Convicted murderer and pedophile sentenced to death

A convicted murderer and pedophile has been sentenced to death for killing two young sisters more than a decade ago in Fort Lauderdale.

Howard Ault was first sentenced to death eight years ago. But the Florida Supreme Court threw out the sentence because a potential juror had been wrongly dismissed. The conviction was never thrown own.

A new jury in August again recommended the same fate for Ault.

He’s accused of luring 11-year-old DeAnn Mu’min and 7-year-old Sybilla Jones to his apartment, promising them Halloween candy. He raped and strangled the older girl before strangling her younger sister. He then hid the bodies in his attic. He had been on house arrest for a prior sexual assault at the time.

His lawyer argued for leniency, claiming that his client was mentally ill and had been sexually abused as a child.

Associated Press

Published in: on October 24, 2007 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Repeat Child Molester also had Child Pornography

A 73-year-old accused of sexually abusing young girls and possessing child pornography failed to show up for his court appearance in New London Tuesday, prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his re-arrest.

Robert J. Sharp of 202 Westwood Park, Norwich, is a former Bible study teacher and cab driver who has told police he has “a sickness in his head.” He is charged with first-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault, three counts of risk of injury to a minor, disorderly conduct and possession of child pornography.

Sharp had been free on $275,000 bond. On Monday, when he failed to appear in court, Judge Susan B. Handy called his existing bonds and set a new bond of $610,000, cash or surety. A review of his court record shows he has a history of sex crimes against children dating back to 1985.

In the most recent case, Sharp was charged last month with groping a girl who was in his Bible study class beginning when the girl was 5 or 6 years old. The girl disclosed the assaults to her pastor, who then contacted the Department of Children and Families. A DCF social worker contacted Norwich police, who interviewed the victim and prepared an arrest warrant. The girl, now 14, said Sharp molested her over a period of several years, saying, “This is our little secret” and “I love you.”

They were both members of Biblical Ministries of Connecticut, an alternative church group that met in Norwich’s Mohegan Park during warm months and in a leader’s apartment in New London when it was cold. In September, Sharp admitted to police that his “screwed-up mind” became attracted to the girl and that he had started touching her inappropriately when she was 6 or 7. He said the girl was curious and that he assumed she wanted him to touch her. Sharp left the fellowship three or four years ago.

During his interview with police, Sharp said that in the 1980s he had been the leader of a Groton fellowship and had volunteered to travel the country, “spreading the fellowship word.” He said that he had been caught inappropriately touching a 4- or 5-year-old child in 1985 or 1986 while stationed in Tucson, Ariz.

Another court file indicates that New London police charged Sharp with risk of injury to a minor and disorderly conduct in September 2004 after a 9-year-old girl disclosed that Sharp, while working as a driver for Curtin Livery Service, had touched her inappropriately while driving her to appointments. Sharp applied for accelerated rehabilitation, a program that enables first-time offenders to clear their record if they comply with a probationary period. The case remains open, a likely indication that Sharp did not successfully complete the probation.

In June, New London police had charged Sharp with possession of child pornography. While investigating a complaint that Sharp had groped a young girl whom he transported regularly in New London, police asked Sharp if he had any pornographic material at his home. Sharp responded that he had “some videotapes of females doing nasty stuff” and e-mails of nude 13-year-olds. Police seized his computer and performed a forensic examination, finding 246 files containing images of pre-pubescent children, according to a his court file

Karen Florin

Published in: on October 24, 2007 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Repeat Child Molester also had Child Pornography

A 73-year-old accused of sexually abusing young girls and possessing child pornography failed to show up for his court appearance in New London Tuesday, prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his re-arrest.

Robert J. Sharp of 202 Westwood Park, Norwich, is a former Bible study teacher and cab driver who has told police he has “a sickness in his head.” He is charged with first-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault, three counts of risk of injury to a minor, disorderly conduct and possession of child pornography.

Sharp had been free on $275,000 bond. On Monday, when he failed to appear in court, Judge Susan B. Handy called his existing bonds and set a new bond of $610,000, cash or surety. A review of his court record shows he has a history of sex crimes against children dating back to 1985.

In the most recent case, Sharp was charged last month with groping a girl who was in his Bible study class beginning when the girl was 5 or 6 years old. The girl disclosed the assaults to her pastor, who then contacted the Department of Children and Families. A DCF social worker contacted Norwich police, who interviewed the victim and prepared an arrest warrant. The girl, now 14, said Sharp molested her over a period of several years, saying, “This is our little secret” and “I love you.”

They were both members of Biblical Ministries of Connecticut, an alternative church group that met in Norwich’s Mohegan Park during warm months and in a leader’s apartment in New London when it was cold. In September, Sharp admitted to police that his “screwed-up mind” became attracted to the girl and that he had started touching her inappropriately when she was 6 or 7. He said the girl was curious and that he assumed she wanted him to touch her. Sharp left the fellowship three or four years ago.

