Frazier Man Indicted for Child Porn Possession

United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced November 15 that a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Steven Stitt, 54, of Frazier Park, with receiving and possessing child pornography. The indictment alleges that on or about March 1, 2007, Stitt received and was in possession of images involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

[Read the initial article: “Frazier Man Charged With Selling Pot To Minor]

The case was investigated by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.

The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to court documents previously filed in this case, on March 1, 2007, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed a federal search warrant on Stitt’s residence based on information that Stitt was in possession of child pornography during the course of a Kern County Sheriff’s Department drug investigation. On-site forensic examination revealed numerous images of child pornography depicting the sexual exploitation of minors contained on Stitt’s computer hard drive and CD’s.

According to Deputy District Attorney David Wolf, of the Kern County District Attorney’s Office, Stitt is in state custody, pending charges for three counts of criminal threats against law enforcement officers, in violation of California Penal Code 422.

On August 23, 2007, he was sentenced to four years in prison based on a conviction for possession of marijuana for sale, in violation of California Health and Safety Code Section 11358.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Sherrill A. Carvalho, who is prosecuting the federal case, if convicted of the charges as alleged in the federal indictment, Stitt faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment, for receipt of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors. Possession of child pornography is punishable for up to ten years in prison.

Both offenses provide for a possible lifetime term of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

However, the actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables, and any applicable statutory sentencing factors.

Published in: on November 25, 2007 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Frazier Man Indicted for Child Porn Possession

United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced November 15 that a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Steven Stitt, 54, of Frazier Park, with receiving and possessing child pornography. The indictment alleges that on or about March 1, 2007, Stitt received and was in possession of images involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

[Read the initial article: “Frazier Man Charged With Selling Pot To Minor]

The case was investigated by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.

The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to court documents previously filed in this case, on March 1, 2007, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed a federal search warrant on Stitt’s residence based on information that Stitt was in possession of child pornography during the course of a Kern County Sheriff’s Department drug investigation. On-site forensic examination revealed numerous images of child pornography depicting the sexual exploitation of minors contained on Stitt’s computer hard drive and CD’s.

According to Deputy District Attorney David Wolf, of the Kern County District Attorney’s Office, Stitt is in state custody, pending charges for three counts of criminal threats against law enforcement officers, in violation of California Penal Code 422.

On August 23, 2007, he was sentenced to four years in prison based on a conviction for possession of marijuana for sale, in violation of California Health and Safety Code Section 11358.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Sherrill A. Carvalho, who is prosecuting the federal case, if convicted of the charges as alleged in the federal indictment, Stitt faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment, for receipt of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors. Possession of child pornography is punishable for up to ten years in prison.

Both offenses provide for a possible lifetime term of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

However, the actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables, and any applicable statutory sentencing factors.

Published in: on November 25, 2007 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

The attacks, he said, would give him a “buzz”

He said he often got uncontrollable sexual urges and when these came over him, he could not stop himself from assaulting any woman who might be in the area. The attacks, he said, would give him a “buzz”.

A 46-year-old computer programmer, described by a judge as a “sexual predator”, who prowled the streets at night looking for women to attack, was sentenced to three years in prison with the last two years suspended, at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last Friday.

Gerard Walsh, Ower, Roscahill, Galway, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in the Shantalla area of the city on a date unknown between December 1 and 31, 2002.

Walsh had been exposing himself to women for 20 years, before he ‘graduated’ to this assault, reports from therapists handed into court revealed.

The accused was 42 when he committed this offence and Gardaí received no complaints from other women since it occurred almost five years ago, the court was also told.

Garda Bernice McGowan gave evidence that in December 2002, the teenager was walking home alone at night along Shantalla Road when she noticed a man following her. She got a good look at him and managed to get home safely.

