Convicted child molester has Carson trial date set


A February trial date has been set for convicted Washington state child molester James Ernest Hope in the 2001 molestation of two Carson City girls.

Defense attorney John Oakes noted in Carson City District Court on Monday that he had a plea agreement “sitting on his desk,” but no decision had been made.

Judge Todd Russell set aside Feb. 5-8 for the trial, and he also set a status check hearing for Nov. 13 at which time any plea negotiation that have been made may come to light.

Hope, 43, fled Nevada in 2004 while awaiting trial on five felony charges here.

According to investigators, the assaults occurred in 2001 when the girls were ages 4 and 6. He was bound over to District Court in July 2004.

After Douglas County issued a warrant for his arrest on allegations that he’d improperly touched a Minden 10-year-old, he disappeared.

He was captured a year ago in Washington under an assumed name and convicted of felony child molestation in the first degree and gross misdemeanor communicating with a minor for immoral purposes for a separate offense for which he received a life sentence.

His Washington parole depends on completion of a two-year treatment program for sex offenders and a psycho-sexual assessment that he is at low risk to offend.

Hope was returned to Douglas County in July where he is being held without bail.

He waived a preliminary hearing last month in East Fork Justice Court and was expected to plead to one count of lewdness with a child under 14.

Hope did not appear at the hearing here on Monday.

Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Convicted child molester has Carson trial date set


A February trial date has been set for convicted Washington state child molester James Ernest Hope in the 2001 molestation of two Carson City girls.

Defense attorney John Oakes noted in Carson City District Court on Monday that he had a plea agreement “sitting on his desk,” but no decision had been made.

Judge Todd Russell set aside Feb. 5-8 for the trial, and he also set a status check hearing for Nov. 13 at which time any plea negotiation that have been made may come to light.

Hope, 43, fled Nevada in 2004 while awaiting trial on five felony charges here.

According to investigators, the assaults occurred in 2001 when the girls were ages 4 and 6. He was bound over to District Court in July 2004.

After Douglas County issued a warrant for his arrest on allegations that he’d improperly touched a Minden 10-year-old, he disappeared.

He was captured a year ago in Washington under an assumed name and convicted of felony child molestation in the first degree and gross misdemeanor communicating with a minor for immoral purposes for a separate offense for which he received a life sentence.

His Washington parole depends on completion of a two-year treatment program for sex offenders and a psycho-sexual assessment that he is at low risk to offend.

Hope was returned to Douglas County in July where he is being held without bail.

He waived a preliminary hearing last month in East Fork Justice Court and was expected to plead to one count of lewdness with a child under 14.

Hope did not appear at the hearing here on Monday.

Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Convicted child molester has Carson trial date set


A February trial date has been set for convicted Washington state child molester James Ernest Hope in the 2001 molestation of two Carson City girls.

Defense attorney John Oakes noted in Carson City District Court on Monday that he had a plea agreement “sitting on his desk,” but no decision had been made.

Judge Todd Russell set aside Feb. 5-8 for the trial, and he also set a status check hearing for Nov. 13 at which time any plea negotiation that have been made may come to light.

Hope, 43, fled Nevada in 2004 while awaiting trial on five felony charges here.

According to investigators, the assaults occurred in 2001 when the girls were ages 4 and 6. He was bound over to District Court in July 2004.

After Douglas County issued a warrant for his arrest on allegations that he’d improperly touched a Minden 10-year-old, he disappeared.

He was captured a year ago in Washington under an assumed name and convicted of felony child molestation in the first degree and gross misdemeanor communicating with a minor for immoral purposes for a separate offense for which he received a life sentence.

His Washington parole depends on completion of a two-year treatment program for sex offenders and a psycho-sexual assessment that he is at low risk to offend.

Hope was returned to Douglas County in July where he is being held without bail.

He waived a preliminary hearing last month in East Fork Justice Court and was expected to plead to one count of lewdness with a child under 14.

Hope did not appear at the hearing here on Monday.

Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Now alleged molester faces kiddie porn rap

An accused child molester from the Midland Beach section of Staten Island is in even deeper water after a stash of kiddie porn turned up on his home computer, police allege.

James Bova, 46, who was arrested back in September on charges he used a vibrating massager to molest his young daughter’s pre-teen friends, had collected several videos and pictures of pre-pubescent girls forced into having sex, police allege.

Cops re-arrested Bova yesterday, charging him with 20 counts each of promoting a sexual performance by a child, and possessing a sexual performance by a child, both felonies.

