Eric Julian – Repeat Sex Offender – Takes a plea

A convicted sex offender, accused of trying to rape a 16-year-old girl as she walked to her Fairfield home from school last year, was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison.

Eric Julian, 26, of Crimson Lane, Fairfield, pleaded guilty under the Alford Doctrine to first-degree unlawful restraint and violation of probation under a plea bargain.

He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge John Kavanewsky to five years in prison, suspended after he serves 18 months, followed by four years probation. The judge also ordered Julian to be monitored electronically during his probation, register as a sex offender and have no more contact with the girl.

Julian was out of prison only two months after serving time in a case in which he was accused of kidnapping and raping two women, when police said he attacked the Fairfield girl.

Standing at the defense table with a full beard and long black hair falling about his orange prison jumpsuit, Julian told the judge he understood his guilty plea in the case.

“There is a risk I will be found guilty,” he added.

A plea filed under the Alford Doctrine means the defendant doesn’t admit guilt, but concedes he could be found guilty of the charges and face a more severe sentence if he went to trial. The judge then finds him guilty.

Julian initially faced charges of second-degree kidnapping and third-degree sexual assault.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Howard Stein told the judge he agreed to enter into a plea bargain after discussing the case with the girl’s father, who sat in the front row of the spectators’ section of the courtroom during the proceedings.

“It is a close call on whether the state would ultimately prove this case at trial,” Stein told the judge. “I discussed this with the victim’s father and he was concerned about his daughter coming into court and having to confront Mr. Julian.” The victim’s father told the judge that he agreed with the plea bargain.

“This was a disposition that was reached after a great deal of discussion of the parties and I urge your honor to accept it,” added Julian’s lawyer, Gary Mastronardi.

Last Sept. 9, Julian was released from prison after serving a five-year prison term on kidnapping charges. He had initially been accused of raping two women on separate occasions after picking them up in his truck in Bridgeport. Sexual assault charges were later dropped, however, when the victims refused to testify against him.

In the latest case, a 16-year-old Fairfield girl was walking home from Fairfield Ludlowe High School last Nov. 14 when she was confronted by Julian, who put a hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming. police said. Julian then dragged the girl into a rear yard, and threatened the girl, saying that he had a knife.

Police said Julian pushed the girl to the ground and began to remove her pants. When she resisted, police said, Julian began choking her.

The girl managed to cry for help, and police said Julian got worried and ran off. The girl then called her mother.

Police said they searched the area, but did not find the suspect although witnesses recalled seeing a man run through the area.

A few days later, however, police said they received a phone call from a woman who claimed she had been the victim of a sexual assault by Julian in 2002 and was concerned he could be the man being sought. Police said they later showed photos to the 16-year-old and she picked out Julian’s photo as the man who had attacked her.

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

Curtis Albert Pinson – Repeat Sex Offender – Habitual

A convicted sex offender, charged last year with a second offense, has been indicted by a Pike grand jury for allegedly failing to comply with the state’s sex offender laws, and may be a fugitive from justice.

According to the indictment, handed down Monday, Curtis Albert Pinson, 57, whose address is listed as Ky. 194 East, failed to register relative to a sexual offense.

Pinson was indicted in September for allegedly subjecting a person under 12 years old to sexual contact from Oct., 2007, through April, 2008. The grand jury charged him with first-degree sexual abuse.

According to court documents, Pinson has failed to show up for some pretrial hearings, and, in March, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ron Burchett sent a letter to Pinson’s attorney, public defender Julio Collado, informing the attorney that if Pinson failed to show up for his pretrial hearing set for April 10, a warrant for his arrest would be sought.

In the letter, Burchett informs Collado that the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office had received information that Pinson absconded.

Burchett also wrote that he was formally withdrawing a tentative offer of probation he had made to Pinson and will seek a prison term instead.

Pinson did not show up for the hearing, and, on April 23, Pike Circuit Judge Steve Combs issued a bench warrant for Pinson’s arrest.

Pike Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Bartley said the new indictment stems from an investigation subsequent to that warrant being issued.

“They went to (Pinson’s) address and he wasn’t there,” Bartley said. “We think he’s left the area. We know for certain he’s not at that address.”

As a registered sex offender, Pinson is required to inform authorities of any address change.

Bartley said the reason for taking back the offer of probation is because one of the conditions his office requires in exchange for a recommendation of probation is that the offender not commit any more crimes. Bartley said the charges contained in the new indictment represent a violation of those terms.

Pinson has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree sexual abuse charge. A hearing in the case is set for June 26.

In 2001, Pinson pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree sexual abuse, for allegedly abusing a five-year-old relative in 2000. Court documents said he was sentenced to two years in prison, probated for five years.

That probation ended in Aug., 2006.

Pinson was also charged with four counts of third-degree rape in 1996. According to court documents, from June through August, 1996, Pinson allegedly had sexual intercourse with a girl less than 16 years old.

The charges were dismissed without prejudice in 1999, by then-Pike Circuit Judge Charles E. Lowe Jr. Without prejudice means the charges can be brought back against Pinson.

In addition to the charge of failing to register relative to a sexual offense, Pinson was also indicted Monday on a charge of being a persistent felony offender in the second degree, a class C felony. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. He faced five years in prison on the first-degree sexual abuse charge.

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

John Floyd Thomas Jr. – Repeat Sex Offender – Southland Strangler

Thomas served a six-year jail sentence for a 1957 burglary and attempted rape in Los Angeles and was jailed again in 1978 for a rape in Pasadena. He was released in 1983.

Los Angeles cold case investigators arrested John Floyd Thomas Jr., who had been working as an insurance adjuster, on April 2. The Los Angeles Police Department says they have “yet to reach the depths of what he has done,” but suspect that he is responsible for dozens of murders, mostly of elderly women, that were committed over a period of 20 years or more.

Nicknamed the “Southland Strangler” by the LAPD after the area of Los Angeles County where the murders took place, Thomas is suspected of about 30 murders and many more rapes. He is a registered sex offender, but was not arrested for any of the murders or rapes blamed on the “Westside Rapist” in the 1970s because “detectives did not have the technology to identify him as a suspect.”

Thomas served a six-year jail sentence for a 1957 burglary and attempted rape in Los Angeles and was jailed again in 1978 for a rape in Pasadena. He was released in 1983.

Deputy Chief Charlie Beck said that the case owes its leads to “tenacity and science.” According to LAPD Detective Richard Bengstan, until recently, Thomas “had never come up on the radar at all.”

A 2004 California law “calls for officials to collect DNA samples from convicted sex offenders.” Thomas reported to a patrol station in October 2008 to have the inside of his cheek swabbed. His DNA was found to match evidence from the 1972 murder of 68-year-old Ethel Sokoloff and the 1976 murder of 67-year-old Elizabeth McKeown. Both were killed by the same person, according to DNA analysis, and since then, other victims have also been linked to the same killer.

Profiles of the victims (mostly white elderly women), the proximity of Thomas’ homes to those of the murder victims and Thomas’ criminal record are all helping make the case that he fits the profile of the “Westside Rapist.”

“The pattern is perfect,” Bengtsan told The New York Times. “He moves, and there are murders and rapes there. Then he moves again, and they stop there and start where he moved to. When he’s in prison, they stop.”

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