Monday, April 25, 2011

Burglar who beat, raped victim sentenced to 165 years to life

A home invasion which turned into a beating and rape has netten a Kansas City, MO man 165 years to life in the Missouri correctional system. Taurian J. Burton, 24, was convicted by a Clay County jury in January of single counts of forcible rape and 1st degree robbery, 2 counts of 1st degree assault, and 3 counts of armed criminal action for the incident at a Northland, MO residence on July 24, 2009.

According to court records, two gunmen wearing masks forced their way through a door just after midnight. They demanded cash and drugs before binding and beating the two victims. The intruders raped the woman. The man suffered a skull fracture, a broken finger and other injuries.
The gunmen stole a television, two laptop computers, jewelry and other items.
Burton was convicted in 2005 for burglary in Jackson County. He served several years but was released in 2008, said Corey Carter, an assistant Clay County prosecutor.

Burton is one of two men charged in the attack. A second man, Anthony L. Taborn, also of kansas City, is scheduled to go on trial in July as well. The presiding judge in Burton's trial was Circuit Judge Shane T. Alexander 

27 to life for rape of coed by fellow college student

Former Cuesta College student David Andrew Shenosky was sentenced to 27 to life on Friday, April 22, 2011 for the rape and kidnapping of a fellow student on March 27, 2010. The 23 year old plead no contest under San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge John Trice

After the incident, her eyes had broken blood vessels, consistent with the choking she described, and an examination found that she had been raped, police said. Police found a note on Shenosky’s computer expressing his regret for hurting her. The note said he loved her and wished the incident had never happened. According to the woman’s statements to police, Shenosky drove her home to San Luis Obispo after the rape and then she told her roommates, later describing the events to police.

Shenosky's sentence is as follows : 15 years to life on a single count of forcible rape, and 12 years for 2 counts of felony sexual penetration by a foreign object and a count of kidnapping, all to be served consecutively.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Man gets 12-25 years, woman gets 5 2/3 to 15 years for three way with developmentally disabled daughter

A Fruitland Township, MI man was sentenced to 12-25 years in prison Tuesday, April 12, 2011 after pleading to three counts of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct. He and a Manistee, MI woman were originally charged with three counts of 1st degree and 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct, respectively by Muskegon County officials.

The sexual assault charge stem from both perpetrators having sex with the woman's 21 year old developmentally disabled daughter, described as needing 9 to 16 hours of supervision a day by her case manager and as a girl with the mental capacity of a 10 to 13 year old. Both perpetrators were sentenced by Muskegon County 14th Circuit Judge William C. Marietti.

The victimization of the daughter by then 51 year old Mark Wayne Barnhard and her then 46 year old mother took place over several months in 2008, with the victim undergoing a sexual assault examination April 23, 2009. Both offenders were originally arraigned in May 2009.

According to a Muskegon County Sheriff's report, Barnhard -- using the alias "Mike Bradford" -- met the woman in an online chatroom more than a year and a half ago. He told police that the two later met in person and began having sex on numerous occasions at his Fruitland Township home.

At some point, Barnhard and the woman -- both married to other people -- decided they wanted to have a "three way" and the woman brought her 21-year-old mentally impaired daughter to Barnhard's house to participate, the report said.

Authorities were alerted to the alleged sexual abuse after the 21-year-old victim told her aunt that she might be pregnant by Barnhard. It turns out she was not, according to the report. Barnhard told investigators that both he and the victim's mother performed sex acts on the daughter.
"It was a secret life I had," he told investigators.

The mother was sentenced to 5 2/3 to 15 years imprisonment by Judge Marietti on September 15, 2009. The victim's aunt, now her guardian, said "when she gets dressed, there's not enough layers of shirts and sweaters."

When the young woman first arrived in her aunt and uncle's home, she barely spoke, and her family could see "fear in this young girl's eyes."

The victim's impact statement, read during the first sentencing by a family friend, said, "You did a very bad thing to me and let bad things happen to me...Why did you do this?" When the victim wanted the abuse to stop, instead of stopping,"you yelled at me and told me not to be a baby...You made me feel dirty and told many lies. I never want to be anything like you, Mom...I will never forgive or forget you, Mom... I hope you'll be gone for a long time."

Judge Marietti said that "this is probably the most outrageous and disgusting scenario that I have ever come across. It actually is beyond belief." Robert Hedges, a 22 year prosecutor in the Muskegon County court system, said "It's just awful. Even in the animal world, mothers care for their children."

Barnhard plead guilty to his three counts of 1st degree CSC on March 2, 2011, and was able to stay out on bond until his sentencing. At the sentencing, the family friend read another letter from the victim, this time directed at Barnhard. “Auntie wakes me up and I'm afraid to open my eyes, because I'm afraid it will be you. I scrub my skin until it's red and I can't feel clean. … Auntie and I moved far away and I still can't feel safe.” The aunt asked Barnhard, "Does it make you feel like a big man that this little girl's afraid of you? Calling you a monster is too good for you.”

Nurse guilty of sexually assaulting women and girls at medical offices in suburban Atlanta

A nurse who sexually assaulted women and girls under anesthesia was found guilty as charged in a Cobb County, GA courtroom on Monday April 11 and is expected to be sentenced to a lengthy prison term by Superior Court Judge Reuben Green during sentencing which is scheduled to take place within the next month or so.

48 year old Paul Serdula, a nurse anesthesiologist who practiced in metro Atlanta, was found guilty by Judge Green in a "stipulated facts" bench trial in which 20 pages of still sealed facts were agreed to and entered into evidence. Judge Green reviewed multiple images, presumably of women and girls being victimized. According to Cobb County investigators, this evidence shows victims from around the county and not just the victim Serdula was convicted of videotaping.

Serdula's defense attorney Jimmy Berry said that the images were the reason his client did not plead guilty, citing police misconduct in obtaining the evidence. "The pictures are what they are, they show what they show...We didn’t have a lot to fight about. Just the procedure of how they got them, and whether they got a valid search warrant.”

