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Campus Rape Claims Prove False

I've tried many rape cases on both sides of the aisle.  In my most recent, a college-aged female prospective juror indicated that she would automatically believe the alleged victim because "women don't lie about rape."  (The actual jury thought otherwise and fully exonerated my client.)

I'm amazed at the difference in perception and reality when it comes to charges of rape. False rape claims are horrible, but not rare:

"A student at Millersville University in Pennsylvania reported late Saturday night that two college-aged men on campus had raped her.

The woman made the report to campus police and was then taken to a hospital for treatment and testing. Campus police called in extra officers to assist in the hunt for the suspects and sent a text alert to the entire campus warning them of the incident and requesting they use a buddy system.

On Sunday, the police held a press conference about the incident and offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of the suspects.

But when investigators spoke to the woman again on Sunday, “she indicated that the assault didn’t happen,” according to the Harrisburg, Pa., ABC affiliate."

Read the whole thing.

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Sex Offender Registers His Registerers

A convicted sex offender forced to join a sex offender registry is fighting back by creating his own registry, reports the Washington Post:

If nothing else, Dennis Sobin is not your typical ex-con.

At first glance, he looks like the model returning citizen: After serving more than a decade in prison, Sobin, 70, returned to the District, started a gallery for prison art and ran for mayor. 

His nonprofit organizations have received grants from George Soros’s Open Society Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts and, in 2010, he appeared on the cover of the Washington City Paper .

But Sobin is also sex offender. A former pornographer who’s appeared on “The Sally Jesse Raphael Show” and “Geraldo,” Sobin was convicted of sexual performance using a minor in 1992 in Florida.

So, every 90 days, Sobin must report to D.C.’s Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), and his photo appears on D.C.’s public registry.

Sobin thinks it’s unfair. So, for his latest act, Sobin has decided to protest his treatment by creating his own online data base and registering the people who monitor him at the sex offender registry.

Now, in an unusual case that will be heard on Tuesday, a D.C. Superior Court judge will decide whether a court employee can file a civil protection order to prevent Sobin from posting her photo on his anti-registry registry, www.idiotsregistry.info , and distributing her photograph on fliers.

“Here at www.IdiotsRegistry.info you will find the names of politicians and public figures who have encouraged the creation of, or have refused to denounce, government registration websites that target citizens for harassment,” Sobin’s site reads. “In the tradition of Nazi registration of Jews and Gypsies and the Salem lists of alleged witches, modern government registries are unfair and un-American.”

So basically Sobin is calling out the government employees and naming names.  Bad names. 

“Face of Evil: ‘Registry Specialist’ Stephanie Gray shoots icy stare,” Sobin posted under a photo of Gray. “Gray requested and received a transfer due to the guilt she felt in her loathsome job.”

Gray sued. 

“He writes derogatory information about me,” Gray wrote in her request for a protection order. “I have been move[d] from the Sex Offender Registry and he continues to trash the bldg. where I am with pictures he has taken of me without me knowing.”

I fail to see the problem.  As far back as the founding of this country, the Founding Fathers disparaged the hell out of each other.  A quick internet search will reveal the legendary back-and-forth between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.  ("A mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father," the Adams campaign wrote of Jefferson.)

I'm sure Ms. Gray loves her cushy government job, but as a public servant in the public eye, her activities are more open to public scrutiny than a person in non-government employment.  If we can't use the First Amendment to call out public employees, what good is it?

Related: 

 F*ck The Police, She Said

The Bird is Free Speech

 

 

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Can Pregnant Georgia Teens Marry Without Parental Consent?

Can Pregnant Georgia Teens Marry Without Parental Consent?

At least once per month I have to explain to someone that pregnant teens in Georgia can NOT get married without parental consent.  They seem shocked.  They cite all the other people who have told them otherwise.  Maybe they have a friend whose parents did or maybe an aunt or uncle who did.  So why can't they?

