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Tips sought on off-the-grid sex offenders

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest to sex offenders who haven’t registered with authorities.

Gary L. Scott, 56, (left) was convicted of first-degree statutory rape in Kitsap County in 1988. He has an 18-year local arrest history but no convictions, according to Crime Stoppers.

Scott, 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, is wanted for failure to register as a sex offender.

Also wanted on that charge is William L. Schriver, 41.

Schriver (right) was convicted of first-degree and second-degree child molestation in Clark County in 1991. His 11-year arrest history in Spokane County included convictions for failing to register as sex offender. 

Schriver, 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, was living as a transient last time he checked in with authorities.

Both he and Scott are level 1 sex offenders the group considered least likely to reoffend.

Anyone with information their whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Internet fueling wide spread of child porn

WASHINGTON (AP) — The spread of child pornography, fueled by technology and the Internet, is outpacing efforts to combat it, the Justice Department said Monday in a report to Congress that promises more arrests, prosecutions and better coordination among federal, state and local authorities.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the distribution of child pornography, the number of images being shared online and violence against child victims all have increased. “Tragically, the only place we’ve seen a decrease is in the age of victims,” Holder said in a speech at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va.

The report, ordered by Congress in legislation approved two years ago, concedes that the market for child pornography continues to grow rapidly and determining its size is impossible. “The number of offenders accessing the images and videos and the quantity of images and videos being traded is unknown,” the report said.

Creating or possessing images that depict the sexual abuse of children is illegal. There is no First Amendment protection for child pornography.

In announcing a national strategy for preventing child exploitation, Holder laid out several steps that he said would help authorities make progress:

— The U.S. Marshals Service will target the “top 500 most dangerous” sex offenders who have not registered with authorities in the states where they live.

— The Justice Department is creating a database intended to increase cooperation among authorities at all levels of government that investigate child porn cases.

— Thirty-eight new prosecutors will be hired for child porn cases.

The increased attention to fighting child pornography already has led to record numbers of prosecutions and tips. More than 8,600 people have been prosecuted at the federal level since October 2006. State and local authorities focused on the use of the Internet in child sexual exploitation reported that documented complaints of online enticement of children more than tripled from 2004 to 2008 and complaints of child prostitution rose more than 10 times.

Reward for tips on off-the-grid rapists

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest two convicted rapists who haven’t registered with local authorities as required.

Christopher James Miller, 37, (right) is accused of violating his probation for a 1998 third-degree rape conviction in Spokane County. He’s been wanted since January for failure to register as a sex offender.

Court records show mail related to his 1998 case started being returned to the court in February 2009.

Miller’s criminal history includes a conviction for fourth-degree assault, according to Crime Stoppers. Miller is 6-feet tall, weighs 200 pounds and last gave his address as 2622 W. Fairview Ave., in Spokane.

Roth McPheeters, 65, (left) was convicted of first-degree rape and second-degree assault in King County in 1974. His eight-year local criminal history includes convictions for reckless driving and negligent driving.

Now McPheeters is wanted for failing to register as a sex offender, according to Crime Stoppers. McPheeters is 5-foot-8, weighs 170 pounds and last gave Route 2, box 198C in Cheney as his address.

Anyone with information on Miller or McPheeters is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

2 sex offenders wanted since summer ‘09

UPDATE: Cheney pleaded guilty in March 2011 and is no longer wanted by authorities.

Crime Stoppers is offering rewards for tips that help arrest two unregistered sex offenders wanted since last summer

Gregory D. Cheney, 32 (left), was convicted of two counts of first-degree child molestation in Spokane County in 1992.

Cheney, 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, is a transient with an 18-year-criminal history, according to Crime Stoppers. He's been wanted since last August for failing to register as a sex offender.

Also wanted is Steven V. Latterman, 39 (right).

Latterman, who has a nine-year criminal history, was convicted of third-degree assault with sexual motivation in 2003 in Spokane County.