Serdula, who appeared in court Monday shackled at the waist, was charged in two separate indictments of assaulting 19 victims, including two girls under the age of 16, at a local hospital, surgery center, and a dentist’s office.

He was first arrested in November 2009, after a woman found the camera hidden beneath a bathroom sink at the Goldstein Garber & Salama dental office at 600 Galleria Parkway and called 911. He was later released on $50,000 bond, but was re-arrested about a week later on child molestation charges, after one victim was identified as a child
[The 15 year old victim was victimized at the same dental office Serdula was arrested before].

In July 2010, he was again released, this time on $250,000 bond, before being arrested a third time, in December 2010 on additional charges of unlawful surveillance, aggravated sodomy and sexual assault. He has been held without bond at Cobb County Jail since that time.

A lawsuit filed by five female patients against WellStar Cobb Hospital was setteld out of court for an undisclosed amount.

According to the original lawsuit, four of the women were at the hospital to deliver babies via cesarean section, and a minor was undergoing an emergency appendectomy. The suit claimed that Serdula administered some drugs without medical need, and gave excessive doses, leaving the new mothers unable to recall their babies’ births. Other operating room staff were in the room at the time of the assaults but unaware of what was happening.

Serdula faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Minnesota serial predator sentenced to 10 years for raping woman, groping three others

A Shoreview, MN developer was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday, April 20 and will be deported back to his native Bangladesh after being convicted of raping a woman and groping three other women. The sex assaults took place between January 2008 and September 2009. According to prosecutors at his trial, now 36 year old Maksud Mahbub would target women who were drunk at downtown Minneapolis bars during closing time and offer them "help" or rides, when they would be assaulted in his car or home.

The women testified that they passed out and woke up in Mahbub's home or car, unable to remember how they got there. The evidence against Mahbub included a shopping bag found in his closet with four pairs of women's underwear, including one belonging to a victim; a bra; and some women's jewelry. The victims also testified that Mahbub took or disabled their cellphones, in some cases by removing the batteries, so they could not call for help.

In one of the assaults, the victim testified that she had gone to a Minneapolis bar with a friend in September 2009 and had about five beers and six shots of liquor before ending up alone. She testified that the next thing she remembered was being in Mahbub's car. At his townhouse, she said, she fell asleep with her clothes on in his bedroom, but was nude when she woke up and he was on top of her. She said he raped her, even though she pushed him off twice.

Mahbub testified that he had never touched the woman. He also said that he had consensual sex with one of the women and kissed another, but denied touching the others. Mahbub testified at trial that he had only good intentions when he offered the inebriated women rides or took them to his townhome. He admitted only after aggressive questioning that he would have liked to have sex with the ones he groped "if they wanted to."

Investigators found three victims through taxi records after the first reported she was raped in September 2009. Another reported her assault after officials put out a public call for victims to come forward.

The charges that Mahbub was found guilty of and sentenced by Ramsey County District Judge Judith Tilsen were a single count of 3rd degree CSC and 3 counts of 4th degree CSC. A charge of 3rd degree sexual misconduct was dropped, and cases against six other women were not pursued or dropped due to lack of evidence. One of his victim wrote a letter to Judge Tilsen regarding her assault.

"I wanted to write this letter not only for myself but for the other women in this trial, and the countless others that may have been afraid to come forward. I thought, how could this happen to me? I am so much ... stronger than to let this happen." she said, before realizing that regardless of background, there is a difference between sex and rape. As for Mahbub's actions, the victim said, "that's what predators do."

Mahbub through his attorney Earl Gray, argued for a year in jail and SO treatment, stating that the immigration hold Mahbub has meant that he will be seperated from his brother, young daughter, and mother, who cried throught the proceedings. "I have been blessed with a loving family. I'm sorry to everyone because they had to endure such a hard time ... because of my conduct. I'll never be able to see my daughter, brother and mom ever again." said Mahbub.

Judge Tilsen said in response, "I'm not going to depart from (state sentencing) guidelines because it's going to be hard on your family," and Ella Friendt, a juror on the case, said "To me, it was a gut-wrenching case. It was very hard being a mother, to see what his mother was going through. But I also have a daughter ... and he was a predator."

Sterling Heights man who kidnapped, raped mother of his children gets 26 3/4 to 75 years

A Sterling Heights, MI man was sentenced to 26 3/4 to 75 years in prison in a suburban Detroit courtroom Friday, April 15, 2011 for raping and kidnapping his "girlfriend," the mother of his two children, on New Years Day 2010.  Brandon Jay Smith kidnapped the woman be forcing her into his grandmother's car when she arrived to work at a Green Oak Township restaurant.

The woman testified at a June preliminary examination that Smith was waiting for her when she arrived to work. She said he told her not to resist and not to scream for help. She resisted and she screamed, and Smith grew angrier, the woman said. The woman sat on the ground in an effort to be dead weight, but her 5-foot, 96-pound frame was no match for Smith, at 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds.

She said Smith fled on U.S. 23, where he cut off his electronic tether, he had to wear one as a condition of his sentencing less than a month earlier on charges of aggravated domestic violence against the same woman, and threw it out the window. He put zip ties on her wrists and took the batteries out of both of their cell phones.

Smith told the woman that he was taking her somewhere no one would find her and during that trip north, he told her that he was going to asphyxiate himself and she was going to watch. He also told her that he was going to kill her and if police stopped them, he threatened to kill her in front of them.

The woman said Smith raped her while en route to his family’s camper trailer in Antrim County and again once they reached the site. She was rescued by Antrim County sheriff’s deputies in the early morning hours of Jan. 2, 2010.

Defense attorney Mark Gatesman said that he was proud of his client's taking responsibility. He also said that a factor in his client's favor was that instead of killing his victim should police raid the trailer, he simply surrendered to police.

This view contrasts with some of the statements Smith made to the Center for Forensic Psychiatry.  "My intent was never to hurt her, but she got hurt. We were supposed to go up to the camper, up north. She kept asking why we were going there. I told her that's where I'm going to commit suicide. ... The reason she was with me was she could watch. Never got around to doing it, though. The cops came before I had a chance to."