Then, two weeks later she was walking the same route home at 8.30pm when she was grabbed from behind by the same man. He sexually assaulted her but she screamed at him to leave her alone and he ran away in the direction of Cooke’s Corner. She again got a good look at him and realised it was the same man who had been following her two weeks previously.

Then on January 14, 2005, at 8.45pm the girl was walking alone in a laneway near her home when she again saw her attacker walking behind her. She screamed at the top of her voice and he ran off in the direction of Rahoon Road. The girl went to Salthill Garda Station and made a formal complaint.

She had always walked everywhere but after those incidents she saved up and bought herself a car and in February, 2006, was driving home when she noticed him walking in the same area.
Then, on March 16, 2006, at 10.50 pm she was driving down Shantalla Road when she saw her attacker again. She saw him get into a silver Ford Fiesta and she followed him in her own car to Fairlands Park, in Newcastle, where he parked his car.

The girl rang the Gardai and they arrived at the scene. Walsh admitted straight away that he had sexually assaulted the young girl. Garda McGowan stated the girl had been a strong, fearless, independent person prior to the attack but since it happened she was afraid to be on her own at night and was even afraid to be home alone.

Garda McGowan said Walsh, a native of Tralee, had told her he always came to the Shantalla/Highfield Park area of the city after finishing work to go for a walk because the area was quiet.

He said he often got uncontrollable sexual urges and when these came over him, he could not stop himself from assaulting any woman who might be in the area. The attacks, he said, would give him a “buzz”.

The court heard the accused had a previous conviction for indecently exposing himself in February, 1996, and he had been given the benefit of the Probation Act at Gort District Court in 1998.

Judge Raymond Groarke said that any person who attacks people walking home in the dark goes to prison to act as a deterrent for others contemplating attacking people in similar manner.

“This man is a sexual predator, ambushing and pursuing vulnerable young girls, and if I do not sentence him to a term of imprisonment, then the young ladies of the West of Ireland are going to say, ‘What protection are the courts affording us?’, and they would be right,” the judge said.

Reading the reports, Judge Groarke observed there was a very high risk of Walsh reoffending.
The judge said Walsh had planned this attack and that his “modus operandi” for 20 years beforehand was to expose himself to females in public places and to female hitchhikers in his car.
Imposing the sentence, Judge Groarke said the offence occurred almost five years ago and he had to take into account the fact that Walsh had not re-offended in the interim.

The final two years of the three-year sentence were suspended on condition that on Walsh’s release from prison he come under the strict supervision of the Probation Service and not re-offend for five years. The accused was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.


Published in: on November 25, 2007 at 7:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sex offender frightens Whitcomb tenants


Children once ran through the halls of Whitcomb Terrace.

Tucked among the trees in Essex Junction, the building shelters 19 disabled and elderly adults, with subsidized rooms for low-income tenants. The tenants used to meet outside their rooms and play with their grandchildren in the lobby or the rec room.

JoAnn Thibault called the place home.

Then James Bushway moved in upstairs.

Bushway, 62, raped a pregnant University of Vermont employee at knifepoint in 1982, his second rape conviction in 16 years. When he completed his prison sentence in 1998, police obtained special permission from the state Corrections Department to alert the public. Bushway returned to society untreated, and is under no further legal obligation other than to report to the sex offender registry.

Bushway’s arrival at Whitcomb Terrace more than a year ago prompted his neighbors to begin locking their doors. Children rarely visit. Thibault decided to move out by the end of November after a run-in with Bushway more than a month ago.

“There aren’t many things that rock my socks, but he does,” Thibault said. “He terrifies me.”

At least four tenants say Bushway — who is 5-feet-4 inches, 190 pounds, according to the sex offender registry — has either grabbed them, threatened them and their pets, or driven toward them on his motorized scooter, which he uses to get around.

Bushway declined to comment for this story.

Thibault, 59, suffers from multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease. The stress of living with Bushway, she says, worsens her condition and is forcing her out. Thibault said she’s not sure where she’ll go.

“I’m terrified of not knowing where I’ll live,” Thibault said, “but I’m not as terrified as I am living here.”
The application process

Thibault’s lifelong companion, Ed LaRock, a former Burlington police officer, died of cancer in 2001. Her friends call her “Shotgun.” She does her own laundry, watches NASCAR, and her video collection includes action flicks like “Under Siege 2,” starring Steven Seagal. She loathes depending on her motorized scooter — equipped with all-terrain wheels — and kicks it contemptuously each morning.

Thibault said she suspected Bushway’s criminal history from his appearance and behavior, which led her to look him up on the sex offender registry. She said she complained to no avail about Bushway to her property manager, Linda Chiasson. Chiasson , who accepted Bushway into the building.

Chiasson declined to comment.[

Chiasson, who declined to comment, works for Cathedral Square Corp., which owns Whitcomb Terrace and 17 other housing properties in Vermont. The two-story building provides housing for elderly and disabled people. Whitcomb Terrace gives preference to disabled people younger than 62, which Bushway would have been upon his arrival.

Cathedral Square checks the sex offender registry for applicants and would consider housing a registered sex offender who is not subject to lifetime registration, said Nancy Eldridge, executive director. Eldridge would not speak specifically about Bushway’s residency at Whitcomb Terrace.

“We try to be very fair to every resident,” Eldridge said.

Prospective tenants fill out an application, which asks about criminal convictions, and Cathedral Square adds them to a wait list, and screens them for eligibility. Housing agencies perform additional screening for tenants applying for project-based Section 8 housing. Accepted tenants agree to a one-year lease.

If tenants feel threatened, “We encourage them to call the police,” Eldridge said.

Tenants say they have called and met with Essex police regarding Bushway, beginning this summer.

“We can’t discuss ongoing investigations,” said Lt. Ken Beaulieu of the Essex Police Department, “but if we had a legitimate concern, we would alert the public.”
Where, if not Whitcomb?

Barring another offense, Bushway’s name will be taken off the sex offender registry next year, 10 years after his release from prison. Under Vermont law, sex offenders are registered for either 10 years or for life following their release.

Bushway has stayed out of serious trouble since 1998, having been convicted of two misdemeanors: DWI and marijuana possession. However, his reputation as a sex offender has preceded him at Whitcomb Terrace.

“Because it’s difficult for anyone who’s living on a low income and has difficulty with a disability to find housing, I would assume that if that person is a sex offender, it would be that much harder,” said Ed Paquin, executive director of Vermont Protection and Advocacy.

The private, nonprofit organization supports disabled Vermonters, providing them services and legal representation.

“I have no ideas about the particulars of this case,” Paquin said. “I think everyone recognizes an individual who has served his time, and is considered to be free to move back to the community, should be given that opportunity. If that individual can be situated in a living situation where the neighbors are not living in fear, obviously that’s a better situation.”

Whitcomb Terrace tenant Jo Ann Kenyon, 57, a former guard at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, said she knew Bushway in prison, and fears his history of violence against women will continue.

“He’s the type that raises the hair on the back of your neck,” Kenyon said. “I’m not afraid of him, and I’m not going to let him force me out. But he is dangerous. It’s a fact; he’s dangerous. And we’ve got people here who can’t defend themselves.”

In 1966, Bushway was committed to the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury for raping a Burlington woman. He was released in 1974, and was convicted of assaulting a Charlotte woman in 1977.

In 1983, Bushway pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting the UVM employee in exchange for the state’s dropping a habitual offender charge, which carried a potential life sentence. He was sentenced to 18 to 20 years, and served 15 in prison.

Paquin agreed with Thibault that stress can worsen a disabled person’s condition, and that Whitcomb Terrace tenants should live in safety.

“I don’t question the legitimacy of society to protect itself from sex offenders,” Paquin said. “If that plays into this, the other tenants deserve protection.”
Contact Matt Ryan at 651-4849 or mryan@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com

Published in: on November 25, 2007 at 5:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sex offender frightens Whitcomb tenants


Children once ran through the halls of Whitcomb Terrace.

Tucked among the trees in Essex Junction, the building shelters 19 disabled and elderly adults, with subsidized rooms for low-income tenants. The tenants used to meet outside their rooms and play with their grandchildren in the lobby or the rec room.

JoAnn Thibault called the place home.

Then James Bushway moved in upstairs.

Bushway, 62, raped a pregnant University of Vermont employee at knifepoint in 1982, his second rape conviction in 16 years. When he completed his prison sentence in 1998, police obtained special permission from the state Corrections Department to alert the public. Bushway returned to society untreated, and is under no further legal obligation other than to report to the sex offender registry.

Bushway’s arrival at Whitcomb Terrace more than a year ago prompted his neighbors to begin locking their doors. Children rarely visit. Thibault decided to move out by the end of November after a run-in with Bushway more than a month ago.

“There aren’t many things that rock my socks, but he does,” Thibault said. “He terrifies me.”

At least four tenants say Bushway — who is 5-feet-4 inches, 190 pounds, according to the sex offender registry — has either grabbed them, threatened them and their pets, or driven toward them on his motorized scooter, which he uses to get around.

Bushway declined to comment for this story.

Thibault, 59, suffers from multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease. The stress of living with Bushway, she says, worsens her condition and is forcing her out. Thibault said she’s not sure where she’ll go.

“I’m terrified of not knowing where I’ll live,” Thibault said, “but I’m not as terrified as I am living here.”
The application process

Thibault’s lifelong companion, Ed LaRock, a former Burlington police officer, died of cancer in 2001. Her friends call her “Shotgun.” She does her own laundry, watches NASCAR, and her video collection includes action flicks like “Under Siege 2,” starring Steven Seagal. She loathes depending on her motorized scooter — equipped with all-terrain wheels — and kicks it contemptuously each morning.

Thibault said she suspected Bushway’s criminal history from his appearance and behavior, which led her to look him up on the sex offender registry. She said she complained to no avail about Bushway to her property manager, Linda Chiasson. Chiasson , who accepted Bushway into the building.

Chiasson declined to comment.[

Chiasson, who declined to comment, works for Cathedral Square Corp., which owns Whitcomb Terrace and 17 other housing properties in Vermont. The two-story building provides housing for elderly and disabled people. Whitcomb Terrace gives preference to disabled people younger than 62, which Bushway would have been upon his arrival.

Cathedral Square checks the sex offender registry for applicants and would consider housing a registered sex offender who is not subject to lifetime registration, said Nancy Eldridge, executive director. Eldridge would not speak specifically about Bushway’s residency at Whitcomb Terrace.

“We try to be very fair to every resident,” Eldridge said.

Prospective tenants fill out an application, which asks about criminal convictions, and Cathedral Square adds them to a wait list, and screens them for eligibility. Housing agencies perform additional screening for tenants applying for project-based Section 8 housing. Accepted tenants agree to a one-year lease.

If tenants feel threatened, “We encourage them to call the police,” Eldridge said.

Tenants say they have called and met with Essex police regarding Bushway, beginning this summer.

“We can’t discuss ongoing investigations,” said Lt. Ken Beaulieu of the Essex Police Department, “but if we had a legitimate concern, we would alert the public.”
Where, if not Whitcomb?

Barring another offense, Bushway’s name will be taken off the sex offender registry next year, 10 years after his release from prison. Under Vermont law, sex offenders are registered for either 10 years or for life following their release.

Bushway has stayed out of serious trouble since 1998, having been convicted of two misdemeanors: DWI and marijuana possession. However, his reputation as a sex offender has preceded him at Whitcomb Terrace.

“Because it’s difficult for anyone who’s living on a low income and has difficulty with a disability to find housing, I would assume that if that person is a sex offender, it would be that much harder,” said Ed Paquin, executive director of Vermont Protection and Advocacy.

The private, nonprofit organization supports disabled Vermonters, providing them services and legal representation.

“I have no ideas about the particulars of this case,” Paquin said. “I think everyone recognizes an individual who has served his time, and is considered to be free to move back to the community, should be given that opportunity. If that individual can be situated in a living situation where the neighbors are not living in fear, obviously that’s a better situation.”

Whitcomb Terrace tenant Jo Ann Kenyon, 57, a former guard at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, said she knew Bushway in prison, and fears his history of violence against women will continue.

“He’s the type that raises the hair on the back of your neck,” Kenyon said. “I’m not afraid of him, and I’m not going to let him force me out. But he is dangerous. It’s a fact; he’s dangerous. And we’ve got people here who can’t defend themselves.”

In 1966, Bushway was committed to the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury for raping a Burlington woman. He was released in 1974, and was convicted of assaulting a Charlotte woman in 1977.

In 1983, Bushway pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting the UVM employee in exchange for the state’s dropping a habitual offender charge, which carried a potential life sentence. He was sentenced to 18 to 20 years, and served 15 in prison.

Paquin agreed with Thibault that stress can worsen a disabled person’s condition, and that Whitcomb Terrace tenants should live in safety.

“I don’t question the legitimacy of society to protect itself from sex offenders,” Paquin said. “If that plays into this, the other tenants deserve protection.”
Contact Matt Ryan at 651-4849 or mryan@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com

Published in: on November 25, 2007 at 5:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sex offender frightens Whitcomb tenants


Children once ran through the halls of Whitcomb Terrace.

Tucked among the trees in Essex Junction, the building shelters 19 disabled and elderly adults, with subsidized rooms for low-income tenants. The tenants used to meet outside their rooms and play with their grandchildren in the lobby or the rec room.

JoAnn Thibault called the place home.

Then James Bushway moved in upstairs.

Bushway, 62, raped a pregnant University of Vermont employee at knifepoint in 1982, his second rape conviction in 16 years. When he completed his prison sentence in 1998, police obtained special permission from the state Corrections Department to alert the public. Bushway returned to society untreated, and is under no further legal obligation other than to report to the sex offender registry.

Bushway’s arrival at Whitcomb Terrace more than a year ago prompted his neighbors to begin locking their doors. Children rarely visit. Thibault decided to move out by the end of November after a run-in with Bushway more than a month ago.

“There aren’t many things that rock my socks, but he does,” Thibault said. “He terrifies me.”

At least four tenants say Bushway — who is 5-feet-4 inches, 190 pounds, according to the sex offender registry — has either grabbed them, threatened them and their pets, or driven toward them on his motorized scooter, which he uses to get around.

Bushway declined to comment for this story.

Thibault, 59, suffers from multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease. The stress of living with Bushway, she says, worsens her condition and is forcing her out. Thibault said she’s not sure where she’ll go.

“I’m terrified of not knowing where I’ll live,” Thibault said, “but I’m not as terrified as I am living here.”
The application process

Thibault’s lifelong companion, Ed LaRock, a former Burlington police officer, died of cancer in 2001. Her friends call her “Shotgun.” She does her own laundry, watches NASCAR, and her video collection includes action flicks like “Under Siege 2,” starring Steven Seagal. She loathes depending on her motorized scooter — equipped with all-terrain wheels — and kicks it contemptuously each morning.

Thibault said she suspected Bushway’s criminal history from his appearance and behavior, which led her to look him up on the sex offender registry. She said she complained to no avail about Bushway to her property manager, Linda Chiasson. Chiasson , who accepted Bushway into the building.

Chiasson declined to comment.[

Chiasson, who declined to comment, works for Cathedral Square Corp., which owns Whitcomb Terrace and 17 other housing properties in Vermont. The two-story building provides housing for elderly and disabled people. Whitcomb Terrace gives preference to disabled people younger than 62, which Bushway would have been upon his arrival.

