Sunday, June 29, 2008

Polk County, FL Sheriff's deputy convicted of ex-girlfriend's rape, sentenced to max

(Original Post 5-31-08)
Jose Aponte, 55, from Bartow, Fl, a former Polk County sheriff's deputy, was convicted of the felony counts of sexual battery, extortion or threats, and violating a restraining order for the rape of his girlfriend last year. Sexual battery and extorion or threats are 2nd degree felonies in Florida under the circumstances, carries a maximum 15 year prison sentence. Collateral consequences include being on the SO registry and the DNA database for life.

A 41-year-old Poinciana woman told jurors that Aponte forced her to have sex, and then pointed his handgun at her and then himself. The woman said Aponte was intoxicated on the night he raped her and left bruises on her body.

Prosecutors also accused Aponte of later threatening to post a sex tape on the Internet to embarrass the woman. Her name is being withheld because she is a victim of a sex crime.
At trial, the defense argued that the woman was upset with Aponte because he planned to reconcile with his wife.

Aponte testified that he had consensual sex with the woman and left hickeys on her.
He denied putting a handgun to her head or pointing it at his head and threatening to commit suicide. Aponte said the woman was furious when she later discovered he wanted to go back to his wife. She threatened to kill herself with a kitchen knife, he said.

Ironically for a sexual predator, when Aponte was surrounded by fellow sheriff's deputies after the attack on his ex-girlfriend, he likened them to "birds of prey." He will be sentenced June 27.
(Update 6-29-08) On June 27, Aponte was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation. Presumably, it's sex offender probation. Collateral consequences, besides the DNA and SO databases include the prospect of ill treatment in prison.
A poster at the Florida Today site said, "Again, he's not a sex offender, he has that much going for him." Sex offenders come in many flavors, and not all of them prey on kids.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Father-In-Law guilty of contract killing

ATLANTA (AP)- A businessman born in India was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole for having his black daughter-in-law killed.

Jurors deliberated less than two hours before delivering the verdict in an Atlanta-area courtroom. A jury convicted 68-year-old Chiman Rai on Thursday of masterminding the death of Sparkle Michelle Rai. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for the Mississippi man.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Chiman Rai believed the 22-year-old woman brought shame to his family because she was black.

Sparkle Rai was found strangled and stabbed weeks after her wedding to Rai’s son, Ricky Rai, in March 2000.

Jurors found Chiman Rai guilty on seven charges, including felony murder and burglary.
“I’m feeling very much relieved,” said Bennet Reid, Sparkle’s father, said Thursday as he blinked through tears. “I feel justice has been served for my granddaughter and for my family. My daughter’s not going to come back, but she’s smiling now.”

Attorneys presented starkly contrasting images of Rai during the eight-day trial.
Prosecutors sought to portray him as a racist who was so upset that Ricky married and fathered a child with Sparkle that he shelled out $10,000 to have her killed. They called Rai’s ex-cellmate in the Fulton County Jail to testify that Rai called black people “scum.” They also pointed to statements from Ricky Rai, who told investigators after the killing that his father was “a little racist.”

Defense attorneys depicted Rai as a hardworking businessman who wanted his son to marry an Indian woman but who was far from a racist. They paraded a steady stream of Rai’s black customers and fellow inmates before the jury, and each described Rai as tolerant and compassionate.

Rai’s attorneys also reminded the jury that their client taught math at Alcorn State University, a historically black college in Mississippi, and later ran a supermarket in a predominantly black area in Jackson. He also helped buy a hotel in Louisville, Ky., where he made Ricky the general manager in 1998.

Ricky Rai hired Sparkle Reid, an Atlanta native, as a clerk. They started dating in October 1998 and two months later she was pregnant with their daughter Analla. Sparkle was found dead in her apartment on April 26, 2000. Her 7-month-old daughter was nearby, unharmed.

Investigators found little evidence and the case remained unsolved until two witnesses came forward in 2004, a breakthrough investigators said helped them connect the killing to Chiman Rai.
Prosecutors said Rai teamed up with Willie Fred Evans and Herbert Green to serve as middlemen for the hit squad, and both testified in court they arranged the killing. Both have pleaded guilty to lesser charges and cooperated with prosecutors. They are expected to receive probation.

Prosecutors say the money was passed to brothers Cleveland and Carl Clark and that Cleveland, who also faces the death penalty, carried out the killing.

Defense attorneys contend Evans and Green lied to cover up their role in the killing, which they say had the look of a robbery gone bad. They suggest that Evans and Green plotted the killing, perhaps in pursuit of drug money, and they pounded prosecutors for giving the two a “sweetheart deal” in exchange for their cooperation.

“You could have 100 liars testify to something,” said Jack Martin, Rai’s attorney. “And it’s not worth anything.”

After the guilty verdict was read on Thursday, Rai buried his head in his hands, inches away from a small statue he’s had as a good luck charm through most of the trial.

British rape slaying leads to 30 year minimum for serial rapist

A serial rapist murdered a young mother in front of her baby son just days after being bailed over another sex attack. Crack cocaine addict Christopher Braithwaite, 22, was arrested for a rape in August last year but was released the next day.

He killed 23-year- old Stacey Westbury a week later.The case will reignite debate on whether bail should be granted to those accused of serious offences. Government lawyers recently ruled that a blanket ban on bail for murder suspects would breach their human rights.

Braithwaite is today beginning a life sentence, and the prosecution has asked for six charges of rape against two other young women to remain on his file.Braithwaite denies carrying out those six rapes, but he dramatically halted his trial this week to admit sexually attacking and murdering Stacey.

He was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman in her twenties on August 9 last year, but was released the next day pending further police investigation. Then on August 17 he killed Stacey in her home in West London while her ten-month-old son Kayden lay in his cot yards away.

Katherine Rake of the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for justice for women, said yesterday: ‘The fact Braithwaite was released on bail shows that criminal justice agencies have utterly failed to implement adequate safeguards.

‘There is an urgent need for the Government to do more to ensure that better evidence is collected and acted upon when dealing with rape cases.’
The Old Bailey heard that Braithwaite, who had been at school with Stacey, sexually attacked her before killing her.

Her father Ken found her body 18 hours later, with her face bloodied and bruised from repeated punches. She had been strangled and stabbed in the neck, stomach and right hand with a nine-inch blade.
Her son was still in his cot, while his mother’s body lay on the sofa yards away. After the killing, jobless Braithwaite had tried to wash the blood from Stacey’s naked corpse, before ransacking her flat trying to find anything he could sell for drugs.

Stacey’s mother Lorraine Beasley, a dinner lady, said that Kayden had suffered nightmares and would scream hysterically if strangers came to the family’s home. In a statement read to the court, she said: ‘

Kayden has had his first birthday, which every child should spend with their Mum. Christmas was just terrible. Stacey should have been with us to watch her son open his presents.’

An statement from Mr Westbury was also read to the judge before sentencing. He said: ‘I can only describe the initial feeling of discovering what had happened to Stacey as numb shock, to be replaced very quickly by the most awful pain I have ever felt.

‘I also felt a white-hot rage that someone could do this to my little girl. On the day of Stacey’s funeral I stood at her graveside. You shouldn’t have to bury your children.’

Braithwaite offered no explanation for his actions but told psychiatrists that he suffered from fits of intense rage and paranoia, made worse by his drug abuse. He started smoking cannabis when he was 12 and began using body-building steroids and crack cocaine in 2005, when he was in his late teens.

By the time of the murder he was smoking ten to 12 rocks of crack a day and told psychiatrists it helped to stop his ‘bad thoughts’, the court heard. He said he had become engulfed by rage in Stacey’s flat when the young mother began asking him about the rape of the other woman seven days earlier.

The court heard he had previously admitted a February 2005 stabbing in which his victim was wounded. However, he escaped jail and was given a two-year rehabilitation order and was told to attend anger management classes.

Braithwaite, of Shepherds Bush in West London, was told he would serve a minimum of 30 years before he would be considered for parole. He will not be eligible for early release if he is still considered a danger to women.

The two women whom Braithwaite is alleged to have raped declined to comment last night.
The CPS said it had consulted them before deciding to accept his guilty plea and drop those prosecutions, because he was already facing a life sentence.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Baby's daddy kills mother in front of their kid in Montclair, NJ

MONTCLAIR, New Jersey (AP) - A man shot and killed a woman in front of their 11-year-old daughter inside a YMCA recreation center while a swimming class for preschoolers was going on nearby, officials said.

