September 20, 2014

H.R. 4980: Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act

9-20-2014 Washington DC:

Last Action: Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent. Explanation: This bill was passed by Congress on September 18, 2014 and goes to the President next.

This is a very complex bill best explained by reading this:
- Title I: Protecting Children and Youth At Risk of Sex Trafficking - Subtitle A: Identifying and Protecting Children and Youth at Risk of Sex Trafficking - (Sec. 101) Amends part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) (TANF) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to require the state plan for foster care and adoption assistance to demonstrate that the state agency has developed policies and procedures for identifying, documenting in agency records, and determining appropriate services with respect to, any child or youth over whom the state agency has responsibility for placement, care, or supervision who the state has reasonable cause to believe is, or is at risk of being, a victim of sex trafficking or a severe form of trafficking in persons.

Authorizes a state, at its option, to identify and document any individual under age 26 without regard to whether the individual is or was in foster care under state responsibility.

(Sec. 102) Adds as a state plan requirement the reporting to law enforcement authorities of instances of sex trafficking.

(Sec. 103) Includes sex trafficking data in the adoption and foster care analysis and reporting system (AFCARS).

(Sec. 104) Adds also as a state plan requirement the locating of and responding to children who have run away from foster care.

Directs the state agency to report immediately information on missing or abducted children or youth to law enforcement authorities for entry into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

(Sec. 105) Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to report to Congress on information about: (1) children who run away from foster care and their risk of becoming sex trafficking victims, (2) state efforts to provide specialized services, foster family homes, child care institutions, or other forms of placement for children who are sex trafficking victims; and (3) state efforts to ensure children in foster care form and maintain long-lasting connections to caring adults, even when a child in foster care must move to another foster family home or when the child is placed under the supervision of a new caseworker.
Subtitle B: Improving Opportunities for Children in Foster Care and Supporting Permanency - (Sec. 111) Requires the designated state authority or authorities to: (1) develop a reasonable and prudent parent standard for the child's participation in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities; and (2) apply this standard to any foster family home or child care institution receiving funds under title IV part E.

Directs the Secretary to provide assistance to states on best practices for devising strategies to assist foster parents in applying a reasonable and prudent parent standard in a manner that protects child safety, while also allowing children to experience normal and beneficial activities.

Requires that standards for child care institutions require, as a condition of any contract between an institution and the state agency, the presence on-site of at least one official designated as caregiver for a particular child who is authorized and trained to apply the reasonable and prudent parent standard to decisions involving the child's participation in age- or developmentally-appropriate activities.

Requires that such standards also include policies related to the liability of foster parents and private entities under state contract involving application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard to a child's participation in these activities.

Makes it a purpose of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to ensure that children who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 have regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally-appropriate activities. Authorizes increased appropriations for the program beginning in FY2020.

(Sec. 112) Limits to children age 16 or older the option, in an initial permanency hearing, of being placed in a planned permanent living arrangement other than a return to home, referral for termination of parental rights, or placement for adoption, with a fit and willing relative (including an adult sibling), or with a legal guardian. Prescribes documentation and determination requirements for such an option.

Prescribes requirements for approval of the case plan and the case system review procedure for any child for whom another planned permanent living arrangement is the permanency plan determined for the child. Specifies as requirements at each permanency hearing: (1) documentation of intensive, ongoing, unsuccessful efforts for family placement; (2) redetermination of the appropriateness of the child's permanent placement or, if more appropriate, another planned permanent living arrangement; and (3) demonstration of state agency support for the child's engaging in age or developmentally-appropriate activities and social events.

(Sec. 113) Gives children age 14 and older authority to participate in: (1) the development of their own case plans, in consultation with up to two members of the case planning team; as well as (2) transitional planning for a successful adulthood. Specifies additional requirements for a case plan, including specification of a child's rights with respect to education, health, visitation, and court participation, the right to be provided with certain documents (indicated in Sec. 114), and the right to stay safe and avoid exploitation.

