Shannon Keith Hauser – Repeat Sex Offender

A man who had moved to Worthington earlier this year was charged Wednesday for both possessing and disseminating child pornography photographs.

The criminal complaint states Shannon Keith Hauser, aka Sean Keith Hauser, 37, is a registered sex offender who has been convicted of arson, conspiracy to commit theft, criminal sexual conduct, theft and predatory offender registration issues, according to state records. Originally from Raymond, he had been living in the St. Cloud area when he met a woman from Worthington on the Internet and moved down to live with her in June.

After several months of investigation, an agent from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), along with law enforcement personnel from the Worthington Police Department and the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant Dec. 8 at Hauser’s current registered address in Worthington

In July, the BCA had received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding 163 images of possible child pornography to a flickr.com Web address. Investigation revealed the account that had uploaded the images was registered to a Yahoo account under the name Bryan Guptil of Willmar. An account on MySpace was found under the same name. An IP address led to Hauser’s former residence in Waite Park. A background investigation on Hauser unveiled his status as a registered sex offender and led authorities to Worthington.

On Monday, authorities confronted Hauser, who initially denied posting any child pornography on the Internet. He allegedly said he had purchased a computer in June from someone in St. Cloud and found photos on it, but could not get them off of his hard drive. He denied having a MySpace account or knowing the name Bryan Guptil. He insisted there would not be any photos recorded on his hard drive after June.

A BCA forensic examiner found otherwise. While the agent was speaking with Hauser, the examiner had been looking at Hauser’s computer and reportedly located child pornography from later in the year.

When presented with that fact, Hauser asked to speak to the agent privately. He allegedly told the agent and a Worthington Police detective he had been viewing child pornography on the computer and had uploaded the images on Flickr. He admitted he had created the Bryan Guptil accounts on the Internet and allegedly said he used to trade child pornography on a different site using the search term “pthc,” which he clarified was short for preteen hard core incest. He claimed his interest was in children between the ages of 10 and 18 of either gender.

While speaking to the agent and detective privately in his room, he opened a drawer, the complaint states, and pulled out a flash drive. Handing it to the agent, he claimed there probably 25 movies and hundreds of images on the drive. He stated he needed help and wanted to go to jail because he couldn’t stop on his own.

Pursuant to the search warrant, authorities seized 27 CDs or DVDs from Hauser, along with the computer, the flash drive and a cell phone.

On Wednesday, bail was set at $25,000. As of Thursday afternoon, Hauser was still being held in the Nobles County Jail. He faces up to 25 years incarceration and/or $10,000 in fines if convicted of both charges. His next court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 23 at the Prairie Justice Center, Worthington.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

Shannon Keith Hauser – Repeat Sex Offender

A man who had moved to Worthington earlier this year was charged Wednesday for both possessing and disseminating child pornography photographs.

The criminal complaint states Shannon Keith Hauser, aka Sean Keith Hauser, 37, is a registered sex offender who has been convicted of arson, conspiracy to commit theft, criminal sexual conduct, theft and predatory offender registration issues, according to state records. Originally from Raymond, he had been living in the St. Cloud area when he met a woman from Worthington on the Internet and moved down to live with her in June.

After several months of investigation, an agent from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), along with law enforcement personnel from the Worthington Police Department and the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant Dec. 8 at Hauser’s current registered address in Worthington

In July, the BCA had received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding 163 images of possible child pornography to a flickr.com Web address. Investigation revealed the account that had uploaded the images was registered to a Yahoo account under the name Bryan Guptil of Willmar. An account on MySpace was found under the same name. An IP address led to Hauser’s former residence in Waite Park. A background investigation on Hauser unveiled his status as a registered sex offender and led authorities to Worthington.

On Monday, authorities confronted Hauser, who initially denied posting any child pornography on the Internet. He allegedly said he had purchased a computer in June from someone in St. Cloud and found photos on it, but could not get them off of his hard drive. He denied having a MySpace account or knowing the name Bryan Guptil. He insisted there would not be any photos recorded on his hard drive after June.

A BCA forensic examiner found otherwise. While the agent was speaking with Hauser, the examiner had been looking at Hauser’s computer and reportedly located child pornography from later in the year.

When presented with that fact, Hauser asked to speak to the agent privately. He allegedly told the agent and a Worthington Police detective he had been viewing child pornography on the computer and had uploaded the images on Flickr. He admitted he had created the Bryan Guptil accounts on the Internet and allegedly said he used to trade child pornography on a different site using the search term “pthc,” which he clarified was short for preteen hard core incest. He claimed his interest was in children between the ages of 10 and 18 of either gender.