Cathedral Square checks the sex offender registry for applicants and would consider housing a registered sex offender who is not subject to lifetime registration, said Nancy Eldridge, executive director. Eldridge would not speak specifically about Bushway’s residency at Whitcomb Terrace.

“We try to be very fair to every resident,” Eldridge said.

Prospective tenants fill out an application, which asks about criminal convictions, and Cathedral Square adds them to a wait list, and screens them for eligibility. Housing agencies perform additional screening for tenants applying for project-based Section 8 housing. Accepted tenants agree to a one-year lease.

If tenants feel threatened, “We encourage them to call the police,” Eldridge said.

Tenants say they have called and met with Essex police regarding Bushway, beginning this summer.

“We can’t discuss ongoing investigations,” said Lt. Ken Beaulieu of the Essex Police Department, “but if we had a legitimate concern, we would alert the public.”
Where, if not Whitcomb?

Barring another offense, Bushway’s name will be taken off the sex offender registry next year, 10 years after his release from prison. Under Vermont law, sex offenders are registered for either 10 years or for life following their release.

Bushway has stayed out of serious trouble since 1998, having been convicted of two misdemeanors: DWI and marijuana possession. However, his reputation as a sex offender has preceded him at Whitcomb Terrace.

“Because it’s difficult for anyone who’s living on a low income and has difficulty with a disability to find housing, I would assume that if that person is a sex offender, it would be that much harder,” said Ed Paquin, executive director of Vermont Protection and Advocacy.

The private, nonprofit organization supports disabled Vermonters, providing them services and legal representation.

“I have no ideas about the particulars of this case,” Paquin said. “I think everyone recognizes an individual who has served his time, and is considered to be free to move back to the community, should be given that opportunity. If that individual can be situated in a living situation where the neighbors are not living in fear, obviously that’s a better situation.”

Whitcomb Terrace tenant Jo Ann Kenyon, 57, a former guard at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, said she knew Bushway in prison, and fears his history of violence against women will continue.

“He’s the type that raises the hair on the back of your neck,” Kenyon said. “I’m not afraid of him, and I’m not going to let him force me out. But he is dangerous. It’s a fact; he’s dangerous. And we’ve got people here who can’t defend themselves.”

In 1966, Bushway was committed to the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury for raping a Burlington woman. He was released in 1974, and was convicted of assaulting a Charlotte woman in 1977.

In 1983, Bushway pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting the UVM employee in exchange for the state’s dropping a habitual offender charge, which carried a potential life sentence. He was sentenced to 18 to 20 years, and served 15 in prison.

Paquin agreed with Thibault that stress can worsen a disabled person’s condition, and that Whitcomb Terrace tenants should live in safety.

“I don’t question the legitimacy of society to protect itself from sex offenders,” Paquin said. “If that plays into this, the other tenants deserve protection.”
Contact Matt Ryan at 651-4849 or mryan@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com

Published in: on November 25, 2007 at 5:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Habitual Sex Offender Arrested Twice This Week


Police in St. Mary’s County on Wednesday arrested 62-year-old Vernon Jon Gifford, of Lexington Park, for a third-degree sex offense against a child that allegedly occurred in November 2005. Detectives from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) say they just recently learned of the incident.

Police say that in November 2005, Gifford worked as a carpenter and was helping the victim’s father when he lured the victim into his van and committed a third-degree sex offense. The victim, a female, was 7-years-old at the time of the offense. Police say the offense occurred in California, St. Mary’s County, Maryland.

Gifford was just arrested on Monday, November 19, and charged with child abuse and child abuse by sexual exploitation.

Monday’s charges were the result of an investigation into an incident on Thursday, November 15, in which Gifford, allegedly exposed himself to a 6-year-old girl while at her residence in Lexington Park.

