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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: sexual abuse

Do you know this child porn peddler?

Federal authorities are trying to identify a woman who is featured in child pornography with victims who have yet to be rescued.

The woman could live anywhere in the United States. She is depicted in several videos discovered in June during a child pornography investigation in Colorado.

  The videos featured two young girls, estimated to be tween 3 and 7 years old, who were also featured in child pornography seized in Los Angeles in June 2011.

 The material found in Colorado appears to be first time investigators could see an adult's face. A man who also is shown sexually abusing the girls digitally obscured his face in the material, making him unrecognizable.

The woman appears to be white, about 25 to 35 years old with a medium building, black to dark brown hair and blues eyes. She has a large mole on the back of her left thigh.

Several of the images were created in February 2010. The material depicts a home “which appears to be of typical North American construction found in several areas of the United States.”

The home has standard North American electrical switches. Agents noted two U.S. Army duffel bags, a U.S. Army poncho liner and U.S. Army desert boots in some of the image. Agents also observed a cardboard box with “Sunkist” written on it and a mattress with “Serta Perfect Sleep” written on it. The book “Animal Tracking Basics” by John Young and Tiffany Morgan is on a nightstand.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says the identities of the victims and perpetrators are unknown, and the victims have yet to be rescued.

Prosecutors in Washington, D.C. issued an arrested warrant this week for the woman on charges of sexual exploitation of children and conspiracy. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigation.

“Jane Doe's information and photos are being distributed through law enforcement channels by the HSI's Victim Identification Unit, HSI Los Angeles and NCMEC in a unified effort to find the perpetrators and rescue the two children,” according to a news release.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-866-347-2423 or submit tips online.

Jury: Man groped Moody bible student

A man who sexually assaulted a 19-year-old Moody Bible Institute student at Mission Park in March has been convicted of a sex offense.

A Spokane County jury deliberated for about an hour and a half Tuesday before convicting John L. Sanders of indecent liberties.

Sanders faces five years to life in prison when he's sentenced Sept. 11, said Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson. Intern Amanda Tufts served as co-counsel with Johnson.

Sanders, 41, will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Sanders, who was represented by public defender John Whaley, was arrested March 16 after a bible school student told police she'd walked to the park to relieve stress and saw someone trying to get her attention. She was not wearing glasses and “assumed it was someone from her acting class or her church,” according to court documents.

When she realized she didn't know the man, the woman said “she felt she might have an opportunity to minister” to him, according to documents.

Sanders then touched her breast and asked her to smoke marijuana with him, she told police. The woman tried to leave, but Sanders kissed her on the lips, grabbed her and made inappropriate comments and noises.

Two female officers arrested Sanders and say he repeatedly made kissing sounds at them and asked them have sex with him.

Police say Sanders was arrested for a similar incident in downtown Spokane in August 2011 for which he pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault. Sanders also has three convictions for second-degree theft.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen O'Connor presided over Sanders' trial this week.

Man gets 15 years for child sex abuse

A Wenatchee man who sexually abused a 6-year-old girl and broadcasted it live on the Internet has been sentenced in Spokane to 15 years in federal prison.

Scott J. Martin, 49, abused the girl at the direction of Christian Webb, a former Minot, North Dakota, school district employee who used a school-assigned Internet connection to help facilitate the crimes. Webb was sentenced in May 2011 to 12 years in prison.

News reports say he regularly contacted pedophiles through Internet chat and persuaded them to sexually abuse children while he watched through a web cam. Webb had 75 webcam videos depicting the live sexual abuse of children when he was arrested.

His case led to the arrest of six people, including Martin, in Washington, Kansas, Ohio, Louisiana and Texas, as well as the rescue of eight children from abuse, according to the Minot Daily News.

Martin's lawyer described him as a man with cerebral palsy who is easily influenced by others. He met his wife through a 1-900 number.

“His repeated contact with her through that phone number ultimately led to the development of their relationship and their marriage. Discovery indicates that the computer and the internet were significant parts of both of their lives,” Martin's lawyer wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Based on his deference to others, and the prevalence of the computer and use thereof in the home, Mr. Martin more easily succumbed to Mr. Webb’s requests than might otherwise have been the case.”

Martin was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court last week after pleading guilty to production of child pornography/use of a child to transmit live images of abuse. He'll be on probation for 15 years after his release.

