Monday, February 23, 2009

Teacher who texted students for sexual purposes must face charges, appellate court says

A woman who was a teacher at a New Jersey school must stand trial on official misconduct charges for offering herself for sex with 16 and 17 year old students at her school who were not her students. Karen Binder, 44, faces 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine for the charges, which according to a New Jersey appellate court, were illegally dropped.

Karen Binder, 44, of Manalapan was arrested in March 2007 after authorities said the parents of a 17-year-old student told school officials that she sent their son a text message expressing her interest in having sex with him.

The boy told investigators that over a two-day period Binder sent him more than 100 text messages and proposed having sex with his brother and his father as well as himself, according to the Applellate Division's opinion.

The other victim, 16 and a student at the high school, was discovered during the investigation, authorities said. Binder also convinced the boy to send her explicit and revealing pictures of himself, according to the opinion.

Binder, whose previous conviction was for a DUI summons, was charged with official misconduct in July 2007. She was rejected from a pre-trial intervention program by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office and a court clerk because of her refusal to take a drug test and other considerations.

However, Superior Court Judge Barbara Stolte overulled them both and allowed Binder to participate in the diversion program focusing on the drug test, but a panel of three judges reversed Stolte's decision, stating that Stolte focused on the drug test, but not the other issues which prosecutors accounted for.

Part of the ruling is shown below.

"...the judge's conclusion that "the best way of dealing with the defendant's behavior is through intensive counseling and supervision" rather than through criminal prosecution was not hers to make.... The judge reweighed the proofs and reanalyzed the statutory factors as if she, rather than the prosecutor, was the person entrusted with the sensitive prosecutorial decision that is at stake whenever a diversion decision is being made... the judge's discussion of the deference due a prosecutor's decision was, in the end, little more than lip service.''

Binder's attorney Jacqueline Boulos stated "While we respect the Appellate Division's ruling, of course we disagree with it.''

Woman recieves $200k damage award for victimization from child porn consumer

A now 19 year old victim of child porn has recieved the 1st ever award of its kind, a $200,000 restitution order against a Stonington, CT man who downloaded four images of her abuse, but did not create the child sexual abuse pictures. Judge Warren W. Eginton issued the order in a Bridgeport, CT federal courtroom this morning. The damages are split up as follows - $150,000 to the woman herself for medical and counseling expenses, $30,000 for legal fees and over $15,500 experts, including one who testitied that being a child porn victim has inflicted half a million dollars in future counseling costs.

[The] victim hired a lawyer to file a claim against [Alan]Hesketh. She told prosecutors she was 8 and 9 years old when she was subjected to sexual abuse by a relative who photographed her at the direction of a pedophile in another state. The woman claims those images have been circulated by "innumerable collectors of child pornography," including Hesketh, who downloaded four of the photographs. She submitted a damage claim to the U.S. Probation Department that seeks money for medical care, lost income, lost wages and future expenses. The claim is not available in the court file.

The victim's lawyer, James Marsh was hired by the woman and her mother just after the exploitation. He said that the people involved in trading child pornography do just as much damage as the people who create it.

”This notion that somehow we can excuse the defendant because there is no sexual contact is an affront to the victim,” Marsh said.

Prosecutors argued that the woman, whose sexual abuse photos have made themselves at home in child porn collectors' hands, should be compensated for "a decade of insult, injury, and enbarassment." Defense attorney Jonathan Einhorn stated that such an award would be unprecedented and substantially higher than the $50,000 average damages awarded to child porn victims from the producers.

Alan Hesketh, 62, an ex-vice president for Pfizer, was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison for child porn posession by Judge Eginton in November 2008 after admitting to possessing almost 2000 images. As a British national, Hesketh will be deported back to the UK when he is released from prison. The NCMEC identified two dozen kids as known victims of child sexual abuse.

Hesketh's attorney, Jonathan Einhorn, announced that he would appeal the verdict. Judge Eginton suggested that Hesketh could meet restitution by selling one of his many properties, an $834,000 mansion in Stonington, but stated that due to the economy, the award could be distributed over a period of time.