Bova, who was already being held on $500,000 bail, was arraigned on the new charges yesterday, and ordered held without bail.

He’s being kept at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where he was transferred after a recent suicide attempt, a law enforcement source said.

Bova used the pull-off cap of a “quarter-drink” bottle to try and cut his wrists, but it wasn’t clear if he was genuinely trying to kill himself or if he wanted to get transferred from Rikers Island and away from general population inmates, the source said.

John Annese

Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Now alleged molester faces kiddie porn rap

An accused child molester from the Midland Beach section of Staten Island is in even deeper water after a stash of kiddie porn turned up on his home computer, police allege.

James Bova, 46, who was arrested back in September on charges he used a vibrating massager to molest his young daughter’s pre-teen friends, had collected several videos and pictures of pre-pubescent girls forced into having sex, police allege.

Cops re-arrested Bova yesterday, charging him with 20 counts each of promoting a sexual performance by a child, and possessing a sexual performance by a child, both felonies.

Bova, who was already being held on $500,000 bail, was arraigned on the new charges yesterday, and ordered held without bail.

He’s being kept at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where he was transferred after a recent suicide attempt, a law enforcement source said.

Bova used the pull-off cap of a “quarter-drink” bottle to try and cut his wrists, but it wasn’t clear if he was genuinely trying to kill himself or if he wanted to get transferred from Rikers Island and away from general population inmates, the source said.

John Annese

Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Child sex-abuse cases on the rise

There has been a dramatic rise in recent weeks in the number of child sexual-abuse cases being reported, especially from within the haredi community, according to the National Council for the Child. The NCC, a nonprofit organization, has demanded that the government provide free counseling services to all child victims of abuse.

“We are now seeing the negative results of people who were abused as children but who were left untreated,” NCC executive director Dr. Yitzhak Kadman told The Jerusalem Post Monday. One in three victims who did not receive post-abuse therapy were likely to become offenders later in life, he said.

Kadman said the increase in reports of sexual abuse against children, which he estimated had risen from 15-20 reported cases a month to 40-45, was also due to growing violence within society in general.

“Sexual abuse is not really about the sex but about the violence that surrounds it,” he said.

Over the weekend, in separate incidents, security guards – one from a school and another from a kindergarten – were arrested on suspicion of molestation. Sunday night, a 12-year-old girl from Pardess Hanna was found naked with signs that she had been slipped a date-rape drug and raped by two 13-year-old boys.

The rise in the number of reported and publicized cases could also be connected with increased awareness about such crimes, Kadman said.

“When one person reports such a crime, that gives strength to others who have gone through similar experiences to talk about what happened,” he said.

Reports of sexual abuse within the haredi community have grown by more than 30 percent in the last few months, Kadman said.

“Considering their share of the population, the fact that 30% of those reporting sex abuse to us comes from within the haredi community is a dramatic rise,” he said.

Kadman said he welcomed the haredi community’s increased willingness to report such incidents because in the past they were not talked about.

“In the past, the rabbis would just give orders to the known sex offenders to leave the community, believing that shunning them was just punishment,” he said. “But they would simply move on to another neighborhood. Now, the [haredi] public has started to put pressure on the rabbis to deal with this phenomenon.”

The rise in reports of sex abuse was also highlighted on Monday by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry, which announced that it was creating a NIS 8 million fund to offer child victims necessary counseling services. Currently, only those who can afford to pay for private post-trauma therapy are able to ensure that their children receive treatment.

The ministry’s figures showed a 16% increase over the past six years in the number of child molestation victims. They also indicated that the number of teenage sex offenders was steadily growing, with 669 reported in 2006 compared to 504 in 2000.

The new initiative, which includes financial contributions from the National Insurance Institute and the private Sacta-Rashi Foundation, will go toward broadening existing treatment centers, establishing new centers and increasing social-welfare budgets in this area. It is set to start at the beginning of 2008.

“As a result of budgetary problems in the past, many children, mainly from low socioeconomic backgrounds, did not receive treatment or counseling after being abused,” Welfare and Social Services Ministry director-general Nahum Itzkovitz said. “I hope that the additional budget will allow us to help every child who falls victim to sexual abuse and increase the number of professionals involved in the treatment of such children.”

Kadman was cynical about the move, saying the ministry should focus more on ensuring that every abused child receive one-on-one counseling from a trained professional.

