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February 1, 2015

A rapist aged FOUR is among almost 800 children investigated for sex crimes

2-1-2015 United Kingdom:

Growing numbers of children, some barely out of nursery, are being quizzed by police over sex attacks on other youngsters.

Shock official figures obtained by the Sunday Mirror show nearly 800 under 10s have carried out sex crimes against other children since 2009.

One aged just four was investigated by police last year for rape.

The chilling statistics give a terrifying insight into the child abuse crisis facing Britain today – and the growing menace of online porn. Our findings also show that the annual toll of mini sex offenders has DOUBLED in the last three years.

The sickening cases include:

  • A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy who sexually assaulted another youngster in Lancashire.
  • A FIVE-YEAR-OLD lad found to have raped a boy in Lincolnshire.
  • A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl from Manchester who took indecent ­photographs of other children.
None of the children responsible for the acts could be prosecuted because they were under the age of 10 – the age of criminal responsibility.

Rape by children at such a young age constitutes penetration of their victim other than sexual intercourse.

Child protection experts said many of the young perpetrators will have been abuse victims themselves – but that growing easy access to online pornography is also to blame.

The figures make a mockery of David Cameron’s vow two years ago to ensure pornography is blocked by internet providers on demand from the householder. ..Continued.. by Nicola Fitfield

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Sex assault statistics tell varying stories

2-11-2015 National:

Experts say data can be misread, create confusion

The stunning account in December in Rolling Stone magazine of a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia capped a year in which sexual assault on campus gained real traction as a national issue.

There were high-profile allegations of assault at Columbia University and Florida State University that sparked nationwide protests. The White House published a list of institutions under federal investigation for mishandling sexual violence, released new recommendations for colleges and resources for students and launched a public awareness campaign, “It’s On Us,” intended to stem assault.

And then the Rolling Stone story collapsed. Key details in the account of Jackie, the alleged victim at UVA, didn’t hold up to scrutiny by reporters from The Washington Post and other news outlets. Rolling Stone released a statement saying its trust in Jackie was “misplaced,” then backpedaled to say that the mistakes were on the magazine, not the source.

The disintegration of the dramatic UVA story fueled a backlash against the anti-rape movement. Conservative media critics began questioning the prevalence of sexual assault on campus, calling into question especially the statistic that one in five college women sexually are assaulted and suggesting that false reporting may be much more common than advocates contend.

So what’s the truth? In the interest of fact-checking the political debate, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News analyzed current research on sexual assault among college students – its prevalence, false reporting rates and the state of campus and criminal justice for the offense.

Parsing the statistics

First, the consensus: Researchers agree that rape and sexual assault most often are committed by a person who is known to the victim, that most of these crimes happen without the use of a weapon and that the majority of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to police.

“The notion of the stranger in the bushes with the knife, while it happens, is not the norm,” said Callie Rennison, a criminologist at the University of Colorado-Denver.

Are one in five college women sexually assaulted? That number, cited by the White House and others, is based on a 2007 Campus Sexual Assault study conducted by nonprofit research organization RTI International and funded by the Institute of Justice. An online survey from 6,800 students at two large public institutions found that roughly one in five senior women had experienced a completed sexual assault since starting college.

Controversy about the study has focused on its relatively small scope; it is not nationally representative, by definition. Christopher Krebs, the lead author of the study, said it never was meant to be.

“When you want to create a national estimate, which was never our goal, you take a much larger sample (of schools), and you would actually have to survey many fewer people at that school,” Krebs said.

Rich Lowry, of the conservative National Review, called the number “bogus” because it includes things such as attempted forced kissing.

That’s not true, Krebs said, and reflects a common misreading of the data. The one-in-five number includes only completed sexual assaults, not attempted sexual assault.

If you look at only completed rapes, Krebs said, the headline from the CSA study is that one in seven of the college seniors in the study was raped, still a stunning figure.

Studies with substantially different methods and scopes have come up with substantially different results. Most recently, a December 2014 analysis of the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated the rate of rape and sexual assault among college women (from 1995 to 2013) at around 6.1 per 1,000 in the previous 12 months.

