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January 27, 2013

Fascinating NY Times magazine cover story on child porn victims and restitution

27cover-sfSpanToday's New York Times magazine has this remarkable cover story headlined "The Price of a Stolen Childhood," which provides a fascinating profile of the two young women now at the center of legal disputes in federal courts nationwide over restitution sentences imposed upon defendants who download child pornography. The lengthy article has too many interesting facets to effectively summarize, but here is one snippet telling early parts of the legal aspects of the story:

Six months after [the first] sentencing [which included a restitution award in October 2008], [Amy's lawyer James] Marsh went after another child-pornography defendant, Arthur Staples, a 65-year-old sheriff’s deputy in Virginia, who had chatted online with an undercover detective and expressed an interest in young children. Staples sent one image of a young girl (not Amy), and he was caught with more than 600 pictures on his computer, including hers. Staples agreed not to appeal any sentence or restitution judgment. The judge sentenced him to 17½ years, and made the unusual move of ordering him to pay all of Amy’s claim. To Marsh’s surprise, Staples turned out to have $2 million in assets. He has since paid $1.2 million to Amy.  (Marsh says the government let Staples’s wife keep part of the estate.) While Amy has been turned down for restitution by some courts, which have stated that there was not enough proof that any one man who viewed her pictures was responsible for the harm she has suffered, she has won more than 150 cases, totaling $1.6 million. Most of the amounts aren’t large: $1,000 or even $100, paid out in checks as small as $7.33.

Nicole has also been pursuing restitution.  Her lawyer, Carol Hepburn, did her own research and got in touch with Marsh when she learned about the claims he was bringing for Amy. The two lawyers now collaborate on ideas and strategy, though they represent their clients separately. Since receiving her first check for $10,000, Nicole has collected more than $550,000, mostly in small amounts from 204 different men. So far only a few other child-pornography victims have gone to court for restitution. Many may not know there is a legal remedy; others don’t know their images have circulated....

Study after study links child sexual abuse to psychological trauma, addiction and violent relationships in adulthood. There is almost no research, however, that deals with the specifics of Amy and Nicole’s experiences: What additional harm comes from knowing that pictures of your childhood exploitation are circulating widely?

The Supreme Court actually addressed this question in its 1982 decision upholding child-pornography bans. “‘Pornography poses an even greater threat to the child victim than does sexual abuse or prostitution,’” Justice Byron White wrote, quoting from a book about abused children. “‘Because the child’s actions are reduced to a recording, the pornography may haunt him in future years, long after the original misdeed took place.’”

David Finkelhor, a sociologist who directs the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, sees the moral weight of the Supreme Court’s proclamation, but not the empirical proof.  “The evidence doesn’t yet tell us to what extent the experience of being a pornography victim aggravates the experience of the sexual abuse itself,” he told me. “How do you separate it out?”

Courts have disagreed on this question.  In at least a dozen cases, defendants have appealed restitution decisions and mostly won.  In five of those cases, federal appeals courts have expressed skepticism that Amy and Nicole should receive more than nominal restitution.  Two other appeals courts have allowed the young women to recover from individual defendants as members of the group of viewers but, so far, only for amounts of $10,000 or less. (Amy collected a far greater sum from Arthur Staples because he waived his right to appeal.)

January 27, 2013 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I don't question the need for restitution. I do question how restitution is determined. When a jury hears claims for restitution and makes a determination, I can abide by that, since a jury, in theory hears all the facts. When restitution is determined by some other method, I am not so sure. There is also the issue of when does time run out on restitution? Are the victims and their attorneys going to collect continuously for the rest of their lives. Is restitution like an annuity in this case?

Posted by: Jardinero1 | Jan 27, 2013 1:26:18 PM

Amy has received $1.6 million, so says the article, and Nicole has collected more than $550,000.

I'm guessing that's not the whole story. What's the lawyer's cut from those amounts???

Posted by: Mark | Jan 27, 2013 1:48:35 PM

Joint and several liability will just keep the legal system bound up for eons, keeping lawyers, and judges in a never-ending stream of cash. Requiring someone to pay the full amount and then sue everyone else to help pay for it? Sounds like a lawyer's dream!

A general compensation fund is the way to go. Seems like it would allow the victims to be compensated quicker and stop having to prove over and over again that they are victims.

Perhaps then they could become survivors.

Posted by: Brian G. | Jan 27, 2013 3:42:56 PM

ugh. Doug, you need an "undo" button!!

