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