldman- Bureau Editor for Worldwide Hippies in Rochester NY. Diana is the author of A Woman’s Song. Her poetry in this book deals with the struggles facing all women and the many facets of being a woman in the world today. She is a strong women’s and children’s advocate. A true example of the Hippie movements continuing growth and sprit. Diana’s activism is an inspiration to many. http://www.facebook.com/profile

It is my honor to have Diana as my “girlfriend” whom I would love to have coffee with.  Thank you Diana for being the voice of reason and for so many advocates who are truly in the field advocating and working to make a difference.  Your work, words and advocacy is greatly appreciated.

Respectfully submitted via Worldwide Hippies and Diana May-Walman, Bureau Editor

Take care and STAY SAFE!

THE TEN REASONS WHY CHILDREN DISAPPEAR

December 3, 2010 Comments off

Children gone missing, abducted, sexually assaulted, raped or killed will shock any society. But are our governing bodies doing enough to track the children that are reported missing each year?

Every single day sickening reports emerge of missing and murdered children make headlines. But what is more worse is that many predators are receiving shelter from judges who are allowing them back out on the streets to stalk and molest their next victim/victims–as if this practice should be accepted or tolerated.

Disappearance could be categorized as family abduction, non-family abduction, runaways, throwaways (abandoned children), or lost and ‘otherwise missing’ children.

TEN REASONS WHY CHILDREN DISAPPEAR:

1. The common reasons are Divorce and parental disputes. In relation to child custody, there are times when one parent wants to relocate or move to another location. When the parents do not agree one of the parents may take the child and go underground, may change their names. The parent may change his or her occupation and the parent and child can completely drop off the face of the earth for awhile, maybe forever.

In this type of abduction, the family of the abductor usually knows where the child is. However, many times they do not want to come forward with the information.

2. America as we know it has always been considered a safety zone. That is why so many people come to this country. We never think that when we leave our children alone, going to school for example, someone is watching. When we leave them to play in the front yard, someone is watching. When we leave them for a moment in the Grocery Store, someone is watching. When we let them go to the Mall, someone is watching.

Why are predators watching us? Because it’s easy for them. They look like the guy next door. They go to work every day, they smile. They play with their dog and our dog too. They are at Church or in a neighborhood meeting. They are in the P.T.A.

Predators are everywhere in our community. They are involved in everything we do including walking and watching our children walk to school.

3. Many children are abducted by their non-custodial parent however it could be another family; an Aunt, an Uncle, a mother’s boyfriend, someone who has developed a relationship with the child and believes he or she is in love with the child. Then that person uses the child for whatever reason the need may be.

4. The world we live in is no stranger to one of the biggest reasons many of our children disappear without a trace. Many children are abducted and sold for body parts throughout the United States, Central America, South America and Europe. The Internet has become one of the greatest sources of business and the organized underground business is one of the most successful businesses anywhere in the world.

Can you imagine having the need of life and searching the Internet and finding a broker who can find you the organ of your choice? Here in the U.S.A., in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, anywhere in Central, North and South America, anywhere for a price you can pay for and get the organ of your choice. If you don’t believe it, search the net.

Many missing children are abducted and sold for these body parts. This is a multi-million dollar a year business. Be careful when your child is talking to a friendly little girl in a chat room. The Internet is worldwide and sometimes deceptive. The chat room your child uses could be somewhere in Mexico or New York, India, The Middle east or Korea . Your child could be talking to anyone, anywhere with the touch of a button, so close.

5. Most of us don’t even think of children used as pawns for a big price. Young blonde girls are kidnapped and sold for prostitution. This happens mostly in Middle Eastern Countries. Many of them have been know throughout history to love and enjoy young white blonde girls. Korea and Japan are also part of this corruption, or perversion. There are men and women who love and enjoy being around these young children. It is possible that some young boys and girls are kidnapped for a bigger purpose, breeding.

6. Many children run away because their parent or legal guardian abuse and belittle or neglect them. They feel rejected with no one supportive to talk to, even at school. Many children are placed in Foster homes and then abused by their Foster parents. When the child does report the abuse to Child Services, sometimes the Social Worker does nothing. Many Social Workers do not care. The abuse and humiliation continues until the child goes downhill and into the streets until they reach adulthood, at times too late.