I meant to omit the "and judges" part in my previous post. I started with one thought then finished with another. Slopping reviewing on my part.

But the overall point still stands. J&S just keeps the legal profession paid up.

Posted by: Brian G. | Jan 27, 2013 3:45:48 PM

"Study after study links child sexual abuse to psychological trauma, addiction and violent relationships in adulthood."

Except, of course, those studies don't exist but so long as we say "study after study" we don't have to look too closely at what those studies say, who their subjects where, or what the results indicated. And "linking" is another great verb. What does it mean to link two things together? Correlation? Causation? The fact that the researcher decided to study them together.

Frankly, it's this type of tripe that is simply a regurgitation of what "everybody knows" that does real harm to children.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 27, 2013 5:34:39 PM

Daniel, I think you make a very good point. These studies are quite complex, as are there assumptions and limitations. And I find it interesting that conservatives seize these studies, but reject, as liberal psycho-babble, contrary ones (Note: many liberals do these same things, particularly with respect to foreign policy and economics).

I think that the biggest predictor of trauma is how society treats an activity. One posted, I think Anonymous or something like that, argued once on here that circumcision is a good example. It is a violent act, and these poor infants cannot possibly consent, but nobody feels trauma from it, not even when they see pictures of it or know that relatives have such pictures of the ceremony (or, in my case, a video!). The point is that children will be traumatized if they are taught to be.

Of course, these children, or adults now, are traumatized. And that is awful. But I think we are missing the bigger picture. As a society, we get to create our victims. We've created these.

All I can do is thank G-d that I don't live in a society that shuns the violent act of circumcision, or I'd probably need therapy now too.

Posted by: Subethis | Jan 27, 2013 6:55:51 PM

The more that I learn about this topic, the more it sounds like the real harm comes from NOTIFICATION that the photos are being viewed. THE HARM IS IN THE NOTIFICATION. This article confirms that conclusion. These people were undoubtedly victimized by the abuser and producer of child pornography. They deserve abundant restitution from such perpetrators.

But maybe it's time to stop notifying these victims of their repeated re-victimization. We need to honestly ask ourselves the following: What good is done by the notifications? How much better/worse off are these individuals as a result of the notifications?

As demonstrated in this article, the victims are living their lives as best they can until -- BAM -- notifications start appearing in the mail and pile up in a corner of a room. It's at that moment when, after struggling so much to overcome the initial abuse, the abusers must now deal with this new KNOWLEDGE. Why interrupt their lives with the notifications? Why stir up the past? It seems to me any restitution is owed from the notifier.

Posted by: Evan | Jan 27, 2013 7:32:01 PM

Excellent comments today, with which one must agree. No studies showing harm (Daniel). Notification is the proximate cause of any hurt feelings and stress (Evan). Lawyers will take the lion's share and nothing will be left for the victims (Mark). Forced reliving of trauma by the legal system is harmful (Subethis).

Getting back to lawyer praxis. The following should become standard of professional due care, or else the defendant should sue the defense lawyer for malpractice. In their absence, representation has not been adequate, a violation of the Sixth Amendment.

1) Do not waive right to appeal. At this late point, a plea bargain is a contract, and duress should be asserted as a contract defense, making the plea voidable. Both physical and economic duress apply. Under the dual inquiry test of the Supreme Court, a second prosecution may represent prosecutorial vindictiveness and should be dismissed. Naturally, this dual inquiry test justifies and requires total e-discovery of prosecutorial computers. Refer all child porn found to the FBI for investigation.

2) Daubert hearing to address the comment of Dan (absence of scientific evidence of harm). A cross claim against the federal court victim notification service as causing the harm and stress.

3) The benefits of child porn. It decrease the sexual abuse of real children by 40%. A value should be placed on this public benefit, and the value of the trauma prevented by child porn should be deducted from any liability. Because predators have dozens if not hundreds of victims, the prevention of real child sex abuse is of extreme value, except to government workers. They benefit with jobs if children are sexually molested.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 27, 2013 8:21:53 PM

Supremacy Claus, do you have a study or a source cite for the proposition that child porn reduces child sex abuse by 40%?

