Eric Lee Spiwak – Repeat Sex Offender – Gets off easy with only 15 years

Because of his prior convictions for indecent liberties, Mr. Spiwak faced up to 20 years imprisonment followed by a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

A Carteret County man who pleaded guilty in October in federal court to a possession of child pornography charge has now been sentenced to prison time for the crime.

Eric Lee Spiwak, 61, of Newport was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle to 188 months imprisonment followed by a lifetime of supervised release for possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

A federal grand jury indicted Spiwak on July 23, 2008, and he pleaded guilty in the case on Oct. 6, 2008.

The case is part of Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of available resources.

“We are proud of the Project Safe Childhood initiative as it gives us the ability to prosecute cases such as this to its fullest extent. Sadly, these cases are growing in number; however, we do know that we are stopping further crimes of this nature to occur,” U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding stated via a news release.

The conviction against Spiwak came after several zipdrive computer discs containing child pornography were seized from his home. Forensic analysis of the discs revealed 460 images of either child pornography or child erotica.

The search warrant executed at Spiwak’s home followed his arrest on a related incident via the Internet in which he had several sexually explicit conversations with a Guilford County Sheriff’s detective who was posing as a 14-year-old girl.

On Sept. 8, 2006, Spiwak traveled from Newport to Greensboro with the intent to engage in illegal sexual conduct with the minor and was arrested when he arrived at the location agreed to in the conversations.

Investigation of the Spiwak case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Ontjes served as prosecutor for the government.

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

Joseph P. Tyler – Repeat Sex Offender – Child Molester turned man raper

A registered sex offender who served time for first-degree child molestation has been arrested for allegedly raping a man in Waterplace Park on Tuesday evening.

Joseph P. Tyler, 49, of 246 Prairie Ave., in Providence, was charged with first-degree sexual assault after a 25-year-old man told the police Wednesday that he was assaulted in the park between 6 and 7 p.m., according to Maj. Thomas F. Oates III. The man said he knew his assailant as “Jimmy” and that he lived in the Urban League shelter.

He said he had a phone number for Jimmy and police investigator Theodore Michaels had him arrange a meeting in Kennedy Plaza on Wednesday afternoon. Michaels was there and recognized Tyler, whom the investigator checked on weekly because of his offender status.

Court records show that Tyler pleaded no contest in February 1996 to one charge of first-degree child molestation and was sentenced to 30 years, with 13 to serve.

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

………Sarah Tofte

Bradley J. Hebert – 15 years for producing child pornography

A 38-year-old Kalamazoo man was sentenced Thursday to more than 15 years in prison, plus lifetime supervision upon his release, for producing child pornography.

Bradley J. Hebert, whose last reported address was an apartment at 616 Lynn Ave., was arrested in 2008 on federal charges of transporting, distributing or selling child sexually exploitive material. He pleaded guilty to the charge in December.

According to U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement initially “identified Hebert as a subscriber to child pornography websites” and subsequently executed a warrant at his home. There, Davis said, agents recovered “a collection of more than 700 images of child pornography,” including some Hebert had created by hiding a video camera in his bathroom and “videotaping a minor female friend while she was showering and changing clothes.”

“Subsequent investigation disclosed that Hebert had a history of sexually assaulting minor girls, including sexual assaults of two girls when they were 14- and 15 years old,” Davis said in the sentencing announcement.

Davis was placed on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry in January, after following his guilty plea in the current case.

At Thursday’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell said he hoped Hebert’s 188-month prison sentence, plus lifetime supervision after he is released, will be a deterrent to other potential offenders.

The case was investigated by ICE and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. It was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative that involves federal, state and local investigators and prosecutors, plus an Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

In addition to investigation, officials say Project Safe Childhood is designed to educate the public about the dangers of online child exploitation and teach children how to protect themselves from being targeted by adult sexual predators. For more information on Project Safe Childhood, go online to

Craig Driscoll – Repeat Sex Offender – Got off with probation then carried on as before

A Nashua, N.H., man convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl has had his sentence at least tripled for violating the terms of his probation.

When 28-year-old Craig Driscoll pleaded guilty in 2006, his 12-month sentence was suspended and he was put on probation for five years.

This week, a judge sentenced Driscoll to three to six years in prison after finding that he had possessed child pornography, consumed alcohol and had been in the presence of 2 girls. He also failed to participate in a sexual offender treatment program. Prosecutors say a considerable increase from the original sentence was warranted because Driscoll has shown he is a danger.