"Restitution is not necessarily mandatory in all circumstances," Einhorn maintains.

But [Assistant US Attorneys Deborah] Slater and [Krishna]Patel claim that federal law makes restitution mandatory for all offenses of sexual exploitation and other abuses of children.

They said the losses could include payment for physical, psychiatric or psychological services; physical and occupational therapy or rehabilitation; transportation; temporary housing; lost income; and attorney fees.

Jeffery Meyer, a former federal prosecutor, stated that damages for child porn collectors would be another tool in prosecutors and judges' hands besides longer sentences.

"We already see judges imposing long sentences," he said. Paying restitution would be "one more substantial deterrent to people who get involved in child pornography."

While Einhorn fears that the precedent setting decision would open an avenue for claims for others victimized in that way, child and victim's advocates hope that this leads to more claims by known child porn victims.

"If that's what happens, that's what happens," said Cindy Robinson, a lawyer with Tremont & Sheldon who represents people abused by Catholic priests. "These children suffer immeasurable damage."

"I hope it's true," said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children in Alexandria, Va., who identified the girl's images for prosecutors. "I hope it spreads like wildfire. I hope it sends a message to those victimized that they can get help ... and creates kind of a deterrent effect that makes those think twice before downloading these images. I applaud the vision of this federal judge. I hope it is emulated."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Woman gets 6 months for running over "boyfriend"

Paula Habeck, a 22 year old woman from Two Rivers, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 6 months in prison Friday for running over her "boyfriend" with a SUV last November 8, causing brain damage and $70,000 in medical bills. Habeck was sentenced to 6 months in jail and 3 years probation by Manitowoc County Circuit Judge Jerome Fox after pleading guilty to reckless driving causing bodily harm, a felony. Habeck was originally charged with felony 1st degree recklessly endangering safety and misdemeanor hit and run, but as part of the plea deal, those charges were dropped.

Habeck was sentenced to $9000 in restitution to Wisconsin's Crime Victim Compensation Program, a year driver's license revocation, and counseling. When she reports to jail March 24, she'll recieve Huber privileges, which allows her to get out of jail for work and child care.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Griesbach described Habeck's actions as stemming from jealousy, rage and possessiveness. Her boyfriend, with whom she continues to have a relationship, was lucky he lived through the event, Griesbach said.The victim has racked up more than $70,000 in medical bills from the surgery that was required to stop severe brain hemorrhaging, he said.

Griesbeck said that the man wanted leniency, but realized the seriousness of the crime. "We could be here on some level of a homicide if (the victim) did not make it that night...(The victim) struck me as having a balanced attitude."

Habeck's attorney, David Pawlowski wanted probation instead of jail time, but Judge Fox said that the crime was too serious not to warrant jail time. "It is hard to imagine many crimes which are graver than this."

Aussie policeman testifies how he was conned by identity thief

A POLICEMAN who dated "Catch me if you Can" thief Jodie Harris has told a jury he was deeply in love before her true identity was revealed to him.

Sen[ior] Constable Andrew Twining, a suspended motorcycle policeman, dated Harris for five months before a fellow police officer told him about her criminal background, the County Court has heard.

The court has been told Sen-Constable Twining, now 40, was "mad keen" on Harris and began to write an emotional outpouring entitled "Deceptions of the Heart" after he was betrayed. Defence counsel Andrew McKenna said the writing centred on how Harris's lies had hurt his client "to the core". "She'd exploited his love," Mr McKenna said.

Sen-Constable Twining met Harris on an internet dating site in February 2006.
Yesterday he told the court she pretended to be a cabin supervisor for Virgin Blue Airlines. Harris had official uniforms, staff badges and even company stubby holders to complete the charade.

"I think it's fair to say I was deeply in love with my perceptions of what I thought Jodie Harris was," Sen-Constable Twining told the court. "She presents as charming, funny, smart, jovial."