Woman fails to register as sex offender

A woman convicted of a sexually motivated assault on a teen boy in 2006 is wanted for failing to register as a sex offender.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Eugenia Ann Reuter, 41, who was not residing at her registered address in the 18000 block of West State Route 902 in Medical Lake when a sheriff's deputy went there on June 28.

A resident told the deputy he had a restraining order against Reuter and that she hadn't lived there in eight months, according to court documents. 

Reuter is required to notify authorities when she moves. She's a level 1 sex offender, which is the classification considered least likely to reoffend.

In addition to a third-degree assault with sexual motivation, Reuter has convictions for prostitution, first-degree theft, making a false statement and theft.

Reuter was dating Billy Morris, a custodian at Spokane City Hall, when he arrived home in 2008 and found her in bed with another man.

The man killed Morris in what he and Reuter said was self defense

A $15,000 warrant was issued Monday for Reuter's arrest for failing to register as a sex offender. Anyone with information on her current location is asked 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 give a code name or number.

NorthTown Mall sex offender arraigned

A Spokane sex offender out of jail on $250,000 bond pleaded not guilty today to charges related to an alleged incident with a 5-year-old girl at the NorthTown Mall last month.

 Richard Michael Payne, 55, faces a potential life sentence if convicted of indecent exposure and two counts of first-degree child molestation after a girl and her 11-year-old sister told their mother he'd exposed himself in an arcade area at the mall June 21 while rubbing the younger girl's back. The girls' mother said in an email that the girl's 19-year-old brother was in the arcade at the time, too. She said the family was vacationing in Spokane.

Police obtained surveillance video of the incident and identified Payne as a suspect through the sex offender registry. He was arrested June 26 and left jail June 27 after posting the bond through Smith Family Bail Bonds.

Owner Chris Smith attended today's arraignment before Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque. Payne is represented by lawyer David Hearrean.

He's wearing a GPS ankle monitor through the bond company that tracks his movements and is prohibited from contacting children or visiting places where the gather, including the NorthTown Mall.

Payne is a level 3 sex offender who served about 3 1/2 years in prison for grabbing a 9-year-old girl's crotch and buttocks while at a North Division Street store in 2001.

He also has two convictions for fourth-degree assault that stem from child molestation claims, as well as a public indecency in Oregon in 1985 for fondling himself at a Sears store. He has no further criminal history in Washington state.

Payne left the Spokane County Courthouse today without speaking to media. Hearrean has said he's worried citizens may seek vigilante justice and his client may not get a fair trial.

Sex offender released on $250k bond

A Spokane sex offender facing a potential life sentence for allegedly molesting a girl at the NorthTown Mall is out of jail.

Richard Michael Payne, 55, posted $250,000 bond through a bonding company and was released from Spokane County Jail about 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Payne is under court orders not to contact children or visit places where children gather. He's also wearing an ankle monitor that tracks his movements, said his lawyer, David Hearrean.

“I just don't want people to go out and try to take the law into their own hands,” Hearrean said. “What happened to innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?”

Payne posted the bond through Smith Family Bail Bonds. Owner Chris Smith said he requires customers to pay 10 percent of the bond in cash and rarely allows extended payment plans. He declined to discuss the details of Payne's payment but said Payne is being mointored by a GPS tracker.

“We can actually see where he is within two meters at all times,” Smith said.

Hearrean said Payne is entitled to a reasonable bond.

“I just assure you he's under close monitoring. Not only by the bond company but by the court and others, including me,” Hearrean said. “He's not gong to violate any release conditions.”

Smith said he also is worried citizens may seek “vigilante justice.”

“As a professional bondsman, I understand when people in the community are considered when people in cases like this post a bond,” Smith said. “It is our job to keep that community risk as low as absolutely possible.”

Payne is to be back in court on July 5 for an arraignment.

Superior Court Judge Annette Plese cited Payne's danger to the community when she approved the $250,000 bond requested by the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office Wednesday afternoon.

One court official said it's the highest bond he's ever seen for a non-murder case.

Payne is a level 3 sex offender, which is the classification considered most likely to reoffend. He served 3 1/2 years in prison for grabbing a 9-year-old girl's crotch and buttocks while at a North Division Street store in 2001. He also has two convictions for fourth-degree assault that stem from child molestation claims, as well as a public indecency in Oregon in 1985 for fondling himself at a Sears store.

