Tuesday, January 27, 2015

VA - ACLU: New sex offender bill 'invitation to throw stones'

Throwing stones
Original Article

01/20/2015

By Chris Thomas

RICHMOND - A house subcommittee unanimously passed a bill which would require registered sex offenders to have public hearings before gaining access to Virginia schools.

The delegate behind the bill says its a step to protect children, but civil rights organizations say the bill goes too far.

"I certainly would like to know who is being granted access to these public school systems," said Delegate Jeff Campbell (R-6th) who is introducing the bill and is the parent of school-aged children. "I understand the concern about this, but it's really not an attack on the sex offender themselves."

HB1366 would require registered sex offenders to advertise their public hearing in the newspaper for two weeks. Anyone attending the hearing could testify against the request to gain access to the school. Some civil rights groups are already coming out against the bill saying it could lead to angry mobs.

"It's essentially an invitation to throw stones," said Claire Gastañaga with the ACLU of Virginia. "Having a public hearing before you can go to visit your child's teacher? Tell me, what's that supposed to accomplish? I don't see what it accomplishes, other than inviting an angry mob into the school."

Del. Campbell disagrees with that assessment.

"It is certainly not going to prohibit the offender from being able to petition the court and gain access," he said.


WI - Cop (Jeffrey C. Hilgers) Caught With Hard Drives Full of Child Porn, Won’t Be Charged Because of a Typo

Jeffrey C. Hilgers
Jeffrey C. Hilgers
Original Article

01/17/2015

By Matt Agorist

Dane County - A Dane County sheriff’s deputy miraculously escaped charges of child pornography, despite being caught with child pornography, because of a cut and paste error on a warrant.

In a tragic example of the broken “justice” system, former Dane County sheriff’s deputy Jeffrey C. Hilgers, 43, had seven counts of possession of child pornography dismissed Wednesday. The judge ruled that there was a fatal cut-and-paste error on a search warrant, thereby making the discovery of the illegal images on the deputy’s computers, inadmissible.

According to the report, investigators inadvertently used a paragraph, which stated they were searching for child pornography, instead of one specifying the search was for evidence in an illicit relationship between Hilgers and a woman serving a jail sentence at home on electronic monitoring.

The error was insurmountable, Dane County Circuit Judge John Markson said, so he had to suppress the search warrant along with a subsequent search warrant that was issued after child pornography was initially discovered, which led to the discovery of even more child pornography.


CO - Should we stop labeling people 'sex offenders?'

Question
Original Article (Video available)

01/17/2015

By Melissa Blasius

KUSA - A state regulatory board debated Friday whether the label "sex offender" was too stigmatizing to people who committed sex crimes.

Colorado's Sex Offender Management Board regulates treatment, rehabilitation, and monitoring of sex offenders. Friday's board meeting included a vote whether to eliminate the word "sex offender" from the board's official policies. Suggestions for replacement words included "clients," "defendants" and "individuals."

Ultimately, the board chose to continuing using the term "sex offender," but member also agreed to use other terms interchangeably as they revised written regulations. The decision came after more than an hour of debate, including comments from relatives of sex offenders, victim advocates and a local prosecutor.

"People who have committed a sexual offense will have a much better chance of revising their lives and moving in a different direction if they don't have the stigma of sex offender hanging over their heads," said Susan Walker. She is the director of an advocacy group called Coalition for Sex Offense Restoration.


FL - Florida police lured innocent men into online sex stings and seized their property, records show

Newspaper and coffee
Original Article (Video available)

01/05/2015

By Travis Gettys

Police posed as underage teens online to lure men into breaking the law as part of an apparent revenue scheme by Florida law enforcement agencies, according to an investigation of newly released public records.

Emails and other online communications analyzed by WTSP-TV revealed that many of the men who were eventually arrested were not interested in meeting children but were instead seeking adult sex partners – until they encountered undercover officers.

Law enforcement agencies fought open-records requests by the TV station, which eventually gained access to investigation reports from cases that resulted in arrest – but not from those that did not.

Police fought the requests by claiming the investigations remained open, but one agency claimed it had already destroyed records from one sting just one month after it was conducted.

Clearwater police seized 19 cars in January 2014, the station reported, when a joint sting with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrested 35 men in one weekend.

The two departments arrested at least 20 other men three months later and 11 more in September in similar stings that netted 12 more seized vehicles, the station reported.

One of the men arrested in the first sting paid $10,000 to get his 2014 Lexus returned, and the 24-year-old won’t get any of that money back even though all felony charges were eventually dropped in his case.

The station found that many of the men arrested in the stings had posted or responded to personal ads seeking adults, but police often steered the conversation to underage children or posed as adults with younger siblings who were interested in meeting.


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NE - Obama cybersecurity chief (Timothy DeFoggi) gets serious prison time for child porn

Timothy DeFoggi
Timothy DeFoggi
Original Article

01/05/2015

By Jim Kouri

One of the key players in the creation and implementation of cybersecurity protocols for President Barack Obama's "signature legislation," the Affordable Care Act of 2010, will be spending the next two-and-a-half decades in a federal prison cell after a conviction for trafficking in Internet child pornography. Timothy DeFoggi, who served as the acting director of cybersecurity at Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the disgraced Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, was told by a judge on Monday that he'll serve the next 25 years in federal prison for kiddie pornography dissemination. DeFoggi was convicted by a federal jury on Aug. 26, 2014, after only a four-day trial in Omaha, Nebraska.

According to Justice Department officials, the 56-year-old computer security expert communicated online with other offenders in an underground Internet forum. At trial, it was shown that he articulated his strong desire to rape and murder children. Being a cyberscience expert, DeFoggi knew how to use the Tor browser, an online service that is capable of eluding law enforcement from tracking his Internet activities while he worked at HHS as its head of cybersecurity in 2013. What surprise many was the fact, he remained listed on the HHS staff roster with top security clearance even after he was arrested.

DeFoggi exchanged graphic sexual images of children on the website, which was impervious to traditional search engines or Web browsers, according to the Department of Justice. The FBI special agents assigned to the case subsequently were successful in closing down the kiddie porn site in December 2012.

Using the same technological expertise he employed as Acting Director of Cyber Security at HHS, DeFoggi attempted to sexually exploit children and traffic in child pornography through an anonymous computer network of child predators,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell. “But dangerous criminals cannot be allowed to operate online with impunity. Today’s sentence shows that the Department of Justice will bring criminals and child predators to justice, even when they employ anonymous networks like Tor.”


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