A warrant was issued in July 2009 for one count of failure to register as a sex offender.  Lattreman, 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, last gave 1905 W. 2nd Ave. #L in Spokane as his address.

Cheney and Latterman are level 1 sex offenders, the classification considered least likely to reoffend.

Anyone with information their whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters don't have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Sex offender gets 8 years in 2nd rape case

A man cleared of rape charges in 2008 after a Spokane County jury couldn’t reach a verdict was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in prison for a string of sexual assaults last year.

Justin L. Dehn, 23, was arrested last August after three women said Dehn assaulted them at a home in the 6700 block of N. Standard after they returned from a party.

One woman told police she awoke to Dehn raping her on Aug. 2; two others said he’d groped them, according to a probable cause affidavit. One victim’s boyfriend was sleeping next to the bed and called 911 when he awoke to her screaming that she’d been raped, according to the affidavit.

Dehn pleaded guilty in June to two counts of third-degree assault and one count of indecent liberties. He was originally charged with second-degree rape and two counts of indecent liberties.

Dehn was charged in June 2008 with second-degree rape for an incident a woman said happened in December 2006. A jury couldn’t reach a verdict after a two-day trial in March 2009, and prosecutors dropped the charge the next month.

Now Dehn will register as a sex offender for life after he’s released from prison for his recent convictions.

The sentencing recommendation approved in Superior Court on Tuesday gave him 84 months in prison, with credit for time served in jail.

Tips sought on unregistered child rapist

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help capture a convicted child rapist who has failed to register with authorities as required. 

 Ryan A. Borland, 27, was convicted of third-degree child rape in Asotin County in 2007 and is a level 1 sex offender, the classification considered least likely to reoffend.

Borland is listed as non-compliant on the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office website, and Crime Stoppers says a warrant has been issued for failure to register as a sex offender.

Borland, who also has conviction for second-degree theft and violation of a domestic violence order, has several tattoos, including the Playboy bunny and the word ‘sexy’ on his chest, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

He’s 5-foot-6 with brown hair and brown and eyes and last gave 3224 N. Madison in Spokane as his home address.

Anyone with information on Borland is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Child porn posesser to self-report to prison

A Moses Lake man will spend four years in prison for possessing more than 2,000 images of child pornography.

Keith Marshal Ivers, 50, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Spokane after pleading guilty in March to possessing child pornography.

The case began in November 2007 when the FBI in New York traced a child pornography website to Ivers’ home, which agents searched in January 2008.

Ivers, who had no previous criminal record and was downloading and uploading child porn on his computer, surrendered in July 2009 and has been on electronic home confinement.

He was ordered to report to federal prison on his own once he’s been assigned, according to federal court documents. He’ll be on probation for five years after his release and will be required to register as a sex offender of the rest of his life.

Bro of cop-crash driver in prison for porn

CORRECTION: Tonia S. Vansant, 36, who is accused of striking a Spokane police cruiser Friday, injuring three detectives, is the sister of Richard Vansant, Jr., who was sentenced to prison for child pornography possession July 14, family members said. Tonia Vansant’s relationship to Richard Vansant, Jr., was misidentified in the post below, which has since been corrected. Richard Vansant’s wife, who was not involved in the crash, is named Tonya L. Vansant, 39.

The brother of a woman accused of crashing into three Spokane police detectives Friday was sentenced two days earlier to federal prison for child pornography possession.

Richard L. Vansant, Jr., 44, was a BNSF Railway employee when employee found his lost iPod with images of child pornography. Federal agents served his home at 11907 E. Railroad Ave. in November 2008 and found more than 10,000 explicit images of children, according to federal court documents. Vansant also told investigators “he uses his Xbox gaming system to communicate with children through the Internet,” according to a plea agreement filed in March.

Vansant, 44, was ordered last Wednesday to serve five years in federal prison. 

Two days later, police say his sister, Tonia S. Vansant, 37, was drunk when she crashed into an unmarked patrol car driven by Mark Burbridge, (right) a detective with the Spokane Police Department’s major crimes unit, at 7:15 a.m.