The court was told Harris - once Australia's most wanted woman - had a history of impersonating police and had dated up to three serving policemen before she met Sen-Constable Twining.

She was found to have Sen-Constable Twining's police badge after he helped investigators arrest her in Sydney on July 6, 2006. "(She's) a conwoman," Sen-Constable Twining said of his former

"The person that I thought I knew was not the person who was imprisoned (for identity fraud)."
Sen-Constable Twining said Harris regularly stayed at his Donvale unit and would have had access to the home while he was on an overseas cruise with his parents between May 17 and June 24, 2006.

He has pleaded not guilty to possessing an imitation revolver found in a cupboard in his unit on July 12, 2006. He has denied any knowledge of it. Mr McKenna said yesterday that a criminal like Harris would have had motive to possess a handgun.

Prosecutor Aaron Shwartz said while Harris was not a woman people would normally "take home to dinner to meet the family", she had never been linked to a gun in her time as a

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chicago man convicted of honeymoon attack on bride in NW Indiana hotel

A Chicago man was convicted of physically assaulting his wife on their honeymoon, but was acquitted of molesting and raping her in a Lake County, IN court yesterday. Jose Cuevas Jr, 35, was convicted of aggravated battery and simple battery in the May 23, 2008 attack at a Days Inn hotel where he was staying with his bride, Marbelin Jeronimo.

The attack occurred after Jeronimo refused to perform a specific sex act on her husband. Cuevas threw the victim around the room, and held her under the water in a hot tub. Jeronimo's face was swollen shut and flesh was bitten off of her arm, according to police.

During closing arguments, defense attorney Bruce Parent said his client ran into the hallway at the Day's Inn on East 83rd Avenue, naked and bleeding from bite marks on his arms and said his wife tried to kill him on May 23.

Parent said the nature of his client's injuries fits with his testimony and is inconsistent with that of the victim, who suffered severe facial injuries, including broken bones, and several bite marks and bruises.

Parent also told jurors that the bride had been the aggressor in the argument and was abusing Cuevas' genitals. Prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewicz stated that Cuevas' testimony that his 127 pound victim could have held him under the hot tub with one hand was inconsistent with the lack of injuries he sustained after the arrest. Cuevas faces 20 years (10 with good behavior) when he is sentenced March 16.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Antrim County, MI teacher sentenced to 3-15 years

Frank Moser, a former Mancelona school board member and Fife Lake, MI teacher, was sentenced to 3-15 years in prison for 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct with his 17 year old student Monday, even though the student and her mother supported him at his formal sentencing.

Judge Thomas Power sentenced Moser to the sentence, stating that ""We don't send our daughters to school to have sex with a teacher," and that the sexual abuse was a "systematic violation of trust."

Moser taught English and social studies at the school and also served on the Mancelona Public Schools board until shortly after his arrest. He pleaded guilty to the charge in January, and investigators believe he had multiple sexual encounters with the girl last fall.

Moser spoke about the crime at his sentencing, stating that "I know [the victim and his former students] all faced untold embarrassment as a result of my actions ... I could never forgive myself for bringing everybody here today under these circumstances."

He also stated that he was a role model to his students, and instead of setting an example of what to do, he set an example of what NOT to do.

"I always wanted to be that teacher that served as that role model for those kids, and as I stand here today, I know I'm an example of the exact opposite."

The girl called Moser her "closest and dearest friend" and "the most caring person I've ever known," and begged Judge Thomas G. Power to give him a light sentence."He never hurt me," the girl, 17, said Tuesday morning. "If anything, he's helped me."

The girl's mother also spoke in Moser's defense, and deemed her daughter's conduct consensual.
"It takes two to tango, and that's what they did ... she knew full well what she was doing," she said.

However, the girl's father and prosecutor Charles Koop disagreed with the assessment that not much harm was done. The victim's father stated that the encounter badly damaged his relationship with his daughter and left him feeling rage, then hurt.