During his interview with police, Sharp said that in the 1980s he had been the leader of a Groton fellowship and had volunteered to travel the country, “spreading the fellowship word.” He said that he had been caught inappropriately touching a 4- or 5-year-old child in 1985 or 1986 while stationed in Tucson, Ariz.

Another court file indicates that New London police charged Sharp with risk of injury to a minor and disorderly conduct in September 2004 after a 9-year-old girl disclosed that Sharp, while working as a driver for Curtin Livery Service, had touched her inappropriately while driving her to appointments. Sharp applied for accelerated rehabilitation, a program that enables first-time offenders to clear their record if they comply with a probationary period. The case remains open, a likely indication that Sharp did not successfully complete the probation.

In June, New London police had charged Sharp with possession of child pornography. While investigating a complaint that Sharp had groped a young girl whom he transported regularly in New London, police asked Sharp if he had any pornographic material at his home. Sharp responded that he had “some videotapes of females doing nasty stuff” and e-mails of nude 13-year-olds. Police seized his computer and performed a forensic examination, finding 246 files containing images of pre-pubescent children, according to a his court file

Karen Florin

Published in: on October 24, 2007 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Popular Pedophile Hunting Grounds


Christopher Neil will face new charges in connection with a second Thai youth who has accused the Canadian pedophile suspect of abusing him several years ago, Thai police said Tuesday.

Neil, the subject of an international police manhunt after police decoded digitally disguised photos of apparent abuse posted on the Internet, was arrested in Pattaya, Thailand, last week.

The 32-year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C., is alleged to have abused young boys in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand several years ago. However, until now he has been charged in only one case involving a Thai youngster who was nine years old at the time of the alleged abuse in 2003.

Thai police said that additional charges would be filed against Neil after a second boy testified that he sexually abused him four years ago.

The new charges are based on an account by the nine-year-old’s older brother who was 14 when he was allegedly molested, also in 2003. Neil has denied any wrongdoing.

The older boy, now 19, told police questioners that he was lured by another boy to Neil’s apartment in Bangkok in May 2003 to play computer games a few times. During his third visit, Neil molested him.

“Neil took off the child’s clothes and took photos of him naked. Neil asked the child to touch his sexual organ and he also touched the child’s sexual organ,” said Lt.-Col. Manat Thongsimuang, deputy chief of the police division for Suppression of Crime Against Children, Juveniles and Women.

Manat said the new charges expected to be filed Wednesday are taking away a child under 15 without parental consent with intent to molest, punishable by up to 20 years in prison; and sexual abuse of a child under 15, punishable by up to 10 years.

Photos of the siblings were among some 200 pictures found by Interpol on the Internet, which had the face of the perpetrator digitally obscured.

Computer experts with the German police manage to unscramble the photos so that the man’s face was recognizable. Interpol circulated the photos publicly and subsequent tips allowed them to identify Neil as a suspect.

Neil refused to speak to an Associated Press reporter who visited him Tuesday at Bangkok Remand Prison.

Canadian authorities have said they will seek his extradition, but have not yet done so, according to Thai officials. Canada has sex tourism laws allowing prosecution for crimes committed overseas.

Neil had taught at schools in Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam since 2000. Before then, Neil worked as a chaplain in Canada, counselling teenagers.

Pattaya is known for its nightlife, thriving sex industry and popularity among foreign fugitives and criminal gangs. Several countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, are popular with pedophiles because of poverty that drives children and their parents to accept money for sexual favours, and because of sometimes lax law enforcement and justice systems.

The Canadian Press
Published in: on October 24, 2007 at 3:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Popular Pedophile Hunting Grounds


Christopher Neil will face new charges in connection with a second Thai youth who has accused the Canadian pedophile suspect of abusing him several years ago, Thai police said Tuesday.

Neil, the subject of an international police manhunt after police decoded digitally disguised photos of apparent abuse posted on the Internet, was arrested in Pattaya, Thailand, last week.

The 32-year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C., is alleged to have abused young boys in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand several years ago. However, until now he has been charged in only one case involving a Thai youngster who was nine years old at the time of the alleged abuse in 2003.

Thai police said that additional charges would be filed against Neil after a second boy testified that he sexually abused him four years ago.

The new charges are based on an account by the nine-year-old’s older brother who was 14 when he was allegedly molested, also in 2003. Neil has denied any wrongdoing.

The older boy, now 19, told police questioners that he was lured by another boy to Neil’s apartment in Bangkok in May 2003 to play computer games a few times. During his third visit, Neil molested him.

“Neil took off the child’s clothes and took photos of him naked. Neil asked the child to touch his sexual organ and he also touched the child’s sexual organ,” said Lt.-Col. Manat Thongsimuang, deputy chief of the police division for Suppression of Crime Against Children, Juveniles and Women.