7. Many parents are in a hurry to get to work, school and wherever their daily routines take them. However while traveling to their destinations they forget a small child in the backseat. When they return to the car they find their child red and not breathing from the heat.

8. Many parents drop their kids off at school, drop them at the sidewalk and say “I’ll pick you up later” then never return.

9. Many men and women cannot bear their own children and want to adopt. The problem is there are many illegal agencies that find and kidnap children for adoption or “sale”. The rewards in money and other compensations are great. Some kidnappers are hired to search for a particular type of child. There are many reasons why children are abused and kidnapped, bought and sold. Unfortunately the biggest reason is that children believe and trust us, the adults, the ones who are supposed to give them love and keep them safe.

10. In the United States we are very lucky to have Police and Police departments who act within a reasonable amount of time when they get a call regarding a missing child. We are able to make Police Reports. We have the recently developed “Amber Alert” system. Police can act on tips and leads to locate a missing child and continue to gather and build upon information to continue to do a better job at finding our missing children. The use of Radio, Television and Newspapers get the word out quickly when a child goes missing. Police may set up a command post near the missing child’s home and use local volunteers, posters and community involvement to help find a missing child.

Via Missing Children International.org

University Campus Rapes/Assaults, FALL SEMESTER, 2010…INSIGHT (AND COLLEGE JUST STARTED!)

September 18, 2010 1 comment

University Campus Rapes/Assaults, FALL SEMESTER, 2010…INSIGHT (AND COLLEGE JUST STARTED!)

Kidnapping and sexual assault investigation in the area of the University corridor, UC Riverside Campus…

News headline from the Riverside Police Department:

On Tuesday, September 14, at approximately 8:20 p.m., police received a call of a kidnapping and rape that just occurred in the area of the University corridor in the East Side Neighborhood of Riverside.  Officers contacted the female victim.

Based on the preliminary investigation, it appears that the victim was kidnapped at gun point outside of a fast food establishment and driven to a separate location off of Chicago Avenue, where she was sexually assaulted and then let go.

The suspect then fled the scene in an unknown direction in an older model tan minivan with tinted windows.

The suspect is described as a male Hispanic in his early to mid thirties.  The suspect is approximately 5′ 6″, 160 pounds, with a mustache and dark hair combed back.  He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt with blue jeans.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective Laura Riso at (951) 353-7126.

Police investigate suspected Lenoir-Rhyne University, NC Rape…

HICKORY, NC —

Police are investigating a female student’s report that she was raped on Lenoir-Rhyne University’s campus early Sunday morning, September 12.

The 18-year-old victim told Hickory police she left her dorm to attend a party at another dorm. She was attacked when she left the party and walked home, said Sgt. Brett Porter with the Hickory Police Department. The victim told police she was not drinking at the party.

According to a campus-wide email notification that Lenoir-Rhyne University’s dean of students sent to faculty, staff and students Sunday evening, the assault occurred near the campus between 2 and 4 a.m. on Sunday. The email states Lenoir-Rhyne personnel are assisting Hickory Police Department with the investigation in any way necessary.

The student was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center on Sunday where evidence, including DNA and clothing, were collected. Patrol officers interviewed her Sunday. Investigators interviewed her again Monday night as they worked to investigate the case, Porter said.

“We are in the process of examining video from the university’s security camera system,” he said. “The school’s security personnel is being very helpful in assisting us in doing that. They’re also providing us information about card key entry into various buildings on campus.”

Investigators are working to identify and interview people at the party the victim attended. They will also interview the student’s roommate.

The student told police she was attacked in the 400 block of Eighth Avenue, but has been unable to pinpoint the location of the attack so police can search for evidence, Porter said.

Lenoir-Rhyne University has an emergency call box at each of its residence halls and at its two larger parking lots, said Norris Yoder, director of security for Lenoir-Rhyne University. Calls from the call boxes go directly to campus security, which is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week so someone will respond to a call.

Sunday’s case is the first sexual assault reported on campus this year. Three sexual assaults were reported in 2009.

Yoder said there were no calls to campus security on Sunday.

“We didn’t get any calls about this until the police department notified us that the victim was at the hospital,” he said.

That was at 4:32 p.m. Sunday, Yoder said.

Hickory police are asking students to remain vigilant.