Prosecutor Koop stated that the victim and her mother's plea for leniency justified bad behavior and masked the predatory nature of Moser's interest.

"This is bad behavior," he said. "Unacceptable behavior."
Koop earlier referenced reams of e-mails, "thousands" of text messages and other correspondence between the girl and Moser.

"I clearly believe that this conduct was predatory," Koop said. "He was courting her with the sole purpose of becoming involved with her sexually."

Besides prison, Moser will be listed on the sex offender registry when he gets out, and will have to submit a DNA sample.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Evesham, England man convicted of groping saleswoman

A 45-year-old man groped a sales assistant while he bought a newspaper and a packet of chewing gum, a court was told.

The actions of Michael Metrovich made the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, feel sick, intimidated as well as paranoid about whether it would ever happen again. Metrovich, of St Philip’s Drive, Evesham, admitted two charges of sexual assault on a female when he attended Worcester Magistrates Court.

CCTV footage of the incidents, which happened on Saturday, August 2, and Sunday, August 3, was played to the court. Marie Watton, prosecuting, said: “She was serving in the store when Metrovich came in, walked straight up to the counter and, using his right hand, he touched her left breast.

“He didn’t say anything to her and just picked up a packet of chewing gum.”

Miss Watton said the shop assistant did not make a complaint about Metrovich, who she knew as a customer, until he returned the following day to buy a newspaper.

“When he came into the shop he walked straight up to the counter and cupped her left breast,” said Miss Watton.

She said the victim had not given the defendant permission to touch her on either ocassion.
Miss Watton said Metrovich admitted in police interview that he had “overstepped the mark of their friendship”.

“He considered himself to be a prat because of it,” she said.
“He said there was no malice behind his actions and didn’t mean to harm her.”

Nick Roberts, in mitigation, said his client, who was under the influence of alcohol on both ocassions, had misread the relationship with the sales assistant.

“This is not a pattern of offending,” he said. “This is something he regrets. He is mortified and thoroughly ashamed about what’s happened.”

District judge Bruce Morgan sentenced Metrovich to a total four months in prison which he then suspended for three years. He has made Metrovich sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years and complete a community sex offender group work programme. Compensation totalling £250 will be paid to the victim and Metrovich must also pay £60 court costs.

Opinions about relationships

I've decided to write this essay a day late. This is a if not delightful, a welcome break from writing about sexual violence for me.

I've always been interested in eventually finding someone to settle down with, but reading about sexual assault and abuse has made me question power differences and power dynamics inherent in relationships. Things which used to be acceptable for me in relationships are no longer acceptable.

This includes the idea that younger women are suitable partners for myself, and when I say younger, I mean women between legal to 40. This view is because people in that age range are still developing, though not to the same extent as adolescents. I believe that people grow throughout adult life, and not just until they turn 18, 21 or graduate from college. By trying to get with a woman in that age range, I interfere with her development.

My personal view is that anyone legal age to 40 is too young for the purposes that I'm seeking a partner - people in that age range can't help me mature because most of them are likely to be in the same phase of life as myself. I need someone to help me grow and develop, and I believe that most people in that age range need to focus on growth, personal, career, and spiritual development themselves.

I see myself as exploiting the younger woman's lack of knowlege, and yes, immaturity, compared to older women when it comes to relationships. Most women in that age range can't give me what I want - a knowledgable, mature, partner because they do not have enought life experience.

Another view of relationships I've developed is that relationships between family menbers and long term friends must be respected. If someone doesn't respect (or is jealous) about the other person's existing ties to their family, particulary their parents, then that is a big red flag! Parents have been in a person's life many times longer that a "partner" has, and just like in childhood, when someone tries to pull parents out of a person's life, that should be taken as a warning.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Texas, Alabama execute killers involved with rape-slayings

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A former truck and taxi driver blamed for numerous killings and rapes in Texas was executed Wednesday, and Alabama put to death a man who killed his stepdaughter.