Also injured were sexual assault Detective Jan Pogachar (left) and Douglas Orr, (bottom right) a computer forensics specialist for the sexual assault unit. 

The crash occurred when Vansant allegedly ran a red light and broadsided the police car at Division and Sharp Avenue.

Burbridge strained his back; Pogacher broke her pelvis and Orr suffered broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a fractured sternum and punctured lung.

All were released from Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and are recovering at home, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe. 

“While they remain in a lot of pain, they are healing and expected to make a full recovery,” according to a news release.

Tonia Vansant spent the weekend in jail and appeared in Superior Court Monday on three counts of vehicular assault.

Police said she smelled of alcohol after the crash and had poor coordination.

She remained in jail Monday evening on $75,000 bail.

Man admits to exposing himself at library

Steven J. Snedden does most of his work in college libraries. Unfortunately, none of his efforts can be characterized as research.

The 47-year-old registered sex offender, whose exploits have helped the Washington Supreme Court define criminal law, pleaded guilty today to yet another charge of indecent exposure stemming from a 2008 incident in which he twice masturbated in front of a student at the JFK Library on the Cheney campus of Eastern Washington University.

He appeared Thursday before Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno.

Read the rest of Thomas Clouse’s story here.

12 years for cross-country child porn case

A man who fled child pornography charges in West Virginia will spend 12 years in federal prison after he was arrested in North Idaho with more than 200,000 explicit images of children on his computer.

Dennis J. Burke, 52, was sentenced today to 144 months in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene to transporting sexually explicit images of minors.

Burke was arrested in March 2009 after Bonner County Sheriff’s deputies responding to an assault call at a Sandpoint motel learned of the pornography from the alleged assault victim.

Along with photos, investigators found 500 videos with explicit images of children in Burke’s possession.

Investigators with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified photos from 14 previously known child pornography cases involving children in Washington, Montana, Florida, Kentucky, California, England, Russia, Belgium, Paraguay, Brazil, Australia and France, according to federal court documents.

Burke will be on probation for 10 years after his prison sentence.

According to the News and Sentinel in Parkersburg, W.V., Burke left jail in September 2008 on $30,000 bond. Several people protested outside the courthouse at his next hearing, saying his bond was much too low.

Molester jailed after police find child porn

A child molester released from prison last year and once called “a real danger to little girls” is back in jail after Spokane police found suspected child pornography on his cell phone.

Charles E. Smith, 39, was jailed on a probation violation June 24, two days after detectives found a cell phone with inappropriate photos of young girls. 

Police learned of the phone from Smith’s landlords at 9 North Rambo Road, who rent to registered sex offenders and had written permission from Smith to check his trailer for prohibited items.

Smith is known to hunt through dumpsters for photos children, pornography, ID cards and cell phones, according to a search warrant used to search the phone.

Smith told detectives he’d found the phone in a dumpster at near Jefferson and 7th or 8th Avenue about nine months ago. The images are low quality, and detectives still are trying to determine which ones fit the statute for child pornography, said John Grandinetti, a detective with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

But Smith’s probation officer determined the case violates his probation, and he’s been in jail since.

Smith, level 3 sex offender, has convictions for third-degree child molestation in 1993, possession of child pornography in 1995, failure to register as a sex offender in 2002, possession of child pornography in 2005 and failure to register as a sex offender in 2008.

In 1995, a detective called Smith “a real danger to little girls,” according to previously published reports. He caused a stir when he moved in near a Spokane Valley elementary school, tried to get a job as janitor at the YMCA and was a suspect in 17 child sex assaults before undergoing treatment in Montana.

Tips sought on alleged Idaho child molester

A Bonner County, Idaho, man is wanted on child sex abuse charges.

Ted Norman “Bear” Engelbrecht, 50, is wanted on felony charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor under 16 and sexual abuse of a child under 16, the Priest River Police Department announced Monday.