He has no further criminal history in Washington state.

Payne was arrested Tuesday after a Spokane police detective identified him as the man who touched a 5-year-old girl's  back, buttocks and upper thighs while exposing himself at Bumpers Family Fun Center in the mall on June 21. The girl's 11-year-old sister saw the incident, and the girls ran to tell their mother, who was shopping in another part of the mall.

Police obtained surveillance video of the incident and identified Payne through the sex offender registry.

He faces a charge of first-degree child molestation. He could stay in prison for the rest of his life if convicted. State law requires that sex offenders undergo risk assessments before being considered for release from prison.

Hearrean declined to discuss how Payne was able to come up with the bond money.

He said he fears his client won't be able to get a fair trial.

“Everybody deserves a fair trial,” Hearrean said.

Cops: Sex offender molested girl at mall

UPDATE: Payne bonded out of jail last night. Look for a follow up later.

A child molester with a history of sex crimes in public places could be jailed for life after he was arrested for exposing himself to a girl at the NorthTown Mall in Spokane.

Richard Michael Payne, 55, is accused of molesting a 5-year-old girl June 21 as she and her 11-year-old sister were playing in Bumpers Family Fun Center while their mother shopped.

Read the rest of my story here.

Sex offender wanted for skipping therapy

A child molester who stopped participating in treatment and has failed to register as a sex offender is being sought by Crime Stoppers.

Jeffrey M. Ines, 36, was convicted of three counts of first-degree child molestation in 2007.

He could have gone to prison for at least 10 years, but his sentence was suspended under a program aimed at helping first-time sex offenders. Ines was to participate in intensive therapy, but court documents show he had problems from the beginning.

He stopped participating in treatment completely on March 29, then stopped checking in with his probation officer on June 6, according to court documents. He failed to register on June 5.

A no-bail warrant was issued for his arrest on June 21.

Crime Stoppers on Monday offered a reward for tips that lead to his capture. Anyone with information on Ines' current location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Sex offender gets 8 years for child porn

A registered sex offender was sentenced to eight years in prison today for distributing child pornography.

John Patrick McClaren, 46, of Hayden Lake, is to be on probation for 15 years after his release.

The Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began investigating McClaren in December 2009 after a Shoshone County sheriff's deputy learned his Internet Protocol address was involved in the distribution of child pornography online.

Investigators seized a laptop computer and two hard drives from his home in the 3100 block of East Cambridge Drive on Jan. 27, 2010, that contained at least 160 sexually explicit images of minors. One child was identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as being a sex abuse victim from New Hampshire, officials said.

McClaren was convicted of possessing child pornography in Kootenai County in 2001, according to the Idaho Sex Offender Registry.

He pleaded guilty in February to distributing child pornography that is an adapted or modified depiction of an identifiable minor and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge in Coeur d'Alene.
McClaren forfeited the computer and hard drives used in the crime.

“It is a priority of this office, and our law enforcement partners to target and prosecute anyone who collects or distributes child pornography,” Wendy Olson, U.S. attorney for Idaho, said in a prepared statement.  “We are firmly committed to protecting children.  This commitment includes advocating for lengthy prison sentences that reflect these horrendous criminal acts.” 

Ego-driven sex abuse suspect arrested

A man who wanted to prove to his ex-girlfriend that he wasn't a child molester instead was arrested on a child sex abuse warrant after contacting a Spokane County sheriff's deputy Tuesday in Deer Park.

Jesse A. Smith, 20, apparently did not know of a felony warrant out of Jerome, Idaho, for three counts of lewd conduct with a minor under 16 years old when he contacted sheriff's Deputy Dan Dutton Tuesday about 7:45 p.m.

Dutton was responding to an unrelated domestic situation at a home when Smith knocked on the door and asked to speak to him.

Smith asked Dutton to check his criminal history because his ex-girlfriend sent him a text message accusing him of being a child molester, and he wanted to prove her wrong, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Smith said he would wait by Dutton's patrol car until Dutton was finished at the home. Dutton checked Smith's criminal history and confirmed Smith in fact did have a $75,000-bond warrant that essentially accuses him of being a child molester.

He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on the warrant. He remained there this afternoon awaiting transport to southern Idaho.