Johnny Ray Johnson, 51, was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m. Thursday. He was condemned for the 1995 murder of Leah Joette Smith, who was raped, beaten and left to die on a Houston street.

In a lengthy final statement, Johnson denounced Texas death row in particular and called for an end to the death penalty in the United States.

According to court documents, Smith's murder was one of at least five rape-slayings in Houston and Austin that were linked to Johnson, a former truck and taxi driver. He also was linked at least eight other rapes beginning in the late 1970s.

Smith was described in court filings as a cocaine addict whom Johnson offered drugs in exchange for sex. After she got high, she refused to have sex with him and he beat and raped her repeatedly.

In a recent interview, Johnson denied any involvement in Smith's death. "I was at work that night," he told The Associated Press from death row. "I don't know what happened to her."

Johnson had an extensive criminal history before he got to death row. In 1983, he was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to five years in prison but was released on mandatory supervision less than two years later.

He found work as a cab driver and confessed to raping women he would pick up, including one who fought back and for whose rape he was sentenced to another five years in prison. He was released again after 10 months.

The execution was the second this week and eighth this year in Texas, the nation's most active death penalty state.

In Alabama, Danny Joe Bradley received lethal injection at 6:15 p.m. at Holman prison after spending 25 years on death row.

He was convicted of killing 12-year-old Rhonda Hardin, who disappeared while Bradley was supposed to be caring for the girl and her brother. Her body was found in woods near his apartment and she had been raped and strangled, according to court records.

Rhonda's brother testified at the trial that Bradley had frequently rendered the children unconscious by squeezing their necks.

DNA testing was not available at the original trial. In 2001, the Alabama Supreme Court granted Bradley a stay only a week before his scheduled execution to allow DNA testing of the girl's bedding. Court records show Rhonda's DNA and Bradley's were mixed on a blanket.

However, some critical evidence has been lost, including the rape kit and semen-stained clothing. An appeals court said Bradley couldn't gain further post-conviction access to DNA evidence, and the U.S. Supreme Court turned down his last request for a stay.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Arkansas judicial comittee approves lifting rape statute of limitations

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — An Arkansas legislative committee has approved eliminating the statute of limitations for certain rape cases that now can only be prosecuted within 15 years of the attack.

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the bill by Rep. Dawn Creekmore, D-Hensley, that eliminates the limitations on when prosecutors can file charges on rape cases where DNA evidence has been collected.

Creekmore's bill originally would have removed the statute of limitations for all rape cases, regardless of whether DNA evidence was found. But Creekmore amended the bill to limit it to only cases with DNA after some lawmakers questioned whether it could lead to unfounded accusations from decades ago.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Not Love - Abuse ; Not Caring - Control Not Consent - Coercion

Love isn't abuse and control. Someone who loves does not beat, rape, dominate, or humiliate. The person who is raping, beating, or hurting his "partner" is doing so to control and degrade. Any professions of love were false, designed to keep the victim's guard down so the abuse will be more of a surprise.

Unfortunately, attitudes towards women also help perpetuate abuse. When a 30 year old goes with a 15 year old, that's considered sexual abuse. Unfortunately, the adult status of victims makes it hard for sexual (or other sorts of abuse) to be recognized outside of formal authority. Many people who would support a 15 year old pressured into sex with a 30 year old blame the victim once she becomes adult.

Adulthood does not protect against victimization. Rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence can occur at any age. There are people who prey on adults just the same as people who prey on kids. In most cases, these folks are NOT strangers, but people who create relationships for the purpose of victimization.

Unfortunately, about one in eight marriages can be described as sexually abusive. Rape does not have to involve physical force.

There can be no such thing as true consent when one seeks to gain sexual power over the other. There can be no such thing as consent when two people have vastly different capacities for vulnerability, knowledge, or social standing. In these cases, there can only be legal consent, but abusers always have power over their victims.