Authorities said Monica Paul, 31, argued with the suspect, Kenneth A. Duckett, 37, before he allegedly opened fire about 6:30 p.m.

Duckett, the father of her two children, then ran from the building and drove off in a white Jeep with another man, who has not been identified, authorities said. The vehicle was later found; both men remained at large late Thursday.

Witnesses said YMCA staffers and parents helped get the children out of the building. None of the children was hurt, authorities said.

Essex County Prosecutor Paula T. Dow said Paul was shot multiple times at close range as she sat with her daughter in a waiting area outside the pool where her 4-year-old son was swimming. Witnesses told investigators they heard at least three or four shots.

Authorities said the slain woman was granted a restraining order against Duckett late last year

British citizen sentenced to life without parole for deaths of wife, daughter

WOBURN, Massachusetts (AP) -- A British man convicted of shooting to death his 9-month-old baby and wife as they cuddled in bed showed no reaction Thursday as he was sentenced to two life prison terms without the opportunity for parole.

Neil Entwistle was found guilty Wednesday of two counts of first-degree murder in the 2006 deaths of his wife Rachel and their baby, Lillian Rose, in their rented home in Hopkinton. He fled to his native England afterward.

He claims that his wife killed the baby and then committed suicide.

Prosecutors said he was despondent over mounting debt and dissatisfied over his sex life.
During the brief sentencing hearing, Rachel's mother, Priscilla Matterazzo, called Entwistle's theory of a murder-suicide "low and despicable."

"Suffering does not begin to describe what we have been enduring without our beloved Rachel and Lillian," said Matterazzo, who wore a pink rose on her lapel in memory of her granddaughter. "I have lost two generations of my family."

Matterazzo asked that the life sentences be consecutive, to represent the two generations.
But Middlesex District Court Judge Diane Kottmeyer said that would be only symbolic because there is no chance he'll be released, and she imposed two concurrent life sentences.

Entwistle's family continued to support him.

"There is no way our innocent son Neil is guilty," his father, Clifford Entwistle, said before the sentencing. He refused comment afterward

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Air Force Colonel acquitted of rape, convicted of other sex crimes

By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer

WICHITA FALLS, Texas - As the verdicts were read, a woman who had accused Col. Samuel Lofton of rape darted from the courtroom.

A military jury acquitted the Air Force colonel of rape on Wednesday, but the panel of seven men and two women found him guilty of two counts of indecent assault in cases involving two other women at Sheppard Air Force Base.

Lofton, the former 82nd Training Group commander at the base, also was convicted of two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman for calling a high-ranking enlisted member at her home and for making sexually suggestive comments to her at work.

He faces a maximum prison sentence of five years on each indecent assault count and one year on each conduct unbecoming count. The court could also decide that no punishment is warranted.

Lofton could have been sentenced to life in prison had he been convicted of rape. Jurors in the court-martial deliberated nearly five hours. Their verdict did not have to be unanimous; two-thirds had to agree.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys declined to comment after the verdict.
Lofton pleaded guilty last week to 17 counts of larceny, being absent without leave nearly a dozen times and two counts of dereliction of duty. The charges could bring an end to his 27-year military career as well as more than 100 years in prison.

Sentencing for all charges was set for Thursday.

Lofton was removed from his post about a year ago as he was being investigated for misusing his government travel card.

Two civilian workers testified that he forcibly kissed them and placed their hands on his genitals. One woman said she was assaulted twice in the fall of 2006, the other twice in the spring of 2007. Neither worked for Lofton but all worked in the same building.

During closing arguments Wednesday, lead defense attorney Maj. Mark Etheridge said the accuser's account of the rape was "ridiculous." The woman had testified that after the attack Lofton asked to keep her pantyhose as a souvenir and that she threw them at him after wiping herself.
"They are the piece of evidence that could corroborate her account and she throws it at him? Are you kidding me?" Etheridge said.

He also reminded jurors about several flirtatious work e-mails she sent to Lofton after the alleged incidents, even after he was removed from his post. An e-mail sent the day after the alleged rape says, "I would be foolish to say I'm not interested in a promotion."

But the military prosecutor, Capt. Brett Landry, told jurors that the woman remained on friendly terms with Lofton because she was afraid of losing her job. He said all of the accusers were credible.

"There is no motivation for these two women to have made up these incidents," Landry said. "There is no overarching conspiracy ... to ruin his life by putting him through this."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Study about prison rape bring surprising results

3% of inmates of U.S. jails sexually victimized: report
Steven Edwards , Canwest News ServicePublished: Wednesday, June 25, 2008
NEW YORK - Widely held misconceptions about the extent and nature of
sexual victimization in U.S. jails are indirectly exposed in the results of a study released here Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice's Sexual Victimization in Local Jails 2007 study - the first of its kind for those facilities - reports that 3.2 per cent of inmates questioned say they've been targets of sexual predators behind bars.

Criteria for listing oneself as a victim included not only rape, but being inappropriately touched.

Authors of the study acknowledged that many in the wider public will be surprised at the findings.One myth is that rape behind bars is relatively widespread. "Those things happen and we're finding them, but it isn't the 20 per cent figure that some believe," said Allen Beck, senior statistical adviser for the Bureau of Justice Statistics, who jointly led the study.

"The prevalence of such acts is relatively small."

Among other findings, the profiles of some of the most likely inmates to be victimized produced surprises - even for the experts.The incidence of people of mixed race as victims was higher than the average, as was that of people educated to the college level.

"The mixed-race profile came as a surprise," said Beck.

"Vulnerabilities in terms of race exist and are complex things to explain."

As for the college graduate factor, Beck noted that separate statistics show crime is relatively less prevalent among people with high levels of education, suggesting they are less likely to previously have been in jail.

"They may be less experienced inmates," he said.

The profiles of the predators also could surprise some: while the victim reports showed more than half were prison staff, a significant number of that group included women guards on male inmates.

According to the report, nearly 62 per cent of all reported incidents of staff sexual misconduct involved female staff with male inmates; eight per cent involved male staff with female inmates.
The study, which involved 24,700 inmates, is required under the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act. It follows a similar study, released in December, that showed 4.5 per cent of inmates surveyed in state and federal prisons reported sexual victimization.

There are 780,000 inmates in jails across the United States, many awaiting sentencing for moderate to serious crimes, or serving short sentences. According to the latest study, women and homosexuals reported markedly above-average levels of victimization.

"What women report is more likely to be the unwanted grabbing, groping, touching abuse, as opposed to sexual acts that involve penetration," said Beck.

Of female inmates surveyed, 5.1 percent reported sexual victimization; 18.5 per cent of inmates describing themselves as homosexual reported being victimized sexually. The corresponding percentages for mixed race and college-educated victims were 4.1 and 4.6.

Stepfather convicted of rape of female - 9 year prison sentence

Vile stepfather jailed for sex abuse
Girl bullied into years of sexual abuse
The Winnipeg Sun

A Winnipeg man controlled every facet of his stepdaughter's life to bully her into years of sexual abuse, a judge said Monday.

"This is the most egregious form of sexual exploitation short of slavery with handcuffs attached," said Justice Morris Kaufman before sentencing the 54-year-old man to nine years in prison.

"The accused kept the victim under his complete and total control, picking her clothes, approving her friends, and attempting to control every facet of her life." The man -- who can not be named to protect the identity of his now 30-year-old victim -- was convicted following a trial last summer of sexual assault, sexual touching, procuring for the purposes of prostitution, and uttering threats. He was acquitted of an additional charge of sexual assault with a weapon, involving accusations he used a syringe to inject water into her breasts to make them bigger.

Kaufman called the man "a sly manipulator of facts" and "a bully who used verbal threats and violence to get his way."

"When confronted with the fact he sent her to get contraceptives, he claimed with a straight face that he was just looking out for her welfare and did not know who she was going to have sex with," Kaufman said. The man gave credibility to his threats by recounting his assault on his own grandmother and described his abuse of the girl as "bonding," Kaufman said.

According to court documents, the woman told police her stepfather started groping her when she was 10 years of age and raped her when she was 14. The man claimed the two were involved in a five-year consensual sexual relationship beginning when she was 15.