While speaking to the agent and detective privately in his room, he opened a drawer, the complaint states, and pulled out a flash drive. Handing it to the agent, he claimed there probably 25 movies and hundreds of images on the drive. He stated he needed help and wanted to go to jail because he couldn’t stop on his own.

Pursuant to the search warrant, authorities seized 27 CDs or DVDs from Hauser, along with the computer, the flash drive and a cell phone.

On Wednesday, bail was set at $25,000. As of Thursday afternoon, Hauser was still being held in the Nobles County Jail. He faces up to 25 years incarceration and/or $10,000 in fines if convicted of both charges. His next court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 23 at the Prairie Justice Center, Worthington.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

Shannon Keith Hauser – Repeat Sex Offender

A man who had moved to Worthington earlier this year was charged Wednesday for both possessing and disseminating child pornography photographs.

The criminal complaint states Shannon Keith Hauser, aka Sean Keith Hauser, 37, is a registered sex offender who has been convicted of arson, conspiracy to commit theft, criminal sexual conduct, theft and predatory offender registration issues, according to state records. Originally from Raymond, he had been living in the St. Cloud area when he met a woman from Worthington on the Internet and moved down to live with her in June.

After several months of investigation, an agent from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), along with law enforcement personnel from the Worthington Police Department and the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant Dec. 8 at Hauser’s current registered address in Worthington

In July, the BCA had received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding 163 images of possible child pornography to a flickr.com Web address. Investigation revealed the account that had uploaded the images was registered to a Yahoo account under the name Bryan Guptil of Willmar. An account on MySpace was found under the same name. An IP address led to Hauser’s former residence in Waite Park. A background investigation on Hauser unveiled his status as a registered sex offender and led authorities to Worthington.

On Monday, authorities confronted Hauser, who initially denied posting any child pornography on the Internet. He allegedly said he had purchased a computer in June from someone in St. Cloud and found photos on it, but could not get them off of his hard drive. He denied having a MySpace account or knowing the name Bryan Guptil. He insisted there would not be any photos recorded on his hard drive after June.

A BCA forensic examiner found otherwise. While the agent was speaking with Hauser, the examiner had been looking at Hauser’s computer and reportedly located child pornography from later in the year.

When presented with that fact, Hauser asked to speak to the agent privately. He allegedly told the agent and a Worthington Police detective he had been viewing child pornography on the computer and had uploaded the images on Flickr. He admitted he had created the Bryan Guptil accounts on the Internet and allegedly said he used to trade child pornography on a different site using the search term “pthc,” which he clarified was short for preteen hard core incest. He claimed his interest was in children between the ages of 10 and 18 of either gender.

While speaking to the agent and detective privately in his room, he opened a drawer, the complaint states, and pulled out a flash drive. Handing it to the agent, he claimed there probably 25 movies and hundreds of images on the drive. He stated he needed help and wanted to go to jail because he couldn’t stop on his own.

Pursuant to the search warrant, authorities seized 27 CDs or DVDs from Hauser, along with the computer, the flash drive and a cell phone.

On Wednesday, bail was set at $25,000. As of Thursday afternoon, Hauser was still being held in the Nobles County Jail. He faces up to 25 years incarceration and/or $10,000 in fines if convicted of both charges. His next court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 23 at the Prairie Justice Center, Worthington.

Daniel Gierszewski – Getting what he can get

Gierszewski said, “When my hand made contact with her, I knew where I was, and I decided to get what I could get.”


Daniel Gierszewski served 17 years in prison after sexually abusing four young girls nearly two decades ago.

The Buffalo man is out of prison. But he is not free. Gierszewski, 63, is confined to a psychiatric institution in Central New York.

That’s because state prosecutors successfully argued that girls in the region are not safe with Gierszewski on the streets.

Gierszewski has become the first convicted sex offender in Western New York caught in the net of a civil confinement law passed last year in Albany. And several more are set to follow.

The new law allows the state to declare that a sex offender who has completed his sentence but suffers from a mental abnormality makes him likely to commit more sex crimes.

If state prosecutors can prove that to a jury, a judge has the authority to send the defendant to a psychiatric institution for as long as the rest of his life. Or the judge may choose to place him on strict parole that threatens confinement if dozens of conditions aren’t met.