The charges were filed in Bonner County District Court. The case is sealed, records show.

Engelbrecht is known to drive a maroon 1991 Ford Ranger pickup with a black canopy, Idaho license plate 7BE8662.

Anyone with information on his location should call their local law enforcement agency.

Heroin seller wanted after ditching deal

A heroin dealer who pleaded guilty in April but skipped out on an agreement with prosecutors has a warrant out for his arrest.

Eddie J. Combs, 62, was to reduce his prison sentence by at least three years if he complied with a sealed plea deal signed April 7 after he pleaded guilty to two counts of a delivery of a controlled substance (heroin).

But after he was released pending sentencing, Spokane County prosecutors say the convicted sex offender didn’t maintain contact with his lawyer, didn’t maintain an address and didn’t comply with the sealed deal, according to court documents filed May 14.

Now Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that leads to Combs’ capture.

Combs’ criminal history began in 1965 when he was convicted of burglary in Spokane County. He has other convictions for forgery, second-degree robbery and possession of a controlled substance in King County, as well as a conviction for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in Multnomah County, Ore., in 2002.

Combs is a level 1 sex offender (the classification considered least likely to reoffend) for an indecent liberties conviction in 1990 in Clark County; online sex-offender records show he isn’t in compliance.

He was arrested in November after police searched a home at 1827 E. 4th avenue and found heroin and loaded syringes. A confidential informant bought drugs at the home three times in the weeks prior, according to court documents.

A co-defendant, 61-year-old Loretta J. Coleman, was sentenced to 20 months in prison in February. Combs’ criminal history gives him a standard sentencing range of 5 years to 10 years, but prosecutors were to recommend just two years confinement if he complied with the agreement.

Anyone with information on Combs’ location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Sex offender wanted for failing to register

A sex offender who has been arrested twice since January for failing to register with authorities is wanted by police again.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Tyrone L. Gardipee, 25, who is charged with failing to register as a sex offender.

Gardipee was convicted in 1999 of indecent liberties with a 7-year-old girl in Spokane County. He was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender in 2005, then arrested in January for not checking in, then arrested again in April.

Gardipee was released from custody April 30 but never checked in with authorities as required. Detectives say he’s been in and out of jail in Washington and Montana since January 2006.

He was first arrested when he was 9 years old, according to Crime Stoppers, and has previous convictions for hit and run and attempting to elude a police vehicle.

Gardipee is considered to be a gang member, which means the reward for tips on his location is larger than usual.

Anyone with information on his location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Trio of child molesters registers in Spokane

Three sex offenders considered likely to re-offend recently registered in Spokane County. 

Joe Louis Barton, 47, (right) is living in the 1100 block of West York after serving 216 months in prison for raping a 7-year-old girl in 1986. He’s no longer on probation. 

Delores M. Hegge, 31, (left) is living in the 1300 block of North Foothills Drive. She was sentenced to 21 months in prison in 1995 for first-degree child molestation. Her victim was a 10-year-old boy. She is not on probation. 

Jeffrey W. Naftel, 52, (right) is living as a transient in Spokane County. He was convicted of first-degree child rape and first-degree child molestation in 1991 in Chelan County. His victims were 5- and 7-year-old boys. He’s not on probation.

Barton, Hegge and Naftel are level 3 sex offenders, the classification considered most likely to reoffend. None is wanted by law enforcement, but authorities want the public to be aware of their presence.

2 level 3 sex offenders register locally

Another day, another level 3 sex offender registers as a transient in Spokane County.

For the fourth time since May 27, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office has announced that a sex offender considered likely to reoffend will be living a transient lifestyle.

The latest is James D. McMurtrey, 21, (left) who was convicted of incident liberties with a 5-year-old girl in 2003 in Spokane County. He’s under supervision by the state Department of Corrections.

Also announced today is a level 3 sex offender who moved to the 2200 block of North Calispel St. in the Emerson Garfield Neighborhood in Spokane.