The victim said when she was 12, the man and her mother asked if she would agree to carry the man's baby. The girl's mother became pregnant before the proposal could be acted upon.

"Today, I feel that my mother all but handed me over to (my stepfather) by making it clear that he could have sex with me without her doing anything about it," the woman wrote in a court document.

When the girl was 15, she and her stepfather moved into their own home. She became pregnant with his baby but suffered a miscarriage.

The woman said her stepfather threatened her with death if she told anyone of the abuse, claiming he had killed his grandmother with a hammer.

On the victim's 18th birthday, the man dressed her up in pink tights, took her to a massage parlour and put her to work as a prostitute, she told police. The man claimed it was her choice to become a prostitute and he only suggested going to a massage parlour to keep her off the streets.

New Hampshire woman sentenced to life without parole for killing "boyfriends"

Shelia Labarre, a 49 year old New Hampshire woman who murdered her two “boyfriends,” was sentenced to life without parole in a Brentwood, NH courtroom on Friday, June 20. She was found burining trash which contained a victim, 24 year old Kenneth Countie’s, bones in 2006.

The remains of her other victim, Michael Deloge, were also found on her horse farm in Epping, NH, 50 miles north of Boston.

Her trial, which lasted 5 weeks, included defense arguments that LaBarre was a deluded woman who believes she was an angel sent to kill every man in her life because they were pedophiles, but the prosecution portrayed her as a cruel manipulative, and vindictive woman who lashed out at every man she dated.

In February, LaBarre admitted to killing both men, so jurors had to decide only whether a mental illnesses drove her to do it.

Throughout the trial, jurors heard evidence that LaBarre was an explosively violent woman who terrorized nearly everyone in her life. Defense attorneys argued the behavior, and ultimately the killings, were the product of a deep psychosis left unchecked and untreated; prosecutors insisted LaBarre was nothing more than a mean, sadistic woman who liked to prey on weak men for her own pleasure.

Neither side denied LaBarre's behavior went unchecked for decades, and both said LaBarre might have gotten away with Deloge's murder if investigators hadn't come to her farm as she was in the final stages of burning Countie's body. That visit was prompted by repeated pleas from Lodge, who filed missing-person reports and prodded police to go find her son.

Defense lawyer Jeffrey Denner said he plans to appeal.

"It continues to be our belief that she's deeply crazy and insane," he said. "We also understand there's a huge amount of emotion in this case that clouds this issue."

Dr. Albert Drukteinis, the state's forensic psychologist, testified that he believed LaBarre was sane, after reviewing more than 8,000 pages in the case file, interviewing LaBarre three times and spending more than 12 hours with her.

"She answered questions well, she tried to explain evidence away that made her look bad. This is not what someone sees over many hours in a person who is psychotic," Drukteinis testified
He said there was not enough evidence to show that a mental illness caused LaBarre to commit her crimes. The burden of proof was on the defense to show both that LaBarre suffered from a mental disease and that the murders were a product of that illness.

In a taped interview with Drukteinis played in court, LaBarre said she was driven to kill Deloge because he was hurting and killing her animals. In a separate interview, she said Countie's death was an accident.

Jurors also heard some of the hundreds of tape recordings LaBarre made of herself, some of which featured her interrogating or berating her victims. Malcolm Rogers, a forensic psychologist who testified for the defense, said those tapes illustrated that LaBarre has either a schizophrenic affect disorder or a delusional disorder that caused her to mistakenly believe the men were pedophiles and to kill them.

Rogers also said LaBarre believes she once died of a drug overdose but was sent back to Earth as an angel with special powers.

Ironically, the influence that LaBarre had on one of the victims was similar to that that a pedophile has on his victims.

LaBarre met, then groomed Kenneth Countie online in February 2006, and in the month between when Ken met LaBarre and his death,his mother, Carolynn Lodge, noticed her evil influence on him. Ken, according to his mother, was a socially awkward young man who mistook other’s attention to him as friendship when it was far too often, a way to take advantage of him.

"Throughout my son's short life, he endured the cruelty of many of his peers, believing they were his friends. Unfortunately, Kenny was never able to determine when someone was taking advantage of him. When Kenny met Sheila LaBarre, he believed her when she said she wanted to be with him. In Kenny's mind, he was going to live a new life on the farm. A new beginning."

LaBarre was Countie’s final perpetrator. Ken was last seen alive by his mother pushed in a wheelchair at a local Wal-Mart a month after he met laBarre, his face and hands covered with cuts.

"Sheila LaBarre took advantage of my son, who was a kind, caring, gentle young man who could not socially defend himself. She was a master of evil who deliberately tortured him. Sheila LaBarre stripped my son of all his dignity and self-worth before murdering him.”
After the verdict, Lodge said that the son that she lost has finally gained rest.
"This is for my son. [For] two years, my son could not rest. Now he can rest."

Man who met girlfriend when 16 sentenced to 18 months in her rape

A Wailuku, Hawaii man who raped and kidnapped his ex-“girlfriend,” a woman he started having sex with when he was 16 and she was 21, was sentenced to 18 months of probation, which was a sentence which angered and frightened his victim, his ex-girlfriend. Joseph Sado Jr., 19, was convicted of charges including rape and kidnapping for incidents which occurred last year, culminating in rape the last day of September 2007.

“I’m just really upset with the results, that he’s getting away with the crime he committed. His family’s out here in the community still harassing me,” his victim said.

Deputy Prosecutor Robert Rivera, who asked for a 10 year prison term, said “the worst fear about what can happen in a sentencing just happened. Our victim feels revictimized and retraumatized through just that hearing alone. It’s hurtful and it’s devastating, and she is in fear.”

Deputy Public Defender Wendy Hudson, who argued for probation, said that both victim and defendant are in new relationships, despite Sado spending all of his time in jail following his September 30 arrest.

“I don’t think she has anything to fear. He wants to stay as far away from her as possible. They’re both in new relationships.”She said Sado was pleased with his sentence that also included 200 hours of community service as part of five years’ probation. “He was happy the judge actually listened to him,” Hudson said.

In the latest case, Sado was convicted of kidnapping and two reduced counts of second-degree sexual assault on Sept. 29 to 30 after the 23-year-old woman reported she was held against her will and raped by Sado after she agreed to meet at his residence to talk and agreed to go for a ride with him, according to police.

In a letter to the court, Sado denied kidnapping and sexually assaulting the woman, Rivera said. But he described how Sado “pummeled” the woman on her face, back, neck, shoulders and arms while driving more than 80 mph in her car. He told her, “You know I can kill you” and “I’m going to take you where I can bury you,” Rivera said.After more than an hour, he drove back to his residence, where she reported being raped. She called police after Sado fell asleep.

Sado also had pleaded no contest to abuse and second-degree criminal property damage for hitting the woman, then kicking and hitting her blue 2007 Nissan sedan as she was trying to leave after a June 22, 2007, argument, according to court records.He pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree burglary, abuse and two counts of violating an order for protection for entering the Kihei apartment where his former girlfriend was staying with her mother on Aug. 20, grabbing her cellular telephone and punching her on both sides of her face, according to court records. She reported that he left, then twice called the residence using the cellular phone, once while a police officer was there.

Hudson stated that the woman was 21 when she started dating the 16 year old Sado, who had just finished his sophomore year of high school. Hudson blamed the victim for changing Sado’s personality, being controlling, and provoking him into confrontations.

“She set her sights on him. They started dating. He’s now getting alcohol, regular sex. All the while he’s still in school. Before he met her, he’s fun-loving, he’s smiling. He doesn’t get into any kind of trouble until he started his relationship with her. We believe that Joe acted under strong provocation. This is not going to happen again. We’re in no way saying she deserved any of this. We do apologize. It’s not just one-sided.”

[Hudson] said arguments between the two began escalating. Sado’s former girlfriend could be “loud and obnoxious,” as well as “very jealous, very controlling,” Hudson said.

Hudson read part of Sado’s letter to the court that said: “I’m not saying when I hit her it’s OK. Cause I know it’s not. But that’s how our relationship was.”After apologizing in court to his family and “for all the stuff I did” to his former girlfriend, Sado said, “It wasn’t just me, it was both of us.”

