Pedophile Runs from Cameras

AN elderly man ran from the District Court today, minutes after denying any involvement in the sexual assault of two teenagers in the 1970s.

Lawrence John O’Shea, 69, of Adelaide, pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of indecent assault of a male, buggery, indecent interference and gross indecency.

Court documents allege the offences span the 1970s, occurring between:

  • AUGUST 1970 and November 1972.
  • MAY 1974 and October 1977.
  • FEBRUARY 1975 and October 1977.
  • MAY 1975 and October 1977.
  • JANUARY 1977 and February 1977.

O’Shea’s lawyers presented the court with a copy of the allegations signed by their client.

He spoke only once, saying “ah, not guilty” when asked how he would plead.

He was remanded on continuing bail to appear again in December.

Outside court, O’Shea walked a short distance with a supporter before turning and running from the media.

Clutching a blue fishing cap to his head, he ran down Gouger St and ducked into the Central Market.

O’Shea then met up with his supporter and said it was “easy” to “give the cameras the slip”.

The conversation, however, was recorded by the media, who had followed O’Shea.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

See Pedo Run

Six years after he allegedly assaulted two sisters, convicted child molester James Ernest Hope is due in Carson City District Court next Monday to answer the charges.

Attorney Derrick Lopez, who represents Hope on a similar charge in Douglas County, said his client was scheduled by the Carson City District Attorney’s Office to appear Oct. 29.

Lopez told Douglas District Judge Michael Gibbons on Monday that he was trying to confirm that Carson City lawyer John Oakes would represent Hope as he has in the past.

Hope, 43, fled Nevada in 2004 while awaiting trial on five felony charges in Carson City. According to the victims, the assaults occurred in 2001 when the girls were ages 4 and 6.

Carson City authorities began investigating Hope in 2003 and charged him in 2004.

He disappeared shortly after Douglas County issued a warrant for his arrest in September 2004 after he allegedly improperly touched a 10-year-old Minden girl.

He was captured in Washington one year ago and convicted of felony child molestation in the first degree and gross misdemeanor communicating with a minor for immoral purposes for a separate offense.

He is serving life in prison with the possibility of parole and could be eligible for release as early as 2011. 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.

At issue is the impact Hope’s Washington conviction would have on any sentence in Douglas County or Carson City.

In a plea agreement which Hope has not signed, Douglas County would drop the enhancement of life in prison without possibility of parole if he pleaded guilty to one count of lewdness with a child under 14.

That means he could be eligible for parole in 10 years if he was determined to be a low risk to reoffend.

In an unsigned agreement that Lopez received from Carson City, in exchange for Hope’s guilty plea to two of five felony charges, the other counts would be dropped along with the enhancement.

He would face life with possibility of parole after 10 years and a $10,000 fine on the Carson City charges.

Douglas District Judge Michael Gibbons set Hope’s arraignment for Nov. 5, following his Carson City appearance to determine what charges he’s facing there.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte
Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

‘It was all about me’

With a proliferation of horrific allegations in the headlines, Canadians can be forgiven for thinking that child molesters are everywhere. But what is the actual prevalence of the problem, and how should we be dealing with it?

TORONTO -He began by cultivating the boy as a friend — a method that would serve him well over the years.

Bob, then 30 years old, won the 12-year-old boy’s trust during visits to the local fair, with trips to new movies and through gifts of candy and sports equipment.

Such attention and excitement no child could resist, and Bob knew it. He asked for nothing in return until one night, in the basement of a family home, he reached across the sofa and fondled the boy.

Before that encounter, there had been several attempts at groping, but this bold move would be the last — with this boy. Bob would be in jail within two months, but would go on to abuse dozens of boys, eventually becoming one of North America’s most infamous child molesters.

Almost 20 years since his first arrest, and almost 40 since he first offended, Bob is sitting in a church basement describing his life: “a mess.”

For much of the past decade, he has been taking medication to dull the sexual urges and fantasies that at one time made young boys irresistible to him. He believes that the chemical castration as well as the support of his family and that of a group called Circles of Support has helped him reform.

“No more victims. Not from me. I can guarantee no more victims from me,” he says.

Bob will speak only on the condition of anonymity because he is so reviled that the mention of his name is likely to distract from his message. His supporters believe any publicity could threaten an already fragile network rallying around pedophiles who seek out and commit to treatment.

A lumbering man in his fifties with greying hair, Bob’s early childhood was full of family and sport. Then, when he was 10, he was sexually abused by a cousin, and then later by a family friend, and was left confused and isolated.

He quelled his troubled adolescent libido by throwing himself into athletics. In his teenage years, he disguised his passion for younger boys, between the ages of 10 and 14, as a love of sport, and became a coach.

When he was about 18, he began to prey on vulnerable team members, those with low self-confidence and remote parents.

“In the beginning, for maybe one iota, I did care [about the boys,]” he said. “But then the old instincts took over because I was going to get what I wanted. I knew what I wanted and I didn’t care how I got it. It was all about me, me, me,” he said.