Posted by: anon | Jan 27, 2013 9:12:28 PM

i found this article that references at least one.

http://phys.org/news/2010-11-legalizing-child-pornography-linked-sex.html

Legalizing child pornography is linked to lower rates of child sex abuse: study November 30, 2010 Could making child pornography legal lead to lower rates of child sex abuse? It could well do, according to a new study by Milton Diamond, from the University of Hawaii, and colleagues. google_protectAndRun("render_ads.js::google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad); Results from the Czech Republic showed, as seen everywhere else studied (Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sweden, USA), that rape and other sex crimes have not increased following the legalization and wide availability of pornography. And most significantly, the incidence of child sex abuse has fallen considerably since 1989, when child pornography became readily accessible – a phenomenon also seen in Denmark and Japan. Their findings are published online today in Springer's journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. The findings support the theory that potential sexual offenders use child pornography as a substitute for sex crimes against children. While the authors do not approve of the use of real children in the production or distribution of child pornography, they say that artificially produced materials might serve a purpose. Diamond and team looked at what actually happened to sex-related crimes in the Czech Republic as it transitioned from having a strict ban on sexually explicit materials to a situation where the material was decriminalized. Pornography was strictly prohibited between 1948 and 1989. The ban was lifted with the country's transition to democracy and, by 1990, the availability and ownership of sexually explicit materials rose dramatically. Even the possession of child pornography was not a criminal offense. The researchers monitored the number of sex-related crimes from Ministry of Interior records – rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, and child sex abuse in particular – for 15 years during the ban and 18 years after it was lifted. Most significantly, they found that the number of reported cases of child sex abuse dropped markedly immediately after the ban on sexually explicit materials was lifted in 1989. In both Denmark and Japan, the situation is similar: Child sex abuse was much lower than it was when availability of child pornography was restricted. Other results showed that, overall, there was no increase in reported sex-related crimes generally since the legalization of pornography. Interestingly, whereas the number of sex-related crimes fell significantly after 1989, the number of other societal crimes – murder, assault, and robbery – rose significantly. More information: Diamond M et al (2010). Pornography and sex crimes in the Czech Republic. Archives of Sexual Behavior. DOI:10.1007/s10508-010-9696-y Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2010-11-legalizing-child-pornography-linked-sex.html#jCp

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2010-11-legalizing-child-pornography-linked-sex.html#jCp

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 27, 2013 10:55:10 PM

Rod: The lawyer cannot hear you in the upside down, Twilight Zone world. The feminist witch hunt has a business model. It cannot be derailed by any fact once the lawyer starts the plunder.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 27, 2013 11:02:07 PM

Excuse me, not 40%, 60% during the internet era, and in the USA. Enforcement has almost no effect on crime.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/us/rate-of-child-sexual-abuse-on-the-decline.html?_r=0

Many children who are molested, like it, and do it to other children, often dozens or more. A lot of sexual abuse of children by other children may stem from sex education in the most graphic detail, at ever younger ages. This sex education is part of the feminist lawyer assault on the family, promoting sex among children to increase teen pregnancy and government dependency.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 27, 2013 11:25:39 PM

SC --

"Do not waive right to appeal. At this late point, a plea bargain is a contract, and duress should be asserted as a contract defense, making the plea voidable. Both physical and economic duress apply."

It's hard to argue duress when the government has it on the record that the defendant knows he has the unconditional right to go to trial and that he is giving up this right, with the advice and assistance of counsel, in order to obtain what he views as the superior benefits of the government's concessions contained in the plea agreement.

Or, to put it more succinctly, if you don't like the bargain or any of its terms, fine, go to trial.

Then watch what happens when the jury hears the evidence.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 28, 2013 1:48:20 AM

Evan - I agree with you 100%! I have said this for a long time. A victim will always be a victim when they are constantly told someone else has seen the picture. That person can NEVER get to the survivor stage because it is always being forefront in the person's mind and life over and over and over again. These files will be on the internet forever! There should be no notification. The restitution should come from the abuser, just like every other crime.

Posted by: Jill | Jan 28, 2013 7:32:37 AM

I would also like to state that these files were left on Limewire for years after they were found by the FBI. If these children are re-victimized every time a person looks at them, then why didn't the government shut down Limewire before the music industry did? Who is really re-victimizing these kids?

I know there are many different file sharing sites, but why not continue to shut them down every time the FBI finds child porn on them, until those sites figure out a way to keep them from leaving the server to others?

Posted by: Jill | Jan 28, 2013 7:42:06 AM

One of the curious things for some to come out of the innocence movement and the discovery of so many innocent persons that have been sentenced to death or to long prison terms are the seemingly large number who have plead guilty to the crime for which they were innocent. Why would anybody do such a thing, people wonder.