His uncle, Duwayne Kosi, who was among more than a dozen family members in the courtroom gallery, described Sado as a “great, awesome boy” who would watch the woman’s children while she was at work.“I despise and hate sexual assailants and predators, and he’s not one of them,” Kosi said. “He’s just a child, and he was manipulated in this relationship.”Rivera said the focus should be on Sado’s actions in the criminal cases.

The woman’s aunt, who lived near the two when they were together, said she would hear yelling. While she didn’t see her niece being abused, “I would see the aftermath, and the aftermath wasn’t nice.” She said she saw her niece with black eyes and a broken jaw.Sado had a juvenile record for theft and assault before he met his former girlfriend and had at least three later abuse convictions, Rivera said. A report prepared for the sentencing listed 24 factors supporting imprisonment and two supporting no incarceration.

2nd Circuit Court Judge Joel August said that probation supervision is more intensive than parole supervision, and that sex offender treatment can be undertaken outside as well as inside prison walls.

“Given that all of these charges grew out of a personal relationship and were not charges involving the defendant picking on random members of the community, and given his age, it’s the court’s prediction that he would be released from incarceration some time within the next 24 months and be back in society with no oversight other than the paroling authority, which is not much. It does not compare with to the kind of oversight and control which is provided by the probation department.

While sentencing Mr. Sado to a long term of imprisonment would satisfy the desire for retribution, it would almost guarantee recidivism and present a greater risk for society.”

Judge August also prohibited contact between Sado and his victim, and use of alcohol or illegal drugs. He also ordered Sado to write an apology letter to his victim explaining the damage she suffered, and sentenced Sado to 200 hours of community service.

Second man found guilty in rape case of woman who bled to death

Carlton Lee Yazzie was found guilty Saturday June 21 for the sexual assault of a Colorado woman who died from her injuries after the rape. Yazzie, 39, was found guilty of sexual assault with aggravating circumstances, which carries a maximum sentence of 48 years to life in prison. Two other counts of sexual assault and a felony murder count, filed because Yazzie allegedly beat the woman to death with a hammer after the rape, ended in hung juries, since murder and sex assault counts in Colorado require unamious verdicts.

La Plata County District Attorney Craig Westberg has not yet indicated whether he will retry Yazzie on the two other counts of sexual assault or the murder charge. William Herrington, one of Yazzie’s two attorneys, told The Dartmouth that he believes Yazzie will not face additional prosecution.

“His conviction carries a big sentence,” he said. “It’s doubtful they would want to put the time, effort and money into retrying him.”

“The jurors were pretty adamant that they were hung,” Herrington said. “Some jurors said that under no circumstances would they change their vote.”

Redhorse was found dead on the morning of June 7, 2007, in a motel room at Spanish Trails Inn & Suites in Durango, Colo. During his opening statements, Westberg told the jurors that the three men came to Redhorse’s home on June 6, where they found her highly intoxicated, according to a report by The Durango Herald. The men took her to the Spanish Trails Inn, where they continued to serve her alcohol. Nakai and Begaye raped Redhorse in the room and then left Yazzie alone with her for two hours, Westberg alleged. I

It was during this time that Westberg said Yazzie used a hammer to cause fatal injuries to Redhorse, The Durango Herald reported.

No one witnessed the assault, and DNA evidence was inconclusive, Herrington said. The Dartmouth reported in May that the hammer, the alleged murder weapon, was not collected or tested for DNA by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

The trial was held in Montrose, CO and Yazzie, who will be sentenced August 22, was convicted after 3.5 hours of jury deliberation. Another suspect, Derrick Begaye of Shiprock, NM, was sentenced in May to the maximum 48 years to life for his role in the rape, but was acquitted of felony murder. A third defendant, Harold Nakai, will go on trial in August.

Birmingham, AL police officer convicted of sodomy on duty

Perry Young, a former police officer for the Birmingham police department, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, the minimum, for sodomizing a 19 year old woman wanted on outstanding warrants that he took into custody in April 15, 2007. He took her to a location on Second Terrace North then assaulted her, while wearing his badge and gun. He was fired April 20, 2007 for what prosecutor Misty Reynolds called a “gross abuse of his position as a law enforcement officer.”

A Jefferson County jury convicted Young on the sodomy charge in April. The conviction carried a minimum 10-year sentence. But the state's voluntary sentencing guidelines allowed a portion of the sentence to be suspended and called for Young to serve a prison term of 18 to 40 months.

Circuit Judge Tommy Nail imposed the minimum prison term under the guidelines and ordered Young to spend two years on probation after his release. A bailiff took Young into custody after the hearing. During the hearing, Young said he made a mistake that he deeply regretted.

"One day justice will be served," he said. "I apologize to everybody involved in this and I pray for the people that do bad things."

Defense lawyer Charles Salvagio said he had evidence that the victim was using sex to "jack up" police officers for money, but was barred by state law from using it in the trial.
Salvagio argued that the incident was an isolated mistake during a life dedicated to public service. He said the encounter would have been considered consensual if Young had not been in uniform and on duty at the time.

Judge Nail said that the jury found that Young used his position as an officer to coerce the woman into sex in exchange for freedom, calling it a violation of the public trust.

"He violated the public trust, and he did it wearing a police uniform. He used the implied threat of a gun and his uniform."

Nail also warned the family members of Young, who have allegedly harassed the victim and her relatives, than they would face prosecution if the harassment continued.

Palm Beach Post article on teachers who sleep with adult students

The Palm Beach Post has an article on teachers who sleep with legal age students. The case of Natalie Fraxedas is discussed, and well as that of English teacher Heather March. March was investigated for having sex with a senior High School student while working on their school yearbook.

In May, the rumor was that a student was bragging he was having sex with English teacher Heather March.

But when police tried to interview the student, he refused to discuss anything that happened outside Palm Beach County. When asked if he ever visited March's home in Palm City, he refused to answer the question on the advice of his attorney.

March, who resigned from Atlantic High earlier this month, acknowledged she kissed the student who she met while working on the school's yearbook but has denied having sex with him.
Suspicions about March and the student began in the spring when the student's ex-girlfriend said she saw the two off campus at a Dunkin Donuts. They appeared to be flirting and the girl surmised her boyfriend broke up with her to have a relationship with the pretty teacher. Another time the girl saw her ex-boyfriend visiting March's classroom.

March would later acknowledge she kissed the student in her classroom while the two were alone and also while at the beach. She also said they spoke on the phone and text messaged him.

In Louisiana and Arkansas, the AOC rises by three years to 20 and 21, respectively for teacher/student sex, and in Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, and three other states, teacher/student sex is a felony, regardless of the high school student’s age. New Jersey prosecutes sex with legal age adult students as official misconduct.

Long Island man guilty of 2nd degree murder of wife

A 42 year old Long Island, NY man was convicted of murder in the 2nd degree Tuesday after he admitted stabbing his wife, who was cheating on him, to death after an argument about the adultery. Jose Toxtle had left his family and lawyer career in Mexico to be with the wife.

Jose Toxtle's wife, Teresa Barrera, 42, was stabbed to death after 8 knife thrusts after an argument about an affair which she had. According to Nassau County Prosecutor Anna Acquafredda, toxtle hid a knife behind his wife's back for 30 seconds before killing her. He suspected for days that she was cheating on him, which was confirmed.

The jury of 10 men and 2 women had to decide whether to convict Toxtle of manslaughter or 2nd degree murder, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life. Mansalughter would have been Toxtle's conviction if the jury had played into the theory of "extreme emotional distress."

According to both the prosecutor and the defense lawyer in the case, Toxtle's wife admitted having an affair, then -- as he begged on his knees that she stay with him -- told him that he had a small penis and did not satisfy her sexually. Then he killed her."

Theresa makes a comment to him that no man should ever hear," defense lawyer David Haber of Woodbury told a jury of 10 men and two women in his closing argument Monday. "She says he has a small penis. She says he is no good for sex. Jose is down on his knees, and she is laughing at him."

"She believes they're having a conversation about their marriage, but he has a knife behind his back."

Defense lawyer David Haber of Woodbury said he was disappointed that the jury did not see the distress his client was under."No one was attempting to justify what he did," he said. "But what she said took him out of his character."Haber said Toxtle was suffering from extreme emotional disturbance, a legal term that means a reasonable person in the same situation would have snapped.