Gifford is a registered sex offender. He was on work release from the St. Mary’s County Detention Center when the November 15 incident occurred. His work release status has been revoked.

Gifford was sentenced to two three-year jail terms in September 2006 after he pleaded guilty to a third-degree sex offense against a 7-year-old girl, that occurred on April 21, 2006, and a separate assault against another female. Both sentences were reduced to 18-months each along with five years of supervised probation and the condition that Gifford have no contact with the victims or their families. The 18-month terms were to be served consecutively.

Gifford is a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer.

Published in: on November 25, 2007 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Habitual Sex Offender Arrested Twice This Week


Police in St. Mary’s County on Wednesday arrested 62-year-old Vernon Jon Gifford, of Lexington Park, for a third-degree sex offense against a child that allegedly occurred in November 2005. Detectives from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) say they just recently learned of the incident.

Police say that in November 2005, Gifford worked as a carpenter and was helping the victim’s father when he lured the victim into his van and committed a third-degree sex offense. The victim, a female, was 7-years-old at the time of the offense. Police say the offense occurred in California, St. Mary’s County, Maryland.

Gifford was just arrested on Monday, November 19, and charged with child abuse and child abuse by sexual exploitation.

Monday’s charges were the result of an investigation into an incident on Thursday, November 15, in which Gifford, allegedly exposed himself to a 6-year-old girl while at her residence in Lexington Park.

Gifford is a registered sex offender. He was on work release from the St. Mary’s County Detention Center when the November 15 incident occurred. His work release status has been revoked.

Gifford was sentenced to two three-year jail terms in September 2006 after he pleaded guilty to a third-degree sex offense against a 7-year-old girl, that occurred on April 21, 2006, and a separate assault against another female. Both sentences were reduced to 18-months each along with five years of supervised probation and the condition that Gifford have no contact with the victims or their families. The 18-month terms were to be served consecutively.

Gifford is a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer.

Published in: on November 25, 2007 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Habitual Sex Offender Arrested Twice This Week


Police in St. Mary’s County on Wednesday arrested 62-year-old Vernon Jon Gifford, of Lexington Park, for a third-degree sex offense against a child that allegedly occurred in November 2005. Detectives from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) say they just recently learned of the incident.

Police say that in November 2005, Gifford worked as a carpenter and was helping the victim’s father when he lured the victim into his van and committed a third-degree sex offense. The victim, a female, was 7-years-old at the time of the offense. Police say the offense occurred in California, St. Mary’s County, Maryland.

Gifford was just arrested on Monday, November 19, and charged with child abuse and child abuse by sexual exploitation.

Monday’s charges were the result of an investigation into an incident on Thursday, November 15, in which Gifford, allegedly exposed himself to a 6-year-old girl while at her residence in Lexington Park.

Gifford is a registered sex offender. He was on work release from the St. Mary’s County Detention Center when the November 15 incident occurred. His work release status has been revoked.

Gifford was sentenced to two three-year jail terms in September 2006 after he pleaded guilty to a third-degree sex offense against a 7-year-old girl, that occurred on April 21, 2006, and a separate assault against another female. Both sentences were reduced to 18-months each along with five years of supervised probation and the condition that Gifford have no contact with the victims or their families. The 18-month terms were to be served consecutively.

Gifford is a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer.

Published in: on November 25, 2007 at 4:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Police warn public about sex offender


City police issued a public warning today about a recently released sex offender who plans to live in the Edmonton area.

Kenneth MacWatt, 39, served seven years at the Bowden Institution for aggravated sexual assault.

Police consider MacWatt a sex offender who clearly poses a risk of significant harm to the community and vulnerable women. His criminal history includes convictions for aggravated sexual assault and assault causing bodily harm.

Police spokesman Dean Parthenis said the warning was issued not to encourage vigilante action against MacWatt, but so the public can take precautionary measures.

Published in: on November 25, 2007 at 4:41 pm  Leave a Comment