So why the big discrepancy? There are some glaring methodological differences between these two studies.

The first obvious one is the time span. The NCVS study measures victimization rate per 12 months, versus the entire four- or five-year span of college assessed in the CSA study.

Second, the NCVS is focused on assessing rates of crime. Rennison, a former staff member with the Bureau of Justice Statistics who has worked extensively with the NCVS data, said that means the survey probably misses some rapes and sexual assaults.

“The fact that it’s a crime survey means that if you don’t think what happened to you is a crime, you may not be willing to tell me about it,” Rennison said.

If a victim doesn’t think it’s a crime, why is it worth measuring? Why not only measure acts that the victim finds troubling enough to categorize as a crime?

The problem, Rennison said, is that misperceptions about rape – that it’s an act committed by a stranger with a weapon, for example – are common even among its victims.

“Say you’re on a date, and the individual you’re on a date with assaults you,” Rennison said. “A lot of people think, ‘That’s not really a sexual assault because I knew that person.’”

The NCVS study also asked respondents directly whether they had been raped or experienced unwanted sexual contact, while the CSA study went into graphic detail about particular acts. The CSA method was intended to cue people who might not recognize what happened to them as rape or sexual assault.

So what’s the true prevalence of sexual assault among college students? It may be lower than one in five college women, but it also is likely to be higher than what’s captured in the NCVS.

Follow-up studies are intended to address some of the critiques of previous large-scale studies and to get closer to the true rate of sexual assault among college students. Krebs at RTI is working with the Bureau of Justice Statistics to launch a survey at 10 to 15 universities this spring, with the idea of testing a method that could be replicated at any college or university.

And the Bureau of Justice Statistics is considering including more behavioral cues, especially for rape and sexual assault, in a redesigned version of the NCVS, said Michael Planty, who heads the victimization statistics unit.

How frequent is false reporting?

Sexual assault, and especially rape, frequently is committed behind closed doors and with no other witnesses apart from the accused and the accuser. A case’s credibility often rests on whether the accuser is believed.

False reporting does happen. But how often? You can find estimates varying widely from less than 1 percent to 40 percent and higher. But some of the research showing high rates of false reporting crumbles under close scrutiny.

Men’s-rights groups frequently cite a 1994 study conducted by now-retired Purdue University sociologist Eugene Kanin, using 109 rape allegations made to the police department of a small Midwestern city from 1978 to 1987. Kanin found that 41 percent of the cases were false, based on the determinations of police officials. In all those cases, he said, the accusers recanted their allegations.

Kanin’s study also has been blasted by other researchers in the field for its methodology. David Lisak, a former psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, has written that the study “violates a cardinal rule of science” by failing to describe Kanin’s efforts to evaluate the criteria of the police department.

He also questions the police department’s practice of routinely asking accusers to undergo a polygraph – a practice that has been outlawed in many states because of its potential for intimidating victims into recanting their allegations.

Other studies have based their conclusions on police departments’ determinations that rape cases are “unfounded.” But “unfounded” isn’t the same as a deliberately false rape report and can include cases, Lisak said, in which a person truthfully recounts an incident that nonetheless may not fit the legal definition of rape.

To further confuse matters, police officers in some jurisdictions have been knocked for inappropriately deeming cases “unfounded” – without an investigation – because an accuser engaged in risky behavior, delayed reporting or had inconsistencies in her account.

One of the most recent and transparent studies on false reporting was published in 2014 by Arizona State University criminologist Cassia Spohn and two co-authors. They analyzed 81 unfounded rape cases from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2008 and estimated that about 4.5 percent of the reports were false.

That’s consistent with a 2010 review of international literature by Lisak and two researchers from End Violence Against Women International, Joanne Archambault and Kimberly Lonsway, concluding that methodologically rigorous research converges at a false reporting rate of about 2 percent to 8 percent.

Despite the low rate of false reporting, few sexual assaults involving college students – or anybody else – result in a criminal conviction.

It’s hard to say how many. The best estimates are based on incomplete crime statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and social science research. An analysis by Archambault and Lonsway estimated that 5 percent to 20 percent are reported, 0.4 percent to 5.4 percent are prosecuted and just 0.2 percent to 2.8 percent result in incarceration.