Jeffrey R. Evans, 22, (right) was convicted of second-degree child rape in 2001 and of indecent liberties with forcible compulsion in 2004. His victims were a 6-year-old male relative and a 12-year-old female family friend, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Evans is being supervised by the state Department of Corrections.

McMurtrey and Evans are level 3 sex offenders, the classification considered most likely to reoffend.

Neither is wanted by law enforcement, but authorities want the public to be aware of their presence.

Child rapist, molester living as transient

A child rapist considered likely to reoffend is living as a transient in Spokane County, the sheriff’s office announce today.

 Edwin L. Kedish, 54, served 80 months in prison after being convicted of third-degree rape of a child and first-degree child molestation in Pend Oreille County in 1996.

His victims were girls ages 9 and 15. He recently registered as a transient and is not under supervision, the sheriff’s office said.

Kedish is a level 3 sex offender, the group considered most likely to reoffend. He is not wanted by law enforcement, but the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office wants people to be aware of his presence.

Sex offender wanted for failing to register

A sex offender with a history of not registering with authorities is wanted on a felony warrant again.

Eric P. Alger, 22, was convicted of indecent liberties in Spokane County in 2005.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to his arrest after he failed to register as required.

He has at least two past convictions for failing to register, including a conviction in August 2009 when he was sent to prison. He was released on April 19.

Alger, a level 2 sex offender, also has a conviction for misdemeanor theft. He claims to be a transient, according to Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information on his location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or submit tips online here.

Child rapist living as transient in Spokane

A child rapist who recently served nine months in jail for violating his probation is now living as a transient in Spokane County.

 Donald A. Radecker, 39, served 140 months in prison after being convicted in 1995 of raping a 5-year-girl in Ferry County.

He’s lived in Spokane before but returned to jail for nine months beginning in September. He’s being supervised by the Washington Department of Corrections.

Radecker is a level 3 sex offender, the group considered most likely to reoffend.

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

Child molester registers as local transient

A child molester considered likely to reoffend will be living as a transient in Spokane County.

 Elijah P. Stanford, 47, was convicted in 1998 and served 68 months in prison for first-degree child molestation in Walla Walla County. His victim was an 11-year-old girl.

Stanford is white, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 350 pounds, with red hair and blue eyes. His right middle finger is missing.

He is not wanted by law enforcement at this time but recently moved back to the area from Chelan County, and authorities want people to be aware of his presence.

Fugitive rapist flees police in stolen car

A fugitive sex offender armed with a knife and driving a stolen vehicle led officers on a chase through west Spokane today, Spokane police said. 

Chris L. Gilbert, 40, drove in reverse for several blocks after Officer Terry Preuninger, tipped that Gilbert (left) had a warrant, approached him in the 1100 block of West Jackson Avenue about 2:30 p.m.

He lost control, then slowed to let a woman out of the car before speeding away. Preuninger struck the back bumper of Gilbert’s Honda with his police cruiser, forcing it into a spin and bringing it to a stop. Gilbert raised his hands but then sped away again, this time westbound on Grace Avenue through Monroe as Preuniger got out of his cruiser.

” Gilbert was clearly unconcerned for the heavy afternoon traffic on Monroe Street,” according to a news release.

Officers Erin Raleigh and Bruce Palmer helped block Gilbert’s car and arrest him. Police say he had two knives - one with a blade more than a foot long.

Police found suspected stolen property in the Honda, which was stolen from the area of Ash Street and Glass Avenue Saturday night. Its plates were stolen from another car Sunday in the 1100 block of West Spofford.

Gilbert was booked into jail on charges of attempting to elude a police officer, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, possession of stolen license plates and a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender.

He has convictions for third-degree rape, as well as theft, possession of stolen property, malicious mischief, reckless driving, refusal to cooperate, domestic violence assault, violation of a no contact order, unlawful possession of a firearm and driving while license suspended, according to Crime Stoppers.