(Sec. 114) Requires the case review system to assure that foster children leaving foster care because of having attained age 18 (or a greater age the state has elected), unless in foster care less than six months, are not discharged without being provided with a copy of their birth certificate, Social Security card, health insurance information, copy of medical records, and a driver's license or equivalent state-issued identification card.

(Sec. 115) Requires the Secretary to include in the annual report to Congress on state performance on child protection and child welfare program outcome measures any state-by-state data on children in foster care who have been placed in a child care institution or another setting that is not a foster family home, as well as state-by-state data on children in foster care who are pregnant or parenting.

Subtitle C: National Advisory Committee - (Sec. 121) Amends SSA title XI to establish the National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States to advise the Secretary and the Attorney General on practical and general policies concerning improvements to the nation's response to the sex trafficking of children and youth in the United States.

Title II: Improving Adoption Incentives and Extending Family Connection Grants - Subtitle A: Improving Adoption Incentive Payments - (Sec. 201) Amends SSA title IV part E to extend through FY2016 the adoption incentive program.

Revises state eligibility requirements to repeal the requirement based on the number of foster child adoptions during the fiscal year.

Revises the formula for determining the amount of an incentive award to a state, increasing the basic dollar amounts.

Repeals the formula for an increased incentive payment to a state for exceeding its highest ever foster child adoption rate. Replaces it with requirements for an increased incentive payment during FY2013-FY2015 for each timely adoption state determined by the average number of 24 months or fewer between removal of children from their foster care homes to their placement in finalized adoptions.

Prescribes base rates for:

foster child adoptions,
pre-adolescent child adoptions and pre-adolescent foster child guardianships,
older child adoptions and older foster child guardianships, and
foster child guardianships.

(Sec. 203) Renames the adoption incentive program as the adoption and legal guardianship incentive payments program.

(Sec. 204) Requires a state to use its incentive payment to supplement, but not supplant, any federal or non-federal funds used to provide specified child and family services (including post-adoption services) or foster care and adoption assistance.

(Sec. 205) Increases from 24 to 36 months the period for which incentive payments are available for expenditure.

(Sec. 206) Requires states to report annually to the Secretary on the calculation and use of savings resulting from the phase-out of eligibility requirements for adoption assistance. Requires a state to spend at least 30% of specified savings on post-adoption services, post guardianship services, and services to support and sustain positive permanent outcomes for children who otherwise might enter into foster care under the responsibility of the state, with at least 66% of the spending to comply with such 30% requirement.

(Sec. 207) Preserves the eligibility of a child for kinship guardianship assistance payments when a guardian is replaced with a successor guardian.

(Sec. 208) Directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations providing for the collection and analysis of information regarding children who enter into foster care under the supervision of a state after prior finalization of an adoption or legal guardianship.

(Sec. 209) Requires notification of parents of a sibling, where the parent has legal custody of the sibling, when a child is removed from parental custody.

Subtitle B: Extending the Family Connection Grant Program - (Sec. 221) Extends the family connection grant program through FY2014.

Makes universities eligible for matching grants under the program.

Requires a kinship navigator to promote partnerships between public and private agencies to increase their knowledge of the needs of other individuals willing and able to be foster parents for children in foster care under state responsibility who are themselves parents in order to promote better services for those families.

Repeals the mandatory reservation of $5 million per fiscal year for grants to implement kinship navigator programs.

Title III: Improving International Child Support Recovery - (Sec. 301) Amends SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) to direct the Secretary to use the authorities otherwise provided by law to ensure U.S. compliance with any multilateral child support convention to which the United States is a party.

Grants the entity designated as a Central Authority for child support enforcement in a foreign reciprocating country or a foreign treaty country access to the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS).

Grants states the option to require individuals in a foreign country to apply through their country's appropriate Central Authority for child support enforcement services in a foreign reciprocating or foreign treaty country.

Allows the collection of past due support from federal tax refunds for state services for establishment of paternity and child support enforcement requested by a foreign reciprocating country or a foreign country with which the state has an arrangement.

