Vergil Shirey – Repeat Sex Offender – Charge: Abusing 3 children

Conviction date: 9/4/1984
Sodomy 1st, Sodomy 2nd

A convicted sex offender is in the Talladega County jail on new charges of sex abuse first degree.

Vergil Shirey is charged with three counts of Sex Abuse, First Degree. He is being held on a total of $75,000.

Talladega Police Chief Alan Watson says Shirey was taken into custody May 12.

The charges against Shirey involve 3 individuals who are all younger than age 12.

The alleged crimes took place over the past two years.

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

Father Lawrence Murphy – Pedophile Priest sexually abused 200 deaf children


New information about a pedophile priest as documents released detail how Father Lawrence Murphy sexually abused as many as 200 deaf children.

Peter Isely is the Midwest Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and says, “I can tell you that according to this file this is probably one of the worst pedophile priest cases in the United States.”

Most of the cases occurred at a school for the deaf in Saint Francis throughout the 1970’s. In Archdiocese of Milwaukee reports, a psychotherapist tells of how Father Murphy said “It was sex education for them [the children]. They were confused about sex.”

Father Murphy also said he believed his victims consented, also telling the psychotherapist, “I could tell if they like it because they didn’t push me away. So I knew they liked it.”

Arthur Budzinski is a victim of Father Murphy and, through his daughter, told that he still thinks about the abuse every day but has been able to “pick up the pieces and move on, but some other victims are just stuck with it and dealing with the issues.”

Father Murphy died in 1998. A victim of Murphy’s is now suing the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, alledging the organization was complicit in allowing the priest to continue to serve actively despite having knowledge of his pedophilia.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese calls “The abuse committed by Father Lawrence C. Murphy 30 years ago was a horrendous betrayal of his priestly vows,” also adding that checks now exist to “make sure that anyone who has abused a child no longer serves as a priest in any way.”

Joseph Cortez – Repeat Sex Offender – Attacked woman in her sleep

A convicted sex offender who was paroled just about a month ago has been arrested for trying to sexually assault a woman in East Austin.

Joseph Cortez, 28, had just served a six year sentence for sex assault. He is now is charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault.

Police say early Sunday morning, Cortez used a butter knife to cut out the screen of an open window to get into the woman’s home on East 9th Street. She was sleeping inside.

The victim’s roommate heard her screams and called 9-1-1.

Police arrested Cortez — who was partially clothed — a short time later down the street.

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

Telford Cruikshank Jr. – Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography

A Clay County man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to possessing child pornography on his work computer, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Telford Cruikshank Jr., 42, of Clay, admitted that beginning in 2006, he subscribed to two illegal Web sites that hosted child pornography, a news release states.

When they searched his computer at his business, investigators found more than 300 images depicting prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to the release.

Cruikchank faces up to 10 years in prison and supervision for life when sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin on Aug. 3.

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

Rodney Mead Pelling – Child Pornography Production


A Newberg golf instructor was arraigned in federal court Monday on charges that he used a 12-year-old girl to produce child pornography as they traveled together across the state.

A 10-count indictment handed up in Eugene last month accuses Rodney Mead Pelling, 68, of producing, possessing and receiving sexually explicit images of children.

Pelling pleaded not guilty to all counts. He has been described as an amateur photographer, businessman and history buff.

“This is a very serious case involving the repeated sexual exploitation of a young child,” said Karin Immergut, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, in a news release. The case was “made worse by the fact that Rodney Pelling chose to photograph and thereby memorialize that exploitation.”

The girl, who competed in golf and gymnastic competitions, accompanied Pelling across the state, according to state police, sheriff’s deputies in two counties and FBI agents who investigated the case.

The case against Pelling began in July when he was seen behaving inappropriately with the girl at a motel in Sisters, government prosecutors said.

During those travels and back at his home, Pelling created sexually explicit images of the girl, the government alleges. Those images were produced in Deschutes, Yamhill, Coos and Douglas counties from April 9, 2007, to May 4, 2008, according to the indictment against Pelling.

The indictment also accuses the golf instructor of receiving child pornography at least four times between October 2006 and January 2007, as well as possessing the illegal images in July 2008.

Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies arrested Pelling last July, and he was charged in Deschutes and Yamhill counties with first-degree sex abuse and using a child in the display of sexually explicit conduct — both Measure 11 crimes that carry mandatory-minimum prison sentences. He has been held in the Yamhill County Jail since then.

Federal charges were added in the case last month because investigators believe he downloaded images of the girl to his computers and received child pornography over the Internet.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin ordered that Pelling be held in jail pending his trial, which is set for July 21 before U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene.

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

Joshua Whitlock – Repeat Sex Offender


A registered sex offender from Lewiston faces new charges involving a child and an adult.

Police said Joshua Whitlock, 30, was arrested Saturday and charged with sexual exploitation of a child, three counts of gross sexual assault against a child and two counts of sexual assault on an adult.

He is being held on $50,000 bail at the Androscoggin County Jail.

He is already a registered sex offender and at the time of the arrest was on probation.

The child in question for all charges against Whitlock pertaining to a minor is said to be safe with the biological father. DHHS has been notified of the complaint.

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