During the four-day trial, Haber called an expert witness, Dr. Lawrence Siegel, a psychiatrist, who said Toxtle's behavior - forgetting things about the crime, admitting his guilt right away, feeling suicidal - are typical of people in an extreme emotional disturbance.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oshkosh, WI man charged in rape of disabled woman

Steven D. Deichsel, a 52 year old Oshkosh man, was charged with the sexual assault of a mentally and physically disabled woman Tuesday, June 24. He is being held on $10,000 bail in the Fond Du Lac county jail.

Deichsel is accused of threatening to cut off access to the victim’s breathing system if she did not have sex with him, according to the criminal complaint. The woman has a mental capacity of a girl between the ages of 12 and 15. The woman told authorities Deichsel forced her to have sex with him on several occasions between January 2006 and September 2007. She didn’t tell anyone earlier because “she didn’t know how to say what happened without Steven becoming mad at her,” according to the complaint.

Deichsel, who is charged with 15 counts of second-degree sexual assault of mentally ill victim, is next scheduled in court July 3, and each count carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

Man sentenced to 3 years in prison for sexual assault of another man

Circuit Judge Gayle Crane sentenced Eugene Amato, 60 to 3 years in prison for sexually assaulting another man at a Carthage Bowling alley. The Jasper County court where Amato was sentenced is located in Joplin, Mo. Amato himself lives in Lamar, Mo.

Police and court records state that Amato approached another man at Star Lanes Bowling on April 27, 2007, and performed oral sex on him against his will. The victim has an IQ bordering on mental retardation, according to court records.

The assault took place after the bowling alley had closed, and the victim believed the doors were locked and he could not get out. Amato reportedly pushed him up against a wall and performed the oral sex act on him, despite his protests. The victim told Carthage police that he was afraid of the defendant and was unable to fend him off.

The defendant initially was charged with forcible sodomy, a crime that carries up to life in prison in Missouri.

Amato entered the Alford plea to deviate sexual assault on April 14 with the Jasper County prosecutors office, where his 3 year sentence was the maximum.

Toronto study - homeless women more likely to suffer sexual assault, mental illness than men

Groundbreaking Toronto survey finds they endure more sex assaults and mental illnesses than men


Homeless women in Toronto are 10 times more likely to be sexually assaulted and twice as likely to have a mental illness as homeless men, according to a new report to be released today.
Yet despite their poor health and extreme vulnerability, they aren't getting the health care and social support they urgently need, says the report, the first of its kind to document the health needs of homeless women.

"Homelessness has a life-threatening impact on women's health," says the report, co-authored by Street Health, a downtown health clinic serving the homeless, and Sistering, a Bloor St. W. drop-in that provides support to homeless and socially isolated women.

Although only about a quarter of the city's roughly 5,000 visibly homeless population is female, they fare much worse than men, according to the survey of 97 women of no fixed address who were part of Street Health's 2007 report on the city's homeless.

A staggering 84 per cent reported having at least one serious physical health condition compared with 70 per cent of homeless men.Despite an average age of 42, half of the women have arthritis, one in five has heart disease and nearly one in five has diabetes, the survey found.
These women are extremely poor, with 42 per cent reporting that they lived on $2,400 or less per year.

"We know anecdotally that the experiences of homeless women are very different from homeless men and we wanted to take a closer look at that," said Street Health researcher Kate Mason. "We were shocked by what we found."

Nothing in the report surprises Baby G, a tiny woman with a cherubic face who has diabetes and suffers from alcoholic seizures as well as chronic liver, stomach and esophagus infections. She lost her housing eight years ago when she became addicted to crack and has experienced violence.

Last month, the 51-year-old status Indian said a group of crack dealers took her behind a bar and snapped her right ankle with their bare hands. Last winter, after she had been kicked out of a homeless shelter, another group of men offered her a warm place to sleep, but got her drunk and took turns sexually assaulting her, she said.

Thirty-seven per cent of women in the survey were physically assaulted in the past year and 21 per cent had been sexually assaulted one or more times. "You shouldn't have to go through that to get a place to sleep," said Baby G, who said she is kicking crack – "been clean one month and 18 days" – and hoping to move into her own apartment soon.

Anne McWalters, 54, knows what it's like to have a serious illness go untreated.
"Ever since I've been homeless, nobody's been taking care of my epilepsy," she said in an interview at Sistering. "When you have seizures, people think you are a drug addict. In the hospital, people just frown at you because you are homeless."

A "survivor" of the notorious Grandview Training School for girls in Cambridge that was closed in 1976 after reports of sexual abuse dating back to the 1950s, McWalters has been homeless for 11 years but has just been offered a bachelor apartment in a supportive housing building in the city's west end.

Carmel Holder, 52, who suffers from Tourette's syndrome, has been homeless since 2001 when her 17-year relationship broke down and she became addicted to crack. Unlike McWalters, Holder has a family doctor. But it's no help, Holder says, because she can't afford medication to treat the involuntary jerking movements common to her condition.

"They won't give me a drug card. So this is my life," she says covering her face to hide the contortions she can't control. "I was fine on medication. I worked in a bank for 18 years. But everything unravelled in 2001. I need medication. I need a drug card. I need a friend."

Of those surveyed, 42 per cent didn't have a drug benefit card, 60 per cent weren't able to get prescription drugs to treat medical conditions and 56 per cent didn't have a family doctor.

Nancy Marr, 46, one of the 97 homeless women surveyed in the study, got a bachelor apartment a year ago after several years on the street. Since then, she has beat her crack addiction, found meaningful part-time work with Street Health helping addicts stay safe and is now applying to a George Brown College program to become a counsellor to assaulted women and children.

But she and the other women say housing alone isn't the answer. Homeless women desperately need more community health clinics and women-only drop-ins; more women-only drug and alcohol detox beds; and more women-only shelters with staff trained to deal with the severe physical and emotional trauma homeless women experience, the report recommends.

"I hope (the report) shows the crisis and the urgency for action, particularly at a time when the government is talking about an anti-poverty strategy," said Sistering's executive director Angela Robertson.

"Here is a group of individuals in our community who are severely marginalized and whose lives are severely compromised," she said. "There is no reason for this to be happening in a country like Canada."

Toronto Star

Monday, June 23, 2008

Niagara Falls man charged with raping woman

A Niagara Falls, NY man who allegedly raped, beat and imprisoned a 19 year old woman Thursday was charged with felony second-degree assault, felony first-degree rape, menacing and unlawful imprisonment.

Officers said they went to [Luke L. ]Lucas’ home and found the woman with a cut on her leg and blood in her eyes. She told police that Lucas had beaten her and held her at knifepoint in a basement on Monday and continued to hold her in his home against her will for several days. The woman’s mother called police out of fear for her daughter’s safety, officers said.

Lucas, 25, is being held on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond in Niagara County Jail after pleading not guilty Friday.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Buffalo, NY rapist convicted of acquaintance rape

Brian Cooper, a convicted criminal with a 1999 Buffalo, NY drug conviction, and a 1997 federal bank larceny charge, was convicted in a bench trial before State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski of 3rd degree rape and 1st degree criminal sexual act in the rape of a 28 year old woman who was a longtime family friend. Cooper, 32, was acquitted of 1st degree rape. Prosecutor Marni Bogart will recommend that Cooper, who is being held on $150,000 bond pending sentencing August 1, is sentenced to the maximum 4 years in prison for the rape.

Bridgeport, CT rapist sentenced to 30 years for rapes and burglaries

Stephen White, 34 plead guilty Friday, June 20 to two counts each of aggravated 1st degree sexual assault and 1st degree burglary for the rapes of two women after breaking into their homes. The Bridgeport, CT resident was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the attacks, and Superior Court Judge George Thim said that these are crimes which cry out for severe punishment. State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict, which recommended the 30 year sentence, said that "at least society can feel safe that Mr. White will be off the streets for an extended period of time."

According to police on Aug. 3, 1999, were sent to investigate a report of a hysterical woman at a home on McKinley Avenue in Stratford. The 44-year-old woman, naked and suffering from facial injuries, was taken to Bridgeport Hospital.

The prosecutor said the woman told police she was sleeping when a man forced his way into her home. The man hit her in the face with a vase, then raped her.

In the other case involving White, Benedict said that on June 9, 2004, police were dispatched to investigate a forced entry and rape at a Union Avenue house. The 35-year-old woman told police she was sleeping when a man forced his way into her home. She said the intruder pointed a knife at her, according to the prosecutor. The assailant placed a pillow over the woman's face and began sucking her right toes.