“The Hickory Police Department’s position is that female students in a college environment should be aware of their surroundings and travel in groups when walking around campus,” Porter said. “Call in any suspicious activity you see to the police department.”

University of Georgia Student reports weekend rape: police search for suspect

An 18-year-old University student reported she was raped at an unknown location after getting into a taxi downtown early Sunday, September 5, according to Athens-Clarke County police.

The woman said she was driven around for about two hours, according to police, and she repeatedly told the driver her address and that she wanted to go home. At some point, the driver stopped at an unknown location and raped the woman, according to police.

The accused rapist is described as an Hispanic male in his 20s with a scruffy beard and a thick accent, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 180 pounds, ACC Police Capt. Clarence Holeman said.

The incident occurred between midnight and 2:55 a.m. The police made contact with the woman early Sunday at the corner of Baxter Street and Milledge Avenue, Holeman said.

Holeman said alcohol was involved in the incident.

The rape reported early Sunday marks the 13th rape reported in Athens since June.

At this time, though, Holeman said he would treat this rape report as legitimate.

“We’re not even thinking about unfounded claims,” he said. “We’re going to investigate it.”

Duke University Sophomore Arrested on Rape Charge…

September 15, 2010 2 comments

Duke University Sophomore Arrested on Rape Charge…

A sophomore withdrew from the University Thursday after being arrested for the alleged second-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping of a fellow student.

Eric Irons, a 19-year-old from Hong Kong, was arrested by Duke Police and taken into custody Wednesday, 9/8/10. He was charged and released the same day on a $75,000 bond, according to court records. A district court date has been set for Nov. 9.

Irons allegedly assaulted a female student at a party on Central Campus April 17, according to the probable cause affadavit, part of the application for a search warrant submitted by the Duke University Police Department. Several witnesses described the alleged victim as “very intoxicated” at the party, according to the affadavit. The next day, the alleged victim went to the Duke University Medical Center’s Emergency Department, where a sexual assault kit was used.

Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, wrote in an e-mail that the DUPD investigation was conducted in a “timely manner,” but the incident was not included in the initial DUPD crime log to protect the alleged victim, avoid jeopardizing the investigation and prevent the destruction of evidence. He added that DUPD has the right to not report incidents in special cases, such as during ongoing investigations.

DUPD submitted a search warrant application to the magistrate Sept. 7 to procure DNA swabs from Irons and samples of his head and pubic hair, saliva and blood. The evidence was collected by DUPD and Emergency Department workers Sept. 8, according to the search warrant.

“The University’s principal concern is for the health and safety of the victim and the members of the Duke community,” Schoenfeld wrote. “We take reports of sexual assault very seriously and, through DUPD and other services available on campus, work to ensure that the rights of victims and those under investigation are respected and protected.”

Irons declined to comment and referred questions to Durham lawyer Bill Thomas, who could not be reached.

According to the affadavit, Irons admitted in “a subsequent interview” that he engaged in sexual conduct with the alleged victim but denied having sexual intercourse.

According to state statutes, second-degree rape is defined as vaginal intercourse “by force and against the will of the other person.” First-degree kidnapping is the unlawful confining, restraining or removal of a person from one place to another, the result being that “the person kidnapped either was not released by the defendant in a safe place or had been seriously injured or sexually assaulted,” the statutes state.

Schoenfeld referred questions about the prosecution of the case to the district attorney’s office, which could not immediately be reached for comment.

Student Affairs officials have been in contact with Irons and his parents, Schoenfeld said.

Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek said she cannot comment on ongoing criminal cases involving students, but she said the University considers each incident of this nature with great care.

“It’s a difficult balance to strike whenever we are attempting to preserve the rights and the safety of both the students that are involved in the cases and the rest of the community,” she said. “That is something that we take very seriously.”

Via The Chronicle – Duke University

Interestingly I have found nothing in our media about this assault other than the University newspaper.  Why not?  Why shouldn’t other students, campuses, universities, females, and communities be made aware of this information?  Talk about “hush, hush”.

UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE STATS (BASED ON NUMBERS ONLY BEING REPORTED….5% REPORTED!

1 out of 4 females in college will be sexually assaulted/raped BEFORE graduation.

95% of victims DO NOT report being victimized.

MAJOR WAKE-UP CALL – VICTIMIZATION IS NEVER YOUR FAULT!