But there is no national database that tracks rape reports to their final outcomes.

“This is a major problem with our criminal justice statistics,” said Spohn, the Arizona State University criminologist. ..Source.. by The Durango Herald brings you this report in partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS I-News. Learn more at rmpbs.org/news. Email Kristin Jones at kristinjones@rmpbs.org.

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January 31, 2015

ALERT: Bill in US Congress affecting CERTAIN registered sex offenders

1-31-2015 Washington DC:

H.R.52 - Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2015 has been introduced by Rep Jackson-Lee of TX.

There is no doubt this bill is complicated, as are the circumstances of any RSO who would be petitioning to bring his/her family to the U.S., but it appears this bill adds unnecessary roadblocks to hamper the petitioning process. The roadblocks are seen here. From the bill:
Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary in the rest of this bill) to deny a family-based immigration petition by a U.S. petitioner for an alien spouse or child if:
  • (1) the petitioner is on the national sex offender registry for a conviction that resulted in more than one year's imprisonment,
  • (2) the petitioner has failed to rebut such information within 90 days, and
  • (3) granting the petition would put a spouse or child beneficiary in danger of sexual abuse.
One of the purposes of this bill is to prevent a RSO from petitioning to bring a child or a woman with a child, for the wrong purposes; that is understandable. So to say the bill is BAD would be a mistake, it seems the timelines are unreasonable given U.S. RSOs are very likely strapped for money to hire lawyers.

Personally a recommendation for appointment of counsel provision seems appropriate, but is missing from the bill. And more importantly to apply all such restrictions to anyone with other crime types. Human trafficking crimes are committed by all types of folks and felons.

So its time to review the bill and see if you find other problems, then voice them to your representatives in Washington DC. Hopefully, with counsel, a RSO's family can be brought to the U.S. and enjoy life here....

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High court upholds dismissal of lawsuit over email calling home inspector 'total idiot'

1-31-2015 Nebraska:

The Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a libel lawsuit filed over an email that referred to a Seward home inspector as a "total idiot."

Friday's decision stems from a 2012 lawsuit in which Matthew Steinhausen said he was anonymously forwarded an email written by real estate agent Shelly Nitz. In the email, Nitz provided feedback on Steinhausen's performance to two real estate companies, Woods Brothers Realty and HomeServices of Nebraska, saying, "He did an inspection in Seward for the agent that sold one of my listings. I will never let him near one of my listings ever again. Total idiot."

Steinhausen's lawsuit said the email, sent to about 600 people, was libelous and hurt his business with those two major real estate companies in the Lincoln area.

Attorneys for Nitz and the real estate businesses said the email was opinion protected by the First Amendment, and a Lancaster County District judge agreed. Steinhausen, who represented himself in the lawsuit and had been an inspector for more than 10 years in 2012, appealed.

The state's high court upheld the dismissal as it pertained to Steinhausen but vacated a dismissal related to Steinhausen's business, Steinhausen Home Inspections.

The high court found that even though Steinhausen is the sole member of Steinhausen Home Inspections, he could not represent the business entity because he is not licensed to practice law. The reversal leaves open the question of whether Steinhausen's business can again sue over the email.

Attorneys for Nitz and the real estate companies did not immediately return phone messages Friday seeking comment.

Steinhausen said Friday that he is considering his options, including whether he can hire an attorney and refile a complaint on behalf of his business.

He said the email "definitely hurt my business, no question." The real estate companies he sued typically do about 6,000 real estate transactions a year, he said. After the email was sent, he said he was hired for a property inspection on only one of those transactions the following year. ..Source.. by Omaha.com

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January 30, 2015

Sex offender sues Deschutes County, OSP

1-30-2015 Oregon:

Terrebonne man alleges county did not adequately notify him of “predatory” status

A Terrebonne man registered as a predatory sex offender has filed suit against Oregon State Police and Deschutes County in federal court, alleging the predatory designation, of which he was unaware, caused irreparable damage.

