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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: child rape

Tourism tweets tout Sandusky trial

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio tourism board tweet meant to promote a Father's Day deal in the Lake Erie town of Sandusky instead directed followers to news about the sex abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

 The tweet was sent out this week by the Lake Erie Shores & Islands tourism office. It included the hash tag “Sandusky”.

Hash tags are created by Twitter users to help others find tweets on specific topics.

Anyone who clicked on the “Sandusky” hash tag got the latest updates from the Pennsylvania trial, not the town known for its waterfront location and the Cedar Point amusement park.

Tourism office director Joan Van Offeren says they won't be using the Sandusky hash tag again until well after the trial ends.

Court bailiff arrested for child sex abuse

A bailiff at the Kootenai County courthouse lost his job recently after he was arrested on child sex abuse charges.

Jack David McPike, 31, of Athol, is accused of sexually abusing a girl from 2006 until this month, when the girl told a school counselor about the abuse and the counselor contacted the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department.

Detectives arrested McPike in the parking lot of the Kootenai County courthouse as he was leaving work May 17. McPike had been a bailiff there since August 2011.

A Kootenai County human resources employee confirmed today McPike was no longer employed as of May 18. She said she couldn't say whether he was fired or quit.

McPike has pleaded not guilty to charges of infamous crime against nature, lewd conduct with a minor and sexual abuse of a child. He remains in the Kootenai County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Cheney child rapist could serve life

A Cheney man has been sentenced to 17 years to life in prison for raping and molesting children.

William D. Hargrove, 48, was convicted of first- and second-degree child rape and first- and second-degree child molestation after a bench trial last week before Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt.

Hargrove was accused of raping two girls for most of their childhoods. One reported knife-point attacks, according to court documents.

Cheney police were alerted to the abuse in August 2008.

Hargrove was sentenced Monday to 210 months in prison. He must undergo a sexual deviance assessment before he's released, which could keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.
  

Jury indicts DSHS worker for child porn

A state social services employee arrested on child pornography charges April 17 has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Darrell J. Rogers, 51, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of distribution of child pornography. The charges carry five years to 20 years in prison and registration as a sex offender if convicted. 

Rogers, a married father with no criminal history, was allowed to leave jail a few days after his arrest after undergoing a mental health assessment.

A prosecutor said the material federal agents downloaded from Rogers, who licenses foster homes for children, is some of the worst he's encountered in his 36 years of practicing law.

DSHS worker had ‘disturbing’ child porn

A state social services employee accused of distributing child pornography must undergo a mental health evaluation before he can leave jail, a judge ruled today.

A federal prosecutor said the material distributed by Darrell J. Rogers, who licenses foster homes for children, is some of the worst he's encountered in his 36 years of practicing law.

“This is not normal child pornography,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks said at Rogers' bail hearing in U.S. District Court. “This is child pornography that is very disturbing.”

The material includes a video of a 3-month-old girl being raped by an adult male, Hicks said.

“This is not like trading baseball cards,” Hicks said. “What kind of person would have an interest in this?…Most people are disgusted by it, and most people would ask 'what's wrong with this person?'”

Rogers, 51, is a married father of two with no criminal history. He's lived in Spokane his entire life and has worked for the state Department of Health and Human Services since 1995. Family, friends and coworkers attended his hearing; some left afterward in tears.

Distributing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for each image.

U.S Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno will review Rogers' mental health evaluation. Rogers and his wife must pay $25,000 bond to secure his release from jail. If he is released, Rogers will be confined to his home and must wear an electric monitor. Firearms that FBI agents found in his home during a search on Tuesday must be removed.

Imbrogno called the conditions “perhaps about as stringent as they get for this type of charge,” she said.

Hicks cited Rogers’ employment as a person in a position of trust with children as further reason for a mental health evaluation.

“He's leading a double life, in effect,” Hicks said.