Manat said the new charges expected to be filed Wednesday are taking away a child under 15 without parental consent with intent to molest, punishable by up to 20 years in prison; and sexual abuse of a child under 15, punishable by up to 10 years.

Photos of the siblings were among some 200 pictures found by Interpol on the Internet, which had the face of the perpetrator digitally obscured.

Computer experts with the German police manage to unscramble the photos so that the man’s face was recognizable. Interpol circulated the photos publicly and subsequent tips allowed them to identify Neil as a suspect.

Neil refused to speak to an Associated Press reporter who visited him Tuesday at Bangkok Remand Prison.

Canadian authorities have said they will seek his extradition, but have not yet done so, according to Thai officials. Canada has sex tourism laws allowing prosecution for crimes committed overseas.

Neil had taught at schools in Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam since 2000. Before then, Neil worked as a chaplain in Canada, counselling teenagers.

Pattaya is known for its nightlife, thriving sex industry and popularity among foreign fugitives and criminal gangs. Several countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, are popular with pedophiles because of poverty that drives children and their parents to accept money for sexual favours, and because of sometimes lax law enforcement and justice systems.

The Canadian Press
Published in: on October 24, 2007 at 3:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Little Man Syndrome

Pedophiles are significantly shorter on average than men who are attracted to adults, according to a new study out of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Similar height differences can be found in men who crave sex with pubescent teenagers, say study researchers, who speculate the link between stature and pedophilia might be traced to conditions in the womb.

The study – which looked at 1,200 men, most of whom were assessed for sexual disorders between 1995 and 2006 at the centre – was published yesterday in Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment.

It found pedophiles were 2 cm shorter than the average Canadian man, who stands 178 cm or 5 feet 10 inches tall, a statistically significant difference.

“It’s about double the effect that would happen if a mother smokes while she’s pregnant,” said CAMH psychologist James Cantor, the study’s lead author.

The height of men in the study who were attracted to young teenagers – known as hebephiles – was right in the middle of the pedophile and non-pedophile average.

Cantor stressed the vast majority of shorter men have no sexual desire for children.

But for men who are pedophiles, the pre-birth conditions that affected their growth could also have interfered with the sexual wiring of their brains.

While nothing in the study pointed to the exact time such a neurological change occurs, Cantor said earlier research indicates it happens in the womb.

“Pedophiles are (also) about three times more likely to be left-handed and that’s something that really only happens with brain organization before birth.”

Cantor said the suspected biological link to the disorder does not lessen the culpability of pedophiles who act on their sexual urges.

“The best analogy is that the great majority of males are attracted to women for biological reasons, but that doesn’t excuse rape,” he said.

The research has potential for a medical prevention for pedophilia, especially if the conditions that cause the disease can be identified and altered in the womb.

No one knows what percentage of men are pedophiles, but Cantor said it is a uniquely male condition and that his group at the centre assesses 250 to 300 men a year who are suspected of being pedophiles.

Published in: on October 24, 2007 at 1:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Little Man Syndrome

Pedophiles are significantly shorter on average than men who are attracted to adults, according to a new study out of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Similar height differences can be found in men who crave sex with pubescent teenagers, say study researchers, who speculate the link between stature and pedophilia might be traced to conditions in the womb.

The study – which looked at 1,200 men, most of whom were assessed for sexual disorders between 1995 and 2006 at the centre – was published yesterday in Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment.

It found pedophiles were 2 cm shorter than the average Canadian man, who stands 178 cm or 5 feet 10 inches tall, a statistically significant difference.

“It’s about double the effect that would happen if a mother smokes while she’s pregnant,” said CAMH psychologist James Cantor, the study’s lead author.

The height of men in the study who were attracted to young teenagers – known as hebephiles – was right in the middle of the pedophile and non-pedophile average.

Cantor stressed the vast majority of shorter men have no sexual desire for children.

But for men who are pedophiles, the pre-birth conditions that affected their growth could also have interfered with the sexual wiring of their brains.

While nothing in the study pointed to the exact time such a neurological change occurs, Cantor said earlier research indicates it happens in the womb.

“Pedophiles are (also) about three times more likely to be left-handed and that’s something that really only happens with brain organization before birth.”

Cantor said the suspected biological link to the disorder does not lessen the culpability of pedophiles who act on their sexual urges.

“The best analogy is that the great majority of males are attracted to women for biological reasons, but that doesn’t excuse rape,” he said.

The research has potential for a medical prevention for pedophilia, especially if the conditions that cause the disease can be identified and altered in the womb.

No one knows what percentage of men are pedophiles, but Cantor said it is a uniquely male condition and that his group at the centre assesses 250 to 300 men a year who are suspected of being pedophiles.

Published in: on October 24, 2007 at 1:16 am  Leave a Comment