Well, if you are one who so wonders, read Bill Otis's post of 1:48:20 AM and wonder no more. This last line is not coming from left field - it is coming from a person has been on the front lines and who knows very well of what he speaks.

Posted by: C60 | Jan 28, 2013 11:34:56 AM

C60 --

As one who has, as you say, been on the front lines, I can tell you (and anyone else who's interested) why defendants avoid trials and take plea bargains.

The answer is simple. They're guilty and they know the government has the evidence to prove it; that the likelihood of a conviction at trial ranges from large to overwhelming; that the judge is just going to get madder and madder as he hears the witnesses testify about Mr. Nicey did to them; that getting the judge mad is not very useful for when sentencing comes up; and (last but hardly least) that the prosecutor has got too many cases and too little time and is therefore usually willing to give away a whole bunch to save himself the considerable trouble of trial preparation.

As you say, I've been there.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 28, 2013 1:44:10 PM

Bill Otis (Jan 28, 2013 1:44:10 PM):

C60 asked why an innocent person would plead guilty to crime that he/she did not commit. You didn't answer his/her question at all. And I believe he/she is exactly right when he/she says that all a person has to do is look at some comments from people like you and it does help a person understand why.

You know as well as I do that our criminal governments don't always care so much about whether or not a person is innocent or guilty. You also know that people take plea bargains when their chance of winning a trial is 75% or better. There is often just too much at risk. There are lazy lawyers and many people know that juries are FULL of stupid people who wouldn't know the difference between a fact and opinion if their lives depended on it. Going to trial is a dice roll, facts be damned.

So spare us your "government is great and righteous" BS. Most of us know better.

And anyway, you can talk to me until your last day and never convince me. Do you know why? Because I pleaded guilty to a crime that I did not commit. The criminal government, in fact, had NO evidence at all that I had committed that crime (because it didn't happened). But they did have a "victim" who told them huge lies on several different occasions until she finally arrived at the "true" story. They would have been fools if they believed her. But that didn't matter, of course. What did matter is that they could threaten and coerce someone into taking a plea bargain for crimes that they did not commit.

And do you know how they did that, in part? By promising things that they probably knew the judge would reject later. By the time a person gets to that point, he/she has already accepted X punishment, so what is just a little bit more? And who has the fortitude to just reject it all then and start over from the beginning? And give your attorney another $30K while you at it? And at the point, a person has been fighting it forever and just wants it to end.

I was lucky that I had the means to not be in jail during the entire "negotiation", "wrap-up" period. People who are not so lucky would have taken a much worse plea bargain than I did a year earlier than I did.

There are some facts for you.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 28, 2013 5:30:55 PM

I haven't thought much about this type of restitution (even though I do find it fairly interesting). One thing that I have wondered about is why isn't anyone who views a crime later (pictures, video, etc.), liable for restitution to the victim? Why is child porn unique? Why is it not illegal to watch a video of someone being murdered? That person was surely victimized, why is the viewer not re-victimizing the victim? Doesn't make much sense to me.

What I suspect this is mostly is a grab for money. That is what most people are about. These victims like money, they are angry about people looking at their victimization, and they can take money from them. And for sure, the lawyers love it. And they can all get away with it because it involves sex crimes. We can all get behind twisting/changing laws in order to harm people who commit sex crimes. That's fun.

I was horribly victimized as a child and I did not get a single dollar for it. Makes me kind of mad when I see stuff like this. Why do they get it and I don't? They should have to share.

Also, I think if I believed I was traumatized for life by my childhood and I'm never healed, then perhaps I would have some good excuses for some bad choices that I've made. That would make me feel better. To not be responsible to not be a victim. But alas, I don't believe that. Maybe I need some good lawyers and victim advocates to fix my thinking?

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 28, 2013 5:36:15 PM

FRegistry Terrorists --

Do you even hear yourself?

Here's your story: You pleaded guilty to a crime you didn't commit. The government had NO (your capitalization) evidence against you. The government also promised a sentence but the judge jacked you up (pssst...the government can't promise a sentence. It can only promise a sentencing recommendation). The victim was a complete liar, a fact only you recognized.

Then, in your next post, you tell us that you were "horribly victimized as a child," and that if you'd gotten some money for it, you might have avoided some (conspicuously unidentified) "bad choices" you made later on.