The complaint, filed Jan. 21, alleges Dean Edward Olmstead, who was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse in 1992, was designated predatory without his knowledge while he was under the supervision of Deschutes County Adult Parole & Probation. His name, photograph and address were subsequently listed on the Oregon State Police website. As of Thursday afternoon, Olmstead’s profile was accessible by the public.

Although Olmstead , 47, received notice he must register as a sex offender for life when he was evaluated by a Deschutes County Parole & Probation officer in 1993, the notice “did not contain any language designating (him) as a predatory sex offender,” the complaint alleges.

Olmstead was placed on 60 months’ probation after serving a 30-day sentence on the sex abuse charges, according to the Oregon Judicial Information Network. Parole & Probation did not provide accommodations suited to Olmstead’s developmental disability during postrelease assessments, according to the complaint.

The complaint also alleges Olmstead’s probation officer, Becky Jackson, determined in 1993 Olmstead was a predatory sex offender after she conducted a “risk assessment,” a scored worksheet evaluating risk.

Under Oregon law, a predatory sex offender is a person convicted of one or more of a specific set of sex crimes, convicted of an attempt to commit one of those crimes or found guilty except for insanity for one of those crimes and exhibits characteristics revealing a tendency to victimize or injure others.

In 2005, according to the complaint, a Deschutes County employee reportedly indicated to the state police sex offender registration office that Olmstead was determined predatory by the parole board or while on supervision. However, a space on the form to indicate that Olmstead had been notified of this was left unmarked, according to the complaint.

Olmstead was not notified he was going to be designated as a predatory sex offender, was given no explanation as to why and was not given the opportunity to respond, according to the complaint, written by Olmstead’s attorney, Daemie Kim, who declined Tuesday to provide further information on the claims in the lawsuit.

“We’re confident that notification procedures were fully complied with, including to Mr. Olmstead,” Deschutes County Counsel Dave Doyle said Thursday. Oregon State Police did not return calls for comment.

Olmstead is demanding a jury trial and has sued for $100,000 plus attorney’s fees, according to the complaint.

Deschutes Circuit Judge Roger DeHoog dismissed a motion to set aside Olmstead’s predatory sex offender designation in 2013 due to lack of jurisdiction, according to the Oregon Judicial Information Network. ..Source.. by Claire Withycombe

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California Supreme Court sex-crime ruling criticized as unfair to gays

See also: State High Court Reverses Itself on Sex Offender Registration
1-30-2015 California:

The California Supreme Court decided Thursday that adults convicted of engaging in unforced oral sex with minors must register as sex offenders — while those guilty of sexual intercourse with minors may not have to.

In the 5-2 ruling, which overturned a 9-year-old precedent, the two dissenting justices said it would treat gays and lesbians more harshly than heterosexuals.

The court majority said the state was not discriminating by making sex offender registration mandatory for adults who have unforced oral sex with 16- and 17-year-olds but leaving it up to a judge for adults who have sexual intercourse with people the same age.

Sexual intercourse "is unique in its potential to result in pregnancy and parenthood," Justice Marvin R. Baxter wrote for the court. "The support of children conceived as a result of unlawful sexual intercourse provide more than just a plausible basis" for distinguishing the sex crimes.

The decision overturned the high court's 2006 precedent that found the distinction was discriminatory and a relic of a different era. Baxter said that ruling was wrong and the Legislature decades ago had a rational reason for distinguishing the sex acts.

Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, joined by Justice Goodwin Liu, said the distinction stemmed from a period of "irrational homophobia" and would continue to affect gay people in "a differentially harsh way."

Oral sex was historically considered more problematic under the law because "it was regarded as unnatural and perverted and was associated with homosexuals," she said.

Thursday's ruling reinstates "a scheme that had a disproportionately adverse effect on gay and lesbian youth and unnecessarily saddled nonpredatory offenders of either sexual orientation with the stigma and restricted liberties attendant on sex offender registration," Werdegar wrote.

She noted that California already leads in the nation in the number of registered sex offenders, who must abide rules that restrict where they can live.