However, according to presiding Judge Livingston County Circuit Judge Michael P. Hatty, it was Smith's mother who took on her reasonably to the mother of her grandkids to lead them to the camper. Judge Hatty, citing the "horrendous" nature of the case, said "This case came up very short of being a murder case, if the police didn't get there quick enough." According to Prosecutor David Moses, the victim was 45 minutes from death. "She thought she was going to die. She thought she would not see her family again, would not see her children," Moses said about the victim.

Beside the kidnapping and 1st degree criminal sexual conduct counts, Smith was also sentenced for assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, aggravated domestic violence and assault with a dangerous weapon for threatening and cutting the woman with a knife as well as interfering with electronic communications.

The victim's father, who attended the sentencing, said that he thanked the officials who helped find his daughter. "We owe a lot to the police agencies that were involved in this. Those guys did a great job."

Man who shot father-in-law to death while stalking estranged wife sentenced to 50 years

A man who shot his father-in-law to death at a mall while gunning for his estranged wife was sentenced to 50 years without parole. Michael James Young Jr, 25, was sentenced in a Lexington County, SC courtroom Monday, April 11 after pleading guilty to murder and assault with intent to kill for the shooting of his estranged wife, then 21 year old Shaunna Bell, and her father, a retired US Air Force officer, 49 year old Robert Lynn Bell, on June 13, 2007 in the Columbiana Center mall parking lot.

Before the deadly shooting four days shy of Father’s Day that year, Bell had called police to report that Young threatened to destroy the kiosk at the mall where she sold computers and told her he didn’t care if she lost her job. He also damaged her parents’ vehicle. She told police at the time that Young was known to carry a snub-nosed .38-caliber revolver.

Her father had been driving Bell to and from work for several weeks in an attempt to keep Young away from his daughter, said Robert Rikard, a Columbia lawyer hired by the family.

The Bells are suing the security company, saying that they did not do enough to protect Shaunna from her husband's stalking. While Young was banned from the mall, the supervisor on duty was not informed of this fact.

Shaunna said in her victim impact statement, "I think about getting married and not having anyone to walk me down the aisle. My father/daughter dance was taken from me. When my mom’s birthday or Mother’s Day comes around, I do not have anyone to secretly call for details of what she has been wanting.”

Young has accepted his responsibility for the mall shooting and has expressed his remorse “innumerable” times, his lawyer, John Delgado, said. “He considers it a life sentence, but he considers it a just sentence for what he did.” Despite Young’s imposing size, his aggression toward women “was his way of being able to assert himself in the world,” Delgado said, saying Young had no self esteem.
“He’s a completely different person now,” the lawyer said.

The 50 year sentence for murder will be served concurrently with the assault with intent to kill. In exchange for the guilty plea, Young saw four stalking charges, and single charges of forgery, telephone harassment, and assault with intent to kill. Judge Thomas Russo was the presiding judge over this case.

"Boyfriend" sentenced to life without parole for running over woman on Jacksonville, FL street

A man who deliberately ran over his "girlfriend", crushing her bones so badly that they "resembled sand" was sentenced to life without parole in a Jacksonville, FL courtroom a week ago today. Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey sentenced Giacinto Martin, now 34, for a count of attempted murder for pushing mother of two Mary Wilkie out of a car she was driving and running her over last July in Jacksonville.

Martin pushed Wilkie out of the car, ran over her, backed over her and then ran her over again. He maintained it was an accident. The two had left a bar that night and Wilkie drove because Martin was drunk.

Police said Martin left Wilkie on Anniston Road just off Beach Boulevard to die in the middle of the night. During a break in his interview with detectives, he was caught on video saying to himself, “If I was going to run her over, I’d make sure she was dead but I’d never do that.”

According to the victim's mother Judith Wilkie, her daughter is still in a wheelchair relrning how to walk, and medicial bills from her recovery have topped $1.4 million. Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda said that the $1.4 million was the highest amount he has seen for medical costs resulting from crimes he has prosecuted.

Before Judge Hulsey sentenced Martin, Martin asked for a term which would allow him to attempt to pay off the victim's bills. “I have nightmares every single night about this. I swear to you. I swear to God. I swear to everybody in my life I’d never hurt her.”

However, Hulsey said, “There are cases where lenience is called for. This isn’t one of them. I hope that God has mercy on your soul, to be honest with you.”

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rapist, murderer of coed sentenced to life plus 42 years in Nashville

A man who raped, robbed, then killed a Tennessee State University student was sentenced to life without parole plus 42 years yesterday in a Nashville, TN courtroom. Deshaun Lewis was convicted of 1st degree felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and aggravated rape.  18-year-old Raquel Johnson was killed after Lewis robbed her car, with her body found not far away from the school that she was attending. Judge Steve Dozier sentenced Lewis to 20 years for robbery, 22 years for rape, and 51 to life for murder, ordering the sentences to be served consecutively and in full.

Prosecutors contended that Lewis took the girl to the home for a planned robbery. Prosecutors said Johnson was beaten, robbed and raped. Her car was stolen as well.

A key piece of evidence in the trial was testimony from Lewis' former girlfriend who told police that he had forced her at gunpoint to tell police that she had seen someone else driving the victim's stolen car a few days after the murder. Prosecutors also had relied on physical evidence, including Lewis' bloody hand prints, left at the crime scene. Attorneys for the defendant had claimed the evidence simply didn't add up.

The victim's mother, Maria Johnson said that while she has forgiven Lewis, that he needed to be punished to the fullest extent of the law so that others would not be hurt by him.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Enemies of (womankind)

(Original Post 3-23-08)
In international law, hosti humani generis, enemies of mankind, is the term given to those that torture, commit war crimes, genocide, piracy, and a host of other actions which violate jus cogens, or peremptory norms.

What happened to this 29 year old woman is nothing short of horrendous. It rivals the worst cases of child abuse and torture, including a case where the stepfather of a 7 year old girl was convicted of her murder. I'm reprinting this AP story in its entirety.