You don't identify yourself and you give not a single detail from which any interested person could check the veracity of your wildly implausible but thoroughly self-serving story.

Do you think this leaves some room for skepticism?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 28, 2013 9:15:39 PM

All crim law I professors must have a disclosure at the beginning of the course.

1) The criminal law is in utter failure. There are 20 million FBI Index felonies and 2 million prosecutions. That means a 90% chance of never being inconvenienced in any way after committing a serious crime. Then when the prosecution has a guy, there is a 20% chance it is the wrong guy;

2)These feminist inquisitors and their male running dogs are very successful at one thing, rent seeking via hyper-proceduralism under the leadership of a treasonous hierarchy in out of control insurrection against the constitution;

3)These traitors have dealt themselves absolute immunity from any accountability to the victims of their carelessness. If torts is a substitute for violent revenge, then its contra-positive must be true, that legal immunity is a justification for violence in formal logic.

In the absence of such initial disclosure,one is misleading and indoctrinating.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 29, 2013 4:18:22 AM

"C60 asked why an innocent person would plead guilty to crime that he/she did not commit. You didn't answer his/her question at all."

I did not ask anybody, this question. I merely stated the fact many convicted people found later to be factually innocent pled guilty to the crime despite that innocence. Many people wonder why a person would do such a thing. I merely pointed out that the identified comment answered that question.

Nobody really questions why factually guilty people plead guilty to crimes they have actually committed. There is no mystery there. Numbers dictate prosecutors in most jurisdiction make deals and guilty defendant often, but not always, know they can do better cutting their own deal than going to a jury.

My comment (not question) addresses what some people, non or casual observers mostly, mistakenly regard as a mind-blowing mystery - that is - why do factually innocent people plead guilty under a plea bargain for crimes they know the did not commit. Bill Otis's referenced post answers that question, which on examination is not really a mystery at all, fully and completely.

Posted by: C60 | Jan 29, 2013 9:11:38 AM

Bill Otis (Jan 28, 2013 9:15:39 PM):

Don't be so pompous to think that I give a squirt whether or not you are skeptical about my facts. I have no need for a "self-serving story". I was simply telling you that it doesn't matter how much BS you throw out, I'm not going to believe you. I didn't have to explain why.

I personally find it impossible to believe that you were around the legal system and don't know what I described is exactly how the system works often enough. If you don't know that, don't know the facts, don't believe me, I don't care. That is your impairment, your loss. Believe a different reality if you want.

Further, simply to illustrate how when you don't know all the details about something, you just fill in whatever you need to fit what you want to believe, I will give you some more facts. The criminal government did not have ANY evidence against me. Do you know why? Because what was said happened didn't happen, therefore, by definition, there was no evidence.

Also, you said "The victim was a complete liar, a fact only you recognized." I didn't say that. In fact, the government was completely aware that the "victim" had told them huge lies on numerous occasions. The first lie that she told them was that there were two people there and that I never touched her. Had the criminal government been able to find the other person, *any person* literally, that they could have charged and convicted, then they would have and that would have been the end of the story. But they couldn't, so they had to force the "victim" to change her story, which she easily did and they eagerly accepted it. The criminal government didn't believe her and they would have been fools if they did. Maybe they were as biased as you and couldn't think straight.

Lastly, you didn't understand my last two paragraphs. Maybe I didn't explain it very well. One of my points was that some people say they are lifelong victims and they use it as an excuse for bad behavior (and to get money). I was saying that I can't buy into that but facetiously that perhaps I should (to justify any of my bad behaviors).

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 29, 2013 10:40:57 AM

C60 (Jan 29, 2013 9:11:38 AM):

Right, I was technically wrong to say you asked a question. But Bill was responding to you and his response read to me like he was dismissing/refuting what you said and saying instead that he was going to tell us why people really take plea bargains. He didn't address what you said. (I know, Bill, you didn't *technically* say that C60 was wrong or misleading, so calm down.)

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 29, 2013 10:43:55 AM

So basically FRT, your defense amounts to your having merely watched some other dude commit the rape and then your having done nothing about it even after being charged with the crime - and then plead guilty.