Take 25 event to promote child safety

An educational event, Take 25, will offer ways to keep children safe during a day of activities Tuesday at the Spokane Valley Mall.

To raise awareness for National Missing Children’s Day, the program encourages parents, educators and law enforcement to take 25 minutes to talk to children about safety.

Among the activities planned from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the mall’s second floor near the food court:

  • Operation Family ID will allow guardians to make identification kits of their children, including photographs and fingerprints. A donation of $1 is requested per kit, which parents keep.
  • Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies will discuss Offender Watch, a nationwide program that monitors sex offenders’ location and status.
  • Internet safety guides will target parents and children, providing online security toolkits and tips.

2 sex offenders register as transients

Two sex offenders considered likely to reoffend are living as transients in Spokane County, the Sheriff’s Office announced today. 

Allan R. Cruz-Masga, 23, (right) was convicted of indecent liberties in Spokane County in May 2002. His victim was an 11-year-old girl.

Steven Garcia, 34, (left) was convicted of second-degree assault of a child and released from prison in February 2006. His victim was his 2-month-old son. 

Garcia also served 15 months in prison for third-degree child molestation involving a 15-year-old girl in Grant County. He was sentenced to prison when he was 17 on two counts of second-degree rape involving a mentally handicapped 18-year-old male.

Neither Cruz-Masga nor Garcia is under supervision, but the Spokane County Sheriff’s office wants the public to be aware of their presence.

Both are level 3 sex offenders, the classification considered most likely to reoffend.

Child abuser, porn peddler gets 20 years

A Wenatchee man will spend 20 years in federal prison for distributing photos of himself sexually abusing children.

Russell D. Riker, 51, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

The investigation began with an undercover New York detective who busted a child porn peddler from Georgia.

The porn distribution chain was traced to Riker, and federal agents spotted one of the victims playing in Riker’s yard, according to federal court documents. At least one of the children said the abuse had gone on for about eight years.

Riker was arrested on Aug. 7, 2008. He pleaded guilty to producing child pornography in February and was sentenced to 240 months in prison. He’ll be on probation for the rest of his life and will be required to register as a sex offender.

“In our society, some like Mr. Riker must be locked up to protect our children,” U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt said in a prepared statement. “The scars he inflicted will take a lifetime to heal.”

Riker is in Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to prison.

Transient pleads guilty to molesting boy, 12

A Spokane Valley transient pleaded guilty today to molesting a 12-year-old boy over a five-month period last year.

Sean M. Hofer, 27, faces up to three years in prison at a sentencing scheduled for July 7.

Hofer was a transient who had been staying in a trailer in a Spokane Valley RV park when he was invited to live in the same home as the boy, according to court records and testimony. He babysat the victim while the father went to work, according to court records.

Hofer admitted to molesting the boy between February and July 2009 Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Ed Hay allowed Hofer to plead guilty to second-degree child molestation and assault of a child in the third degree. Hofer originally had been charged with child molestation in the first degree.

The agreement calls for a recommended sentence of 27 months for the molestation charge and eight months for the assault charge. It was not clear if the sentences will consecutively or at the same time.

- Thomas Clouse

Ex-church volunteer could be free in months

A former Post Falls church youth leader could be out of custody in about six months after being sentenced Thursday for three counts of statutory rape.

Jordan C. Vernon, 20, was sentenced by Kootenai County District Court Judge John Mitchell to three consecutive sentences of two to six years.

But Mitchell retained jurisdiction over the case, which means Vernon will go to the North Idaho Correctional Institute in Cottonwood for treatment.

The judge will hold a hearing in about six months to decide if Vernon should be released on probation or sent to prison in Boise, where he could stay for as long as 18 years.

Vernon was arrested in December on charges that he had sex with at least two girls, ages 14 and 17, and had inappropriate contact with at least two others, ages 12 and 14, from 2007 to 2009.

Police say he met and began grooming the girls for sex while serving as a youth leader in training at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls.