There is only one solution to such a problem - getting out. Unfortunately, due to Stockholm Syndrome, where a victim still has feelings for their perpetrator, this is hard. But with the help of existing family and friends, it is possible.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Boss gets life without parole for sexual murder of employee

Delaware County Court Judge Barry C. Dozer sentenced a Delaware County, PA man to life without parole plus an additional 104 to 223 months on Friday for the sexual strangulation of his 23 year old coworker from South Dakota.

[Jason] Shephard, 23, of Cavalier, N.D., worked as an intern for Daktronics, a South Dakota scoreboard manufacturer. Smithson, 43, was a regional manager. Police found Shephard dead in Smithson's basement in September 2006. Prosecutors said Smithson had given Shephard the date-rape drug GHB and later strangled the intern when he tried to fight off Smithson's sexual advances.

A jury convicted Smithson in November of first-degree murder, but spared him the death penalty. The jury also convicted him of aggravated assault, attempted rape, kidnapping, and drug and other offenses.

G. Guy Smith, Smithson's attorney will appeal, with Fen Bruce Covington, a 58 year old St. Joeseph college administrator who took the 5th during the trial as the subject of the appeal. Covington said that he wasn't at the Smithson residence the night of the murder and attempted rape, but later admitted he was. Covington is charged with drug offenses and perjury.

In his closing argument, prosecutor Thomas Lawrie blasted Smithson for being a psychopath with no sympathy or remorse for Shepard's death. Jason's father Kyle also blasted Smithson.

"He had no reason to fear you...You were his boss, his contact."

When given a chance to speak, Smithson, shackled and flanked by four sheriff's deputies, quoted the poet Aeschylus:

" 'Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.' "

Smithson added: "A young man has lost his life. My heart lies heavy with pain from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed."

"Bad Samaritan" gets 24 years in California freeway rape case

A man who raped a California woman after she crashed into a median of a freeway in south Orange County, CA will spend the next 24 years in prison. Alejandro Martinez Leyva of San Juan Capistrano was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty for the attack which occured December 8, 2007.

The victim, a San Diego County woman who was 24 at the time, was driving southbound in the rain near the Junipero Serra Road offramp about 1:30 a.m. when she swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle, crashed into the center divider and pulled onto the shoulder of the freeway.
As she called for help on her cellphone, Leyva pulled up in front of her car, authorities said. Before she was able to call 911, he knocked on her window, grabbed her cellphone and threw it out of reach.

Overpowering the woman, authorities said, Leyva dragged her near the passenger side door where he assaulted her before pushing her back into the car and raping her.
Police said Leyva took down her cellphone number and called her over 20 times.

Levya officially pleaded to a single count of forcible rape, a count of assault with intent to committ a sexual offense, a count of dissuading a witmness, and 2 counts of sexual penetration by force. His sentence was enhanced because he kidnapped the woman to committ a sex offense.

Montague County, TX ex-sheriff pleads guilty to sexual coercion of inmate

Tursday, January 29, saw former Montague County Sheriff Bill Keating's official downfall. He is now officially a federal felon, and for the 1st time in almost 40 years, is a private citizen. However the disgrace that comes from having to give up a lifelong career pales to that he'll face as a federal prisoner folling his May 1 scheduled sentencing. That's when Keating faces a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for violating a female inmate's civil rights by sexually coercing her.

In November, Keating and his deputies found traces of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia at the home of a man whom they were arresting on a warrant. The former sheriff threatened to take the man's girlfriend to jail as well, unless she had sex with him. Authorities say he then drove her to a rural road and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

He also demanded sex from her on other occasions, court documents show, and forced her to agree to be a Montague County sheriff's department informant.

"I have a feeling that this sort of thing is more widespread than we know," said federal prosecutor Rick Calvert. "We want this to be an eye-opener for individuals who hold positions of public trust. Even if you are the elected sheriff, that doesn't mean you are above the law."

