Roger Arapis Guilty! Child Molestation

An 86-year-old man accused of molesting a girl he had known through church for 10 years likely will spend the rest of his life in prison.

“The offenses didn’t stop when she was 14. In fact, there were probably over 1,000 crimes committed against this person,” prosecutor Andrew Isaac said.

Roger Arapis pleaded guilty to 60 felony counts of child molestation and other sex crimes during a court appearance Wednesday. The Santa Cruz man likely will face a sentence of eight to 17 years in prison, although his guilty pleas would add up to a sentence of hundreds of years in prison.

“This is … a confinement to the Department of Corrections for the rest of his life,” Judge Samuel Stevens said in court.

The white-haired Arapis needed to sit during the proceedings and sometimes appeared to have a hard time hearing the judge. Others in the courtroom recoiled and some looked astounded as Stevens read the charges against Arapis, including 50 counts of molesting a child younger than 14 and 10 counts of oral copulation with a minor.

“The offenses didn’t stop when she was 14. In fact, there were probably over 1,000 crimes committed against this person,” prosecutor Andrew Isaac said.

The District Attorney’s Office charged Arapis only with crimes committed before the girl turned 15.

The molestation began in September 1995 when the girl was about 5 years old and continued until at least fall 2004, according to Isaac. The girl, who is now 17 and still lives in the area with her family, told a friend about the abuse earlier this year. The friend, in turn, told her family and they contacted Santa Cruz police.

Arapis, a family friend from church, was arrested in March.

“This was one of those unfortunate situations when the family trusted the wrong person,” Isaac said.

Defense attorney Julie Dunger said that Arapis decided to plead guilty to save the girl the trauma of testifying during a trial.

The girl is not being identified because of the nature of the crimes involved.

Arapis, who did not receive a plea deal, also admitted to special allegations that the girl was younger than 14 and that he had “substantial sexual contact” with her. He will be sentenced Jan. 30.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 1:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

James Randy Gatling – Coach charged child molestation

A former high school coach charged with sexual indecency with a child appeared in court Friday, and his arrest is just the latest in a string of alleged internet crimes across the state. Law enforcement officials are cracking down on these kinds of crimes, and issuing a warning to those thinking about committing them.

James Randy Gatling, 58, was given a $10,000 bond Friday, after Shannon Hills police say the former basketball coach’s online chats with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old landed him on police radar.

Sadly these kinds of cases are cropping up all over the state.

(Terry Ball, Deputy Prosecutor, Pulaski County) “We have cases in which the internet predator starts with the communication with someone they believe to be 13, then they set up meetings. Then they travel to sometimes from out of state from Florida or Texas or Ohio. Sometimes they bring ropes and masking tape.”

That unthinkable behavior is why recent internet stings are targeting more of the predators to prevent a virtual victim from becoming a real one.

A random survey of law enforcement agencies across central Arkansas is quite telling. In Shannon Hills, where Gatling was arrested, there have been 11 similar arrests this past year. White County and North Little Rock each took three suspects into custody.

More than 20 such convictions are noted at the Department of Correction.

(Ball) “Some are going to prison, some get huge fines, huge probation with a lot of rules associated with it. It just depends on the individual case. A lot of them are going to the penitentiary.”

Ball says it’s just a matter of time before they get caught.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 1:24 pm  Comments (2)  

Sex offender attacks girl in front of family


She was the only one on the jungle gym at University Park in Phoenix when she was attacked, a 4-year old girl 30 feet away from her own family.

Witnesses say William Speed grabbed the girl and took off her clothes.

When she screamed witnesses and family members fought the man off of her. The girl’s cousin told 12 News she’s fine, but refuses to talk about what happened.

In 1996, Speed was convicted of molesting a7-year-old girl and spent time in prison. Police say he is a registered sex offender but is also homeless. His address comes back to the CASS shelter in downtown Phoenix. The director of Central Arizona Shelter Systems says at least 70 sex offenders are living on campus and there’s no real way to track them.

The victim’s family says they’ve learned an awful lesson. They’ re now more vigilant around their children The girl’s aunt, who was with her at the park, is said to be guilt-ridden over what happened.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Sex offender attacks girl in front of family


She was the only one on the jungle gym at University Park in Phoenix when she was attacked, a 4-year old girl 30 feet away from her own family.

Witnesses say William Speed grabbed the girl and took off her clothes.

When she screamed witnesses and family members fought the man off of her. The girl’s cousin told 12 News she’s fine, but refuses to talk about what happened.

In 1996, Speed was convicted of molesting a7-year-old girl and spent time in prison. Police say he is a registered sex offender but is also homeless. His address comes back to the CASS shelter in downtown Phoenix. The director of Central Arizona Shelter Systems says at least 70 sex offenders are living on campus and there’s no real way to track them.