Each potential victim began as a “friend” — someone Bob could groom; someone whose hair he at first touched, later a shoulder, gradually progressing to the private parts.

Even after years of therapy, he still distinguishes himself from other abusers, adamantly denying he ever sodomized a victim. But, he allows, the way he touched them may have left them believing they had been.

His vocabulary is littered with phrases evocative of years of therapy; he routinely puts his hands in the shape of a wheel to explain “the offence cycle: pretend normal, building up, acting out and justification.”

In and out of prison for most of his adult life, Bob said that for a number of years he was able to continue hiding his offences from family, friends and even, for a while, the public. His first sentence did not make the newspapers, which meant that while he was in jail, he convinced his family during collect calls home that he was travelling.

As other offences caught up with him, Bob confessed, and had to assure his siblings that he had never assaulted his nephews, and tried to tell his parents that they could not have prevented him from becoming a pedophile.

“You and Dad did absolutely nothing wrong. It was the choices that I made,” Bob remembered telling his mother outside a courthouse.

Faced with a battery of lawsuits — some from victims he does not recall or maintains he never abused — Bob admits he is still fearful that a police officer will knock on his door again and level more accusations against him.

“That used to be in the front of my mind; now it’s back here,” he said, pointing to the base of his head.

He considers himself a “lucky one” because his family and a few friends have not abandoned him, although he acknowledges he must work “day-by-day, hour-by-hour” toward a trust that he may never regain.

Bob lives alone in a government-subsidized apartment. He washes daily, shaves, wears clean clothes and watches movies at a theatre where children do not attend. He avoids shopping malls, arenas and schools, and refuses to go to a McDonald’s restaurant if he sees children inside. He does not feel attracted to them, he said, but does not want to jeopardize nearly a decade of not offending.

“I have to be motivated so I have no victims,” he explained. Bob’s goal is to keep making “the right decisions.” After so much of an abnormal life, he relishes the bits of normalcy: He is grateful to receive an indifferent salutation, a business card, a wave.

Bob agreed to be interviewed because he hopes his story may inspire other sexual offenders to see themselves in his story, to “take responsibility” and maybe turn their lives around. Asked what he would like to tell a skeptical public about himself, he said: “Hate me for what I did, hate me for what I have done, but don’t hate me for who I am because you don’t know me.” He said he cannot ask for forgiveness because he does not want to take the power away from the people he victimized. “If I ask for forgiveness, I’ve got the power. If they choose forgiveness, that’s fine, that’s their choice. I don’t want to take the power away from them because I did take the power away from them. I made them feel vulnerable and powerless and that’s enough of that.”

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte
Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 8:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Pedophilia: Southeast Asia’s sordid secret

The arrest in Thailand of a Canadian man suspected of having sex with young boys has focused international attention on a sordid industry that peddles children to pedophiles across Southeast Asia.

Grinding poverty, poor policing and no shortage of demand ensure that exploitation of children for sex thrives throughout the region.

Despite some high-profile prosecutions of child sex abusers, experts say lack of cooperation among governments is hindering efforts to keep children safe from pedophilia.

The Friday arrest of teacher Christopher Paul Neil, 32, was the culmination of an unprecedented appeal from Interpol for public help in finding him.

Neil is accused of sexually assaulting 12 boys and posting 200 pictures of the crimes on the Internet.

His case is the latest to draw attention to the fact that children are readily available in Southeast Asia for sexual predators who travel from the West for the sole purpose of having sex with minors.

Probably the highest profile offender is former rock star Gary Glitter — real name Paul Francis Gadd — now in a Vietnamese prison convicted of committing obscene acts with two girls, then aged 11 and 12.

Campaign groups say much of the demand for child sex is homegrown and accuse authorities of often turning a blind eye, or even colluding in the abuse.

Lack of public awareness is compounded by lack of data, and punishments are rarely harsh enough to act as a deterrent. Even those caught and sentenced can often have their punishments downgraded by paying off their victims and accusers, experts say.

“There is a lack of awareness in the general public, and there is a lack of awareness among certain government officials,” said Alexander Kruger, a child protection specialist at UNICEF in Thailand.

In Indonesia, authorities do not see the children as victims but prosecute them as illegal sex workers, said Arist Merdeka Sirait, who heads the National Commission for Child Protection group.

Indonesia has had a national action plan in place since 2000, and an anti-human trafficking law was introduced in 2006.

But experts say that even where laws exist, implementation is often ineffective.

Sirait estimates that about 40,000-70,000 Indonesian children fall into the sex trade each year, two thirds of them trafficked abroad, while the group ECPAT, which campaigns against child prostitution, says Vietnamese children are being sent to Cambodia, China, Malaysia and Taiwan for abuse.

After decades as a haven for child sex tourists, Cambodia has been cracking down in recent years, arresting or deporting at least two dozen foreigners since 2003.