The answer is Lisa Lynette Clark, pictured above.  In 2005, Ms. Clark became pregnant at 37 by her 15-year-old boyfriend.  After becoming pregnant, she and the father of her child got married using the "pregnancy exception" in Georgia law which allowed pregnant teens (or teen parents) to get married without parental consent.  The mother of the 15-year-old was livid.  It made national news

It also got the attention of Georgia lawmakers.  House Bill 847 from 2006 removed the "pregnancy exception" from Georgia law that had allowed Clark and her teen lover to marry.  In other words, being pregnant or having a child no longer allows teens to marry without parental consent as it once did.

So, Georgia teens, maybe Mom & Dad got married this way, maybe your aunt and uncle did, maybe your older sibling or cousin got married this way before 2006.  But it can't be done now.  Parental consent is still required for a minor to marry, pregnant or not. 

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Your Teen is Probably a Child Pornographer, Too

Your Teen is Probably a Child Pornographer, Too

Two teens were arrested in a Florida high school after one of them filmed the other having sex with another student:

Deputies say a 17-year-old boy had sex with a 15-year-old girl, reportedly on tables behind some book shelves.  They say the act was videotaped by a 15-year-old boy and shared via Bluetooth transmission with a female student.
 
The 17-year-old boy is now charged with lewd or lascivious battery. The student who videotaped the act is charged with transmission of pornography by electronic device.

The article doesn't say why the teen male was arrested but not the teen female.  It sounds like a consensual act, not battery.  Florida's age of consent for sex is 18, so both teens were below the age.

But what about the 15-year-old who recorded the act with his cell phone?  He recorded two people his own age (or older) having consensual intercourse, probably not realizing that he was producing "child pornography" because he doesn't consider them "children."  Then he transmitted it to another person which is an additional crime.  And the student that received it was then in possession of child pornography and may have shown the child pornography to others.

The crimes just keep adding up.  Do we really want to treat a teen recording other teens having consensual sex the same way we would treat a 60-year-old producing child porn in his basement?  Do we want to label these kids as "sex offenders" and put them on the Sex Offender Registry before they are even out of high school?

Georgia's House Bill 156 was signed in March and looks on its way to the Governor for signature into law.  Basically, it creates misdemeanor exceptions for teen "sexting" under certain circumstances.  This adds a little more common sense to the current Georgia law.   Note that it does NOT change federal law and does NOT apply to people 18 and above.  So while it is a welcome exception, it is still a narrow one. 

UPDATE:  http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/01/teens-charged-for-sex-tape-in-chicago

 

 

More:

Man Sentenced to 1,000 Years

You Are Probably A Child Pornographer

On Second Thought . . .

FBI Applicant Admits to Child Porn

Congress Enhances Child Pornography Sentences

 

Don't miss a single post! To be alerted when a new blog post appears (about every other day or so), click on "Subscribe to Blog" near the top of this page.

 

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You Are Probably A Child Pornographer, Part II

You Are Probably A Child Pornographer, Part II

To follow up my previous post "You Are Probably A Child Pornographer", we have a young Arizona couple who made the increasingly-unwise mistake of taking their family photos to a Wal-Mart: 

In 2008, Lisa and Anthony "A.J." Demaree took their three young daughters on a trip to San Diego. They returned home to Arizona and brought photos of their then 5, 4 and 1 1/2 year old daughters to a local Walmart in Peoria to be developed.
 
. . . Walmart employees reported the Demarees to the Peoria Police Department on the suspicion that they had taken pornographic images of their children. The police, in turn, called in the Arizona Child Protective Services Agency, and the couple lost custody of their daughters for over a month.

Apparently the Demaree's had photographed their children during and immediately after their baths because they thought their children were being cute.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that the photographs were not, in fact, pornographic, and a medical exam revealed no signs of sexual abuse. The girls were returned to their parents.

Good for you, Judge.  But was it really necessary for a medical exam to probe these little girls' nether regions? 

The couple's named went on a central registry of sex offenders, and "We've missed a year of our children's lives as far as memories go," Demaree told ABC News.

So, having done nothing wrong; having been convicted of no crime; these parents were nevertheless branded as "sex offenders" and separated from their children while strangers probed their daughters' vaginas.

