Child molester gets 13 years

Government should make psychological counselling available to all victims of sexual abuse, a High Court judge said yesterday as he sent a Caroni man to jail for 13 years for molesting a six-year-old girl.

Justice Mark Mohammed also called on Government to move immediately to amend the Sexual Offences Act as it related to the registration of convicted sex offenders.

According to the judge, that part of the Act was so badly written that orders made under it cannot be properly carried out.

“I make the call for this to be done as a matter of urgency. One hopes that it will not take a tragedy… for one to realise that the need (for the relevant amendments),” he said.

In addition to sending 40-year-old Jimmy Gopaul to jail, Justice Mohammed ordered that he be placed on the registry of sexual offenders for a period of five years, which is expected to start running from the date of his release from prison.

Gopaul pleaded guilty on December 5, to a charge of grievous sexual assault against a six-year-old girl on June 22, 2004.

His guilty plea came after he heard that the girl, now nine years old, tried to kill herself as the trial date neared. His mother also convinced him to take responsibility for his actions.

Justice Mohammed had ordered an assessment of how the assault has impacted on the victim, and referring to the report yesterday, he said it was clear that the girl had been sent into a “psychological abyss” which would require long-term counselling to help her recover.

“Physical injury is one aspect (of a sexual assault). Psychological wounds may last a lifetime,” the judge said, adding that it was time that counselling services should be more widely available, especially for child victims.

Acting Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Jeron Joseph, who represented the State, told the judge the girl was expected start free counselling sessions this week.

Regarding the sexual offenders registry, which the Sexual Offences Act provides for, Justice Mohammed said many sections of that part of the Act needed simple amendments to “tidy them up”.

Gopaul was represented by attorney Larry Williams, and the case was heard in the Port of Spain Second Criminal Court, at the Hall of Justice.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Baby sitter who molested girls is sentenced to 75 years to life

A Spring Valley man with a history of sex crimes was sentenced yesterday to prison for 75 years to life for molesting a 4-year-old girl and her 2-year-old friend while he was baby-sitting them.
“Richard DeArment would clearly continue to victimize little girls,” El Cajon Superior Court Judge William J. McGrath said. The judge said the sentence should keep DeArment behind bars for the rest of his life.

DeArment, 45, was convicted Oct. 16 of two counts of committing lewd acts on a child younger than 14 and annoying a child.

Calling DeArment’s behavior “demented,” McGrath said DeArment “is an ongoing danger to people in the community.”

The older girl, who is now 5, testified during DeArment’s trial in October that DeArment played games with her and the 2-year-old in his Spring Valley home, “taking turns touching each other’s private parts.”

Deputy District Attorney Kurt Mechals argued for a prison sentence of 155 years to life, saying DeArment had hurt his own family as well as the families of those he molested.

Deputy Public Defender Jane Kinsey urged leniency because, she said, DeArment “was never violent with the children.”

“We do believe he is worthy of redemption,” Kinsey said.

Probation officials, in a written report to the judge, said

DeArment had a criminal history dating back 30 years. He was convicted in 1995 of molesting a child and arrested in 1985 for exposing himself to two 13-year-old girls. He also has previous convictions for burglary, grand theft, narcotics possession and robbery.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Williamson man’s case is the 1st under Jessica’s Law

A Williamson County grand jury has indicted a man on a capital charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child, making him the first person in Texas charged under a new state law that carries harsher penalties for sex offenders.

If convicted, Alfredo Soto Enriquez, 35, would face a minimum punishment of 25 years in prison, part of tougher sentencing rules known as Jessica’s Law. Under old laws, Enriquez could have been eligible for parole after serving part of his sentence. Now, parole is no longer an option.

Enriquez is accused of molesting a 10-year-old girl at least twice from September to October, authorities said. He also faces seven counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child.

Enriquez’s attorney, Bristol Myers, of Austin, said the allegations are untrue and that his client is “looking forward to his day in court.”

Enriquez remains in the Williamson County Jail with bail set at $500,000.

He is the first Texas resident indicted under the new law, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley and the Texas District and County Attorneys Association said.

The measure is named for Jessica Lunsford, a Florida girl who was abducted and killed. More than a dozen states have passed versions of Jessica’s Law, which allows the death penalty for people convicted of twice raping a child under the age of 14.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Pemberton man pleads guilty on child porn charges

A Pemberton man has plead guilty to possession of child pornography and will be sentenced in North Vancouver court December 20th.

Police executed a search warrant at the home of 46-year-old Kevin Carter in February last year, where they located a computer that contained sexually explicit materials depicting young children.

The arrest and charges were a result of a joint effort by surrounding police jurisdictions to crack down on the production and sales of materials that sexually exploit children under the age of 18.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Five years in jail for Kentville sex offender

A man who broke into three Kentville homes in August looking to commit sexual offences against sleeping women has been sentenced to five years in prison.

George Brenan Alexander Shafie Smith, 24, who also goes by the last name Milne, sexually assaulted a woman in one home but was scared away in the other two without being able to commit the assaults.

When Kentville police picked Mr. Smith up for questioning, he admitted his involvement in all three attacks. He had broken in by opening windows and cutting the screens.