Marilee Marshall, who represented the defendant in the case, said she would ask the court to reconsider now that two new justices appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown have joined the court. Baxter retired this month, and the fifth vote in Thursday's ruling came from a Court of Appeal justice who was filling a vacancy.

Rulings do not become final for 30 days, and a change in membership on the court can create a new majority.

Marshall predicted that many counties may enforce the ruling retroactively if it is not overturned.

"Suppose people have bought a house and now will be told they cannot live where they live," she said.

Her client, James Richard Johnson, a heterosexual, challenged the distinction after being required to register as a sex offender for having oral sex with a minor.

Marshall said Johnson would not be directly affected because he probably would have been required to register even if the decision had been left up to the trial judge.

San Bernardino County Deputy Dist. Atty. Brent J. Schultze, who represented the prosecution in the case, could not be reached for comment. A spokesman said the office believes the decision will be retroactive. ..Source.. by Maura Dolan

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January 29, 2015

Researcher shows no direct link between Super Bowl and sex traficking, sex slavery still a problem

Now lets see, if someone wants a prostitute they check the local want ads, right? Its naive to think this type of research is logical to find criminal enterprises such as prostitution. I'd bet if one spoke to the local police during these events they could tell you how many folks were arrested during these events in the local areas where they occur.. Simply said, the local classified is not where you find criminals advertising their criminal acts.!
1-29-2015 National:

With Super Bowl XLIX coming up this Sunday, students, residents and faculty in Bowling Green and across the U.S are gearing up by placing bets on teams, throwing parties and making Super Bowl foods. The game will be hosted in Arizona this year, and with millions of people floating around, something dangerous is occurring in hidden sight: sex trafficking.

The Women’s Center held its weekly discussion series Wednesday in Hanna Hall. The discussion featured Jesse Bach, founder and executive director of the Imagine Center, a non-profit in Cleveland dedicated to spreading awareness and solutions to end child sex slavery worldwide.

The discussion was focused on a claim that in 2011 the Super Bowl was the single largest human trafficking incident and that 100,000 children may be trafficked into or around the host area. Using qualitative and investigative data, Bach and his group of researchers set out to investigate the claim.

“The crux of the presentation is to not link sex trafficking to events but realize that it goes on everywhere, 24/7,” Bach said.

In the presentation, Bach explained that he and his group of researchers didn’t find a direct linkage between sex trafficking and the Super Bowl, and 100,000 children were not trafficked into the city during the 2011 Super Bowl.

“We did discover through qualitative data that there was an increase in commercials that featured sexual oppression to sell Super Bowl products and beer, but the most important was that 16 juveniles were recovered in a Super Bowl prostitution bust with 45 arrested last year in the SB host city of New Jersey,” said Bach.

Using qualitative data, Bach broke down the numbers of commercial sex workers in cities across the U.S, with a particular focus on Manhattan and New Jersey. Attendees viewed the increase of the price of commercial sex to reflect the rise of costs in the city. Bach also discussed the number of advertisements during the Super Bowl being 35,199, which dispels the myth of 100,000 children being enslaved.

“If 100,000 children were enslaved, there would be 100,000 ads,” Bach said.

Other numerical breakdowns included the price of sex being determined by race, types of ads ran, area code breakdowns and the dark internet.

“The commercial sex industry is all about supply and demand,” said Bach. “It’s basic economics. The Pacific Islander women and White women are in high demand so they cost more. It all depends on the city’s demographic. People like to think that sex trafficking occurs during a specific event or in certain places but in reality it occurs everywhere, 24/7.”

The Imagine Foundation looked at Super Bowl stats, sex trafficking sites and ads to complete this study in 48 hours.
Funding is almost non-existent and there are limitations when writing proposals to research sex trafficking and children.

“The DOJ is authorized to view child pornography for governmental and criminal reasons, but for researchers to write proposals to research child pornography and sexual victimization in depth, the IRB [institutional review board] shuts it down every time,” said Bach. “We have bake sales and complete grassroots funding to get us up and running.”

Junior Ashley Hillis attended the discussion and said ads played during the Super Bowl featuring women sexualizing everyday products is harmful.

“I look at Super Bowl ads in a completely different way now, as far as sex trafficking, sports and women being sexy to sell products,” Hillis said.