ALTON, Ill. - Banished to the basement, the 29-year-old mother with a childlike mind and another baby on the way had little more than a thin rug and a mattress to call her own on the chilly concrete floor.

Dorothy Dixon ate what she could forage from the refrigerator upstairs, where prosecutors say housemates used her for target practice with BBs, burned her with a glue gun and doused her with scalding liquid that peeled away her skin.

They torched what few clothes she had, authorities say, so she walked around naked. They often pummeled her with an aluminum bat or metal handle.

Dixon — six months pregnant — died after weeks of abuse. Police have charged two adults, three teenagers and a 12-year-old boy with murder in the case that has repulsed many in this Mississippi River town.

"This is heartbreaking," police Lt. David Hayes said. "It was almost as though they were making fun of the abuse they were administering. This woman was almost like living in a prison."

Investigators put much of the blame on Michelle Riley, 35, who they said befriended Dixon but pocketed monthly Social Security checks she got because of her developmental delays.
Dixon saw little, if any, of the money, Hayes said. For months she weathered the torment to keep a roof over her head and that of her year-old son, who weighed just 15 pounds when taken into state custody after his mom's death.

"I've never seen an almost conspiratorial effort by a group of people to continuously torture someone until she finally died, then not really show any remorse," Hayes said. "It was just a slow, torturous, tragic way to die. I highly doubt Dorothy Dixon even knew she was dying."

Riley, 43-year-old Judy Woods and three teenagers, including Riley's 15-year-old daughter, LeShelle McBride, are charged with first-degree murder, aggravated and heinous battery, intentional homicide of an unborn child, and unlawful restraint. Riley's 12-year-old son is charged as a juvenile.

Riley, her daughter, Woods and 16-year-old Benny Wilson have public defenders who did not immediately return messages for comment. An 18-year-old defendant, Michael Elliott, planned to get his own attorney, court records show. All remain in jail on $1 million bond.

Messages left with a Chicago-area sister of Dixon went unreturned, but neighbors, Hayes and newspaper accounts offer a mosaic of the months leading to Dixon's demise inside the small, white, blue-shuttered house.

Riley and Dixon, police said, had lived in Quincy, a Mississippi River town about 100 miles north of St. Louis, Mo. Quincy is where Riley worked as a coordinator for a regional center that helps the developmentally disabled with housing and other services. Dixon was a client.

For years, an impoverished Riley struggled raising her children. Her use of methamphetamine and cocaine brought drug convictions in 2002 and 2004. But with treatment and housing help from the Quincy YWCA, Riley put her life in order — so much that in February of last year, the Quincy Herald-Whig did a story on her comeback.

Last summer, Dixon and Riley moved into the $800-a-month, three-bedroom rental in Alton about 15 miles north of St. Louis. From the start, neighbors Chad Hudson and Terri Brandt considered Riley trouble.

"Michelle was evil, vindictive. Manipulative," said Hudson, convinced the teenagers were Riley's powerless minions. "She was angry, vicious," added Brandt.

Riley considered Dixon her slave, making her rub Riley's feet until Riley fell asleep and forcing her to run naked around the house when she got in trouble, the neighbors said. "Being in their house was like being in a prison day room," Hudson said. "They just sat around the kitchen table and fought." There was little question that Riley ruled the roost.

While doing fix-ups on the home last fall, landlord Steve Atkins saw Riley "barking orders" at the children and everyone else. Atkins joked to her whether he needed to call the Army and see if they wanted their drill sergeant back.
"She didn't laugh about it at all," Atkins said. "Obviously, I hit a nerve."
Atkins said Dixon generally kept to herself "but was always nice when she spoke to you." He saw no hints she'd been suffering or tortured.
"I would have never, ever suspected something like this," he said. "It's definitely shocking."

Police said Dixon was allowed out of the house but didn't say under what conditions. Hayes didn't know who the father of Dixon's fetus is.

Hayes said things apparently came to a head Jan. 30, when investigators believe that Woods, during a dispute, beat Dixon on the head with an object Hayes wouldn't identify. The next day Woods found her dead.

Hayes watched the autopsy and found her injuries disturbing. X-rays revealed roughly 30 BBs lodged in her. Deep-tissue burns covered about one-third of her body — her face, her chest, her arms and feet — and left her severely dehydrated. Her face and body showed signs of prolonged abuse. Many of her wounds were infected.

None of the injuries, Hayes said, proved singly fatal to Dixon. Her system already was taxed by her unborn baby. "The autopsy sort of indicates her immune system just shut down," he said. "It was not capable of fending off any more."

In the rental home's basement, Atkins said, he found spots of blood in a shower and tiny smears on the concrete floor, washer and dryer. "It's disgraceful the way this girl died, as kind and as sweet as this girl was," he said. "She didn't deserve to die the way she did. It's just terrible, senseless. It's just a total shame."

(Update 2-7-10) The ringleader of the torture, Michelle Riley, was sentenced to 45 years in prison for 1st degree murder Friday, February 5. This was the maximum sentence possible in a plea agreement made by Michelle Riley, 37 and Assistant State's Attorney Mike Stewart. Stewart believed that "I don't think 45 years is enough, but that's what we agreed to."

Riley, said in front of presiding Madison County Circuit Judge Charles Romani Jr, "I'm sorry that I can't take it back," but Romain said that that statement, along with Riley's history of substance abuse, was no excuse. "There were things done to this woman that you don't see done to animals, let alone human beings. This lady was tortured."

Riley will serve her sentence without parole, as she pled guilty to 1st degree murder. Her lawyer, Jon Delaney, said she took the plea deal to spare her daughter, 17 year old LeShelle, 1st degree murder charges in exchange for 2nd degree murder. The daughter and three others are scheduled to go on trial for 1st degree murder. 

(Update 7-13-10) LeShelle McBride was spared a trial and 1st degree murder charges by pleading guilty to 2nd degree murder. WIth credit for time served, she could be out in 2 to 8 months. A 12 year old boy was found deliquent for 2nd degree murder and sentenced to juvenile detention. Others are either awaiting trial for or sentencing on 1st degree murder charges.