In 2009, the couple sued the city of Peoria and the State Attorney General's office for defamation. They also sued Walmart for failing to tell them that they had an "unsuitable print policy" and could turn over photos to law enforcement without the customer's knowledge.
 
A federal judge in Phoenix sided with Walmart, ruling that employees in Arizona cannot be held liable for reporting suspected child pornography. The Demarees appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and on March 6 the court held a hearing before three judges. It's unknown when the appeals court will rule on the case against the city and Walmart.

So expect Wal-Mart to look at your family photos. 

Walmart did not respond to an interview request from ABC News. But, according to Courthouse News the company's lawyer, Lawrence Kasten, argued that under Arizona statute employees who report child abuse without malice are immune from prosecution. He added that there was no indication of malice in this case.

The problem isn't Wal-Mart. They are in a no-win situation because of "mandatory reporting" laws.  Most states have laws that not only encourage the reporting of suspicions of crimes against children but punish the failure to report it.  (Apparently, our governments do not believe that we citizens are moral enough to report such things voluntarily and thus must be threatened with punishment for failing to do so.)  Wal-Mart is trying to error on the side of caution by reporting anything that might remotely be criminal, lest their employees face criminal charges for not reporting it. In other words, the law has left no room for common sense.

The story is here.

So if you are a parent of anyone under 18, remember that Big Brother is watching.  Big Brother has also conscripted Wal-Mart, teachers, doctors, and anyone else they can to help keep an eye on you through "mandatory reporting" laws.  Do not photograph or video your children doing anything without appropriate clothing.  If you do have such videos or photographs, do not email or text them, or post them on the internet.  Keep them on an encrypted hard drive with a strong key.  And if anyone from the government asks for permission to search, the correct answer is "no." 

Protecting yourself from government stupidity begins with protecting yourself from the government.

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ELEVEN False Rape Claims

A woman in England has been arrested for making false rape allegations for the eleventh time:

Elizabeth Jones, 22, was exposed when CCTV footage disproved her allegation against a man she ‘did not like any more’.  She had made her first false rape claim in 2004 when she was just 13. . . . Between 2005 and 2007 she made another eight allegations which police investigated and dismissed. . . .   In 2009 she was sentenced to a ten-month detention and training order for a similar offense. 

Jones’s latest victim was a boyfriend against whom she made the allegation after the pair had an argument.  Police began an investigation after Jones . . . persuaded a friend to report she had been assaulted.

So not only does she fool the cops, she fools her friends.

She later went to the police station for a medical examination and repeated her allegation. The man was arrested and questioned for nine hours before being released without charge.  Prosecutor Jennie Rickman said he denied rape and detectives later viewed CCTV covering part of the house in which Jones claimed to have been attacked.  The video did not support her story that the man forced himself on her.

So because she screams rape and puts on a show, some poor guy gets arrested, booked, photographed, fingerprinted, and interrogated for nine straight hours.   That's the sort of thing that leads to innocent peple making  false confessions just to get the cops off their back.

What if the CCTV footage hadn't existed?  It wouldn't just be her word against his, because these medical examinations almost always find a way to support the accuser.  It's usually some weasel words like "the medical findings are consistent with the patient's accusations" or are "not inconsistent with sexual assault."  Jurors latch on to that as proof of rape, even when the medical evidence is just as consistent with consensual sex.

I feel sorry for any man accused of rape, because they don't get fair trials. I've tried several rape cases in my career, and I'm always amazed at how closed-minded some potential jurors are. I've had potential jurors say, "A woman would never lie about being raped" and they mean it.  I guess these people have never heard of the Runaway Bride

It's tough for a man accused of rape to get a fair trial.  Men accused of rape or any other sexual offense need to make sure they have an experienced attorney on their side before walking into the courtrom.  

-John

UPDATE:  Here's another example of an innocent man accused of rape because the "victim" didn't want to confess to consensual sex with her friend's boyfriend.

