Reading from the Voice Media empire: A federal judge has ruled that one state’s sex-offender registry violates the due process rights of three plaintiffs, thereby amounting to cruel and unusual punishment. Attorney Alison Ruttenberg, who filed the case in 2013, sees the opinion as the potential death knell for a law enforcement tool that, in her view, perpetuates factually dubious notions that fall apart when examined in an evenhanded way. Westword has the story.
Browsing: Sex Crimes
Reading from the Voice Media empire: One small county has pulled its sex-offender registry offline following a recent court ruling in which U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch found that such registries constituted cruel and unusual punishment in the case of three plaintiffs. The ruling is specific to the complainants in question, rather than everyone on the roster, and the state’s attorney general has announced her intention to appeal. So why make the move now? According to a representative from the sheriff’s office, a fear of lawsuits. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: A teacher has slipped through the cracks of a school background check, raising concerns from former colleagues and alleged victims about “passing the trash” — letting suspected or convicted teachers go without notifying parents and leaving them free to teach around the country until allegations catch up with them. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: One year ago this month, we published a post about outrage over the light sentence given to convicted rapist Austin Wilkerson, a former college student. Turns out, though, that Wilkerson’s punishment was even more modest than originally advertised. He’s already a free man, after being released from a two-year work-release obligation twelve months early. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Rusty Barnhart has been convicted of second-degree kidnapping in a 1984 attack that had gone unsolved for decades. But neither Barnhart nor alleged co-conspirator Inocencio “Junior” Trevino, who’s currently awaiting trial, were charged with sexual assault in the case despite plentiful DNA evidence and Trevino’s alleged claim that the victim “wanted it.” Why not? Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: A major police department has launched a series of videos intended to reveal myths about sex offenders. Detective David Bourgeois, who stars in the clips, provided additional details about myths exposed in the first installment, on view here, and previews future episodes, revealing, for example, that not every registered sex offender can be found online/ “People think, ‘I did an Internet search, and there are no sex offenders living in my neighborhood,'” Bourgeois says. “But that might not be the case.” Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Sean Crumpler, who pleaded guilty in March to multiple sex-trafficking counts related to underage boys living at what’s been characterized as an orgy house, has now been sentenced to fifty years in prison. In asking for this lengthy punishment, prosecutors rejected any suggestion that Crumpler was taking part in an acceptable alternative lifestyle, and so did the judge in the case, who branded his actions “despicable.” Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Antron Fogler, 51, has a long, long, long criminal history filled with plenty of unpleasantness. And if the accusations pressed against him are accurate, he’s added a repulsive new act. He’s been arrested on allegations that he pawed at least two women, and masturbated in front of one, while posing as a door-to-door salesman. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Brock Franklin has been found guilty of 30 charges out of the 34 originally pressed against him in an indictment over a violent child sex ring. In addition, five of six alleged Franklin associates accused of taking part in the scheme, which involved physical abuse, a pistol-whipping, forced sex and the use of drugs to maintain loyalty, have received punishment of their own. Westword has the story.
On the night Jessica says she was raped by a prison guard at the Federal Detention Center in downtown Houston, she had only four days left of her sentence before she was released. (She requested that we not use her real name.)
It had been about six weeks since she cut off a consensual relationship with a prison guard named Samuel Hawkins and began resisting his advances, she said. But on the night of November 15, 2015, Hawkins came to her cell and told her to come with him to drop off a tissue box on the male floor, where she knew one of the inmates. Hawkins “paraded her around,” said Jessica’s attorney, Bill Underwood. And when he returned her to her own cell, seeming jealous of the attention from other men, Jessica says he told her, “We’re gonna have our first real fight tonight,” before raping her. Hawkins pled guilty to sexual abuse of a ward.