Section 9 funding and the reporting requirements of the Jean Cleary Act are being drastically being UNDER REPORTED.  Reporting of victimization does affect funding to colleges and universities.  This MUST stop!  Our females are not educated nor know what procedures they should and must take when victimized.  Know the policy and procedures at your school for reporting.  If the University has “SWORN POLICE OFFICERS” report the assault immediately AND PRESS CHARGES, go to the local hospital for reporting and exam and visit your local Rape Crisis Agency or call RAINN.org.  You have every right as well to file a report and press charges with the local city/town police department.

NEVER ALLOW ANYONE TO TELL YOU THAT THEY WILL LOOK INTO THINGS…GET YOUR DOCUMENTATION OF THE REPORT AND ARREST WARRANT.  BE SURE TO TAKE YOUR EXAM RESULTS, CERTIFIED ADVOCATE FROM THE AGENCY WITHIN THE COUNTY WITH YOU AS SHE KNOWS THE LAWS AND YOUR RIGHTS!

Do not settle for a “peer advocate” or “faculty advocate”….YOU WANT/NEED a certified rape crisis advocate who has no influence nor connection with your school.  Her soul interest is to protect and to provide FOR YOU!

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Victim’s Legacy: Tough Sex-Crime Laws

September 2, 2010 1 comment

Victim’s Legacy: Tough Sex-Crime Laws

1 man, 2 murders lead to tough laws for sex crimes against children

(CNN) — Brent King says it still “takes my breath away” to talk about his daughter in the same sentence as the man who killed her.

But he takes comfort in the knowledge that new California legislation named after his daughter, Chelsea King, will help protect other people’s children from sex crimes.

“If this legislation would’ve been in place before, Chelsea would still be with us,” King said, speaking Tuesday about Chelsea’s Law, which he and his wife, Kelly, worked on with state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher.

Chelsea’s Law is awaiting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature after unanimously passing the Senate and Assembly in a rare display of bipartisanship.

Formally known as AB 1844, the bill creates mandatory sentences of life without parole for violent sexual offenses against children. Another major provision of the 62-page bill is lifetime parole for people who commit certain sex crimes against minors.

Read the complete text of the bill

It’s not the only proposed legislation to arise out of the heinous acts of registered sex offender John Gardner III, who admitted in March to killing 17-year-old Chelsea King.

A few days after her body was found, he led authorities to the remains of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who had been missing for more than a year. Gardner was sentenced to three consecutive terms of life without parole for the murders and an attack on a jogger.

The deaths of the young girls provided impetus for a flurry of tougher proposed laws aimed at protecting children.

If this legislation would’ve been in place before, Chelsea would still be with us.
–Brent King, father and bill proponent

Dubois’ father is behind three assembly bills concerning law enforcement response to missing children. Among the legislative proposals:

— Creating a rapid response team in the state Attorney General’s Office to help find abducted children.

— Reducing the minimum time for reporting a missing child from four hours to two.

— Enhanced training for police officers who search for missing children.

The four bills are on their way to Schwarzenegger’s desk after being fast-tracked through the Legislature. Chelsea’s Law also has an urgency clause that means it will take effect as soon as Schwarzenegger signs it. The Dubois bills do not have an urgency clause and would take effect in January 2011.

The bills could have a ripple effect as King actively tries to get other states to adopt similar legislation.

Read how Chelsea’s killer targeted others

The speed of passage was rare for the California legislature, but not without precedent from other child safety legislation, said Mark Klaas, president and founder of KlaasKids Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to fighting crimes against children.

“California has a history of responding very strongly to vicious sex crimes against kids, especially in an election year,” Klaas said. “When you have the fresh memory of a beautiful young girl murdered by a person who shouldn’t have been out in the first place, they’re going to respond accordingly.”

He cited the passage within months of a three-strikes law named for his daughter, Polly, who was abducted during a sleepover and murdered in 1993. Jessica’s Law, which increased penalties for certain crimes against minors, also passed within months of being introduced, Klaas said.

Klaas said he believes the Dubois bill will have a more immediate effect than Chelsea’s Law.

No matter how slight the offense, everyone in California is included in the same net.
–Anonymous mother of man on sex offender registry

“Sentencing gets a lot of publicity, but they rarely seem to deliver on the promises. Other administrative bills are less colorful and more localized, but they have a possibility of helping shore up infrastructure,” he said.