Benedict said the woman cried out and the man stuffed his shirt into her mouth and threatened to kill her if she made any more noise. He then raped her.

The prosecutor said the woman's mother, who was in the bedroom next door, was awakened by the noise from her daughter's room and saw the intruder raping her daughter. He said she grabbed a clothes iron and hit the man in the head with it. The man cut the mother on the hand and fled, Benedict said.

White was arrested by Stratford police for burglary of a home there. After sentencing to prison, White was required to take a DNA sample, and matches were found with DNA taken from both victims. Assistant Public Defender Jonathan Demirjian said his client was using PCP daily when the crimes were committed, and that White accepts that he will be imprisoned until his 60s.

Montana woman convicted of killing husband

After a 3 week long trial, Anne Stout, 43, of Ravalli County, Montana, was convicted for the murder of her husband Bill Stout, 50, June 10 2007, with a 9 mm Beretta handgun. Ravalli County District Judge Jeffrey Langton accepted the jury's guilty verdict Thursday at about 12:20 PM, which they reached after 60 witnesses and sifting through many articles of evidence.

Ravalli County Prosecuting Attorney Geoff Mahar summarised the case after the verdict.

“This was a classic ‘CSI' story and there was an incredible amount of computer and technology work that went into it,” Mahar said. “There were so many aspects to the case, and we did our best in trying to make our case as concise as possible. (County Prosecuting Attorney) Bill Fulbright and I did our jobs, but the real victims in the case are the family members of Anne Stout.”

Mahar said the cooperation of the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office was essential to the trial.“They worked on this case tirelessly and when the investigation was done, they did everything and more,” Mahar said. “Sheriff (Chris) Hoffman needs to be congratulated for mentoring and leading a good group of professionals and people. Win or lose, we were very proud to work with them.”

Fulright priased the jurors for putting their work in in the case.

“This case was a perfect example of our legal system at work. We put it out there and then let the citizens of the community decide. I was afraid after three weeks we would lose sight of what this was about - the loss of a good man.”

Stout's bond was revoked after the conviction, and she is being held at the Ravalli County jail pending sentencing August 26 at 9 AM.

Wisconsin prison guard charged with sexual misconduct

Christine Killoran-Pulver, 45, of Portage, Wi was charged with having sex with an inmate and providing him with sodas, snacks, and magazines during his stay at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Columbia County, Wisconsin. The 8 year veteran, who worked as a relief officer in the prison, was charged after an internal investigation for a policy violation led to an investigation by the Columbia County Sheriff's office, according to Detective Sgt. Daniel Garrigan of the Columbia County Sheriff's Department.

The investigation revealed that Killoran-Pulver had sexual contact with an inmate, first at CCI in Portage and continuing at Waupun Correctional Institution after the inmate was transferred, Garrigan said.

"She continued to communicate with this one inmate in code," arranging meetings with him, Garrigan said.

Garrigan also went on the record as stating that all sexual encounters with guards and inmates are considered to be sexual assault, and that rule is "Corrections 101."

"Based on the law, consent is impossible because of the power that guards have over inmates. There is no such thing as 'consensual sex' in this situation. Her actions give a bad name to corrections officers and law enforcement in general."

Killoran-Pulver is not accused of forcing the inmate to perform the sex acts, but Wisconsin law does not allow a prisoner to give consent to a prison staff member to have sexual relations. The laws are similar to those that handle consensual sexual encounters between adults and children.
Killoran-Pulver also brought items such as magazines, soda, popcorn and potato chips to the inmate, he said. Such activities are illegal and can jeopardize the security of the prison, he said.
"Someone showing special treatment for one inmate — it can cause all kinds of problems," Garrigan said.

Department of Corrections public information director John Dipko said that Killoran-Pulver was placed on administrative leave Monday, the day before the charges, and that she was the second CCI employee to be charged with sexual misconduct with inmates.

Cafeteria worker Christine Wodill, 42, of Beaver Dam, was sentenced to two years of probation after she pleaded no contest in November to a lesser charge of delivering tobacco to an inmate; a charge of sexual assault by correctional staff was dismissed. She was accused of sexually assaulting an inmate between March and August 2007, allegedly in the freezer at the prison.

Such misconduct is rare, Dipko said, considering the number of employees at the prison.
"Each instance is not reflective of the professionalism of the vast majority of the staff," he said. CCI employs more than 350 people, including 161 corrections officers, he said.

The incidents will prompt a review of policies and procedures within the prison, Dipko said.
"Any time an incident happens involving a staff member, we take a thorough look internally to see what, if anything, can be done," he said.

Garrigan said Killoran-Pulver's alleged actions were "unprofessional."

"She just fell victim to foolishness (and) let herself get complacent," he said.

She will make her initial appearance in court this week, he said.

Killoran-Pulver's official charges are second-degree sexual assault of an inmate, delivery of articles to inmates and misconduct in public office.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rapist who gave DNA sample to clear him of murder sentenced to life

Calvin Walker, a 33 year old man whose DNA sample cleared him of a quadruple homicide but implicated him in a rape which took place back in 1999, was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for aggravated sexual assault in a Dallas court room. Walker was convicted during a jury trial after 15 minutes of deliberation, but admitted his guilt be apologizing to the woman he raped during his sentencing hearing.

But after saying he didn’t want to testify during the sentencing trial before Judge Creuzot, Mr. Walker asked to address the court, said prosecutor Jennifer Bennett.

Mr. Walker apologized and said that he raped the woman, but didn’t hurt her. He also identified two other men who participated in the attack, Ms. Bennett said.

In 2004, Mr. Walker was arrested as a suspect in a McKinney quadruple homicide.
In an effort to clear himself, he gave police his DNA for comparison to the crime scene. He was not a match, released from jail, and cleared as a suspect. But his DNA did match a December 1999 rape in Dallas that had gone unsolved, according to testimony.

During the rape trial this week, Mr. Walker testified that he believed McKinney police took some semen he was trying to mail to his girlfriend while he was in the Collin County Jail and used it to frame him for the rape.

District Judge John Creuzot presided over the trial.

Australian woman sentenced to 9 years for killing husband

From The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia)

A WOMAN who killed her estranged quadriplegic husband by setting fire to his Sydney home has been sentenced to a maximum of nine years jail for his manslaughter.

In April, Grace Soon, 71, pleaded not guilty to the murder but guilty to the manslaughter of former church minister Stephen Chin, 63, in September 2006. The crown accepted the plea after psychiatrists agreed she was suffering impaired judgment at the time of the killing.

She admitted pouring petrol on the front fence of his home at Daceyville in Sydney and then throwing a tin of petrol through the window of his bedroom. Soon told police she started the fire because the bankrupt former minister was ``coming after her property''.In May 2006 he had retained lawyers to seek a property settlement with his estranged wife.
Property searches found Soon owned a number of Sydney properties.

The court also heard from Soon that she was humiliated by Mr Chin during their marriage because he visited prostitutes and infected her with syphilis. The bizarre circumstances in which Mr Chin became a quadriplegic - a fall during a 1999 sex orgy with a transsexual - were also aired in court.

In the NSW Supreme Court today Justice Michael Grove sentenced Soon to a maximum of nine years jail for the killing, which he described as ``a monstrous act''. He gave Soon a non-parole period of five years and six months, to expire on March 4, 2012.

The start date of Soon's sentence was September 5, 2006.

Justice Grove said the killing had been primarily motivated by money, and dismissed sentencing submissions by Soon's legal team that Mr Chin's errant behaviour during their marriage had provoked the woman.
``I have no doubt that the marriage was most unhappy, and a bit of a sham,'' Justice Grove said.
``I reject the evidence that the continued misconduct brought you to the point of ... killing him.
``The prospect of property settlement was uppermost in your mind and it inspired your crime.''
Justice Grove also dismissed submissions that Soon had not realised the full weight of what she had done.

``I cannot find any evidence that you did not know the nature and quality of your act,'' he said.
``There is a scarcity of contrition by you.''

Ms Soon sat hunched in the dock with her head bowed throughout the 45-minute sentencing.