Ashleigh Loder, 25, wasted at least 100 hours of police time by inventing the assaults.  She first told officers she had been attacked by two strangers in an alley before changing her story to say a man she knew had forced her to have sex in her home.

In the UK, there's more aggressive prosecution of false claims than in the US.  Note, though, that this article is written to complain about the prosecution of false claims, not applaud it.


UPDATE II:  To make the double standard worse, we have people like Zerlina Maxwell arguing that any woman claiming rape should be automatically believed.  That's the attitude men are up against in court.

 

Famous False Confession Cases

 

Woman Cries Rape Because She Didn't Enjoy It

 

False Confessions Plague Criminal Justice System With Wrongful Convictions and Wrongful "Guilty" Pleas

 

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Woman Cries Rape Because She Didn't Enjoy It

A Tennessee woman falsely accused a man of one of the most serious crimes on the books because, well, because she just didn't enjoy the sex:

Police said Lynette Lee admitted to a Clarksville detective last week the rape claim she had made earlier in the month was false. She said she had only made the claim because she did not enjoy the date.

On November 23, Lee had told police that after meeting up with a man she met online at Meetme.com, she and the man had gone back to a hotel together. According to a report, Lee said once at the hotel the man removed her clothes and, despite her protests, had sex with her.

The suspect in the case was called in by Clarksville police and told officers he and Lee had been out on a date and engaged in consensual sex.

During a second interview with police on November 27, Lee told the detective she wanted to drop the entire case because it was a lie. Police said Lee told them she had lied about the incident "because she did not enjoy it and it was bad."

Police charged her with filing a false report.


It's always wrong to falsely accuse anyone of a crime, but something like rape is especially horrible. At least they were kind enough not to put this guy's name on the internet. Long before she confessed, though, she probably enjoyed lots of attention and special treatment as a "victim" of crime that never happened. 

I feel sorry for any man accused of rape. I've tried several rape cases in my career by as a prosecutor and defense attorney. I'm always amazed at how closed-minded some potential jurors are. I've had potential jurors say, "A woman would never lie about being raped" and they mean it. I don't think they are just trying to get out of jury service. I sincerely think that they are clinging to this centuries-old idea that a woman who "admits" a rape is somehow lowering her own reputation in the community, so a woman would never devalue herself like that by falsely claiming rape.

That's just not the case anymore. Society accepts premarital sex as normal. A virgin bride over 18 isn't expected anymore. Therefore, women are now "free" to falsely accuse men they don't like of rape without lowering their own standing in the community. Unfortunately, the older idea that a woman would never do that persists in the minds of many potential jurors. Because of that, men don't get trials that are as fair and balanced as they should be.

UPDATE:  Here's another example of an innocent man accused of rape because the "victim" didn't want to confess to consensual sex with her friend's boyfriend.

Ashleigh Loder, 25, wasted at least 100 hours of police time by inventing the assaults.  She first told officers she had been attacked by two strangers in an alley before changing her story to say a man she knew had forced her to have sex in her home. 

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Supreme Court Skeptical About DNA Collection

Supreme Court Skeptical About DNA Collection

There is no big DNA database containing the DNA sequence of every American.  What little DNA database their is was mostly collected from convicts and parolees.  So while police may collect an unknown DNA sample from a crime scene, they often can't link it to any specific person, unless that specific person has already committed a crime and is already in the database. 

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You Are Probably A Child Pornographer

Much like the Jeff Foxworthy "You Might Be A Redneck If . . ." series, I wish someone would start a "You Might Be A Child Pornographer" series to demonstrate just how far and wide government powers go, to the point that it's difficult to avoid stepping over the line.

Do you have children? When they were young did they ever run around the house naked? Did you ever take a picture or video of it to show your spouse? If so, then you might be a child pornographer.

Judge Throws Out Case Against "Child Pornographer"

A judge sided with Todd Hoffner, head coach at Minnesota State-Mankato, by throwing out the child porn charges against him last Friday.

The judge said the cellphone video was nothing more than children playfully dancing naked after a bath.