Student teacher investigated for sex crime

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether a sex crime was committed when a student teacher reportedly had a relationship with a 17-year-old high school girl.

Read the rest of Jody Lawrence-Turner's story here.

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.

Rapist’s civil commitment overturned

Appellate judges ordered a new trial today for Spokane man convicted in 2009 of being a sexually violent predator because the note he wrote, detailing his desire to rape, kidnap and dismember a woman, was never communicated to anyone and thus did not meet the required legal definition of a threat.

 As part of the elements to qualify him as a sexually violent predator, the state must show that convicted rapist Shawn D. Botner committed an “overt act” toward committing another sex crime. Because of the decision Tuesday, Botner is expected to face another trial to determine whether he will remain in state custody indefinitely.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Aug. 25, 2009: Sex offender's fate rests with jury

Duncan wants to appeal death penalty

BOISE - Notorious multiple murderer Joseph Duncan was back in a Boise courtroom on Friday morning, as lawyers and a federal judge wrangled over setting a date for a new hearing into whether Duncan was mentally competent when he waived appeals of his triple death sentence for torturing and murdering a 9-year-old North Idaho boy.

Duncan, brought to Boise from federal Death Row in Terre Haute, Ind., his hair close-cropped and graying and wearing a baggy white T-shirt, left all the talking to his attorneys on Friday morning. But in December of 2010, he submitted a hand-written, two-page letter to the court saying he now wants to appeal after all.

Read the rest of Betsy Z. Russell's story here.

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.

Valley man gets 4 years for child porn

A Spokane Valley man was sentenced Monday to four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

Jonathan Stocker, 30, was indicted September after a May 31 federal search of his home found 24 videos and images of children engaged in sex acts, according to court records.

Stocker is not in jail and is being allowed to self report to federal prison. A sentencing memorandum described him as a man who “pays his taxes and his bills and lives modestly.”

“He has no history of abuse of children and in fact, his friends and family who have children, report that he acts appropriately,” according to the memo prepared by his public defender. “There is no indication that Mr. Stocker presents a danger to anyone.”

Stocker was prosecuted under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Harrington said in a news release.

  

Godly chance leads to sex offense arrest

A Moody Bible Institute student who hoped to teach a man she met in Mission Park about God was instead groped and asked to smoke marijuana, according to Spokane police.

Officers say 40-year-old John L. Sanders continued acting inappropriately after his arrest by repeatedly asking two female Spokane police officers to have sex with him.

Sanders told the officers he hoped they would strip search him and repeatedly made kissing sounds at them, according to court documents.

The officers had arrested Sanders on a warrant March 16 after the bible school student told them she'd walked to the park to relieve stress and saw someone trying to get her attention. She was not wearing glasses and “assumed it was someone from her acting class or her church,” according to court documents.

When she realized she didn't know the man, the woman said “she felt she might have an opportunity to minister” to him, according to documents.

The man then touched her breast and asked her to smoke marijuana with him, she told police. The woman tried to leave, but the man kissed her on the lips, grabbed her and made inappropriate comments and noises.

Officers responded to the park and arrested Sanders on the unrelated warrant.

A detective assigned to follow up realized Sanders was arrested for a similar incident in downtown Spokane on Aug. 22. Sanders pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and was credited for 51 days served in jail.

The victim identified Sanders from a photo montage on Wednesday, and he was booked into jail on a felony charge of indecent liberties.

N. Idaho man sentenced for child porn

A Hayden Lake man is to spend more than six years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

Charley Brigham Leighton II, 41, also is to be on probation for 15 years, forfeit the computer and media used in the crime and register as a sex offender under a sentence imposed today in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene.

Investigators seized computers from Leighton's home in August 2010 that contained pornography images of children. Leighton told investigators he'd downloaded more than 1,000 images in about a year, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty in October.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said the images depicted children from Missouri, Georgia, Connecticut, Michigan, Florida, Washington, France, Germany, Brazil, Belgium, England and the Netherlands, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

“Obtaining and possessing child pornography sexually exploits the children who appear in these heinous images again and again and again,” U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said in a prepared statement.  “Mr. Leighton’s lengthy prison sentence sends a strong message that Idaho law enforcement, prosecutors and courts well understand that protecting our children against those who would exploit them is a critical criminal justice mission.”

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