Gardner was paroled September 26, 2005, after serving five years for two counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child younger than 14 and a single count of false imprisonment for attacking a 13-year-old neighbor.

Under Chelsea’s Law, lewd and lascivious acts on a minor will carry a mandatory sentence of life without parole. The “one-strike” provision applies to forcible sex crimes against minors that include aggravating factors, such as the victim’s age or whether the victim was bound or drugged.

“Because of what he’d done previously to the 13-year-old girl, he would have been given life without the possibility of parole,” Brent King said. “He never would’ve been let out, and Chelsea never would’ve been harmed.”

King and other supporters say the bill is the most sweeping reform of its kind in recent California history, touching upon sentencing and parole as well as treatment and funding.

Opponents of Chelsea’s Law call it another feel-good measure that pushes registered sex offenders further to the fringes of society.

“No matter how slight the offense, everyone in California is included in the same net, ridicule, rules and restrictions,” said a San Diego woman whose adult son is on the registry for improperly touching a 16-year-old girl.

He lost custody of his son. As a result of residency restrictions, he had to move in with his parents, she said.

The mother asked that her name be withheld for fear of reprisal against her family.

“Our constitutional rights are violated daily, and no one in this country cares,” she wrote in an e-mail. “This new law is yet another ‘feel good’ law that further damages families of those on the registry, and will no doubt add millions of tax burdens to taxpayers.”

The woman and her son live in the same neighborhood where the Kings lived when Chelsea was alive. After Chelsea disappeared, the King family asked neighbors to tie blue ribbons around trees in her memory. The King family relocated to Illinois a few weeks ago.

A lot of laws regarding child safety just aren’t really implemented. All you have to do is look at John Gardner.
–Mark Klaas, child safety activist

“Every morning, I awaken to blue ribbons tied to the trees across the street. A daily reminder that we are now lepers,” the San Diego woman said in her e-mail. “What happened to Chelsea was an unimaginable tragic event caused by one sick individual.” In response to criticism that the legislation took a “one-size-fits-all” approach to punishing sex offenses and managing paroled sex offenders, Fletcher amended the bill in committee. It now includes criteria for assessing the risk of recidivism and, based on that risk, placing certain paroled sex offenders under greater supervision. The bill also calls for those risk assessment “scores” to be included in the offenders’ online profiles on the Megan’s Law website, California’s version of the sex offender registry. “We will be instituting a dynamic risk assessment, which means it can change on a monthly basis and it will be based on a whole series of factors, not just the crime,” said Fletcher, who introduced the legislation in the state assembly in April. The bill also allows the use of polygraphs in parole supervision. “This legislation provides experts with better tools than the ones available now to assess risk. If you have a sex offender who’s not compliant, their risk assessment level will go up, they’ll get more visits and supervision,” Fletcher said. The amended legislation also addresses funding for changes expected to cost tens of millions of dollars over the next decade, according to a preliminary study by the state Legislative Analyst’s Office. The crime of petty theft will be downgraded to a misdemeanor, clearing clogged court dockets and freeing space in jails and prisons. Despite its broad sweep, Brent King says the bill’s cornerstone is the one-strike provision. “It was my and Kelly’s belief that there was no reason that we could find that people who targeted young children violently could ever be reformed, so why give these violent sexual predators an opportunity to strike twice? That was our premise and it grew from there,” he said. King said he has identified four states that are interested in adopting similar legislation but he would not name them. “I think California has taken such a strong step forward that I’m excited about taking Chelsea’s Law across the nation.”

Respectfully Submitted Via:

Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

Facebook Helps Mom Find Kids After 15 Years, Dad Arrested For Kidnapping…

June 11, 2010 Comments off

Facebook Helps Mom Find Kids After 15 Years, Dad Arrested For Kidnapping

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (CBS/AP) It might have been a shot into the darkness of the Internet, but one California mom hit her mark: She found her missing children on Facebook.

The mother, Prince Segala, says that in October 1995 she came home to find her two young children, ages 2 and 3, missing along with her husband, Faustino Utrera.

She immediately called the Montclair, Calif. police and filed a report. A few days later she received a phone call from Utrera telling her that he was in Mexico with their two children and she would never see them again, Deputy District Attorney Kurt S. Rowley told the San Bernardino Sun.