(Update 4-19-11) Benny Wilson, the last defendant in this case, was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for 1st degree murder. According to authorities, it was Wilson who repeatedly shot Dixon in the head with a BB gun. Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Vucich asked for 45 years while defense attorney Rand Hale asked for 20 years. Vucich said that "Clearly what he did to Dorothy Dixon was despicable. I don't think anyone in the room can imagine the suffering she endured." Madison County Associate Judge James Hackett imposed sentence and presided over the guilty plea Friday, April 15.

Prosecutors have said that some of the other defendants received better deals because they were less culpable. Michelle Riley got a sentence of 45 years because she was believed to be the ringleader in the murder.

Michael Elliot and LeShelle McBride both pled to second degree murder and received sentences of eight years and six years respective; Judy Woods pled to aggravated battery and was sentenced to 18 months' periodic imprisonment.

Judge Hackett said that testimony was"some of the most horrific that could come before this court."
"It is stunning. It is at least remarkable, at most, overwhelming." However, Judge Hackett took into account the lack of previous criminal history, young age, and multiple perpetrators when sentencing WIlson.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stripper sentenced to decade of imprisonment for running over customer

By Lauren Pack, Staff Writer [Journal-News, Hamilton, OH]

HAMILTON — An exotic dancer who pleaded guilty to striking a customer with her vehicle and dragging him to death was sentenced to 10 years in prison this afternoon [Thursday, April 7, 2011]in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Kristina Hensley, 35, of Higginsport, was given the maximum sentence by Judge Keith Spaeth at a 1:30 p.m. hearing. Supporters of Jae Cho, the 31-year-old Monroe man killed by Hensley, applauded the judge’s ruling. Pam Birch, Hensley’s mother, began wailing as her daughter broke out in tears and doubled over.

Spaeth called the autopsy photos and the autophy report detailing how Cho died, “ghastly.” The judge said he had seen a lot of autopsy photos over the years, but Cho’s were “very hard to look at.”

“Given the circumstances of this case, Ms. Hensley, the court has not choice,” Spaeth said before handing down her sentence. “You didn’t just hit Mr. Cho, he was (dragged) to a horrible death.”

Hensley took a deal in February, pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and failure to stop after an accident. Her plea came days before she was scheduled to go to trial on charges of murder, aggravated robbery, theft and failure to stop after an accident.

She was accused of robbing and killing Cho on Aug. 7, and stealing from another customer a few hours earlier in Blue Ash. In the statement of facts read at her plea hearing, Hensley admitted to causing Cho’s death after attempting to steal from him.

Hensley originally told police that after the incident she received a call from her employer, Naughty Bodies, to go to 367 Timrick Place in Monroe for a private show. She said she arrived about 4:20 a.m., and that once inside, Cho touched her inappropriately. She told police she left immediately, and Cho followed her out of the house. She struck him with her vehicle as she fled, but told authorities she didn’t know Cho was lodged underneath her sport-utility vehicle.

In a sentencing memorandum filed this week, defense attorneys Jeremy Evans and Timothy Upton urged the judge to give Hensley community control or sentence her to the minimum of three years in prison with credit for the 334 days she has served since her arrest. Hensley has three sons, ages 13, 8, and 7, and is engaged to their father, who has been unemployed for some time, according to defense attorneys.

“As a result, Kristina has been the sole income provider for their family, opting to work as a dancer due to economic hardship in an economy that had nothing else to offer her,” Evans wrote in the motion. “She would sit in a parking lot waiting for a call to do a show, travel alone to a show, go alone to a stranger’s home to perform and was expected to collect the money, perform a show and leave without incident.”

The defense also said Hensley has no prior violent history and her only exposure to the criminal system was in 2002 in Florida for petty larceny and resisting an officer in the recovery of a stolen vehicle. “The facts surrounding this event show that this was not a vindictive, malicious or retaliatory act toward Mr. Cho nor that Kristina Hensley intended to cause his death,” Evans wrote.

The defense said GPS evidence shows Hensley pulled out of Cho’s driveway and sat in the street before driving off. “There is some evidence that she did not just heartlessly plow over Mr. Cho, but sat in the street for more than 9 minutes before leaving his home.”

Evans and Upton said Hensley then drove 1.3 miles to the nearest open and lit establishment — a Shell gas station — and stopped. Hensley has shown emotional trauma and remorse for her actions, according to her attorneys.

Letters asking the judge to show leniency for Hensley have been sent by family members, including her oldest son, her mother, Pam Birch; and stepfather, Douglas, who live in Middletown.

According to the prosecutor’s office, numerous letters from Cho’s friends and loved ones also have been sent to Spaeth. Cho, a University of Cincinnati graduate, worked as a server at Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers and Beer in Blue Ash.

Last month, a wrongful death lawsuit asking for $3 million in damages was filed by Cho’s father, In Chae Cho, against Hensley, State Auto Insurance Companies and Allied Communications Network (doing business as Naughty Bodies).

The suit filed by attorney Gary Franke of Cincinnati seeks damages for reasonable and necessary funeral expenses, mental anguish and a loss of Cho’s support and services, according to Butler County court documents.

Hamersville, OH man sentenced to 2 years imprisonment, lifetime Tier 3 SO registration for sex with drunk woman

A Hamersville, OH man who sexually battered a woman during a party on Halloween 2010 was sentenced to a mandatory 2 years imprisonment and Tier III sex offender registration in the Brown County Court of Common Pleas on April 7, 2011.

38 year old Marlon Scott Schauer plead guilty to a single count of sexual battery, down from two charges of rape for the incident, which took place last fall. Assistant Prosecutor Steve Purtell said that the charges involved a woman who wastoo drunk to give meaningful consent to sex, and who may have also been asleep.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Scott Gusweiler accepted the plea and sentencing recommendation, and noted during the hearing that the case files do not reflect any prior criminal charges in Schauer's history.