But the country’s most notorious child sex market, a brothel village near Phnom Penh allegedly closed in 2004, still operates, albeit driven underground and more difficult to monitor.

Cambodians make up a large percentage of pedophiles, according to rights groups in the field, but domestic pedophilia is treated as an ordinary crime rather than a social problem.

“We don’t deny that Asian men like to have sex with children here, but we have received very little information about this,” said Major General Bit Kimhong, director of the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Human Trafficking Department.

Australia and Japan, sources of child sex tourists, have dealt with the issue in vastly different ways.

In Japan, criticized as the world’s main producer of underage pornography, the number of prosecutions involving child prostitution and pornography has risen in recent years — peaking at 1,080 cases in the first half of last year.

But, said Keiko Saito, a Tokyo-based ECPAT official: “The government has done nothing to stop sex tourists from Japan.”

One Japanese man was sentenced to prison after having sex with a 15-year-old Cambodian girl and posting pictures on his homepage last year but his sentence was suspended after he paid the girl compensation.

By contrast, Australia introduced laws in 1994 allowing Australians engaging in child sex overseas to be prosecuted at home, with individuals facing jail terms up to 17 years.

The Philippines has one of Asia’s most widely-used anti-child prostitution laws which has led to the arrest and conviction of child molesters and pedophiles.

The most celebrated case in recent years was that of Filipino congressman Romeo Jalosjos, who was convicted in 1997 for raping an 11-year-old girl who was “sold” to him by her father.

Rights groups estimate there are around 1.5 million street children, of whom more than 30,000 have been prostituted, in many cases by their parents.

Rooted in poverty, as elsewhere, the problem was exacerbated in the 1980s by US bases in the northern cities of Clark and Subic, where bars employed children who ended up as sex workers for American soldiers.

Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 3:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Repeat Child Molester

The victim said he did it. The accused even admitted that it happened. Yet neither proved to be enough to find a Holts Summit man guilty of molesting his granddaughter

Allen R. Johnson, 71, was acquitted of two counts of child molestation Wednesday in Callaway County Circuit Court after Judge Gene Hamilton ruled the confession inadmissible.

The trial began Oct. 16 and ended the next day, offering only the victim’s testimony – and no physical evidence – for the jury to consider.

Charges against Johnson stemmed from a complaint made in May 2006 by the stepmother of his 12-year-old granddaughter – who claims that Johnson inappropriately touched her.

The statement asserts that the child told her stepmother that from age 6 to age 8 Allen Johnson touched her private parts, and had her touch his – which Johnson purportedly admitted to Callaway County Sheriff’s investigators, adding also that he received sexual gratification from her touch.

Though Hamilton presented no explanation for his ruling, defense attorney Justin Carver thinks, “justice was done,” because he believes Johnson’s admission was unlawfully acquired.

According to Carver, the confession was obtained during a time when Johnson should have been en route to the Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center in Columbia – based on a court order the police failed to immediately obey.

Carver backs that belief on the basis that another judge who initially heard the case also had granted his motion to suppress.

“This was an awfully interesting case, and one that doesn’t happen often,” Carver told The Fulton Sun. “But, if two judges find what happened is that significantly flawed, that says there were some flaws there.”

The prosecution disagrees.

“Certainly it was devastating to the victim’s family, who knew that the defendant had confessed and that the judge made the ruling that he made,” said Prosecuting Attorney Bob Sterner. “Based on the law and the way the judges understood it, the jury had to rule without the confession.

“And, there wasn’t enough evidence to find him guilty beyond reasonable doubt.”

Sterner noted that there is no case law that tells if the investigator’s decision to question Johnson before taking him to Mid-Mo was illegal. He said neither he nor Carver could find one that was even close.

Sterner also said that a judge can be asked to make written findings, but that wasn’t requested at the time of the trial, and now it can’t be done.

Knowing this, the victim’s family longs for reasons why Johnson’s constitutional rights are more important than their daughter’s.

To the child’s parents, the system needs to “find a better way to protect the victim.”

“He did this, and everyone up there knows that he’s guilty,” said the stepmother, Candy Johnson. “If there was a confession to be heard there should be no way, shape or form that the jury shouldn’t hear it.

“I hope they go sleepless every night of their lives knowing that they let that damn child molester go free.”

The child’s father agrees, and claims this is not the first time Johnson has been accused of the crime.

“The man has been known twice before to have molested other children, including his own stepdaughter and sister,” Michael Johnson said. “But the law and the courts don’t allow you to tell the truth.

“We did everything the prosecution asked us to do, and still it wasn’t enough to get justice.”

The accused Allen Johnson, who now lives in Linn, said he’s ready to put the case behind him.

“I’ve had a year of this and I’ve lost a lot,” Johnson told the Fulton Sun. “The whole thing was extinguished by several jurors and the judge Š and I’m through with it.”

Johnson elected not to comment on the other allegations of molestation that were made by his son Michael.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte
Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 2:01 am  Leave a Comment