The Montague County DA Jack McGaughey expects to hand state indictments to Keating and some of his employees in the next two weeksalleging that they had sex with inmates and allowed contraband to get into the lockup. McGaughey's office called in the FBI and Texas Rangers after tips about official misconduct at the lockup. Recliners were found in some cells, along with pills. Current Sheriff Paul Cunningham had to transfer prisoners to surrounding lockups due to inoperable fire and security systems.

Keating was formerly the city manager of Watauga and for a time served as the city's police chief. He started his career in Fort Worth in 1969. After Watauga, he became a constable in Montague County before being elected sheriff in 2004. He was defeated in last year's March primary but continued to serve until Cunningham took office January 1.

Western IL men get 8 years in drug facilitated rape of woman

Dathan Smith, 27, of Kingston Mines, IL, and Edward Stoehr, 33, of Mapleton, Il, were sentenced to 8 years for criminal sexual assault in 10th Judicial Citcuit Court Judge Richard Grawhey's courtroom. Smith will serve his sentence after serving a 3 year term for domestic assault which was handed down in September.

According to court records, Pekin police were called to Pekin Hospital on July 16 in regard to a woman being treated for sexual assault. The woman told police that she was playing pool at a Pekin bar when the two men approached her. The men started buying the woman drinks, after which she said she started to “feel strange,” court records said.

The woman told police that she did not remember leaving the bar, but did remember walking into one of the men’s apartments. She told police the men started making sexual advances, which the woman said she declined, court records said.

Smith and Stoehr held her on the floor and assaulted her, court records said.The woman said she tried to fight back, but was too weak to fend off the attack. One of the men then called the woman a cab and sent her home. The bartender from the bar, which was not named in court records, identified Smith and Stoehr as the men who left the bar with the victim.

Usually, criminal sexual assault in Illinois is a Class 1 felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison, but in this case, was prosecuted as a Class X felony, punishable by 6 to 30 years in prison. Smith was credited with 196 days custody for the rape charge, and 51 days for the DV charge. SToehr was credited with 197 days custody.

NY seeks to criminalize teacher student sex over the AOC

Due to an incident where a teacher seduced a 17 year old student in Spackenkill, NY, New York State lawmakers are considering a bill that will eliminate the AOC from teacher/high school student sex.

State Sen. Steve Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, said Wednesday[January 28] he will renew the push for passage of a 2007 bill he co-sponsored that would make students legally incapable of consenting to sexual conduct with a school employee.

"It would criminalize what is alleged to have occurred in Spackenkill," said Saland, chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

The renewed local effort to change New York law comes after the Journal Wednesday reported a former Spackenkill High School teacher is being investigated by state education officials for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student. Depending on the findings by the NY State Education Department, his teaching certificate could be revoked by the state.

Town of Poughkeepsie police and Dutchess County justice officials also investigated the finding, but found 38 year old Leon Almeida committed no crime because New York's AOC is 17. Under New York law, people 21 and older who have sex with minors under 17 can be charged with 3rd degree rape. However, Almeida resigned in November, and depending on the status of his teaching certificate at the end of the school year, Almeida may get his full salary for the 2008-09 year.

If the certificate is suspended or revoked, Almeida won't be paid, but if its still in good standing, he'll be paid $78,000 in salariy and benefits.

Little's bill would amend existing law that covers the conduct of health and mental health care providers. That law makes it illegal for those professionals to engage in sexual conduct with patients during treatment sessions, consultations, interviews and examinations. State law also prevents those who are incarcerated in jails and prisons from giving consent. The law also applies to those in youth homes operated by the state.

The amended bill backed by Saland and others would make students legally unable to consent to sexual conduct with most school district employees. The proposal would cover teachers and other school employees age 18 and over who are more than four years older than the student at the time of the conduct.

The victim's mother said that the loophole in the law making it a regulatory, but not a criminal offense for her daughter to be molested made her angry.

"There is a gap in the law in the state of New York," the mother said.
She said she favors legislative changes such as the one proposed by Saland "so other families don't encounter the same issues we've encountered."

Besides New York, Louisiana and Washington officials are proposing legislation that will make 18 year old students legally off limits.