A statement from the church at the time of Vernon’s arrest said he had been dismissed from his volunteer positions in July 2008. Church records showed he had not attended the church since November 2008.

Similar retained jurisdiction sentences were handed down in two vehicular homicide cases last year. Read about it here.

Past coverage:

Jan. 14: Man back in jail on rape charges

Jan 6: More charges likely in sex abuse case

Jan 5: Ex-church leader accused of rape

14+ years for child-molesting counselor

The longtime psychologist for the Colville School District was ordered Monday to serve at least 14 1/2 years in prison for molesting one of his students and attempting to molest another.

Superior Court Judge Al Nielson sentenced 59-year-old Craig L. Figley to 174 months in prison. However, his case will go before a state board that reviews the sentences of sex offenders, and that board could decide to keep Figley in prison for life, Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said.

Read the rest of Thomas Clouse’s story here.

Past coverage:

March 24: Guilty plea in molestation case

Twisp man gets 5+ years for child porn

A Twisp, Wash., man will spend more than five years in prison for receiving child pornography over the Internet.

Timothy J. Schmekel, 36, was sentenced to 68 months in federal prison today after a investigators found 519 images of child pornography on computers and storage devices at Schmekel’s home in April 2008.

He was indicted in U.S. District Court in August 2008 and convicted by a jury after a three-day trial in Spokane in September 2009.

Schmekel will be supervised for five years once he’s released from prison. He’ll be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

$500,000 bond for CdA rape suspect

A man accused of raping a Coeur d’Alene woman early Saturday remains in jail on $500,000 bond.

Thomas C. Dickerson, 40, appeared before Kootenai County District Judge Scott Wayman on Monday on charges of rape and battery with intent to commit rape.

Dickerson remains in jail on $500,000 bond after appearing before Kootenai County District Judge Scott Wayman on Monday on charges of rape and battery with intent to commit rape.

When asked by Wayman if he wished to comment on his bond amount, Dickerson said: “It doesn’t really matter. This is a bunch of a bull … .” He declined a jailhouse interview.

Dickerson has previous convictions for failing to register as a sex offender in Pierce County, along with convictions for drug and stolen property possession.

But he wasn’t required to register as a sex offender - a plea deal stemming from a debate over the legality of the registry requirment led to his dmissmal.

Read my story here.

Rape suspect is unregistered sex offender

A man accused of raping a Coeur d’Alene woman early Saturday was convicted in 1990 of raping a child in Washington but wasn’t required to register as a sex offender in Idaho.

Thomas C. Dickerson, 40, was charged with failing to register as a sex offender in Idaho in May 2003 after moving from Washington.

But the Idaho state Court of Appeals overturned his conviction in 2006, saying the law requiring him to register violated the U.S. Constitution.

According to the Associated Press, the case largely came down to timing. Idaho’s sex offender registry law was enacted on July 1, 1993, requiring that any people who moved to Idaho after that date be required to register as a sex offender if they’d been convicted of a sex crime in another state.

But the same law did not require long-term Idaho residents convicted before 1993 to register, unless they were still in prison or on probation or parole. That anomaly essentially created a disadvantaged class of new Idaho residents, holding them to stricter laws than long-term residents, the appellate court found. Because the law worked against those moving to Idaho, it effectively violated the federal Constitution’s right to travel from state to state, the court ruled.

An order dismissing Dickerson from the sex offender registry requirement was filed in Kootenai County District Court on Nov. 4, 2008.

Now Dickerson is in Kootenai County Jail, accused of raping a female acquaintance in the area of West Clady Lane and North Fruitland Lane in north Coeur d’Alene.

The woman told police Dickerson hit her in the face, strangled her and raped her before fleeing the home. Police arrived about 3 a.m. and spotted Dickerson driving in the area.

The woman was treated and released from Kootenai Medical Center, officials said.

Dickerson, who’s in jail on charges of rape and battery with intent to commit a serious felony, is due in Kootenai County District Court on Monday.