A DSHS spokesman said Rogers will be reassigned to a position in which he does not have contact with children if he's released from jail pending the resolution of his case. Imbrogno said she'll decide if Rogers can be employed after reading his evaluation.

Rogers has been in the Spokane County Jail since Tuesday, when FBI agents arrested him at his home in the 7100 block of North Westgate Place in the Indian Trail area in north Spokane and seized a computer containing sexually explicit images of children.

The FBI began investigating him in February after an agent in Maryland downloaded child pornography from an Internet Protocol address linked to Rogers' home.

The material features the infant and children up to six years old, Hicks said.

Rogers told the FBI the material was on a computer in the guest bedroom when questioned, Hicks said.

Rogers also told investigators he'd never hurt a child and would contact authorities if he knew of someone who was. He said he wasn't sexually attracted to children but was “trying to figure out” child pornography.

Hicks said Rogers' response was typical “even from people who have been diagnosed as pedophiles.”

“I'm not saying Rogers is; I'm saying that's a typical response,” Hicks said.

He called the assertion that viewing and distributing child pornography doesn't harm children “bunk.”

“Fifty-one-year-olds creating generations of pedophiles. If we look at the facts, that’s what happens in a lot of circumstances,” Hicks said.

Public defender Matthew Campbell said a mental health evaluation isn't necessary and said Rogers is not a danger to the community. “He has no criminal history,” Campbell said.

Campbell said prosecutors have not opposed pre-trial release in other child pornography cases, but Hicks said the cases didn't involve three month olds being raped by adult males.

FBI arrests social worker for child porn

A state social services employee who licenses foster care homes was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of child pornography possession.

Darrell J. Rogers, 51, is in the Spokane County Jail without bail after appearing in U.S. District Court Tuesday afternoon. FBI agents arrested him at his home in the 7100 block of North Westgate Place in the Indian Trail area in north Spokane, where he lives with his wife, Kim Rogers, 49.

Kim Rogers also is a social worker with the state Department of Social and Health Services who specializes in finding homes for children who are wards of the state. Her husband licenses those homes, a neighbor said.

Darrell Rogers told FBI agents his wife had nothing to do with the child pornography they were investigating, according to court documents. The FBI began investigating Rogers in February after an agent in Maryland downloaded child pornography from an Internet user in Spokane.

The material includes children as young as approximately three months old being sexually assaulted by men and women.

Darrell Rogers was a social worker for 10 years beginning in 1995, said Thomas Shapley, DSHS spokesman. He began licensing foster homes in 2005, Shapley said.

Rogers is barred from entering his workplace, and his computer access has been locked. Should he be released from jail pending the resolution of the case, “we've already prepared an alternative work assignment for him where he would not have any contact with children,” Shapley said.

FBI agents say Rogers admitted Tuesday to using Internet file sharing programs and said no one else in the home, including his wife and two sons, would have used the screen names associated with the explicit material.

“Agents asked if he knew of any really bad people who he traded with that specifically harmed children,” according to court documents. “Rogers responded that he did not know of anyone who was abusing children, and had he known he would have reported it.”

Rogers told federal agents he had had no sexual interest in the material but was “trying to figure it out,” documents say.

“When asked about how long he had an interest in child pornography, Rogers stated that he did not know, and that he would never touch a child, and would never molest children,” agents wrote.

Rogers is due back in court Friday for a hearing to determine if he can be allowed out of jail on bail pending trial.

Crime Stoppers targets 2 sex offenders

Crime Stoppers is offering rewards for tips that help arrest two sex offenders who haven't check in with authorities as required.

Kevin Raymond Belieu, 53, (left) is a transient with a 35 year criminal history that includes convictions for robbery, theft, forgery and lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor.

Belieu, 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, is living as a transient, which means he's required to check in with authorities once a week. A $15,000 warrant was issued March 12 after he failed to check in.

Also wanted is Billy Ray Roberts, Jr., 32 (right).