"I'm just so thankful to be waking up from this nightmare," Hoffner said after the ruling, which came more than three months after the coach was escorted off a practice field and later arrested.

Now, Hoffner said, he wants to get back on the sideline. But it's unclear when that may happen.

The university said he would remain on leave until its own investigation was complete, and school spokesman Don Benson said he had no timetable as to when that might happen.

Hoffner was charged after a school employee found the video on his university-issued cellphone and notified authorities. Hoffner had taken his problematic phone to work to be checked out.

Hoffner testified earlier that his three young children asked him to videotape a skit they had concocted after taking a bubble bath.

A search of his home computer found no evidence of child porn, and social workers found no evidence that the couple's children had been abused.


Good job, judge. Now the citizens of that town need to make sure their DA doesn't get re-elected.
 
While this sounds like a happy ending, read between the lines.  This guy:
  1. was arrested
  2. was booked into jail for child pornography
  3. had his home searched
  4. had his computer searched
  5. had his friends interviewed
  6. was put on leave from his job
  7. had his children interviewed by social workers
  8. had to post bail
  9. probably couldn't be alone with his kids
  10. had to hire a lawyer

    Sounds like a "nightmare" indeed.

In Georgia, pretty much ANY picture of ANY naked child for ANY reason (other than medical) counts as child porn, and it does not matter that the person in the picture is the one doing the sending.  A teen who sends a single topless picture of herself to a boyfriend via internet or cell phone is committing a felony and can go to prison. People caught up in cases like this get branded "child pornographer" for life even if the charges are dismissed. Georgia's new "Restriction of Records" law (2013) may not help.

If you get caught up in a nightmare like this guy, call us. We can help.

- John

UPDATE:

For an excellent and quick read about the overcriminalization of, well, just about everything, check out Professor Glenn Reynold's "Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything Is A Crime."

UPDATE AGAIN:  Welcome Instapundit readers!  Grab some coffee and stay a while...

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Man Sentenced to 1,000 Years

Man Sentenced to 1,000 Years

A Troup County judge has sentenced Peter Mallory to serve 1,000 years in the Georgia Department of Corrections for having a bunch of dirty pictures on his work computer. 

Mallory was charged with 60 counts of sexual exploitation of children, invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence. Troup County Superior Court Judge Dennis Blackmon sentenced Mallory to 20 years on 50 of the counts and ordered him to serve a concurrent sentence of five years for each of the remaining 10 counts.

He is eligible for parole in . . . seven years.

O.C.G.A. § 42-9-45(b)

An . . .  inmate serving a felony sentence or felony sentences shall only be eligible for consideration for parole after the expiration of nine months of his or her sentence or one-third of the time of the sentences, whichever is greater. . .  inmates serving sentences aggregating 21 years or more shall become eligible for consideration for parole upon completion of the service of seven years.

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FBI Applicant Admits to Child Porn

Apparently, some people don't understand the "Investigation" part of "Federal Bureau of INVESTIGATION." 

Meet Dominick Pelletier.  While being interviewed for a job with the FBI, he admitted that he had child pornography on his home computer.  Not only did he not get hired, he would up with 80 months to serve in a federal prison without parole.  The dry opening of the Court of Appeals opinion is priceless: 

Federal investigative agents will tell you that some cases are hard to solve. Some cases require years of effort—chasing down false leads and reigning in flighty witnesses. Others require painstaking scientific analysis, or weeks of poring over financial records for a hidden clue. And some cases are never solved at all—the right witness never comes forward, the right lead never pans out, or the right clue never turns up.

This is not one of those cases. The defendant, Dominick Pelletier, admitted during a job interview with the FBI that he had pornographic pictures of children on his home computer. Instead of joining the FBI’s vaunted ranks, Pelletier was indicted for one count of possession of child pornography. After the district court denied two of his motions to suppress, Pelletier entered a conditional guilty plea and reserved the right to appeal the denial of the suppression motions. Finding no error, we affirm.

The lesson here is:  if you have child porn on your computer, don't tell anyone.  And especially don't tell the FBI.

-John

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