The two year sentence is mandatory and cannot be shortened by early or judicial release, Gusweiler told Schauer Thursday. As part of the plea, Schauer also relinquished his right to appeal to the 12th District court of Appeals, the judge said.

Five years of mandatory post-release control are also included in the sentence, and Schauer will be permanently considered a Tier III sex offender for the remainder of his life. Tier III is the most serious of Ohio's sexual offender designations, and after his release from prison Schauer will be required to register, in person with the sheriff of the county in which he lives, works or goes to school. Tier III offenders like Schauer are also required to provide other identifying information, including mobile phone numbers and email addresses, with law enforcement, Gusweiler said.

Defense attorney Kenneth Miller said that Schauer's wife has remained by her husband's side dispite the nature of the charges, and that his client showed "a great deal of remorse," during the sentencing. Miller said that his client's Valentines' Day 2011 suicide attempt, leading to hospitalization and a mental evaluation, stemmed from genuine guilt, and was not an attempt to delay court proceedings.

Hitman sentenced to life for murder at behest of victim's wife

A hitman hired by the victim's wife to kill for a $500,000 life insurance policy was sentenced to life plus 25 years in a Fulton County, GA courtroom for the killing. Jean Pierre Devaughn, 29 of suburban Atlanta, was sentenced by Judge Stephanie Manis Monday, April 11, 2001 for the murder of his cousin, 35 year old Eric Clark of Alabama. According to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, Clark's wife, Constance Shinell Clark, hired Devaughn to kill her husband for his life insurance.

Clark had driven to Atlanta the day he was murdered with $500 cash to get discounted alcohol for a party he was bartending, prosecutors said. Authorities learned that in the months before he died, Clark's wife had secured a $500,000 life insurance policy on her husband, prosecutors said.

The victim's mother, Janice Clark, spoke for her son during the sentencing."Not seeing his lovely face and smile has been hard for our family. Eric was loved so much and he was brutally murdered and left like trash. This man has taken his life and shown no remorse...He destroyed our son and we will never be the same."

The wife is currently serving time in federal prison for identity fraud, but is scheduled to be tried for her husband's murder.

Syracuse men sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for attempted murder of wife

A Syracuse man was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for shooting his wife Wednesday, April 6, 2011 in a Onondaga County courtroom for the attempted murder of his wife. Cecil Torrence III, a 35 year old father, pled guilty on Valentine's Day 2011 to a single count of attempted 2nd degree murder for shooting his wife Lisa in the bathtub after an argument over texting. 

The couple reportedly was arguing about text messages the victim had received when Torrence pulled a gun and opened fire on her in the bathtub, the prosecutor has said. The victim was shot four times, but managed to crawl from the residence after the gunman left with the couple's 2-year-old child.

The victim collapsed in a snowbank outside her home where neighbors discovered her and called for help. The defendant was arrested the following day when he was found hiding in a closet of a home on North Midler Avenue.

Given an opportunity to speak in court, Torrence turned to face about a dozen relatives and apologized for any shame and embarrassment he caused them. He then apologized to his children for being taken away from them as a result of his conduct. Lastly, he apologized to his wife for causing her any pain and suffering.

Aloi noted Torrence's courtroom comments were far different from his reported comments to the probation officer who prepared a pre-sentence report. The judge said the probation report indicated no remorse by Torrence.

Paul Carey, Torrence's defense lawyer, said that the lack of remors in the pre-sentencing report was due to his advice not to talk about the case until after sentencing. The defendant's two daughters and aunt were upset with the length of the sentence because homicides can get that lenght of time behind bars.  The aunt said her nephew was"a good person, a good father and a good husband."

Tracy, CA physician settles for millions in patient molestation cases - sentenced to 3 years imprisonment

(Original Post 2-7-10)
Peter Chi, a Livermore, CA plastic suregeon who practiced in Tracy, CA, has settled a lawsuit for $1.8 million filed by 37 female patients who alleged that they were groped and fondled by him at his practice, according to Stewart Tabak, the attorney for some of the victims. Tabak said that he and other attorneys reached the settlement because "It would be better to resolve it now." Chi's insurance company, Evaston Insurance, is trying to revoke his policy for criminal acts, not covered under the policy.

Chi, a Livermore resident, was the medical director of Beauty Renewed Laser Skin Center at 1770 N. Tracy Blvd. He was first charged in February 2009 after eight women filed reports with Tracy police. More women came forward after the investigation became public. The incidents are alleged to have occurred from May 2007 to January 2008.

The criminal case against Chi, 46, is still ongoing. He has pleaded not guilty to 51 counts of sexual battery, 15 counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object while the victim was unconscious and one count of committing a lewd act upon a child. One of Chi's accusers was 15 at the time of the alleged molestation.

Chi's trial is scheduled to start October 25. He's currently free on $500,000 bail and has surrendered his passport and medical license to authorities.

(Update 4-13-11) Chi was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and a lifetime on the sex offender registry on April 4, 2011. The disgraced physician pled guilty to 36 counts of sexual battery and one dozen of the victims were present in the courtroom. "Renee" said that Chi botched her plastic surgery as well as groped her. "I feel like I was in a major car accident... He mutilated not only my body but my spirit. Today is judgment day."

As for Chi himself, he said just before sentencing,"I accept complete responsibility for my actions, and I am very sorry for the pain and suffering I have caused the victims and their families."   San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Xapuri Villapudua chastized him for "taking advantage of mothers, daughters, and sisters."

Diana Koron, Chi's marketing director between 2004 and 2006 until she said Chi sexually assaulted her, attended Chi's sentencing. “I’m glad it’s over. I wish the sentence would be longer. But I am glad it’s over. I’ve been waiting since 2006 for him to be sentenced. Being in the courtroom yesterday was so emotionally draining....He showed absolutely no remorse whatsoever. He wouldn’t even look at anyone,”she said. Koron was not represented in any of Chi's civil lawsuits or criminal charges.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Voyeur sentenced to two years probation for secret videotapes of woman, girl

An Uwchlan, PA man was sentenced to two years probation for recording a nude woman and a clothed girl at his home April 1, 2011. The sentencing of David W. Geipel, 37, was for invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct, and took place in Chester County (PA) Common Pleas Court under Judge Judge Anthony Sarcione.