Lame and extremely incredible. Unless of course your involvement in the rape was much more than you are letting on and that by informing the police who that other dude was you would incriminate yourself.

i do sincerely hope that you are receiving counseling for what you went through as a child and i do deeply sympathize with you and hope that eventually you can find peace in your life and get over your obvious anger issues, but i do have to side with Bill Otis here :)

Posted by: Erika | Jan 29, 2013 11:30:55 AM

Bill: "Then watch what happens when the jury hears the evidence"

me: in these cases, its actually what happens when the jury sees the evidence :)

Once the jury finds out that the defendant was caught with pictures of young children being violently raped on his computer the jury is going to see the defendant as a dangerous icky perv who is likely to rape children and its curtains for the defendant. Good luck trying to argue that the images got on your computer becasue someone else put them there - the jury isn't going to care - all they will care about is stopping the dangerous icky perv before he rapes any more children.

Posted by: Erika | Jan 29, 2013 11:48:37 AM

Erika (Jan 29, 2013 11:30:55 AM):

Wow, I guess I do have to literally tell an entire story to keep Bill and Bill Jr. from jumping to completely wild, baseless conclusions.

No, Erika, the problem for the criminal government was that there was no second person, let alone any rape. No one touched the "victim" in any way. No crime was committed against this "victim". In fact, she saw me for no more than 1 minute, twice. I won't bother to give any further details, let's see what conclusions you people can jump to with that.

The "victim" was a disturbed person. If it had been a male, I would bet the odds were over 90% that the person has since been arrested at least once and probably incarcerated.

I don't need any counseling for what I went through as a child. I am not a victim. I am a very strong, well-adjusted, very successful adult who takes care of many people and things. I am an angry person though and the Registries are continuing to help increase and cultivate that daily. But I fully embrace that because I've gotten great motivational use out of it and I believe I will continue to do so.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 29, 2013 12:15:21 PM

FRT --

"Wow, I guess I do have to literally tell an entire story to keep Bill and Bill Jr. from jumping to completely wild, baseless conclusions."

Rather than continuing to give selected parts of the story -- a selection in which you have an interest, to say the least -- why not just cite the case so interested readers can look it up for themselves?

Convicted defendants ALL THE TIME tell concocted stories about how The Really Bad Government Set Me Up. There are, to hear them tell it, few if any guilty men in prison.

Maybe you are innocent and were the Victim of a Government Plot. But there is no way to know that simply from the self-interested story of a person who chooses anonymity and declines to provide any more neutral account.

What is the citation to your case?

P.S. Anyone who can read can see that Erika is right about your anger.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 29, 2013 1:48:15 PM

FRT, while i continue to find your story to be inheriently implausible, i believe that your anger is completely misplaced. Quite simply, assuming argumendo that your story that you plead guilty to a sex crime despite your being actually innocent and not having strong evidence against you the only person you have to blame for your predictiment is yourself.

If what you are saying is true that your placement on the sex offender registry is not the fault of the police, prosecutors, politicians, etc. - it is 100% your fault. If you are angry at anyone your anger should be directed at you for not even attempting to fight the great injustice that you claim occurred in your case.

Of course, you do not do that - instead, you rail against society, the police, prosecutors, judges, etc. who you claim were simply out to get you. Of course, most people who claim to be railroaded by the criminal justice system plead not guilty and then are found guilty. When you voluntarily plead guilty against charges that you claim to be extremely weak based upon the testimony of a non-credible witness it makes me believe that you are in fact guilty as can be and are simply minimizing the extent of your criminal activity.

OF course, if you are telling the truth, you really do have nobody to be mad at but yourself - and self anger can destroy a person just as much as anger at another. You really should consider going to counseling for your anger issues - if left as is they will destroy you (and likely hurt others around you) in the end.

And if you think that i am anything like Bill Otis who i almost always disagree with, you are even more delusional than what would be indicated by the fact that you expect us to take your incredible story at face value :)

Posted by: Erika | Jan 29, 2013 3:48:34 PM

Bill Otis (Jan 29, 2013 1:48:15 PM):

I'm not trying to tell my story. I am completely uninterested in trying to convince anyone that what I say is true. If people don't believe me, it's their loss. It's not in my "self interest" to tell my story in any particular way because I absolutely do not care if people believe me or what they think of me. (Do you not realize that Registration cures people of that?)

And let me guess, you believe that if you could read about the case then you would have a clue about what happened? People who believe that literally crack me up. People who read police reports and believe them are insanely naive.

The simple point that I was trying to make is that I know for certain that people plead guilty to crimes they did not commit. I know it, you know it, we all know it. We also know that our criminal governments work to get that done.