“Opening seven or eight treatment centers is simply not enough,” he said. “There are more than 300 localities in Israel and every child should have access to such treatment. We have been fighting for this for many years and will continue until the government announces in writing that it has implemented a viable solution.”

RUTH EGLASH
Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 2:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Perverts face new bans

PEDOPHILES can now be banned from using the internet under tough world-first laws introduced in South Australia.

Police will also have the power to seize a pedophile’s computer at any time without a court order and examine its contents.

The Pedophile Internet Ban legislation – which became law last week – allows judges to issue restraining orders preventing pedophiles from using a computer to target children through chatrooms and message boards.

Police have appointed two full-time detectives to the Child Exploitation Investigation Section to tackle the growing number of cyberspace stalkers.

The legislation is the second Bill drafted by the SA Family First party targeting child sex offenders.

The first removed the statute of limitations that prevented pedophiles who committed sex crimes against children before 1983 from being charged.

“This new law was designed to further target pedophiles and crack down on their ability to do our children harm,” Family First MLC Dennis Hood said.

“As far as I’m concerned pedophiles are the lowest of the low and every possible means should be used to put them behind bars.”

Mr Hood said the legislation was unique in the world.

SA judges had never before issued a court order to restrict a pedophile’s access to a computer because legal argument could be mounted they did not have the power.

“This new law specifically gives judges that right to keep pedophiles off the internet,” Mr Hood said.

“The new law also gives police specific powers to enter a pedophile’s residence and seize their computer without waiting for a court order.

“This is important because warrants can sometimes take days or even weeks to be issued in which time damage can be done.”

Mr Hood said the internet was increasingly used as a tool by pedophiles to target youngsters.

“A recent American Medical Association Journal estimated that 89 per cent of sexual solicitations directed at minors now occur online,” he said.

Det-Insp Mark Trenwith urged parents to restrict computers to common rooms in the house so they could be aware of what their children were doing while online.

“If there is one thing parents should do to protect their children is not allowing them to have a computer in their bedroom,” he said.

“I can’t recall a case we have investigated where the computer hasn’t been in a bedroom.”

Mr Hood said he was delighted the Family First legislation received the votes of the State Labor Government and Liberal Opposition to become law.

adelaidenow
Published in: on October 28, 2007 at 3:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

“It’s not all about you”


Stephen Lynn Pentecost, 43, a former minister from Fishers who pleaded guilty to molesting a 15-year-old female relative during a three-year period, was sentenced Friday to 32 years for his crimes.

Hamilton Superior Court 2 Judge Dan Pfleging handed down the maximum sentence possible after attorneys argued over how long Pentecost should spend in prison.

In a plea agreement, Pentecost admitted guilt to one count of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class B felony and two counts of child molesting, both Class C felonies. Six other counts were dismissed.

Fishers police arrested Pentecost April 28, 2005, after the girl told authorities at Chaucie’s Place child advocacy center he had molested her on numerous occasions.

Defense attorney Karl Hadley asked the judge to consider giving his client 15 years in prison plus community service, saying it would best allow Pentecost to be rehabilitated at get back into society.

But Hamilton County Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie Smith said Pentecost demonstrated manipulative behavior toward his estranged family even behind bars, flagrantly violating a no-contact order by sending his ex-wife several letters and even calling his mother’s house while his family was visiting her.

“That is unbelievably manipulative behavior. He has perpetrated an incredibly heinous crime … even as a man who has been trained as a minister,” Smith said. “If you look and read between the lines in his letters, it’s all about Stephen Pentecost … the cost to him … not the cost to his wife or family.”

Pentecost’s son, who stood about three feet away as his father listened, read a statement he had written expressing his anger.

“I’ve been more relaxed since I haven’t seen you. My grades are improved,” he said. “I just don’t like you anymore.”

The most emotion from the courtroom came from the victim, now 18, who said she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, has depression, insomnia, panic attacks, hears voices and has thoughts of suicide.

“I’m sad because I don’t remember most of my childhood,” she said. “(You were) a preacher and I can’t even go to church.”

Pentecost’s ex-wife, Michelle, said he knew what he was doing and tried to keep it a secret, telling his victim his wife couldn’t take the news.

“I’ve waited 2 ½ years for this nightmare to end,” she said.

Pentecost did not apologize directly to his family, but asked to be sent to rehabilitation as soon as possible.