Points to consider about abuse

Brian's Opinion

When stats show that one out of every 8 married women suffer sexual abuse, and one out of every 4 women suffer domestic abuse, it's time to radically rethink approaches to thinking about domestic abuse and violence. Some thought I've came up with are found below.

1) Seeing sexual abuse within a relationship as not just a betrayal of the woman (or in rarer cases, man), but also as a betrayal of the woman's family and friends. In too many cases, a mother has put her trust in her son-in-law only to end up finding he raped – or killed her daughter or grandkids.

2) Unlike educator sexual abuse or CSA prevention, parents don't have a primary duty to protect their kids once they are grown. It becomes a secondary duty – but still a duty. When abuse at any age comes up, protection and support of their grown child should be the primary concern. This is why parental screening of all dates is recommended, even after 18.

In the case that an adult is being victimized, parents can still see changes in their grown child's personality both before and after the DV, rape, or sociopathic seduction. The grown child, in too many cases, will believe that there are in "love" with their abuser. Intimate partner sexual abuse is simply the culmination of same age or adult grooming.

3) In the same way that a predisposed molester can target 12 year old girls, the husband or "boyfriend" who rapes his target uses grooming techniques to isolate his victim, then strike. Since marriage or an exclusive relationship is one on one, then the marriage/relationship itself becomes the means of isolation of a victim from helpful family members/friends - women's advocates. Intimate "partner" sexual abuse is misnamed because partners imply parity, and in any case of abuse, the abuser always has power over their victim. Since there is no parity, there can be no partnership, and since there is deception, there can not be true intimacy.

Without the intimacy and partnership, and with power and control motives, there is just sexual abuse. Having said this, a more accurate characterization or "partner" sexual abuse would be adult grooming or adult sexual abuse.

4) I believe that laws and judges should take into account the victim's sexual abuse history in determining punishment. This is different from taking into account a victim's sexual history in recognizing that adult victims of DV or rape have more of a likelihood of a history of CSA or other child abuse – and are more likely to be assaulted in some form in the future.

Just like laws punish sex offenders greater if their victim was a child, perhaps laws should punish rapists and molesters of adults harsher if their current victim had been victimized before and much harsher if that victimization was CSA. Laws which take into account power, not just authority differences, should be enacted, and judges should take into account power differences when sentencing defendants.

In the late 90's – early 2000s, sex with inmates and therapy patients was criminalized. Sex with HS students 18 and over is slowly being criminalized. There is also a movement to criminalize pastor/ adult parishioner sex. These laws take into account authority, but there are other sexual coercers/abusers that have no authority, but create power over victims. Because they are not in formal positions of authority, their sexual abuse won't be recognized as such.

5) In an abusive relationship, abusers and victims are never peers or partners. Partners mean equality or parity between the two involved in a relationship. Any sort of abuser, even if not in a position of authority, never has equality with their victim because abuse is about power and control over others. In the case of adult abuse, the power and control dynamic is missed due to the adult status of the victim, in too many cases.

6) Adult status should not matter when victims over 18 are targeted. Victims are (usually) still someone's child, or in some cases, parent. There are many different ways that sexual predators gain power over their victims. Age and minor status is only one way to overpower a victim. Other ways include using professional or custodial status to get a woman (or man) to "consent" to sex or other acts under duress. Sociopathic seduction, the grooming of an adult victim for sexual abuse, is a 3rd way, one which doesn't involve minors or authority.

7) The loved ones of victims should be given a formal voice within the criminal justice system before their victimized family members or friends are hurt or killed. When a parent protects their grown kids from violence, they are simply taking their role of protector of their child (and minor grandchildren, if applicable) seriously. A lot of parental interventions fail because they have limited options when over 18 children are victimized. If there was a formal way for parents to intervene at the first physical signs of abuse, it could be a great tool in combating domestic violence and sexually abusive "relationships." However, if such actions are never comtemplated, then how could anyone know if such a course will work?