Aggravated Louisiana rapist sentenced to life without parole

Gregory Jones, 21, of Mansfield, LA, Desoto Parish, was sentenced to mandatory life without parole for beating and raping his ex-girlfriend in front of her child, after his conviction in April. That child, a 4 year old girl, her grandmother (the victim's mother), and the victim's grandmother was in court for the sentencing Thursday, June 19.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Barber said the victim and her daughter were in their apartment in Mansfield last year when Jones came in. The woman told the little girl not to look as she was beaten, then taken to the next room and raped, Barber said.
The woman was hospitalized after the attack, Barber said. Jones had denied beating the woman and said the sex was consensual. He did not speak during today's sentencing.

The victim's second child, four weeks old at the time of the rape, was still in the hospital because of premature birth.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Anal rapist of Florida women sentenced to 28 years in prison

A former TJ Maxx clerk with a history of peeping on women was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the anal rapes of three women in 2006. One of the women underwent emergency surgery after the assault. David Searcy, 34, of Margate, FL, MO was to either persuade or force women into his car, and sodomize them behind businesses along a stretch of Ft. Lauderdale street. Searcy pleaded guilty to 9 counts including sexual battery with great force used, kidnapping, and attempted murder.

One of his victims, who celebrated her 42nd birthday yesterday, looked at him in court and hoped that his sentence "give[s] him enough time to really realize all of the damage he has done to others and myself."

Before the 2006 assaults, police arrested Searcy three times in Broward County for spying on women in public restrooms. Each time he had pornographic materials in hand. He told detectives he liked "peeking at the ladies," according to court records.Searcy served five days in jail on one of the cases.Circuit Judge John J. Murphy III on Thursday also ordered Searcy to serve three years of house arrest upon prison release, to be followed by 25 years of sexual offender probation.

With his cuffed hands folded in his lap, a droopy-eyed and subdued Searcy told the judge he regretted what he had done."There's no excuse for my actions," Searcy said. "I feel bad. I can't take back what I took, what I did."Two of the victims wept and embraced in the back of the courtroom.

Defense attorney Barry Butin conceded that the state had a strong case. If convicted at trial Searcy could have received multiple life sentences.Butin said his client was remorseful. He described Searcy as someone who was not sexually well-adjusted "to the extent that he acted out in certain ways."

Prosecutor Dennis Siegel said that the last victim did not want to face Searcy or attend the sentencing, and that "the crimes were egregious and unusual. I would have wished he could have received a harsher sentence. However, there are certain real-world considerations that revolve around the victims and the impact of the case on the victims."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Florida man convicted of armed rape of newlywed 18 year old woman

A Florida man faces a minimum of 25 years in prison for sexual battery against a woman he raped in Lake Worth, FL. Jose Guzman and an accomplice raped the then 18 year old woman after an argument with her husband where the husband left her at a Wal Mart. As she walked home, the women encountered two men with a machete, who proceeded to rape her for a few hours before letting her go a few miles from home.

Guzman was convicted of armed sexual battery, which carries a mandatory minimum of 25 years to life in prison, and a second count of aggravated assault with a firearm, which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years.

Guzman, 25, testified that he met the woman around 11 p.m. sitting alone outside a Hispanic nightclub in Lake Worth. He said they went to the room he rented in a trailer and had consensual sex. After that, he said the drove her to the beach in Lake Worth, where she became angry when he told her he hoped to reconcile with the mother of his young daughter.

"She became angry, hysterical," Guzman testified via an interpreter, so he dropped her off in Lake Worth.

In closing arguments, prosecutor Daliah Weiss pointed out that when sheriff's investigators questioned him about his activities that night, Guzman denied going out, denied having sex with anybody, denied knowing the victim.

"If they had consensual sex, why deny it?" Weiss said.

Assistant Public Defender Susan Winston suggested that the woman falsely claimed she was raped rather than admit to her husband that she had cheated on him. "People all the time have one-night stands," Winston said. And, she noted, the victim had no injuries, "not even a bruise."

The victim testified Tuesday that she did whatever Guzman and the other man demanded because of what they might do to her if she did not.

"Sexual battery by its nature is a violent crime. The state doesn't have to bring somebody in on a stretcher to prove that. The victim gave in because she feared for her life."

Robert Falbe, the lead detective on the case, praised the victim - and described how she used to push a sofa against her doorway because the second rapist was never found.

Teacher charged with sexual acts against 18 year old student, pleads guilty to misdemeanors

(Original Post 4-16-08)

A 33 year old Raleigh, NC teacher who allegedly had sex with an 18 year old student at her apartmment this weekend was charged with a single count of taking indecent liberties with a student. Shannon Lee Best was charged because no relationship between a teacher and a student is consensual under North Carolina law.

Although the alleged victim is of legal age, police said criminal charges are being pursued because of the teacher-student nature of the alleged encounter."Under (state) statute, there is no age of consent when the suspect is a teacher and the victim is a student," Sughrue said.

Michael Evans, a spokesman for the Wake County Public School System, said Best taught at Sanderson High since August 2004.Students who were in her class, said Tuesday they were shocked by the news."She was a good person. She was a really nice teacher," said student Kendall Joyner said. "It's crazy – stuff that happens these days," another student, Ashley Fletcher, said. "You never know anymore."

Best was released from the Wake County jail after posting a $5000 bond.

(Update 4-19-08) A second student is allegedly involved in the sleepover at Best's apartment last weekend. The warrant said that the sleepovers were so Best could take them to a track meet, and that two photos, one of Best nude, and the second of her kissing a student, were taken. The nude photo was sent to the student she was sexually involved with, and police are searching for other victims. Police are searching Best's school owned computer and three flash drives.

(Update 6-19-08) Best was sentenced to 45 days in jail, suspended, 18 months of unsupervised probation, and a $250 fine and court costs. Best pleaded down to misdemeanor attempted crime against nature and giving alcohol to a student. She must have no contact with her victim at all or minors without adult supervision. Best now works at a restaraunt, but plans to get back into teaching again.

"We wanted to make sure she pled to something that was on her record, so, if someone did a background check, it would be a red flag that it was something they needed to inquire about,"
said Wake County District Attorney Jeff Cruden.

Best's defense attorney, Lee Turner, said his client, who resigned from the Wake County Public School System in April after nearly four years of teaching at Sanderson, knows what she did was improper and irresponsible and that she is devastated by what she did.

Turner said she comes from a family of teachers in Kinston and that he has received e-mails and letters from colleagues and parents about how she was a motivational teacher who inspired children who did not want to be in school.She is now working at a restaurant in Sampson County where she grew up but hopes to get back to teaching some day, he said."

Her whole life was planned around being a teacher, and apparently, she was a very good teacher from all I've learned," Turner said. "Hopefully, somewhere, someone down the line will give her an opportunity again."

Female employee of halfway house gets off due to technicality

A woman had charges dismissed for having sex with a resident in a halfway house because the sexual misconduct occurred outside the detention facility, and the law said that the sex had to occur within the facility. US District Judge Dale Kimball said that the requirement of sex within the facility made in impossible for charges to stick against Ashley Ford, a hall monitor at a federal halfway house.

Ford allegedly had sex with a work release inmate from the Cornell Community Corrections Center in South Salt Lake in her apartment while she was off duty. She met the resident at a party in October 2006, a month before she was hired as a hall monitor at the facility. Sexual contact, which always occurred at Ford’s apartment, occurred twice, and led to a pregnancy.

Arguing against the dismissal, prosecutor Trina Higgins said the resident was allowed to bring alcohol into Cornell and hold parties there on Saturday nights during his relationship with Ford.

In addition, the resident tried to force Ford to have an abortion and claimed she wrote bogus disciplinary reports about him because she was jealous of his relationships with other women, Higgins said. A federal grand jury indicted Ford last September on a count of sexual misconduct with a ward in a federal institution.

In a motion to dismiss, defense attorney Edward Montgomery argued that Ford had the same status as any other citizen when she was off duty and did not have any custodial authority over the resident. In addition, he said the sex occurred outside the facility, which provides monitoring of pre-trial defendants and helps those who are finishing their sentences prepare to go back into society.

Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said the office is reviewing Kimball's ruling.

The resident was sentenced to 46 months in prison for weapons charges. In other states, cases regarding teachers and students have withstood appeal, despite arguments that the teacher/student relationship ended when school ended.