“I realize what I’ve done is wrong,” he told the judge. “I realize I’ve lost my family. I also realize I need some help.”

Pfleging, however, apologized to Pentecost’s family for not being able to give a harsher sentence.

“It’s not all about you,” he told Pentecost. “I don’t have enough years to give you for what you’ve done.”

Pentecost also received four additional years of probation when he is released from prison, will have to register as a sex offender and pay more than $11,200 in restitution.

Rebecca L. Sandlin
Published in: on October 28, 2007 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

“It’s not all about you”


Stephen Lynn Pentecost, 43, a former minister from Fishers who pleaded guilty to molesting a 15-year-old female relative during a three-year period, was sentenced Friday to 32 years for his crimes.

Hamilton Superior Court 2 Judge Dan Pfleging handed down the maximum sentence possible after attorneys argued over how long Pentecost should spend in prison.

In a plea agreement, Pentecost admitted guilt to one count of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class B felony and two counts of child molesting, both Class C felonies. Six other counts were dismissed.

Fishers police arrested Pentecost April 28, 2005, after the girl told authorities at Chaucie’s Place child advocacy center he had molested her on numerous occasions.

Defense attorney Karl Hadley asked the judge to consider giving his client 15 years in prison plus community service, saying it would best allow Pentecost to be rehabilitated at get back into society.

But Hamilton County Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie Smith said Pentecost demonstrated manipulative behavior toward his estranged family even behind bars, flagrantly violating a no-contact order by sending his ex-wife several letters and even calling his mother’s house while his family was visiting her.

“That is unbelievably manipulative behavior. He has perpetrated an incredibly heinous crime … even as a man who has been trained as a minister,” Smith said. “If you look and read between the lines in his letters, it’s all about Stephen Pentecost … the cost to him … not the cost to his wife or family.”

Pentecost’s son, who stood about three feet away as his father listened, read a statement he had written expressing his anger.

“I’ve been more relaxed since I haven’t seen you. My grades are improved,” he said. “I just don’t like you anymore.”

The most emotion from the courtroom came from the victim, now 18, who said she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, has depression, insomnia, panic attacks, hears voices and has thoughts of suicide.

“I’m sad because I don’t remember most of my childhood,” she said. “(You were) a preacher and I can’t even go to church.”

Pentecost’s ex-wife, Michelle, said he knew what he was doing and tried to keep it a secret, telling his victim his wife couldn’t take the news.

“I’ve waited 2 ½ years for this nightmare to end,” she said.

Pentecost did not apologize directly to his family, but asked to be sent to rehabilitation as soon as possible.

“I realize what I’ve done is wrong,” he told the judge. “I realize I’ve lost my family. I also realize I need some help.”

Pfleging, however, apologized to Pentecost’s family for not being able to give a harsher sentence.

“It’s not all about you,” he told Pentecost. “I don’t have enough years to give you for what you’ve done.”

Pentecost also received four additional years of probation when he is released from prison, will have to register as a sex offender and pay more than $11,200 in restitution.

Rebecca L. Sandlin
Published in: on October 28, 2007 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Do I really know my neighbor?

A 65-year-old Warner Robins man was sentenced today to 35 years in prison for molesting two neighborhood children and for producing a video of himself in sexual acts with his dog, a Houston County prosecutor said.

John Charles Huff, who lived in the 100 block of Victor Street, will likely serve 30 years before being eligible for parole, District Attorney Kelly Burke said.

Huff, a retired hardware salesman, probably will die in prison, Burke said, although the parole board does sometimes release inmates who are near death to die at home with family members.

Regardless, Huff will never be in a position where he can victimize children again, the prosecutor said.

Huff pleaded guilty today in Houston County Superior Court to four counts of child molestation, two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of bestiality.

Senior Judge L.A. “Buster” McConnell Jr. sentenced Huff immediately after the plea was entered, the prosecutor said.

According to Burke, children in the neighborhood often gathered at Huff’s home to use several computers he had set up for that purpose.

In February, two of the children, girls age 8 and 10, reported they had been molested by Huff, the prosecutor said.

Huff, a Missouri native, pleaded guilty to touching the children and masturbating in front of them, Burke said.

Huff had a video surveillance system in his home that he used to tape the acts, and he also taped himself performing sexual acts with his dog, the prosecutor said.

Burke said. “It is what every parent fears. Do I really know my neighbor?”

Becky Purse

Published in: on October 27, 2007 at 2:06 am  Leave a Comment