According to Kubacke and the police complaint filed in the case, the recordings were discovered after Geipel's wife, Michele Geipel, called a close friend last spring and told her that she had discovered a computer's external hard drive with videos on it showing the friend's pre-teen daughter wearing a bathing suit in the bathroom.

Michele Geipel also told the friend, whose name is being withheld to protect her daughter's identity, that she had also seen on the hard drive a video of a mutual friend who had been staying at the Geipels' house using the shower. The video showed her naked.

After talking to the girl's mother on April 15, Uwchlan Police Detective Phillip Owen obtained a search warrant for the Geipel's home and seized as many as 10 computers, according to Ramsay. Owen turned the electronics over to the Chester County Detective's Computer Forensics Unit, which extracted videos, including those described by Michele Geipel.

Because the girl recorded was clothed, Geipel could not be charged with a crime according to Pennsylvania law. The invasion of privacy charge referred only to the adult victim.  Because invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct is a 3rd degree misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail, Geipel was able to apply for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) for first time offenders. He was turned down.

Besides two years probation, the cameras and computers used to record then store the indecent images were forfeited to the Uwchlan Police Department. Geipel was ordered to undergo psychosexual evaluations, and not to contact the grown victim, the child victim, or the child's mother.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

LA's "Westside rapist" pleads guilty to seven stranglings of women - sentenced to life without parole

A former state insurance claims adjuster pleaded guilty Friday to seven sexually motivated strangulation slayings of older women decades ago across Los Angeles County.

John Floyd Thomas Jr., 74, who Los Angeles police cold case detectives said was the notorious "Westside Rapist," pleaded guilty to the murders that took place in two waves, the first in Inglewood, Lennox and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s and the other in the Claremont-Pomona area a decade later.

The soft-spoken insurance claims specialist is described by the LAPD as one of the region's most prolific killers, responsible for as many as 30 slayings and about two dozen sexual assaults. But his plea in court Friday is for only seven killings.

The slayings involve Ethel Sokoloff, 68, in the Mid-Wilshire area in 1972; Elizabeth McKeown, 67, in Westchester in 1976; Cora Perry in Lennox in 1975; Maybelle Hudson, 80, Miriam McKinley, 65, and Evalyn Bunner, 56, all in 1976 in Inglewood.

The attacks appeared to stop in 1978, around the time Thomas was convicted and sentenced to state prison for the rape of a Pasadena woman. Thomas’ extensive criminal record also included serving a six-year state prison sentence, beginning in 1957, for burglary and attempted burglary. Two parole violations sent him back behind bars until 1966.

After his release in 1983, Thomas moved to Chino, which coincided with a wave of rapes and killings that began in the Pomona Valley area. Over the next six years, Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives would investigate five slayings of older women in Claremont, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Adrienne Askew, 56, the last homicide with which Thomas was charged, was found strangled in 1986 in her Claremont apartment. The killings appeared to stop in 1989, the same year Thomas took a job in the state workers' compensation agency in Glendale.

The Westside Rapist faded from public memory and authorities made limited progress in the Claremont killings until late 2001, when the LAPD created the Cold Case Homicide Unit that reopened about 9,000 unsolved slayings going back to 1960, using emerging state and federal DNA databases.

In September 2004, the department's crime lab matched male DNA taken from the McKeown and Sokoloff crime scenes but were unable to match it to a suspect. Over the next five years, detectives developed 14 suspects only to rule out each of them as the attacker.

The break came in October 2008, when two officers collected DNA from Thomas while
searching for the so-called Grim Sleeper serial killing suspect. Nearly two years later, LAPD Robbery-Homicide detectives arrested Lonnie Franklin Jr. in connection with 10 slayings of women in South Los Angeles after identifying him using familial DNA.

In March 2009, the California Department of Justice DNA laboratory notified detectives that Thomas' DNA matched the evidence from the Sokoloff slaying. Within days, the lab matched Thomas' DNA to four other slayings, leading to his arrest.

Thomas was born in Los Angeles. His mother died when he was 12 and he was raised by his aunt and a godmother. Thomas attended public schools, including Manual Arts High School. He also served in the military.

He briefly joined the U.S. Air Force in 1956. At Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, a superior described Thomas as often late and slovenly. He received a dishonorable discharge, according to his military records. The next year he was convicted of burglary and attempted burglary, which would land him behind bars for nearly a decade.

But it was just the start of the criminal career of the alleged "Westside Rapist," who became one of the more notorious criminals of the era, targeting victims who ranged in age from their 50s to their 90s, according to LAPD detectives.

Bella Stumbo, the late Times feature writer, wrote in December 1975 that the "serenity" of the neighborhoods where the victims lived had been “grotesquely invaded by that elusive maniac the police loosely refer to as the 'Westside rapist,' now accused of sexually assaulting at least 33 old women and murdering perhaps 10 of them." She said residents lived in "small colonies of terror."

Victoria, BC teens sentenced to 10 to life for rape slaying of 18 year old girl

By Louise Dickson, Postmedia News [Vancouver Sun]

Kruse Wellwood, one of two teens sentenced to life in prison for the brutal rape and murder of 18-year old Kimberly Proctor last year, is the son of a convicted murderer.

On Monday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Johnston sentenced Wellwood, 17, and Cameron Moffat, 18, as adults and lifted the publication ban that had been protecting their identities since their arrest last June. Proctor was lured to a home, then tortured, beaten and sexually assaulted before she was killed. Her body was dumped and burned on a hiking trail in March 2010.

In eerily similar circumstances, Wellwood's father, Robert Dezwaan, is serving a life sentence for the 2001 murder of 16-year-old Cherish Billy Oppenheim in Merritt. Dezwaan got her drunk, sexually assaulted her and beat her to death. He left her badly damaged body covered with rocks and debris off a deserted road -where he later took RCMP after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Dezwaan committed the crime while out on bail for a previous sexual assault.