Roberts, 6-feet-tall and 215 pounds, last gave an address in the 8000 block of North Mayfair Street in Spokane.

His nine-year criminal history includes conviction for theft and burglary, as well as a conviction for third-degree rape of a child in 2003. A $15,000 warrant was issued March 12 after Roberts failed to check in with authorities.

Belieu and Roberts are level 1 sex offenders, which is the classification considered least likely to reoffend.

Anyone with information on their current locations is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Rapist registers as Spokane transient

A sex offender considered likely to reoffend has registered as a transient in Spokane County.

 Harold David Werstein, 48, spent nearly 18 years in prison for raping a 13-year-old girl. He was convicted of first-degree rape in Lewis County in 1990. His victim was a stranger.

Werstein is no longer under supervision by the Washington Department of Corrections, but he's required to check in with authorities once a week so long as he doesn't have a permanent address.

Werstein is a level 3 sex offender, which is the classification considered most likely to reoffend.

He is not wanted by authorities, but the Spokane County Sheriff's Office wants people to be aware of his presence.

Spokane County's sex offender registry is available here.

Child rapist registers as local transient

A sex offender considered likely to reoffend has registered as a transient in Spokane County.

Christopher Michael Foster, 27, was convicted by a jury of four counts of third-degree child rape in 2005 for having sex with a 14-year-old girl who he met after she ran away from home.

He was sentenced to five years in prison and never admitted the crimes.

Foster also was convicted of first-degree child molestation in Pend Oreille County in 1998. His victim was a 6-year-old girl.

Foster, a level 3 sex offender, is no longer being supervised by the Washington Department of Corrections, but he's required to check in with authorities once a week because he doesn't have a permanent address.

Spokane County's sex offender registry is available here.

‘Teacher Grandpa’ sentenced for rape

A man known as “Teacher Grandpa” at a Spokane day care has been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for child rape.

Eugene R. Wright, 66, is to serve 123 months and undergo a sexual deviance evaluation before he's released, which could mean he stays in prison for the rest of his life.

Wright was arrested in August 2010 for sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl at the Bigfoot Child Care Center at Spokane Community College.

Wright passed a background check and began working at the center in late June 2010. He was dismissed in mid-August 2010 when a young girl told her mother that Wright had molested her. Another parent told police she’d witnessed inappropriate contact between Wright and the girl.

Wright also worked at the East Central Head Start program from January 2010 until he transferred to the Bigfoot center.

Wright passed a background check through the state Department of Early Learning and was paid a stipend through a Catholic Charities program that finds work for low-income elderly people.

Wright pleaded guilty to first-degree child rape Jan. 27 and was sentenced by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Harold Clarke. He's in the Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to prison.

Spokane police Detective Stephanie Barkley investigated the case. Sgt. Steve Wohl of the sexual assault unit “credits the cooperative efforts among the Daycare on the SCC campus and other criminal justice partners for this very thorough and extensive investigation,” according to a news release.

Sex offender arrested for child porn

Spokane police Officer Tyler Cordis escorts sex offender Christopher Ebner to a patrol car after his arrest on child pornography charges today. (SPDphoto)

A sex offender was arrested today for allegedly possessing child pornography. 

Christopher Michael Ebner, 37, lives in the 1400 block of North Hodges Road in Spokane Valley, which is near the Central Valley Kindergarten Center and the Central Valley bus garage.

Detectives discovered Ebner had a large amount of child pornography on his computer and that he was sharing the material online.

The videos depicted children who appeared to be as young as 8 years old, police said. Ebner was booked into jail about 9:15 a.m.

Ebner is a level 2 sex offender with convictions in 2005 for third-degree rape of a child and possession of child pornography.

He was arrested in 2004 for having sex with a 14-year-old girl he met through an Internet chat room. Police found child pornography on his computer then, according to a previous report.

He was sentenced to 26 months in prison and four years probation, according to court records.

Today's search warrant was one of four related to child pornography in recent weeks, police said.