Serial rapist who used local paper to find victims sentenced to 15 years

District Court Judge Melissa Goodwin sentenced Larry Todd Johnson, 45, to 15 years in prison for the attempted rape of an escort whose ad was placed in the Austin Chronicle last August. The sentencing comes at the end of a 2 day jury trial where prosecutors argued the North Austin man used the paper to prey on vulnerable women, while his defense argued that the man simply used it to assuage his loneliness.

"Without regard to occupation or circumstances, 'no' means 'no,' " Goodwin said.

In 1999, a call girl who listed her services in Austin's alternative weekly paper went to Johnson's house expecting to rub his back and dance naked for him, she testified during the sentencing portion of Johnson's latest trial. Once inside, the woman testified, Johnson put a rope around her neck and forced her to perform oral sex and beat her on the back with a belt.

"All I remember is, I thought I was going to die," said the woman, who is not being identified by the American-Statesman because she is the victim of sexual assault.

She said she escaped after her boyfriend knocked on the door. Johnson was convicted of several crimes in that case and went to prison.

In the latest case, a woman, who Johnson found in the Chronicle, went to his home in August to dance for him, but found herself with a bottomless Johnson. After asking to use Johnson's phone, the latest victim found herself struggling with him as he pulled her clothes off, but grabbed a knife from his pocket and only escaped with mionr injuries. Casner believes that other women were victimized, but did not report their victimization due to their occupation.

"They are part of the community," she said of the women. "They deserve protection."

Robert Aaron Mueller, Johnson's lawyer, stated that he used the Chronicle to cure his lonliness.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Florida teacher has sex with 18 year old student, but can't be charged

Natalie Fraxedas, a 23 year old rookie Santaluces HS teacher, admitted to having sex with an 18 year old high school senior who she met while tutoring him in Spanish. Fraxedas started having sex with him in January, a charge which would have led to a sexual battery arrest if he was under 18.

Throughout the fall and winter, Fraxedas exchanged flirtatious text messages with the student and gave him higher marks than he deserved in Spanish class, according to the police investigation.

By January, she and the student were having sex at Fraxedas' West Palm Beach apartment. Both denied having sex on the Santaluces High campus.During interviews with school police, Fraxedas said the student initiated the relationship, and she agreed to it only after he turned 18.

But the student told police that Fraxedas recently had become extremely jealous and possessive and had made him uncomfortable in class. A three-page love letter from Fraxedas also painted her as the pursuer.

"I want you to be my man that can stick with me through thick-n-think," she wrote. "I believe that you want to be with me ... I just don't think you've had a 'real' relationship and don't know how to handle one."

At the end of the letter, she tells the student that she will wait for him.

"Even if I only see you in class. I will wait till May 18," she wrote referring to Santaluces' graduation.

Because Fraxedas had sex with an 18 year old victim, she can't be charged with sexual abuse, but there were calls to change that.

Despite the numerous laws passed this legislative session to combat educator sexual misconduct, none included criminalizing sex between a teacher and an adult student. Only five states - Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Wyoming - have such laws. [Also, Texas has such a law. Other states, like Illinois, raise the AOC for teacher/student sex to 18 from lower consent ages. New Jersey prosecutes sex with 18 year old students as official misconduct].

[State Sen. Don]Gaetz, a former school district superintendent, said any teacher who has a sexual relationship with a student should be barred from teaching in Florida and face criminal charges.

"Any educator who abuses that trust has committed a crime," he said.

Santaluces Principal Kathy Orloff decided not to renew Fraxedas' teaching contract, which is the same as firing. After being reassigned, she has had no contact with students since March. While she apologized for the "affair" and believed that it was inappropriate, Fraxedas believes that she should not face internal Florida Department Of Education discipline, which can include revocation.

Fraxedas recieved high marks for teaching from some colleagues.

At least one colleague described Fraxedas as a dedicated teacher. In a glowing letter to Orloff commending her, the teacher noted that Fraxedas kept her mornings and afternoons free to tutor students struggling in her class. She brought in cupcakes on their birthdays.

According to Orloff, if other school districts ask for references, she'll refer them to Fraxedas' file which include the misconduct investigation.
An Palm Beach Post Editorial talks about criminalization of sex between adults, arguing against it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Girlfriend recounts fear she had after turning in teacher boyfriend for child porn

(Original Post 5-15-08)
The ex-girlfriend of a teacher who plead guilty to state child porn charges gave an interview with a Seattle-area television station about her experience telling the police that the teacher she shared her life with had a deviant interest in sex with young boys.

In an exclusive interview with KIRO 7 Monday, Sharyn Thoma-Guay explained how she told police about her boyfriend’s collection of child pornography nearly a year ago.

Her boyfriend, Tim Sheehan, was a popular video-production teacher at Whitman Middle School in Ballard. Thoma-Guay said Sheehan talked about fantasies of having sex with and killing young boys and showed her numerous images of child pornography on a laptop computer he used at the school.

Thoma-Guay said she was afraid not just of Sheehan’s students being potential victims, but also of Sheehan physically, and that his supporters, both adults and kids, would smear her.

“I was afraid that I would go and tell them (the police) this, and he (Sheehan) would get rid of everything and they would find nothing, and that he would still be teaching. And the only person that would know would be me,” she said.

Thoma-Guay told police about Sheehan’s activities last May and authorities found the images Thoma-Guay had described during a search of Sheehan’s home.

According to a Seattle police document, Sheehan apparently used his job to fuel his fantasies.
"Sheehan told Thoma-Guay that he liked when the children did interviews because it got head shots of his students. Whereas he used to have to look on the net for photos of children, he now enjoyed the fact that he got to ‘Watch them in slow motion, frame by frame,’” a court document said.

Sheehan resigned from his teaching job after pleading guilty to child porn charges last week. The girlfriend said that she turned in her boyfriend for the sake of the kids that were hurt.

“I just wanted people to know only one thing, and that’s that I only did this for the kids. Now I feel like I can move on because I did a good thing. It cost me, but I know it was worth it.”
Sheehan will be required to register as a sex offender. He was on paid leave until his resignation.

(Update 6-13-08) Sheehan was sentenced to two years suspended, and conditions of his sentence include sex offender treatment, sex offender registration, and a porn blocker on his computer. He was also prohibited from being around kids without another adult present, and from holding a position of authority over kids.

Deputy Prosecutor Julie Kays said the plea agreement was "to ensure the protection of children in our community. That has been our objective all along."

Sheehan's attorney, Jeffrey Cohen, said the man is known by parents and students as a good teacher and a positive influence. He provided the court with stacks of letters in support.

Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell noted Sheehan's strong community support and approved the plea agreement, but also pointed out that the crime has a "silent side" -- the children, often never identified, who are victimized to make child pornography.

Woman sentenced to 5 years for "lover" who never called back after sex

A New York college student who branded a former lover's body with a scalding piece of metal as payback for never calling her after they had sex was sentenced to five years in prison Friday.
Kristina Caban, 23, had no comment as state Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus sentenced her for what he called a crime that was "not remotely justifiable."

Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg told Obus that Caban was the "mastermind behind the plan" to sear the torso of Samir "Sammy" Sara, then 23, for having sex with her once in 2004 and never calling her again.

Caban enlisted new boyfriend Robert Testagrossa to help brand a four-inch-high "R" on Sara's abdomen in October 2006, the prosecutor said. She said Caban lured the former lover to a hotel room, where Testagrossa and another man grabbed him.

Blumberg said the men used a Taser to immobilize Sara in a room at the Chelsea Inn while Caban laughed at his distress and kicked him while he was down.

The branding "iron" was actually a length of metal wire fashioned into a "R" -- heated, and applied to Sara's torso, said Tracy Golden of the Manhattan district attorney's office. She said prosecutors did not know what the "R" stood for.

Caban and Testagrossa, 27, pleaded guilty to assault in August 2007 in exchange for five-year sentences. Testagrossa was sentenced in February and Caban, a photography student, was allowed to graduate from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan before going to prison.
Blumberg said the third assailant remains at large. He said Sara will have a permanent, tragic memento of his encounter with Caban.

Caban's lawyer, James Friedman said, "She's a good kid, despite the picture painted of her, who exercised poor judgment and got herself into a bad situation. She is not the monster the prosecution made her out to be."

Caban's father, Rafael Caban, 55, is a retired Correction Department captain.

Testagrossa is the son of two prosecutors. His father Charles is the executive assistant district attorney in Queens who prosecuted the Sean Bell police shooting case. His mother is a lawyer in the Nassau County district attorney's office.