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

………Sarah Tofte

Vincent Gabriel Vega – Family Enables Child Molester

A man suspected of molesting girls in his extended family over a two-year period in Hemet and on the Soboba Indian Reservation in the San Jacinto Valley is due to appear in court today to answer sexual molestation charges.

Vincent Gabriel Vega, 28, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated sexual assault on a child, child molestation and other sex crimes, said sheriff’s Sgt. Stephen Mike.

The girls were between 12 and 16 years old. The offenses came to light Monday evening when one of the girls told a family member, he said.

Mike said that during interviews with family members, it appeared they suspected he was molesting children but “everybody tried to protect him” until the relative reported him to authorities on Monday.

Vega was picked up Tuesday at his home on the reservation, said Mike. He was being held on $502,000 bail, pending arraignment this afternoon.

James Pischel – Internet Predator – Loses Entrapment Appeal

The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a former prison guard who argued that police lured him to send lurid computer messages to an investigator posing online as a 15-year-old girl. In a ruling released Friday, the high court upheld James Pischel’s 2008 conviction and sentence for using a computer to entice a girl into sex.

Pischel, 31, was arrested in June 2007 after exchanging online messages with Lincoln detective Ed Sexton, who was posing as a 15-year-old girl, and driving to a Lincoln park to meet the “girl.” Pischel was sentenced to one to two years in prison and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Pischel is a former corrections corporal at the Lincoln Correctional Center.

Pischel argued that he was entrapped – meaning that he was enticed into committing a crime that he otherwise would not have committed. In Pischel’s appeal, attorney Matthew Graff said his client first told the “girl” he wouldn’t meet her because she was too young and that Sexton responded by sending an emoticon indicating anger. Emoticons are computer symbols used to express mood.

In Friday’s ruling, Judge Lindsey Miller-Lerman wrote that although Sexton “expressed some disappointment, such expressions were not persistent and that it was Pischel who initiated plans for the two to meet.”

The court also rejected Pischel’s claims that Lancaster County District Judge Karen Flowers was wrong to allow evidence taken from his car without a search warrant. Miller-Lerman wrote the taking of two packaged condoms from Pischel’s car was harmless error because it was of “minor interest” to the case. There was plenty of other evidence, namely the online conversations, to support his conviction, she wrote.

The ruling also rejected Pischel’s argument that the lower court was wrong to give the deliberating jury access to transcripts of the online conversations. “We agree with the district court’s determination that the transcripts of online (conversations) were not testimonial material but instead were substantive evidence of Pischel’s guilt,” Miller-Lerman wrote.

Michael Clements – Repeat Sex Offender – Gets Life for — Repeating

A sex offender from La Crosse was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday under the “three strikes and you’re out” law.

Michael Clements, 37, will have no chance for freedom, after he was convicted last month of molesting a child under 16.

Prosecutors said he fondled a 14-year-old’s breasts in December of 2007.

His other two convictions came in 1999 for second-degree child sex assault, and attempted child sex assault.

La Crosse County Circuit Judge Todd Bjerke was required to hand down the mandatory life sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Tania Bonnett justified it, saying history is the best predictor of future behavior.

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

………Sarah Tofte

Robert Allen Shira – Repeat Sex Offender – Child Predator

A 40-year-old Ludington man was sentenced to one to 10 years in prison Tuesday for accosting a minor for immoral purposes.

Robert Allen Shira, 40, 616 E. Dowland St., Ludington, was sentenced to a minimum of one year and two months to a maximum of 10 years prison and must pay $120 in fines and costs, not including restitution, for the charge. He pleaded guilty Feb. 17.

According to Ludington police Shira made inappropriate comments to a 15-year-old Ludington girl and told other people he wanted to have sex with her. The case was reported to police Oct. 31, 2008.

According to Michigan law, accosting a minor for immoral purposes means a person ‘accosts, entices or solicits a child less than 16 years of age, with the intent to induce or force that child or individual to commit an immoral act.’

He was out of prison on probation for previous charges when this incident was reported.

Shira, a registered sex offender, pleaded guilty in November 2007 to another charge of accosting a minor for immoral purposes and indecent exposure. A charge of using the Internet to commit a crime was dropped as part of that plea agreement.

Those charges stemmed from a July 18, 2007 incident in which Shira was accused of using a Web cam to communicate with a victim while he touched himself. He was sentenced to a year in jail with 150 days to be served up front and the remainder of the jail time to be served at the court’s discretion. He was then placed on probation for three years.

He is listed on the state’s felony offender tracking Web site as being discharged without improvement from probation. According to Michigan Department of Corrections Public Information Officer John Cordell, that basically means Shira failed the terms of his probation and the court sent him back to prison.

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

………Sarah Tofte