Extremist in fire faced child rape charge

Investigators work the scene where a day earlier Steven Stanbary used a gun to hold off police and firefighters while a house burned to the ground in Washougal, Wash. on Dec. 8. (AP Photo/Zachary Kaufman, Pool)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A white supremacist with Idaho ties who is suspected of killing his wife and her sister and shooting at firefighters before he died in their burning home on Dec. 7 had been scheduled to surrender the next day to face a child rape charge, authorities said.

 Authorities didn't know before the incident that suspect Steven D. Stanbary of Washougal had a history of being heavily armed, schizophrenic, anti-government and violent, Clark County senior deputy prosecutor Dustin Richardson told The Columbian in a story Thursday.

“Had that been clear, the whole process of having an attorney turn him in … might have been different,” Richardson said.

Before the fire, Richardson had just a basic criminal history that showed Stanbary had only misdemeanor convictions because more serious charges had been reduced by plea bargains or other circumstances.

It was later learned that police in Idaho had discovered six AK-47s and a grenade launcher in Stanbary's possession during a 1994 arrest. But that case was dropped to a minor assault in a plea deal.

In addition, information emerged that Stanbary had stopped receiving treatment for delusional schizophrenia in 1988 when he refused to take medications. At that time, his then-wife, Debra Hughes, told Idaho police she believed he was dangerous.

Richardson said he might have changed his plans for letting Stanbary turn himself in through his attorney if the records had shown a pattern involving weapons. However, police generally don't seek more information on criminal histories of suspects unless the cases show a specific pattern of criminal behavior or dishonesty, he said.

The prosecutors credited the media for bringing those additional details to light after Stanbary's violent death.

Reports released Wednesday show Washougal police suspect Stanbary molested a girl over a number of years beginning when she was 9 and ending several years before she reported it in December 2010.

Richardson had concerns about several aspects of the case and said he didn't believe he had strong enough evidence to charge Stanbury until late November. Stanbary was supposed to turn himself in with an attorney on Dec. 8.

“He obviously had different plans,” Richardson said.

On Dec. 7, gunfire and exploding ammunition kept firefighters away from his burning home. The three bodies were later found inside.

Stanbary's wife, Leona, told police she suspected the girl may have made up the abuse story so she could move out and live with her boyfriend.

“I'll kill him if it happened,” Leona Stanbary told the detective, referring to Steven Stanbary, the police report said.

The girl and her boyfriend said in separate interviews with police that Steven Stanbary was a binge drinker who became nasty when inebriated.

Stanbary was arrested in Bonner County in December 1994 after threatening to kill his ex-wife, children and himself. He was found to have numerous weapons, including AK-47s.

Sex offender registers as transient

A convicted rapist who went back to prison because he continued to communicate with young girls is now living as a transient in Spokane County.

 Joseph M. Hamilton, 33, was released from prison in January 2008 after serving time for violating his parole on a first-degree rape conviction from 1997.

His victim was a 5-year-old girl. Hamilton is a level 3 sex offender, which is the classification considered most likely to reoffend.

He is not under supervision by the Department of Corrections nor is he wanted by authorities, but the Spokane County Sheriff's Office wants people to be aware of his presence.

A registry of Spokane County sex offenders is available here.

Convicted rapist indicted for child porn

A 70-year-old Stevens County man who recently pleaded guilty to child rape has been indicted by a federal grand jury for producing child pornography.

James Ernest Guinn, Jr., is in jail awaiting sentencing in Stevens County Superior Court and arraignment in U.S. District Court, where he was indicted last week on charges of production of child pornography, transportation of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Guinn is accused of producing child pornography with a young girl between August and November 2010, and of transporting child pornography from California to Washington in 2006.

Investigators found child pornography dating back to the 1960s and on several kinds of media, ranging from digital images in computer files, to video footage and 8 mm movie film, according to the Stevens County Prosecutor's Office.