At Monday's sentencing in a packed Victoria courtroom, Johnston ruled a youth sentence would not be long enough to hold the teens accountable for their crimes. He imposed the maximum adult sentence available for young offenders.

"It goes without saying first-degree murder with intent to kill is the most serious of offences. The circumstances of this murder as admitted by the young persons are so horrific that no words can adequately convey the inhumane cruelty these young men showed Miss Proctor," said Johnston. "They planned in advance to sexually assault and kill Miss Proctor. They chose her because they thought she would be an easy target, not necessarily because either of them had any ill will towards her."

Members of Proctor's family, including mother Lucia and father Fred, filled the front row of the courtroom. Lucia wiped away tears as Wellwood stood, hands clasped in front, with lawyer Bob Jones by his side as he was sentenced to life in prison.

Defence lawyer Steven Kelliher stood by Moffat, who appeared unemotional as he was sentenced to life in prison.

Outside court, Fred Proctor called the teens "animals" and said they deserve to die a long, slow, painful death."I don't even like to call them animals because Kim was such an animal lover," said Lucia. "To me they're just monsters and monsters are not rehabilitatable."

She lashed out at Wellwood's and Moffat's parents, saying they should have done something about their sons' risky behaviour before it escalated. "This didn't happen overnight this behaviour. You see the signs. You know when something is wrong with your child."

In October, Wellwood and Moffat pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Proctor, whose badly burned body was found under a bridge on the Galloping Goose Trail on March 19, 2010. The two admitted they lured the Grade 12 student to Wellwood's home, tied her up, gagged her, sexually assaulted her, beat her, suffocated her and mutilated her body with a knife. They then put her body in a freezer. The next day, they put it in a duffel bag and took it by bus to the Galloping Goose Trail.
Johnston also sentenced Wellwood and Moffat to five-year concurrent sentences on the charge of indignity to human remains, authorized the taking of DNA samples from the teens, and imposed a 10-year firearms prohibition.

Charges of sexual assault and unlawful confinement were stayed last week during the grim two-day sentencing hearing in which Crown prosecutor Peter Juk urged Johnston to impose adult sentences for the protection of the public.

Wellwood's father's crimes bear a striking similarity to the rape and murder of Proctor. The details of Dezwaan's offences can only be published now that the judge has lifted a publication ban on Wellwood's and Moffat's identities.

Before his murder conviction, Dezwaan had been arrested in March 2001 for sexual assault with a weapon, confinement, and robbery of a young woman in Kelowna. That followed a 1993 incident in which he was convicted of unlawful confinement and break and enter after he broke into a woman's home at night, climbed on her and tried to stuff a rag in her mouth.

A letter written by Wellwood and read in court last week, said: "As a child, I hated my father for what he had done. I felt I was less than him and now I find I have become a worse man. If you told me 10 years ago that I would commit one of the worst murders in British Columbia, I would not have believed you."

Court-ordered psychiatric and psychological reports on the teens show they are a high risk to reoffend violently and sexually. The reports also show there is little chance they can be rehabilitated.

Wellwood has been diagnosed as a sexual sadist -someone who derives sexual gratification from inflicting pain -with very strong psychopathic traits and strong indicators for necrophilia, an erotic attraction to corpses. A psychologist found he was aroused by the physical and psychological suffering of others, had rape fantasies and was interested in bondage and sexual asphyxia.

Moffat was not diagnosed as a sexual sadist but has a tendency to sexual deviance and the risk and thrill that go along with it. He has had conduct disorder problems since early childhood that involve defiant anti-social behaviour.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Correctional officer sentenced to probation for sex acts with inmate

A female former correctional officer was placed on two years probation Friday, March 25 with 2 years imprisonment suspended for having sexual contact with a 24 year old male inmate at the Burlington, IA facility where she used to work. 32 year old Megan Elizabeth Cecil originally faced four counts of sexual misconduct with offenders, but per plea agreement, two of those counts were dropped, and prosecutors agreed "not to file any additional charges now known to the state related to the defendant's employment at the Burlington Residential Correctional Facility."

Cecil admitted to engaging in a "sex act with an individual committed to the custody of the 8th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services," while she was a residential officer on March 9 and again on March 19, both of last year. The original charging document stated she had an inappropriate relationship with the inmate two more times later that same month.

Dan Fell, the correctional service's District Director, said Cecil started as a part-time residential officer in Sept. 14, 2007. She became a full-time employee in the position May 30, 2008, and resigned in April of last year. Three of the "sex acts" were reportedly committed inside the halfway house, and one was "in a location outside the facility," prosecutors said.

The two years probation were a compromise between jail time prosecutors were asking for and a deferred judgement that the defense wanted. Besides the probation related to her charge, Cecil will have to register as a sex offender and undergo counseling. Cecil will spend a decade on probation after the initial sentence.

St. Paul, MN man pleads guilty to forcing disabled woman to perform oral sex on city bus

A 22 year old Twin Cities man pled guilty Wednesday, March 30 to coercing a young woman with Down's Syndrome to perform oral sex on a bus last winter. Herbert Lee House, 22, of St. Paul, will be sentenced to between 5 and 5 1/2 years in prison on May 18 for a single count of 3rd degree CSC by Ramsey County District Judge Margaret Marrinan on May 18.

The charges said House was on a Route 64 bus in St. Paul about 10:30 a.m. Feb. 22 when the victim, a 19-year-old woman, got on board with a group of other vulnerable adults and their caretaker. Two teenage boys told police that the woman sat next to House, then they saw the two switch places. They saw the woman's head "bobbing up and down in the man's lap," the criminal complaint said.

Prosecutor Karrin Long got House to admit that the woman he victimized was developmentally disabled. "You know now that [the victim] is very slow and very dependent on other people?" Long asked. "Yes," House said. The sex offense was also a violation of probation for other charges. House had a criminal history involving theft, drugs, and assaults.