“Mr. Gierszewski has a mind full of risk factors,” State Assistant Attorney General Thomas J. Schoellkopf argued during Gierszewski’s confinement trial in Niagara County last month. “These are horrible acts, not consensual. . . . We must stop this from happening again.”

A 12-member jury unanimously agreed, so now a judge has the authority to order Gierszewski committed to a psychiatric institution or relased on parole with a long string of severe restrictions. A decision is expected this month.

“It used to be good enough to say, ‘He has paid his debt to society,’ ” said attorney John R. Nuchereno, who defended Gierszewski last month. “What was thought to be a fair punishment was imposed, . . . [but] the doors of the prison Dan was kept in were kept shut.”

Gierszewski is now in the Central New York Psychiatric Center in Marcy, Oneida County.

If State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. decides that Gierszewski needs to be committed, that’s likely where he will stay. The state has only two psychiatric facilities for sex offenders; the other is in Ogdensburg.

Gierszewski is among 59 convicted sex offenders who have gone into the state’s civil confinement institutions so far.

He was flagged for the program shortly before his scheduled release from Elmira Correctional Facility on Feb. 21.

In June 2007, the Office of Mental Health had reviewed his case and decided that he was not a candidate for civil confinement, but the state agency changed its mind after Gierszewski was let out of prison on parole Sept. 17, 2007.

Two months later, he violated the terms of parole by using a public computer in the Buffalo & Erie County Central Library to look for job listings. While he was there, he replied to an e-mail from his sister with one of his own, wishing her a happy birthday. Parole officers had ordered him not to use the Internet.

By last Dec. 14, he was back in prison to finish what he expected to be the last three months of his original sentence. Instead, the state attorney general’s office, which handles civil confinement cases, had other things in mind for him.

In court last month in Lockport, two assistant attorneys general and two psychologists hired by the state asserted that Gierszewski has a mental abnormality that makes him likely to commit more sex crimes.

After two days of testimony from the doctors, including one chosen by the defense, and two hours on the stand for Gierszewski himself, the jury took only 90 minutes to agree with the state’s position.

Here’s some of what jurors and Kloch heard:

Nearly 16 years ago, Gierszewski slipped his hand onto the thigh of a 10-year-old girl in the candy aisle of the old Ames department store in North Tonawanda. He then ran from the store with security guards in pursuit. Police pulled his vehicle over a short time later and found a loaded handgun inside. In June 1994, a jury convicted him of sexual abuse and weapons possession, and he was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

When asked about his encounter with the 10-year-old during his civil confinement trial, Gierszewski said, “When my hand made contact with her, I knew where I was, and I decided to get what I could get.”

It wasn’t his first sexual contact with underage girls.

In May 1980, while he was working as a bartender at a Bailey Avenue tavern, he was charged with raping and sodomizing a 15-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in that case and was placed on probation.

Another sex crime followed in 1983, while Gierszewski was cruising the streets of Buffalo looking for young prostitutes, he offered a ride to two girls, ages 13 and 16. When they took him up on it, he told them he had a gun, tied them up and sexually assaulted them. He pleaded guilty to sexual abuse for that and served three years in state prison.

The civil confinement law requires that all sex offenders whose prison or parole terms are running out will have their files reviewed by a board in the Office of Mental Health. If the board concludes that the person has a mental abnormality as defined in the new law, it can turn the case over to the state attorney general’s office for action.

Since then-Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer signed the law last year, 59 New York sex offenders have been committed to psychiatric institutions. An additional 40 have been placed under intensive parole supervision.

“The State Legislature said, ‘For this crime, you do this amount of time.’ It also said you could do more time if they think you might offend again,” said David G. Jay, a Buffalo civil liberties attorney who has just been assigned to defend James A. McKinney, a Niagara County sex offender, at an upcoming civil confinement trial.

“I suppose they could do it for any crime,” Jay said. But since sex offenders were singled out, Jay argues, “that’s what makes it unconstitutional.”

The U. S. Supreme Court does not agree. Although the New York law’s constitutionality has not been tested in court, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld the concept of civil confinement in a Kansas case it decided in 1997.

The high court ruled that civil confinement is not punishment and thus doesn’t violate a sex offender’s right to due process.

What does Gierszewski think about the civil confinement law?

On the witness stand, he said, “It scares me.”

Daniel Gierszewski – Getting what he can get

Gierszewski said, “When my hand made contact with her, I knew where I was, and I decided to get what I could get.”