The victim’s family says they’ve learned an awful lesson. They’ re now more vigilant around their children The girl’s aunt, who was with her at the park, is said to be guilt-ridden over what happened.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Man faces child porn charges in break-in at radio station


A federal prosecutor once told a judge that Robert Blakeslee had a “black belt in child sexual exploitation.”

The Williamsport man, who is serving a two-year prison term for violating his supervised release on a child pornography sentence, has been indicted again.

Blakeslee, 65, is charged with three counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. One of the counts returned Thursday by a U.S. Middle District grand jury alleges he had more than 600 illegal computer images.

Wayne P. Samuelson offered his “black belt” description last year when Blakeslee was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane on the release-condition violations.

Those violations, as well as the new charges, stem from a March 31, 2006, break-in at radio station WLYC in South Williamsport, where Blakeslee formerly worked. He allegedly used a computer there to download child pornography and to try to lure a 14-year-old girl to Florida.

Blakeslee is no stranger to Kane’s courtroom and child pornography allegations:

  • In 2004, Kane sentenced Blakeslee to 6 months in prison and 30 months’ supervised release for violating terms of his supervision. He had associated with a child without permission and possessed pornographic or sexually stimulating material.
  • In 2005, Blakeslee again violated release terms, and Kane sentenced him to six months in jail and two years’ supervised release.
  • He likely will be prosecuted before Kane on the latest charges.

    Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:47 am  Leave a Comment  

    Man faces child porn charges in break-in at radio station


    A federal prosecutor once told a judge that Robert Blakeslee had a “black belt in child sexual exploitation.”

    The Williamsport man, who is serving a two-year prison term for violating his supervised release on a child pornography sentence, has been indicted again.

    Blakeslee, 65, is charged with three counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. One of the counts returned Thursday by a U.S. Middle District grand jury alleges he had more than 600 illegal computer images.

    Wayne P. Samuelson offered his “black belt” description last year when Blakeslee was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane on the release-condition violations.

    Those violations, as well as the new charges, stem from a March 31, 2006, break-in at radio station WLYC in South Williamsport, where Blakeslee formerly worked. He allegedly used a computer there to download child pornography and to try to lure a 14-year-old girl to Florida.

    Blakeslee is no stranger to Kane’s courtroom and child pornography allegations:

  • In 2004, Kane sentenced Blakeslee to 6 months in prison and 30 months’ supervised release for violating terms of his supervision. He had associated with a child without permission and possessed pornographic or sexually stimulating material.
  • In 2005, Blakeslee again violated release terms, and Kane sentenced him to six months in jail and two years’ supervised release.
  • He likely will be prosecuted before Kane on the latest charges.

    Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:47 am  Leave a Comment  

    Bus Driver Charged With Molesting Child On Bus


    Prosecutors have charged a school bus driver with child molestation.

    Police say the driver, 54-year-old Steven Denbow of Cedar Hill, Missouri, was training a new driver. As Denbow sat in a seat behind the driver, he allegedly held an 8-year-old girl on his lap. Prosecutors described it by saying he “inappropriately held the student.”

    The driver in training, who is also the mother of the 8-year-old girl, notified the Hillsboro School District. District officials called the police.

    After looking at school bus surveillance video of the incident, prosecutors charged Denbow with 1st degree child molestation.

    Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:43 am  Leave a Comment  

    Bus Driver Charged With Molesting Child On Bus


    Prosecutors have charged a school bus driver with child molestation.

    Police say the driver, 54-year-old Steven Denbow of Cedar Hill, Missouri, was training a new driver. As Denbow sat in a seat behind the driver, he allegedly held an 8-year-old girl on his lap. Prosecutors described it by saying he “inappropriately held the student.”

    The driver in training, who is also the mother of the 8-year-old girl, notified the Hillsboro School District. District officials called the police.

    After looking at school bus surveillance video of the incident, prosecutors charged Denbow with 1st degree child molestation.

    Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:43 am  Leave a Comment  

    Man Facing Child Porn, Molestation Charges In Eustis


    A Eustis man was jailed Monday on child pornography charges.

    Eustis police arrested 56-year-old David York.

    He is accused of molesting two children in his home.

    According to police, York had 19 pornographic pictures of children and adults engaged in sexual conduct.

    Officers also seized his computer and found 60 suspected child pornographic movies.York is being held in the Lake County jail with no bond.

    Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:41 am  Leave a Comment  

    Man Facing Child Porn, Molestation Charges In Eustis


    A Eustis man was jailed Monday on child pornography charges.

    Eustis police arrested 56-year-old David York.

    He is accused of molesting two children in his home.

    According to police, York had 19 pornographic pictures of children and adults engaged in sexual conduct.

    Officers also seized his computer and found 60 suspected child pornographic movies.York is being held in the Lake County jail with no bond.

    Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:41 am  Leave a Comment