I know the "few guilty men in prison" and "everyone minimizes" are both very popular story lines among the people "who understand sex offenders and/or criminals" but I find that to be so lame and boring. I don't know how true those are but I have personally met a lot of people who said they were guilty and were very forthright about what they had done. I'm one of those people. People who automatically assume that a person is not telling the "whole story" are lazy.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 29, 2013 4:55:12 PM

Erika (Jan 29, 2013 3:48:34 PM):

I don't have the energy to try to explain this all to you in a way that you could understand. Just please try to open your mind. I did not say that I did not commit ANY crime. I said that I pleaded guilty to a crime that I did not commit. The prosecution used what I did do as leverage to pretty much force me to plead to something I didn't do. I pleaded guilty to something much more serious than what I actually did (talking felony versus misdemeanors). The prosecution flat-out told me that if I accepted their deal, I would get penalties X (including 0 days jail time) and if I did not, I would get penalties probably 20X. It's that simple.

And they had no evidence that I had done what I pleaded to (because there was none) but it would not have surprised me at all to have been convicted of it at a trial. Because you don't really need much evidence, you know. It was a risk that no one suggested I take.

I didn't say that the criminal governments, criminal law enforcement, etc., etc., etc. were "out to get me" or whatever. Never said that. I have said that they are immoral criminals.

Putting all that aside, even if a person is 100% guilty of a sex crime, being listed on a Registry is the fault of government. People commit crimes, governments choose how to handle that. Our governments have chosen Registries and they have acted immorally, illegally, un-American, you name it. People listed on the Registries should treat them as enemies.

I am not going to get counseling for my anger. It has served me quite well for the duration that I have been on the Registries. I expect it will continue to do so in the future and I expect the only people it will continue to harm are the people who support the Registries, as it should.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 29, 2013 5:01:02 PM

FRT, i wrote an earlier response which got zapped somehow, but please seek counseling before your anger destroys you and likely hurts those around you.

And the reason why we do not believe you is that we are almost all attorneys here - we actually know what the law is and know that it is often extremely murky and there are rarely clear situations. The fact that you provide no details of your case - and won't even provide the state statute you were convicted under and what statute you claim you should have been convicted under speaks volumes. And what is says is that your story lacks veracity.

Posted by: Erika | Jan 31, 2013 10:31:18 AM

Erika --

Nailed it.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 31, 2013 1:25:29 PM

Nailed it, huh? That's hilarious.

We know that people plead guilty to things that they didn't do. Bill and Ericka, you two just don't believe that I am one of those people. But the problem is that you have no reason not to believe that. You don't want to and that says something about you two.

What exactly did Ericka "nail" anyway? Saying that I said something that I didn't? Good job.

I didn't say that I would not state any statutes that I was charged with or pleaded to. Please explain exactly what that would show the genius attorneys here anyway. What you would see is nothing but a bunch of charges and that I pleaded guilty to something lesser than all of them. Please explain to all of us stupid non-attorneys exactly how that would tell you what crimes were or were not committed.

I have had great "anger" for almost the entire time that I have been Registered, well more than a decade. It has not harmed me, my family, or people close to me. Quite the contrary, it has made me very successful and harmed people who support the Registries. Those are two very large goals of mine that I work on every day. There are absolutely no reasons to believe that the future is going to occur any differently then the past. Again, quite the contrary, I am only getting more powerful and better at it.

I know, I know, you don't believe me. Good. I've known for quite a while that your grasp on reality is not as good as it should be. You have done me a favor by helping me understand that better.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Feb 3, 2013 3:54:46 PM

The notifications are a part of the Crime Victim's Rights Act (2004) passed by George W. Bush (retard). To me I think the whole idea was to get money back into the government. This is what I think. FBI or some federal child protection group sends out the letter (no charge for them), victim receives letter, goes to court, may or may not get restitution, if victim receives restitution in the amount of $100k+ the government will tax that as well as the money the lawyer is going to get from it. So basically the higher the restitution the higher taxes will be for that victim, who will probably spend it on things for themselves instead of getting therapy. So yes the notifications are causing the problem, but I don't think anyone has really questioned it before because law enforcement draws the attention away from that by claiming viewing the pictures of the victim "re-victimizes" them in a never ending cycle. No one has proved that and it sounds like a bunch of balogna to think so. What they are saying is equivalent to saying voodoo is real and no one even has to physically murder anyone they hate anymore..

Posted by: VeryStrange | Mar 21, 2013 11:00:58 AM

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