Daniel Gierszewski served 17 years in prison after sexually abusing four young girls nearly two decades ago.

The Buffalo man is out of prison. But he is not free. Gierszewski, 63, is confined to a psychiatric institution in Central New York.

That’s because state prosecutors successfully argued that girls in the region are not safe with Gierszewski on the streets.

Gierszewski has become the first convicted sex offender in Western New York caught in the net of a civil confinement law passed last year in Albany. And several more are set to follow.

The new law allows the state to declare that a sex offender who has completed his sentence but suffers from a mental abnormality makes him likely to commit more sex crimes.

If state prosecutors can prove that to a jury, a judge has the authority to send the defendant to a psychiatric institution for as long as the rest of his life. Or the judge may choose to place him on strict parole that threatens confinement if dozens of conditions aren’t met.

“Mr. Gierszewski has a mind full of risk factors,” State Assistant Attorney General Thomas J. Schoellkopf argued during Gierszewski’s confinement trial in Niagara County last month. “These are horrible acts, not consensual. . . . We must stop this from happening again.”

A 12-member jury unanimously agreed, so now a judge has the authority to order Gierszewski committed to a psychiatric institution or relased on parole with a long string of severe restrictions. A decision is expected this month.

“It used to be good enough to say, ‘He has paid his debt to society,’ ” said attorney John R. Nuchereno, who defended Gierszewski last month. “What was thought to be a fair punishment was imposed, . . . [but] the doors of the prison Dan was kept in were kept shut.”

Gierszewski is now in the Central New York Psychiatric Center in Marcy, Oneida County.

If State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. decides that Gierszewski needs to be committed, that’s likely where he will stay. The state has only two psychiatric facilities for sex offenders; the other is in Ogdensburg.

Gierszewski is among 59 convicted sex offenders who have gone into the state’s civil confinement institutions so far.

He was flagged for the program shortly before his scheduled release from Elmira Correctional Facility on Feb. 21.

In June 2007, the Office of Mental Health had reviewed his case and decided that he was not a candidate for civil confinement, but the state agency changed its mind after Gierszewski was let out of prison on parole Sept. 17, 2007.

Two months later, he violated the terms of parole by using a public computer in the Buffalo & Erie County Central Library to look for job listings. While he was there, he replied to an e-mail from his sister with one of his own, wishing her a happy birthday. Parole officers had ordered him not to use the Internet.

By last Dec. 14, he was back in prison to finish what he expected to be the last three months of his original sentence. Instead, the state attorney general’s office, which handles civil confinement cases, had other things in mind for him.

In court last month in Lockport, two assistant attorneys general and two psychologists hired by the state asserted that Gierszewski has a mental abnormality that makes him likely to commit more sex crimes.

After two days of testimony from the doctors, including one chosen by the defense, and two hours on the stand for Gierszewski himself, the jury took only 90 minutes to agree with the state’s position.

Here’s some of what jurors and Kloch heard:

Nearly 16 years ago, Gierszewski slipped his hand onto the thigh of a 10-year-old girl in the candy aisle of the old Ames department store in North Tonawanda. He then ran from the store with security guards in pursuit. Police pulled his vehicle over a short time later and found a loaded handgun inside. In June 1994, a jury convicted him of sexual abuse and weapons possession, and he was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

When asked about his encounter with the 10-year-old during his civil confinement trial, Gierszewski said, “When my hand made contact with her, I knew where I was, and I decided to get what I could get.”

It wasn’t his first sexual contact with underage girls.

In May 1980, while he was working as a bartender at a Bailey Avenue tavern, he was charged with raping and sodomizing a 15-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in that case and was placed on probation.

Another sex crime followed in 1983, while Gierszewski was cruising the streets of Buffalo looking for young prostitutes, he offered a ride to two girls, ages 13 and 16. When they took him up on it, he told them he had a gun, tied them up and sexually assaulted them. He pleaded guilty to sexual abuse for that and served three years in state prison.

The civil confinement law requires that all sex offenders whose prison or parole terms are running out will have their files reviewed by a board in the Office of Mental Health. If the board concludes that the person has a mental abnormality as defined in the new law, it can turn the case over to the state attorney general’s office for action.

Since then-Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer signed the law last year, 59 New York sex offenders have been committed to psychiatric institutions. An additional 40 have been placed under intensive parole supervision.