Bach said while there’s no direct link between the Super Bowl and sex trafficking, patterns are good to watch for and that college students, especially males, should think a little more carefully about sex slavery and what they view on TV.

“This year’s sex trafficking prediction for the Super Bowl might be different because Arizona is a different place,” said Bach. “There is serious controversy between the NFL Super Bowl and sex trafficking; do your research. As college students, you have a responsibility to be more vigilant and critically think about what you view and say not only in regards to the Super Bowl, but about strippers and rape and everything else. Educate each other.” ..Source.. by Natasha Ivery

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January 28, 2015

Courts: Sex offender didn't deserve to do time

1-28-2015 North Carolina:

Keith Antonio Barnett is a sex offender, but he didn’t deserve to go to prison for his last conviction, according to a recent decision by the N.C. Court of Appeals.

The 42-year-old Gastonia man appealed a decision that convicted him of failing to change his address on the sex offender registry.

That change of address occurred when Barnett left prison and returned home.

He’ll remain a registered sex offender, but he should be released from prison on the last conviction because a notification about his change of address was the responsibility of the prison system, according to a decision handed down by the N.C. Court of Appeals last week.

Issues with registry

Barnett was convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child and assault on a female in 1997.

Upon release from prison, he was directed to register as a sex offender.

Barnett failed to keep up with his requirements on the registry and was found guilty in 2010, 2011 and 2013 for failing to register or change his address.

His appeals on past convictions failed, but the most recent got backing from the appellate court.

Important notification

When a sex offender moves, he or she is required to notify the local sheriff’s office within three business days.

If offenders fail to do so in Gaston County, deputies will arrest them, said Sgt. M.S. Radford with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office.

The recent decision by the Court of Appeals says there’s a problem with that practice when sex offenders are leaving lockup to return home.

The panel of judges said prison personnel should interview the registered sex offender before they’re released then pass that information along to the appropriate sheriff’s office.

Radford said his office gets a notification when a sex offender is released from prison, but an address is not provided.

Pros and cons

Defense attorney Ed Bogle wasn’t involved in Barnett’s case, but he’s defended sex offenders through his practice and, as a guardian ad litem, he’s worked with victims of sexual assault.

Getting an offender’s address before he leaves prison might be best for everyone, Bogle said.

“It’s in all of our best interests to identify these individuals and find out where they’re going to stay,” he said. “I think that we would be doing everyone a favor to do that.”

Radford believes that his department should get to see each offender within three days of that person’s release from prison.

He said that establishing that face-to-face relationship can be helpful.

“We’re the ones going out there and checking addresses,” said Radford. ..Source.. by Diane Turbyfill

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Sexual assault series hopefully will 'open eyes'

See earlier article: Flaws surface in sexual assault justice system
1-28-2015 National:

It took six months, but every moment was worthwhile.

It started back in June, with a routine search of Wisconsin's court records to see when Ronald Kupsky's sentencing hearing would be.

I was surprised to find a new Door County case at the top of my search results. How odd, I thought. A new child sexual assault charge in the middle of an ongoing case? How could that happen?

As I began to investigate the "how," I became more interested in the "how often." So began a six-month investigation, culminating in a three-part series that ran this week.

PART I: Punishment lacking in child sex assault cases

PART II: Reduced charges common for child sex assault

PART III: Flaws surface in sexual assault justice system
During my research I still was reporting on other cases, including sentencing hearings for sexual assault cases. Readers' comments were consistently incredulous. "How could this offender get a plea bargain? Why was this sentence shorter than some drug convictions?"

I thought it was important to show readers that even the most controversial crimes aren't always what they seem, and the courtroom results are not what many of us expect.

On Monday, I got an email from a reader that made every moment of the past six months worthwhile. She said her son was the victim in a sexual assault case that eventually was dismissed.

"No one wants to hear about or process these things, much less talk about them or do something," she wrote. "So with tears in my eyes, I thank you again and pray that this article of yours will open eyes and minds and perhaps make those with power feel more accountable."

I couldn't have said it better myself. ..Source.. by Ariel Cheung

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