Segala has been searching for them ever since.

In March, Segala found her daughter on the social networking site Facebook. She sent her daughter pictures of their family before Utrera disappeared, and tried to arrange a meeting, but her daughter, now 17, told Segala that she had been told terrible things about her mother and was happy with her new mother. The daughter then deleted her profile, according to the paper.

But Segala was able to take that online conversation to the San Bernardino County prosecutor’s office who obtained an arrest warrant in May for Utrera in Osceolla County, Fla., Rowley said.

The children were taken into state custody and according to Florida Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Elizabeth Arenas, they are now staying with a non-relative with whom the girl and her 16-year-old brother have an existing relationship.

“You can imagine the feelings she’s having, not seeing her children for so many years and knowing they’ve bonded with another family,” Rowley said about the mother. “But at the same time they’re almost within her grasp.”

Utrera was arrested by Osceolla County Sheriff’s deputies May 26 and has been charged with felony kidnapping charges and violating child custody orders. Rowley said that he expects Utrera to fight extradition at a July 17 hearing.

Respectfully submitted via Crimesider

Elizabeth Smart Abductor Wanda Barzee Begs “Forgive Me” For 9-Month Rape Hell

November 18, 2009 2 comments

Photo:Elizabeth Smart leaves federal court Oct. 1, 2009, in Salt Lake City.

SALT LAKE CITY (CBS/AP) Abducted from her bedroom at knifepoint when she was just 14, Elizabeth Smart was whisked away from her family to a campsite in the mountains above her Salt Lake City home in 2002.While the whole world searched and prayed, Smart endured nine months of brutal rape and torture.

Now, seven years after it began, Wanda Barzee, one of the two defendants charged in the case, has pleaded guilty and begged forgiveness.

 

Photo: Wanda Barzee at a hearing Friday, Jan. 9, 2004, in Salt Lake City.

 

 

“I am so sorry, Elizabeth, for all the pain and suffering I have caused you and your family,” Barzee, 64, said. “It is my hope that you will be able to find it in your heart to forgive me.”

Smart, now 22 and preparing to serve a mission in Paris for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was not in court. But her father, Ed Smart, made a statement there.

 

Photo: Brian David Mitchell arrives at the Salt Lake City federal courthouse for a hearing Thursday, Oct. 1 2009, in Salt Lake City.

 

 

“I just hope that Wanda realizes what she did and that it was absolutely wrong and absolutely horrible,” he said.

Barzee, who wore a black skirt and black flats, pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.

Sentencing for Barzee was set for May 19.

 

 

Photo: Elizabeth Smart poses with her parents, Lois and Ed, outside their home Thursday, March 13, 2003.
She could have faced a life sentence for the kidnapping charge and up to 15 years for the other count. However, under the plea deal, she is expected to receive 15 years in prison, with credit for about six years already served.

Barzee will be returned to the Utah State Hospital until her sentencing. She also will plead guilty in state court under the plea deal to one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping and will cooperate in the case against her estranged husband, Brian David Mitchell.

Smart was recovered nine months after the abduction after a motorist saw her walking on a suburban street with Barzee and Mitchell.

Barzee’s role in the alleged abduction has garnered less attention than Mitchell’s.

At a hearing last month, Smart said that within hours of the abduction, Mitchell took her as a polygamous wife and then raped her. Smart said Barzee washed the teen’s feet and dressed her in robes before the ceremony.

Barzee often became upset over Mitchell’s relationship with Smart, but that sentiment would never last, Smart said.

State cases filed in March 2003 against Barzee and Mitchell have been stymied by rulings that both were incompetent for trial. Barzee and Mitchell were indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2008.

Barzee’s plea comes a month after a Utah State Hospital report to a state judge said that 15 months of court-ordered treatments with anti-psychotic medications had restored her competency.

“No issues of competency will be raised in the federal court matter,” Williams told The Associated Press on Monday.

Mitchell has also been found incompetent for trial in state court. A judge refused to order him to undergo forced medications.

On Nov. 30, Mitchell is scheduled for a 10-day competency hearing in his federal court case.

Prosecutors claim that a psychiatrist who evaluated Mitchell contends he is exaggerating or faking psychiatric symptoms to avoid prosecution.