“These are very serious offences and cause for significant concern in the community,” Judge Claudine MacDonald told Mr. Smith on Tuesday in Kentville provincial court at his sentencing.

The sentence was a joint recommendation from defence lawyer Brian Vardigans and Crown attorney Ingrid Brodie after Mr. Smith pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault and two of break and enter with the intent to commit a sexual offence.

He must also provide a sample of his DNA, has been banned from owning firearms for life and must register with the federal sex offender registry.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Sex offender makes deal

A convicted sex offender scheduled for a jury trial Tuesday on two felony charges from an alleged sexual assault has instead agreed to a plea deal reducing the charges to a single misdemeanor, his attorney said.

Joshua J. Okupniak, 29, had faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted on felony counts of second-degree sexual assault and intimidation of a victim. Under the agreement, the first count was amended to fourth-degree sexual assault — with a maximum jail term of nine months — and the second count was dismissed, said attorney Barbara Kirchner.

The lesser charge is accompanied by a change in the criminal complaint’s allegation that Okupniak raped a 25-year-old pregnant woman on the city’s south side in September. Kirchner said Okunpiak acknowledges forcing the woman to have oral sex but that other sexual activity was consensual.

Under the plea agreement, Okupniak will plead no contest to the misdemeanor, and prosecutors will recommend a maximum of two years probation with a 90-day jail term stayed, Kirchner said.

Okupniak’s bond was lowered from $75,000 to $200. He will be sentenced Dec. 26 by Judge Gary Langhoff.

Okupniak was convicted in 1997 of second-degree sexual assault of a child and sentenced to three years in prison and 10 years probation, online court records show.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 6:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Former policeman jailed for child pornography

A former West Australian police officer has been sentenced to 18 months jail for importing into Australia images of child pornography.

Christoper Ronald White was charged after he was deported from Thailand where he had been detained over allegations he he had sexually abused a young girl.

The charges were dropped because of insufficient evidence.

Today White was ordered to serve 12 months of the 18 month term before he can be released.

The District Court heard he told police he imported the images beacuse he wanted to send them to media outlets to draw attention to the child sex industry in Thailand.

Earlier this year White was given an 18 month suspended jail term for indecently recording two young girls in 1996.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 4:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Polish police detain 29 suspected of spreading child pornography

Polish police have detained 29 people suspected of possessing and spreading child pornography over the Internet, authorities said Thursday.

Officers searched 32 homes and offices nationwide, seizing 34 computers, 24 hard drives, more than 5,000 CDs and DVDs, along with floppy discs and video cassettes containing pictures of naked children, Poland’s national police said in a statement.

Eleven people have been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, police spokeswoman Agnieszka Hamelusz said. The rest are still being questioned.

In a similar operation carried out two months ago, Polish police arrested 55 people suspected of distributing child pornography.

Suspects face up to five years in prison for the possession of child pornography, and up to nine years in jail for distributing such material, if convicted.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 4:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Child porn addict now ‘terrified of computers’

A man who let child pornography become one of the “staples of his life” is now terrified of computers and has sworn to never touch them again.

Numerous images and five computer disks of movies were found hidden in Murray Hatfield’s bedroom when police raided the 48-year-old’s home in Palmerston North in March.

Hatfield’s lawyer, Fergus Steedman, said his client was a lonely, introverted man who lacked the social skills and relationships normal people took for granted.

He had never had an intimate relationship, had few friends and had become “addicted” to child pornography.

“He thought his life was pretty unexceptional. He thought he could control himself, paid his bills, didn’t drink and drive. Now he knows he couldn’t control himself,” Mr Steedman said.

Hatfield was now terrified of computers and, through counselling, had realised that he had “hurt” the girls in the images and wanted to be better.

He was sentenced yesterday in Palmerston North District Court to 10 months’ home detention after being caught with more than 5000 sexually explicit images of children which he had been collecting for up to four years.

He had pleaded guilty to five counts of making an objectionable publication and 20 of possessing objectionable material. He has been barred from access to computers or cellphones.

Judge Nevin Dawson accepted Hatfield had never tried to distribute the images and had no previous convictions.

“[This type of action] is not condoned in our society”

“The demand by you and others fuels the supply of these revolting images and increases the number of children who become victims.”

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 4:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Activists Plan To Block R Kelly Show

In protest at his child pornography charges…

R Kelly’ s show in Los Angeles tomorrow (December 14) is set to face a barrage of protesters angry that the star is allowed to perform live despite having child pornography charges.

Activist Jasmyne Cannick will be leading the protesters outside The Forum in the Californian city, who aim to block the street leading into the venue.

Claiming that the public are turning a blind eye to Kelly’s charges, Cannick said: “It’s like pulling teeth to get people to talk about this.

“It’s a challenge to get the black community to even discuss it. . . . They’re acting like he doesn’t have 14 counts of child pornography against him. . . . We’re all acting like we don’t have daughters and nieces and little sisters.”

Kelly’s charges came after he was allegedly caught on video performing sexual acts with an underage age girl. Further allegations followed.

Published in: on December 14, 2007 at 4:51 am  Leave a Comment