“The State Legislature said, ‘For this crime, you do this amount of time.’ It also said you could do more time if they think you might offend again,” said David G. Jay, a Buffalo civil liberties attorney who has just been assigned to defend James A. McKinney, a Niagara County sex offender, at an upcoming civil confinement trial.

“I suppose they could do it for any crime,” Jay said. But since sex offenders were singled out, Jay argues, “that’s what makes it unconstitutional.”

The U. S. Supreme Court does not agree. Although the New York law’s constitutionality has not been tested in court, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld the concept of civil confinement in a Kansas case it decided in 1997.

The high court ruled that civil confinement is not punishment and thus doesn’t violate a sex offender’s right to due process.

What does Gierszewski think about the civil confinement law?

On the witness stand, he said, “It scares me.”

Patrick Distaffen – Status Plea Denied


A convicted child molester who is up for parole next year will remain a level three sex offender, a judge decided Friday.

Patrick Distaffen, 53, pleaded guilty in 1995 to sodomizing an 11-year-old Hilton boy multiple times.

Judge Frank Geraci denied Distaffen’s appeal Friday to lower his sex offender status.

He will remain a level three offender, which is the highest level, until his parole decision in February.

Published in: on December 13, 2008 at 5:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Patrick Distaffen – Status Plea Denied


A convicted child molester who is up for parole next year will remain a level three sex offender, a judge decided Friday.

Patrick Distaffen, 53, pleaded guilty in 1995 to sodomizing an 11-year-old Hilton boy multiple times.

Judge Frank Geraci denied Distaffen’s appeal Friday to lower his sex offender status.

He will remain a level three offender, which is the highest level, until his parole decision in February.

Published in: on December 13, 2008 at 5:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Rodolfo Ramirez Tinajero – Repeat Sex Offender lured victims with work ads

A rape suspect accused of trying to lure victims through work ads on local radio stations faces possible new charges in a second case.

Rodolfo Ramirez Tinajero made a preliminary appearance Thursday in Yakima County Superior Court on the new requested charge of first-degree rape. He will be arraigned next week.

Ramirez Tinajero, a
45-year-old Toppenish man, already faces trial on separate allegations that he raped a woman who was looking for orchard work in the Buena area in August 2007.

The case filed Wednesday involves an April 2007 incident in which a woman said she was raped after answering an ad on a Lower Valley radio station.

The woman, now 26, told Yakima County sheriff’s detectives that she met the suspect at the orchard outside of Wapato. He then led her to a remote area, held a knife to her throat and tried to rape her, according to the police report.

Unlike the August victim, the woman was not able to identify her attacker in a photo lineup, detectives said earlier. But the report filed Thursday states that DNA found on gloves left at the scene ties Tinajero to the incident.

The orchard attacks were especially troubling to local Spanish-language radio managers because many Latino residents and employers rely on the stations for work ads.

And court records show that the suspect was convicted in another sex-related Yakima County case in 1994 and also faces sex-crime charges from Utah.

A Zillah woman told sheriff’s detectives in 1994 that Ramirez Tinajero kicked in her door after she refused him entry, then tried to undress her, according to court records. She fought him off, and he left after pleading with her not to call police.

Ramirez Tinajero was charged with attempted rape, but he entered a modified plea to first-degree burglary when the victim said she did not want to pursue the original charge. He was a friend of the woman’s family.

Regardless, the judge found that the burglary was sexually motivated, meaning Ramirez Tinajero would have been required to register as a sex offender if he was released. But that apparently never happened because he was deported in June 1995, shortly after completing his 17-month sentence.

Officials with the state Department of Corrections say that deported offenders are instructed to register if they ever return to the country, but they’re difficult to track if they reenter illegally.

Records available Thursday did not indicate when Ramirez Tinajero came back to the United States, but he was charged in 2000 in Utah with forcible sex abuse and lewdness, according to a pending arrest warrant. Utah court files show a slightly different age and first name.

When sheriff’s detectives arrested Ramirez Tinajero in August 2007, they found that he had various identification documents for his real name and two aliases. He had been using forged papers showing the fake names to obtain work, detectives said in their report on the arrest.

He remains at the Yakima County on $1.5 million bail. Federal immigration agents and U.S. marshals have also placed hold orders against him.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

Rodolfo Ramirez Tinajero – Repeat Sex Offender lured victims with work ads

A rape suspect accused of trying to lure victims through work ads on local radio stations faces possible new charges in a second case.

Rodolfo Ramirez Tinajero made a preliminary appearance Thursday in Yakima County Superior Court on the new requested charge of first-degree rape. He will be arraigned next week.