Revises state law requirements involving the use of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.

(Sec. 302) Grants Indian tribes access to FPLS.

Treats an Indian tribe or tribal organization operating a child support enforcement program to be a state with authority to conduct specified kinds of experimental, pilot, or demonstration projects to assist in promoting child support objectives. Allows waiver of certain requirements in order to carry out such projects.

(Sec. 303) Expresses the sense of the Congress that: (1) establishing parenting time arrangements when obtaining child support orders is an important goal which should be accompanied by strong family violence safeguards, and (2) states should use existing funding sources to support the establishment of parenting time arrangements.

(Sec. 304) Prescribes requirements for data exchange standards for improved interoperability.

(Sec. 305) Directs the Secretary, in conjunction with the strategic plan, to review and provide recommendations for cost-effective improvements to the child support enforcement program, and ensure that the plan addresses the effectiveness and performance of the program, analyzes program practices, identifies possible new collection tools and approaches, and identifies strategies for holding parents accountable.

Directs the Secretary to report to Congress on policy options for improvements in child support enforcement.

(Sec. 306) Amends part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of SSA title IV to give the employer the option of using electronic transmission methods prescribed by the Secretary for income withholding in the collection and disbursement of child support payments.

Title IV: Budgetary Effects - (Sec. 401) Requires that the budgetary effects of this Act, for purposes of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, be determined by appropriate reference to "Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation."

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H.R. 4323: Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2014

9-20-2014 Washington DC:

Last Action: HR 4323 Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent. Explanation: This bill was passed by Congress on September 18, 2014 and goes to the President next.

What this bill does is to amend (extend) the dates of the DNA Sexual Assault Justice Act of 2004 (42 U.S.C. 14136a(c)) is amended by striking `2009 through 2014' and inserting `2015 through 2019'.

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September 18, 2014

Public university required students to submit sexual history or face disciplinary action

UPDATE, 1:17 a.m. — Clemson University has suspended the mandatory training until further notice due to the content of certain questions.
9-18-2014 South Carolina:
Clemson is requiring students and faculty to complete an online course through a third party website that asks invasive questions about sexual history.

In an email Clemson says that failure to complete the course will be a violation of the “Student Code of Conduct, General Student Regulation 8: Failure to Comply with Official Request.”

Clemson University is requiring students to reveal how many times they’ve had sex in the past month and with how many partners.

In screenshots obtained exclusively by Campus Reform, the South Carolina university is asking students invasive and personal questions about their drinking habits and sex life as part of what they’ve billed as an online Title IX training course.

“How many times have you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months?” asks one question.

“With how many different people have you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months?” asks another.

In a campus-wide email, the South Carolina university announced that all students, faculty, and staff would be required to complete a mandatory, one-hour long Title IX training course by November 1.

“We believe you’ll enjoy the assignment,” the email, provided to Campus Reform, reads. “It is an engaging and informative online course, created with students for students. It will provide you with useful information regarding sexual violence and relationships. The course promotes a healthier and safer campus environment.”

Although the email said that the course—which also asks if a student is a part of Greek life or an athlete—was “created by students,” it is actually a product of CampusClarity, "[a] Title IX and Campus SaVE Act education program that combines sexual assault and substance abuse prevention in a comprehensive online training program." ..Continued.. by Kaitlyn Schallhorn

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'Improper photography' law thrown out

9-18-2014 Texas:

A state law banning "improper photography" in public is no longer valid. The state's highest criminal court threw out the law as a violation of free-speech rights. Essentially, giving anyone the right to take photos of you and your children in public without your consent.

The decision stemmed from a 2011 case involving a man criminally charged after taking photos of children in their swimsuits at SeaWorld.

Someone who feels the frustration of this decision is Halie Ricketts. Ricketts told Eyewitness News in May that she felt violated after she claims a man took a video up her skirt at La Cantera Mall earlier this year.

"A guy stuck his cell phone up my skirt and took videos of me," said Halie Ricketts.

Ricketts hoped to get justice after good Samaritans chased down the man she said took the video up her dress. However, the man was never charged. Authorities cited a 2013 ruling from the 4th court of appeals which determined the state's improper photography law unconstitutional and a violation of free speech.

"Currently the law is protecting the criminals and not the victims," said Ricketts.

Wednesday the state's highest criminal court upheld the ruling, meaning photos or videos taken in public without your consent, even for the purpose of sexual gratification, are now legal.

"Typically the people that are getting caught up in this law are people that are in the process of moving through stages of becoming a pedophile," said Bexar county assistant district attorney Cliff Herberg.

Herberg said Wednesday's ruling helps the bad guys since the original "improper photography" law served as a red flag to law enforcement for more serious crimes.

"Usually when an officer stops that individual by the time they get through that camera, they usually find child pornography or when an officer gets a warrant and goes to their home they find child pornography on their computer," said Herberg.

The ruling does not invalidate the section of the law that bans photos taken in a bathroom or private dressing room. Herberg said the DA's will now work with state lawmakers to come up with legislation that's less broad in the eyes of the court, but still protects people from "improper photography". ..Source.. by Phil Anaya

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September 17, 2014

Lubbock, Texas, unveiling statue of man who wouldn't take 'freedom on the cheap'

9-17-2014 Texas:

Even while imprisoned for a rape he didn't commit, Tim Cole never stopped acting like a big brother.

"He would send us letters, telling us what classes to take, telling us to look out for a subscription to Money magazine he was sending us," brother Cory Session remembers.

Cole was a student at Texas Tech when he was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 1985 rape of 20-year-old Michele Mallin.

In 2009, DNA would exonerate Cole, but not until a decade after he died in prison, at age 39, from heart complications related to his asthma.

To those who loved him, Texas can never right the false conviction, but the Lubbock City Council wants to make sure Cole and his case are not forgotten. The city unveiled a statue of the Fort Worth native across the street from the Texas Tech campus on Wednesday afternoon and dedicated the area where the bronze likeness will stand as the Tim Cole Memorial Park.

Behind bars, Cole refused to lose faith, telling his sister Karen Kennard -- the only African-American enrolled at Texas Tech's law school at the time -- not to give up pursuing her law degree.

"I still believe in the justice system, even if the justice system doesn't believe in me," he once wrote in a letter.

Kennard finished her degree and went on to become the city attorney for Austin, Texas.

His brotherly attitude extended beyond his kin as well. His family wouldn't learn about it until later, but Cole used the money he earned from his GI Bill to make thousands of dollars in charitable donations from behind bars.

"He knew he couldn't help himself, but he could help other people," Session said.

Cole always maintained his innocence, even after he was offered parole in exchange for admitting to the rape. He never confessed, and in 2007, Texas inmate Jerry Johnson -- who didn't realize Cole had died eight years before -- wrote to Cole, confessing the rape and offering to submit to DNA testing to clear Cole's name.

"Tim had the integrity to say, 'I won't confess to something I didn't do,'" former Lubbock City Councilman Todd Klein said. "He refused to take his freedom on the cheap."

That legacy is just one of the reasons Cole will be memorialized at one of Lubbock's busiest intersections.

Klein was instrumental in seeing that the sculpture was erected. He felt it was important, he said, to "remind us of this teachable moment" in the city's history.

"The government has enormous power to take one's life or liberty," Klein said. "When we make a mistake we should admit to it. We should make amends where we can."

The bronze statue, standing at least 13 feet tall, depicts Cole's torso facing the area where the crime occurred. Cole's gaze will be fixed on the vicinity of Texas Tech's law school, where future prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges will be reminded that humans are fallible and that fact must remain at the top of their minds as they pursue their law careers, Klein said.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, state Attorney General Henry Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, as well as friends and family of Cole, were among the attendees at Wednesday's dedication.

Perry pardoned Cole in 2010. Two years later, on the anniversary of Cole's exoneration, the state constructed a historical marker that was placed at his gravesite.

Perry spoke at Wednesday's dedication, saying, "The story of Tim Cole is a story of inspiration and grace."

Mallin, the rape victim who picked Cole out of a lineup that led his wrongful conviction, was also expected to be in attendance.

After realizing her mistake, she helped to get Cole's name cleared and has since developed a relationship with Cole's family.

Session recalled how when his mother was still alive, she told Mallin, "You're a victim, just like my son was."

Davis told the story of her first meeting with Ruby Cole Session. It was during her first week in the Texas Legislature in 2009.

"She was a person of diminutive stature but a giant in every other way," Davis remembered, "She pressed into my chest a photograph of her son, Tim Cole. She put a face on this issue . . . urging me in making sure that his life and his death meant something for others."

Ruby Session died last year, making Wednesday's statue dedication bittersweet. Though she had the opportunity to sue the state in the wake of her son's exoneration, Session said his mother only wanted people to remember her son.

"He left here with his head bowed and his arms and legs in shackles," Session said, "Today he returns standing tall, uncompromised. But not unsung." ..Source.. by Stephanie Gallman, CNN

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Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board Chair, Executive Director Abruptly Dismissed

See also: 2 top Sex Offender Registry Board execs suddenly ousted
9-17-2014 Massachusetts:

There’s been a shake-up at the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board. According to NECN, board chair Saundra Edwards has been relieved of duty, and executive director Jeanne Holmes has been placed on administrative leave.

Gov. Deval Patrick appointed Edwards to the position in 2007. Previously, she was a prosecutor for the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office.

In a press release, Public Safety and Security Secretary Andrea Cabral announced that Anne Conners, an investigator for the Department of Early Education and Care, will replace Edwards. Kevin Hayden, the board’s general counsel, will serve as its interim executive director until Conners finds a permanent replacement.

The Sex Offender Registry have not yet responded to requests for comment as to why Edwards and Holmes were dismissed. ..Source.. by Sara Morrison

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Women make up small percentage of sex offenders

9-17-2014 Pennsylvania:

They connected on a mental level, authorities say. She was 29 and he was 14.

They talked and exchanged text messages, some with sexually explicit photos that she sent him, police said. During at least three secret rendezvous, they had sex before the six-month relationship ended with the 2011-12 school year, they added.

Fast forward two years and the Central Bucks School District band director, Bridgett Szychulski, now 31, is facing criminal charges for her alleged sexual contact with the boy who was her student when she worked at Lenape Middle School.

On Monday, the day before Szychulski, who is married, a mother and pregnant, surrendered to police, a 26-year-old woman was arrested by Middletown police accused of plying a 13-year-old boy with vodka before sexually assaulting him last month.

Since 2012, four more Bucks or Montgomery county women — all but one a school teacher — have been accused of inappropriate relationships with students.

Still, the number of women sex offenders is low compared to the number of men who commit similar crimes.

In Pennsylvania, eight of the 1,142 registered sexually violent predators — considered at highest risk for re-offending — are women, according to the state’s Megan’s Law registry. Among Bucks County’s 375 registered sex offenders, seven are women. In neighboring Montgomery County, women account for 17 of the 631 registered sex offenders.

In a potential demographic shift, a significant increase was seen in the number of adolescent girls entering the juvenile court system for sex offenses between 1997 and 2002, according to the federal government. Among this age group, incidents of female-perpetrated forcible rapes, other violent sex offenses and nonviolent sex offenses jumped 6 percent, 62 percent and 42 percent, respectively, the Department of Justice found.

Behavior experts have suggested that more research into female-driven sex crimes is needed, suggesting that a new offender typology needs to be developed. Women sex offenders share some common traits with male sex offenders, particularly grooming behaviors, choosing victims they know, and using emotional manipulation, not physical violence, to continue a relationship, behavior experts said.

Women sexual predators are often overlooked because society historically views them as nurturers, not dangerous, behavior experts say. Many alleged female sex abusers are young (31 is the average age of a first offense), attractive, even married, according to studies.

Lingering stereotypes about sexual contact between adult women and teen boys also often minimizes its seriousness, according to studies and experts.

Researchers have found that most law enforcement training ignores women as potential sex offenders. Studies have found police officers reacted with “disbelief” to allegations of sex crimes involving women, minimized the seriousness of the reports, viewed female suspects as less dangerous and were more apt to label a case as “unfounded.”

Females don’t fit sex offender stereotypes, according to psychologist Julia Hislop, who has extensively studied female sex offenders. Hislop’s research has found that women who engage in sex acts with juveniles rarely show an exclusive sexual preference for children. Many, but not all, female abusers have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Women also tend to focus on one or two individuals, rather than multiple victims as is more common among male abusers.

In her research, psychiatrist Janet Warren, of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, says she has never encountered a woman pedophile. Neither have any of her colleagues, including Hislop, she said.

She believes that many of these adult woman/teen boy relationships aren’t about sex and control as much as emotional attachment. She described women sex offenders — particularly teachers — as “situational offenders.”

“I don’t think of these women as predatory,” Warren said, adding that studies suggest the rate of sexual abuse in schools is higher than most anticipate.

A common denominator among young sexual assault victims is frequently their abuser is someone they know, trust and often love, according to Patti Levenberg, counseling coordinator for the Bucks County Network of Victim Assistance. Often they don’t see the sexual contact as wrong, she said.

“If someone knows the victim and the victim trusts that adult, in that relationship it creates access,” Levenberg said, adding that “Secrecy is the key to maintaining the relationship for the offender.”

Bucks County authorities say the now 16-year-old accuser notified Szychulski — a married mother of a 4-year-old boy and expecting a second child — that he told a friend in July about their past relationship.

Authorities said the allegations of inappropriate contact were reported Thursday by an anonymous “mandated reporter” to the Pennsylvania Child Abuse Hotline in Harrisburg. The boy was interviewed that day at the Bucks County Children’s Advocacy Center in Warwick, where he also disclosed the alleged sexual contact, according to court documents.

That such behavior could take place under the noses of adults isn’t unusual, NOVA’s Levenberg said. The secret nature of the relationships makes it harder for other adults to see “red flags” that something is wrong, especially if the adults around the child also trust the offender.

“It’s difficult for children, especially kids in their early teens, to really look at this through the perspective of abuse or victimization because it’s a relationship that is built,” she added. “They see it as a relationship, not a situation in which they are being forced or controlled or manipulated. It’s harder for them to view it as that.” ..Source.. by Jo Ciavaglia

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Bonner man acquitted of child sex charges

9-17-2014 Missouri:

After a two-day trial and several hours of deliberation Thursday, a Missoula jury exonerated Chad Lee Briggs, a 36-year-old Bonner mechanic who was one of seven people accused of attempting to have sex with a 12-year-old girl during a December sex sting.

The two-day undercover operation, orchestrated by several law enforcement agencies, nabbed seven people, including Briggs’ former girlfriend Jenna Davis, who is accused of setting up a sexual encounter between the fictitious girl and Briggs.

Prosecutors claimed Briggs and Davis responded to a posting on Craigslist last Dec. 18, advertising a 12-year-old girl available for sex. A female undercover agent posed as the fictitious girl’s aunt, and in communicating with the seven alleged perpetrators, she claimed she would make her young niece available for sex, according to court documents.

Davis allegedly told the officer that Briggs would be interested in helping the girl lose her virginity. “She said that Briggs had been involved in a prior sexual encounter with an underage girl and it had been a positive experience,” the affidavit stated.

It went on to claim that Briggs also called the undercover detective, assuring her that he would supply condoms and “be gentle with the 12-year-old.”

But the Missoula County District Court jury sided with Briggs and his attorney, Lisa Kauffman, finding the single father not guilty of a single felony count of sexual abuse of children.

“The state failed to prove that Chad had any knowledge that there was actually a 12-year-old there for sex,” Kauffman said Friday in a phone interview.

Briggs’ case was the first of six remaining cases to go to trial; Davis is due for a court appearance next week.


In another phone interview, Briggs claimed the advertisement didn’t explicitly say anything about an underage person and he initially contacted the advertisement’s author on Dec. 17 out of concern. He asked the author to clarify what they meant.

“When they posted the age (of the girl), I didn’t respond back,” Briggs explained Friday. “Actually, I thought they were committing a crime to begin with — that’s why I flagged the ad to alert the Craigslist administration.”

He told Davis about the advertisement and the following day when Davis arrived at his home for dinner, the pair began arguing. Without his knowledge, Davis had sought out the Craigslist advertisement and started communicating with the undercover detective, he said.

“I didn’t know this conversation was going on,” he said. “That evening I was going to run across the street to get a gallon of milk, and she wanted to go for a ride.”

“I am not sure what her intentions were really going on in her head,” he added.

Kauffman said her client had no knowledge that he and Davis were going to meet an adolescent. But Davis, she said, passed the gas station where Briggs planned to buy milk and then Albertsons as well, while furiously texting.

“On the drive in, I was getting suspicious of what was going on,” he said. “The detective sent a picture (of herself.)”

At that point, three blocks away from the residence, Briggs said he realized that Davis was attempting to set up a sexual encounter with the aunt of the fictitious child and he claims when he got on the phone with the detective, she led the conversation and there was no mention of a child. When he got to the address, he reluctantly got out of the car and walked to the home. He said the detective led him inside, where he was arrested and taken into custody.

Briggs spent his last paycheck bailing himself out of jail, but didn’t have a life to come home to.

Child and Family Services took his daughter away and he lost his job as a mechanic at Paws Up Resort. He also lost his dog, his house, his truck, his girlfriend. He said people – random strangers – would yell at him at the gas station and in grocery stores.

But now, after the jury’s verdict, he’s ready to forgive and move on with his life.

“There’s a lot of anger there,” he said. “Time heals everything. If I keep being angry, I would never be happy with myself.” ..Source.. by Kathryn Haake

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September 16, 2014

Self-referrals for sexual behaviour treatment increasing, says The Royal

9-16-2014 Canada:

More people are talking to their doctors seeking referrals to The Royal’s sexual behaviours clinic to receive treatment for sexually deviant behaviour such as exhibitionism, voyeurism and pedophilia, says a clinic coordinator in the forensic treatment unit.

Lisa Murphy said in the last five years there has been an increase in self-referrals from concerned individuals who were not sent there by the courts.

“We are seeing people come in and say they either went to their doctor and got a doctor referral or they contacted the clinic and said, ‘I have these interests, I don’t want to have these interests, I don’t want to act on them, I need help,’” said Murphy.

“That’s obviously ideal for us in that we are able to see these individuals that have these interests before they go ahead and act on them and create a victim.”

It’s this increase that has got The Royal’s staff thinking of ways to ramp up prevention efforts and create more awareness about the services available for people who want help curbing their sexual interests.

Murphy will be speaking Thursday about the clinic and Canada’s approach to the sex offender registry at a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Paul Fedoroff, director of the sexual behaviours clinic. Staff Sgt. Dana Reynolds and Det. Mark Horton of Ottawa police will also speak to their experiences of managing of high risk offenders.

Since its inception in 1983, the sexual behaviours clinic has treated more than 4,100 people and nowadays, it typically sees 100 new men each year.

Since Dr. Fedoroff took over the clinic, no one who has received treatment after committing sexual abuse has gone on to reoffend, according to Murphy.

Treatment can range from group therapy sessions, testosterone blocking medication, and psychiatric sessions, to support from social workers.

Murphy suspects the recent surge in self-referrals might have to do with a societal acceptance that not all child abusers are “monsters,” and in some cases they don’t want to hurt children.

“More people are finding out that this treatment is out there,” said Murphy, “and I also think that more people are finding that we are saying, ‘you’re not unfixable.’”

More information about the panel discussion is available at ..Source.. by Joe Lofaro

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