Guinn faces up to 30 years in federal prison if convicted. He's to be arraigned in Spokane on Oct. 6. He already faces 93 to 123 months in state prison after pleading guilty to first-degree rape of a child Tuesday in Stevens County.
  

Pro fighter wanted on child rape charge

A competitive mixed-martial arts fighter set to begin trial today on charges that he raped and molested a young girl has a reward being offered for tips that lead to his capture after he didn't show up for court. 

Michael L. Mininger, 30, is wanted on a $25,000 warrant after missing a pre-trail conference Sept. 2 in Spokane County Superior Court, where he was to stand trial this week on two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree child molestation.

Crime Stoppers today announced a reward for tips that lead to his arrest. Mininger is accused of raping a 9-year-old girl over a period of three years.

He was arrested June 11, 2010, but has been out of jail on $10,000 bond since June 17, 2010. Mininger has no criminal convictions.

He's 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds and last gave a home address in the 11900 block of East Mansfield Avenue in Spokane Valley, according to Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Child molester sentenced to treatment

A Seattle man was sentenced Friday to a treatment alternative for sexually assaulting two girls in February while visiting a family in north Spokane County.

James E. Norby, 67, had pleaded guilty to first-degree rape of a child and first-degree child molestation.

Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno sentenced Norby, who has no prior felony convictions, to the state’s sex offender sentencing alternative, which will include three years of treatment.

Norby he could be sent to prison for life if he fails to comply.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” Norby said. “I don’t know why it happened.”
  

Invalid search nixes child porn case

Felony charges against a registered sex offender have been dismissed on technical grounds after a federal judge ruled that the search warrant used to find hundreds of images of child pornography on the suspect’s computer was invalid. 

Andrew V. Davis, 34, of Deer Park, faced at least 15 years in federal prison if convicted, but U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush concluded that police failed to disclose when seeking the search warrant that key information came from a girl who had lied to detectives in other cases.

By throwing out the search warrant, it rendered the evidence against Davis inadmissible.

“Of course he is relieved that the case was dismissed,” said Davis’s defense lawyer, Aaron Rasmussen. “It’s embarrassing because of the nature of the charges.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Feb. 18: Sex offender faces child porn charges

Sex offender arrested for child rape

A registered sex offender is accused of raping a young girl after offering to babysit so her parents could spend time together.

Robert Leonard Hutsell, 44, knew the girl's father from high school but lost contact until late last year, court documents say.

The father told Spokane police he didn't know of Hutsell's background until detectives began investigating allegations that Hutsell molested the girl.

Hutsell took the girl and her siblings to his home at 543 E. Crown Ave., for an overnight stay in February, according to court documents. The girl later told her mother of inappropriate contact.

Police contacted Hutsell at the Benton County Jail in Kennewick, where they say he admitted to the contact. Hutsell appeared in Spokane County Superior Court today on a $250,000 warrant for first-degree rape of a child and first-degree child molestation and remains in jail.

Hutsell was convicted in Spokane County of first-degree rape of a child in 1999.

Man accused of raping 4-year-old girl

A Whitman County man is facing a charge of first-degree rape of a child after his arrest by sheriff’s deputies.

The Whitman County Sheriff’s Office today reported that Steven Thomas Schuler, 34, was taken into custody in Rosalia following a complaint about the rape of a four-year-old girl in Lamont on Friday.

He was scheduled to appear on Monday in Whitman County Superior Court to hear the charge against him, deputies said.

Spokane man accused of child rape

A Spokane man is accused of raping a young girl

Richard Lee Syers, 40, was arrested on charges of first-degree child molestation and first-degree child rape on Tuesday.

He's accused of assaulting the girl last month. Syers is a friend of the alleged victim's mother.

The girl told police her assailant had large fingers. Syers matches the description - he's 5-foot-11 and 385 pounds.

He's expected in Superior Court today after refusing to go on Wednesday.

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