Ramirez Tinajero, a
45-year-old Toppenish man, already faces trial on separate allegations that he raped a woman who was looking for orchard work in the Buena area in August 2007.

The case filed Wednesday involves an April 2007 incident in which a woman said she was raped after answering an ad on a Lower Valley radio station.

The woman, now 26, told Yakima County sheriff’s detectives that she met the suspect at the orchard outside of Wapato. He then led her to a remote area, held a knife to her throat and tried to rape her, according to the police report.

Unlike the August victim, the woman was not able to identify her attacker in a photo lineup, detectives said earlier. But the report filed Thursday states that DNA found on gloves left at the scene ties Tinajero to the incident.

The orchard attacks were especially troubling to local Spanish-language radio managers because many Latino residents and employers rely on the stations for work ads.

And court records show that the suspect was convicted in another sex-related Yakima County case in 1994 and also faces sex-crime charges from Utah.

A Zillah woman told sheriff’s detectives in 1994 that Ramirez Tinajero kicked in her door after she refused him entry, then tried to undress her, according to court records. She fought him off, and he left after pleading with her not to call police.

Ramirez Tinajero was charged with attempted rape, but he entered a modified plea to first-degree burglary when the victim said she did not want to pursue the original charge. He was a friend of the woman’s family.

Regardless, the judge found that the burglary was sexually motivated, meaning Ramirez Tinajero would have been required to register as a sex offender if he was released. But that apparently never happened because he was deported in June 1995, shortly after completing his 17-month sentence.

Officials with the state Department of Corrections say that deported offenders are instructed to register if they ever return to the country, but they’re difficult to track if they reenter illegally.

Records available Thursday did not indicate when Ramirez Tinajero came back to the United States, but he was charged in 2000 in Utah with forcible sex abuse and lewdness, according to a pending arrest warrant. Utah court files show a slightly different age and first name.

When sheriff’s detectives arrested Ramirez Tinajero in August 2007, they found that he had various identification documents for his real name and two aliases. He had been using forged papers showing the fake names to obtain work, detectives said in their report on the arrest.

He remains at the Yakima County on $1.5 million bail. Federal immigration agents and U.S. marshals have also placed hold orders against him.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

Andrew Spedden can’t stay out of prison


Andrew Spedden lost his last chance in court today.

County officials tried to find another place to help Spedden with his sexual addictions, after his therapists discharged him for having inappropriate sexual contact with a man in his counseling group.

But no group would accept the 36-year-old city man, due to what a judge said was Spedden’s inability to control his actions and his manipulative behavior.

So now Spedden will receive his therapy behind bars, in a state prison, while he serves a 1 1/2- to three-year sentence for violating his parole on child pornography charges.

“You always want to see how close you can skate to the line,” Lancaster County Judge James Cullen told Spedden. “In doing that, you skate over it.”

Spedden was arrested in 2003 for having what city police said at the time was the largest known collection of child pornography in the county’s history. Police found the collection while investigating an unrelated credit card case.

He was charged with 74 counts of sexual abuse against children for possessing about 1,000 sexually explicit images of child pornography. Those charges were consolidated into one count of possessing pornography, to which Spedden pleaded guilty.

But he has violated his parole several times. In 2006, he admitted approaching children for sex and viewing pornography on computers, according to past reports. He was put back in prison.

Then earlier this year, he violated his parole again, by having inappropriate contact with a fellow therapy group member.

The court looked for another group to take Spedden, but none would.

“It appears they view him as inappropriate for outpatient treatment,” Cullen said.

Spedden acknowledged violating his parole and apologized for his actions.

“I am not proud of them,” he said. “It is a very heavy burden for me to bear.”

“I do have a struggle with conforming with what’s expected of me,” he said.

However, Spedden said he did not fully understand the rules regarding contact between him and other members of his therapy group. He noted that he was allowed to drive another member of the group, an Amish man, to therapy sessions because the man did not drive.

He was trying to help the second man, he said, by allowing him to stay with him because he did not have housing.

Cullen appeared flabbergasted by that response, noting that Spedden always seemed to have an excuse or justification for his behavior.

“There is simply no comparison,” the judge said, between giving a ride to someone and engaging in sexual conduct with someone.

Cullen noted that Spedden will receive credit for about six months he already has served in prison. He also recommended that Spedden should be housed in a prison that emphasizes sexual offender treatment.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte