Elmer Ellman – Repeat Sex Offender – 25 Years

Ellman has a prior criminal record involving sex-related crimes against children. In 1982, he was sentenced to probation for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Ellman’s probation was revoked when he was convicted of indecency with a child two years later.


A 47-year-old Victoria man today was sentenced to 25 years in prison on two charges of promoting child pornography, both second-degree felonies. Elmer Ellman pleaded guilty to the charges on March 11. The charges stem from an investigation by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit, which found 71 images of child pornography on the defendant’s computer equipment.

The Cyber Crimes Unit and the Victoria Police Department executed a search warrant at Ellman’s home in June 2004 after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Information provided by NCMEC indicated that a Yahoo user was uploading child pornography to a Yahoo group. The unit seized Ellman’s computer, conducted a forensic analysis of its data contents and subsequently uncovered the presence of child pornography.

Ellman has a prior criminal record involving sex-related crimes against children. In 1982, he was sentenced to probation for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Ellman’s probation was revoked when he was convicted of indecency with a child two years later.

Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting online child predators. In 2003, he launched the Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators by assuming the identities of young teenagers in Internet chat rooms. His office has obtained convictions against more than 90 men on child pornography charges.

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

Rising Number Of Online Sexual Predators Overwhelming

Last year, 85,301 reports of child porn and 8,787 reports of online enticement were received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s cyber tip line.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that investigations of Internet crimes against children resulted in 3,000 arrests nationwide in 2008.

The number of cases involving online child pornography and sexual predators have overwhelmed agents at the Wisconsin Justice Department, the Associated Press reported.

Agents and computer experts over the past decade have gone after hundreds of predators who solicit sex from kids or trade child pornography online.

However, experts say the number of cases involving online sexual predators has quietly multiplied across the nation, with arrests more than quadrupling in 10 years.

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said he doesn’t think very much significant progress has happened yet.

“Our community leaders don’t even know how bad the problem is. The general population has no idea,” he said.

Mike Myszewski, administrator of the department’s Criminal Investigation unit, said the Internet was just gaining traction when an online child porn arrest was made by Wisconsin’s Justice Department in 1995.

“The next year saw six arrests. The year after that, 13. By then agency officials realized what the future held,” he said.

Myszewski received $300,000 in federal seed money in order to set up one of the first units to combat Internet crimes against children. Some 60 similar task forces now exist nationwide.

The group first focused on “travelers,” people who solicit sex from children online and arrange meetings with them. The unit made 18 arrests the first year, 36 in 2000 and 24 in 2001.

Myszewski said that the numbers from units across the country were so encouraging that federal officials thought they could eradicate chat room solicitation within three years.

But Wisconsin arrests soon dropped from 24 in 2001 to 17 in 2002 to 11 in 2003, as Internet access became more accessible and online trading became more covert. Peer-to-peer file sharing software enabled porn purveyors to send photographs and videos directly to each other’s computers anywhere in the world within seconds.

Last year, 85,301 reports of child porn and 8,787 reports of online enticement were received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s cyber tip line.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that investigations of Internet crimes against children resulted in 3,000 arrests nationwide in 2008.

Michelle Collins, executive director of the missing children center’s exploited child division, said the statistics show how an entire generation has moved online, seeking reinforcement from others with the same abhorrent sexual tastes.

Wisconsin forensic computer analyst Dave Matthews said what is most disturbing is the correlation between child porn and enticement. “Viewing leads to doing,” he said.

Msyzewski said the state justice department began training every criminal agent in its Division of Criminal Investigation to help as Wisconsin’s unit moved from busting travelers to taking down porn users. Since 2004, there have been around 100 arrests a year.

Supporting the fight against child cyber crime is an expensive venture, however.

The Wisconsin task force’s five full-time agents and six full-time computer analysts spend countless hours analyzing hard drives, cataloging tips, writing search warrant affidavits, criminal complaints as well as busting down doors and interviewing children as young as 3.

“We simply don’t have enough cops on the street to do the work that needs to be done,” said agent Jenniffer Price, who was working 43 cases, all stacked neatly on her Madison office desk.

“We’ve got so many offenders out there. I just see the balloon getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”

Van Hollen, the attorney general, has worked to draw attention to cyber crimes with news releases on each bust, and the state has sponsored 300 public workshops on cyber crime.

The attorney general has also pushed local law enforcement leaders to join the unit as affiliates, creating a statewide net of cyber sleuths and easing the burden on his agents. Seventy-four agencies have joined while hundreds haven’t.

So far, the criminal investigations have lured priests, teachers, police officers and even a mayor, as officers allegedly engaged in a conversation with Racine Mayor Gary Becker. Becker has since resigned and faces eight felony counts. He pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.

“When you’re a child, you shouldn’t have to be exposed to this stuff,” said Eric Szatkowski, a Wisconsin Justice Department special agent.

Original Story

Edward Preston Stout – Meeting On Xbox Live Led To Sex Crime


A Missouri man will be arraigned here later today on federal charges alleging he traveled from his home state to California to have sex with an underage girl he met while playing video games on Xbox LIVE.

Edward Preston Stout, 27, of Richmond Heights, Missouri, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Fresno, California, earlier this week on charges of using interstate commerce to entice or coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity as well as traveling in interstate commerce to engage in illicit sexual activity.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Fresno Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department and the Sanger Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

Court documents reveal Stout developed a relationship with a 14-year-old girl from Sanger, Calif., in April 2008. He communicated with her while playing video games on Xbox LIVE and through MySpace accounts. The two also communicated by telephone and exchanged numerous text messages. Eventually the communications became sexual in nature, and Sanger sent the girl a cell phone as a 15th birthday present so their communications could be more frequent and private. Those communications included sending sexually explicit images of themselves to each other. On January 25, Stout drove from Missouri to California virtually nonstop and met the girl outside her Sanger home. He took the minor to a local motel and engaged in criminal sexual activity.

Stout’s arraignment is scheduled for this afternoon. He has been detained as a flight risk and danger to the community since his initial appearance in federal court February 3. If convicted of the charges, Stout faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of life.

This case was brought as part of ICE’s Operation Predator and the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood, national initiatives targeting those who sexually exploit children. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

ICE’s Operation Predator, which was launched in July 2003, has resulted in more than 11,500 arrests nationwide. The public is encouraged to report suspected child predators and suspicious activity by contacting ICE’s 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE; and NCMEC, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

Joseph Tyson Boy Scout and Big Brother Boy Molester gets life in prison

Evil and horrific is how a federal judge describes what Joe Tyson did. Then Judge Charles Siragusa handed down a sentence to guarantee that Tyson will die in prison.

He was a former Boy Scoutmaster, mentor and Big Brother. Joseph Tyson led Boy Scout Troop 262.

This is how bad this case was. In Federal Court, the judge has to assign points for each charge. There added up to figure out the sentence. Joe Tyson scored a 48. The highest the scale ever goes to is 46.


A former Canandaigua man will spend the rest of his days behind bars, having been sentenced in federal court to a 65 year prison term for having and creating child pornography and using the Internet to lure minors for sex.

Joseph Tyson, 58, formerly of 515 Camelot Apartments in the city, was sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge Charles Siragusa Friday. He was convicted after a seven-day trial in late 2007 of six criminal charges that also included traveling across state lines with the intention of having sex with a child and taking a child across state lines in hopes of having sex.

Between Sept. 16 and 27, 2005, Tyson used his computer at his apartment in Canandaigua to chat with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old boy located in Keene, N.H., prosecutors said.

The minor was actually an undercover police officer from Keene. During the chats, prosecutors said, Tyson enticed the minor to engage in illicit sexual activity. “Further, the defendant had mailed the minor a Webcam and condoms,” said Margaret McFarland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

On Sept. 28, 2005, Tyson drove from Canandaigua to Keene and was arrested. Police said they found a mattress, sex toys, condoms, lubricant and cameras in his vehicle.

On the day of his arrest, his apartment in Canandaigua was searched by city police. His computer was found to contain thousands of images of child pornography, prosecutors said.

Among the media on his computer files were sexually explicit images of a 9-year-old boy from Rochester who Tyson had met through the Compeer big-brother program, McFarland said.

“While acting as the boy’s big brother for approximately 13 months, the defendant repeatedly raped and molested the boy,” she said.

In March 2006, an Ontario County Court judge sentenced Tyson, who had also lived in Webster, to spend 11 1/2 years in state prison for child pornography charges that were levied a month after his arrest in Keene. The charges were related to the computer files found in Canandaigua, authorities said.

He pleaded guilty in January 2006 to first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child.

The investigation was handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with city police.

Just before the sentence was handed down, Tyson told the judge, “I take responsibility for everything I did. I am sorry for what happened. I am a converted Christian. If I had known then what I know now, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Joseph Tyson Boy Scout and Big Brother Boy Molester gets life in prison

Evil and horrific is how a federal judge describes what Joe Tyson did. Then Judge Charles Siragusa handed down a sentence to guarantee that Tyson will die in prison.

He was a former Boy Scoutmaster, mentor and Big Brother. Joseph Tyson led Boy Scout Troop 262.

This is how bad this case was. In Federal Court, the judge has to assign points for each charge. There added up to figure out the sentence. Joe Tyson scored a 48. The highest the scale ever goes to is 46.


A former Canandaigua man will spend the rest of his days behind bars, having been sentenced in federal court to a 65 year prison term for having and creating child pornography and using the Internet to lure minors for sex.

Joseph Tyson, 58, formerly of 515 Camelot Apartments in the city, was sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge Charles Siragusa Friday. He was convicted after a seven-day trial in late 2007 of six criminal charges that also included traveling across state lines with the intention of having sex with a child and taking a child across state lines in hopes of having sex.

Between Sept. 16 and 27, 2005, Tyson used his computer at his apartment in Canandaigua to chat with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old boy located in Keene, N.H., prosecutors said.

The minor was actually an undercover police officer from Keene. During the chats, prosecutors said, Tyson enticed the minor to engage in illicit sexual activity. “Further, the defendant had mailed the minor a Webcam and condoms,” said Margaret McFarland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

On Sept. 28, 2005, Tyson drove from Canandaigua to Keene and was arrested. Police said they found a mattress, sex toys, condoms, lubricant and cameras in his vehicle.

On the day of his arrest, his apartment in Canandaigua was searched by city police. His computer was found to contain thousands of images of child pornography, prosecutors said.

Among the media on his computer files were sexually explicit images of a 9-year-old boy from Rochester who Tyson had met through the Compeer big-brother program, McFarland said.

“While acting as the boy’s big brother for approximately 13 months, the defendant repeatedly raped and molested the boy,” she said.

In March 2006, an Ontario County Court judge sentenced Tyson, who had also lived in Webster, to spend 11 1/2 years in state prison for child pornography charges that were levied a month after his arrest in Keene. The charges were related to the computer files found in Canandaigua, authorities said.

He pleaded guilty in January 2006 to first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child.

The investigation was handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with city police.

Just before the sentence was handed down, Tyson told the judge, “I take responsibility for everything I did. I am sorry for what happened. I am a converted Christian. If I had known then what I know now, this wouldn’t have happened.”

PROTECT Our Children Act – Passed Congress

Legislation to increase the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute child predators makes a major step forward.

We first told you about senate bill 17-38 last month. It’s now known as the ‘PROTECT Our Children Act.’

The bill passed Congress, and now it’s up to President Bush whether to sign it into law.

Callers from around the country recently flooded congressional offices demanding support of the PROTECT our Children Act. Many heard about it on Oprah, others on myspace blogs.

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Knoxville native David Keith, actor and member of the National Association to Protect Children, says, “We are ecstatic we have had this victory in Congress.”

Highlights of the passed bill include at least one Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in each state and more than tripling their funding, better information-sharing between law enforcement agencies, and expanding computer forensics labs dedicated to crimes against children.

It also requires new criminal penalties for live child abuse feeds and for grafting images of real children onto sexual images to create child porn.

Police say the resources to find more physical evidence in computers would help investigators save more children from abuse.

Kentucky State Police trooper Jody Sims says, “It would just allow them to be trained in different areas to kind of go outside the scope of what they do now. Sometimes you have victims who don’t want to testify, and it would help to solidify those cases.”

Opponents of the bill say it would lead to too much bureaucracy and not enough prosecutors to handle new cases.
Officials say the deadline for the president to sign the bill is October 12th.

Increased funding for the FBI and other agencies was cut from the original bill.

To learn more about the PROTECT Our Children Act, go to http://www.thomas.gov and search for senate bill 1738. You can also find an analysis of the bill at http://protect.org.

PROTECT Our Children Act – Passed Congress

Legislation to increase the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute child predators makes a major step forward.

We first told you about senate bill 17-38 last month. It’s now known as the ‘PROTECT Our Children Act.’

The bill passed Congress, and now it’s up to President Bush whether to sign it into law.

Callers from around the country recently flooded congressional offices demanding support of the PROTECT our Children Act. Many heard about it on Oprah, others on myspace blogs.

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Knoxville native David Keith, actor and member of the National Association to Protect Children, says, “We are ecstatic we have had this victory in Congress.”

Highlights of the passed bill include at least one Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in each state and more than tripling their funding, better information-sharing between law enforcement agencies, and expanding computer forensics labs dedicated to crimes against children.

It also requires new criminal penalties for live child abuse feeds and for grafting images of real children onto sexual images to create child porn.

Police say the resources to find more physical evidence in computers would help investigators save more children from abuse.

Kentucky State Police trooper Jody Sims says, “It would just allow them to be trained in different areas to kind of go outside the scope of what they do now. Sometimes you have victims who don’t want to testify, and it would help to solidify those cases.”

Opponents of the bill say it would lead to too much bureaucracy and not enough prosecutors to handle new cases.
Officials say the deadline for the president to sign the bill is October 12th.

Increased funding for the FBI and other agencies was cut from the original bill.

To learn more about the PROTECT Our Children Act, go to http://www.thomas.gov and search for senate bill 1738. You can also find an analysis of the bill at http://protect.org.

Michael Jacques – Repeat Sex Offender – Pedophile murderer

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

………Sarah Tofte


A funeral will be held for 12-year-old Brooke Marie Bennett on Wednesday at the Randolph Union High School in Randolph, Vt.

The viewing will be Tuesday evening at the same location.

Brooke would have turned 13 on July 12.

Her body was found last Wednesday in a shallow grave in Randolph, a week after she was last seen on a convenience store video walking out of the store.

Brooke’s uncle Michael Jacques has been charged with kidnapping. Police have not released a cause of death.

An obituary for Brooke in Saturday’s Barre-Montpelier Times Argus says she loved her cat Lily and her dog Scruffy and liked to eat bagels, popcorn and spaghetti.

At first, Brooke’s disappearance appeared to be a story of an abduction by an Internet predator who befriended the Braintree girl through her MySpace page.

But now prosecutors charge her abduction was planned by an uncle with a history of sex crimes who used Brooke’s MySpace page and a series of e-mails he sent using aliases to plan her abduction while deflecting attention from himself.

A 14-year-old girl, known in court papers as Juvenile 1, last saw Brooke alive when she was going upstairs with Jacques, 42, in his Randolph home on June 25, after Brooke was dropped off at a convenience store.

Juvenile 1 told police it was her understanding that Brooke was to be initiated into a “program for sex” that Juvenile 1 had been involved with since she was 9 years old.

A week later, Brooke’s body was found buried about a mile from Jacques’ house.

Police and prosecutors haven’t released the cause of Brooke’s death, they haven’t said she was murdered nor have they offered a motive for the kidnapping. But the federal kidnapping charge against Jacques carries with it a possible death sentence.

The investigation continues, but officials said Thursday they knew of no other victims of what was once feared to be a sex ring.

“This is the type of investigation where we are following every single lead,” Vermont U.S. Attorney Thomas Anderson said at a news conference in Burlington. “Wherever it takes us, wherever the facts take us, is where we will go.”

Neither the Vermont State Police nor FBI released any information on the case Friday, the Independence Day holiday.

Another defendant in the case, Raymond Gagnon, 40, of San Antonio, Brooke’s former stepfather, was charged on Wednesday with obstructing justice in the case. The FBI says he had his roommate in Texas throw out a computer believed to contain child pornography as well as images of Juvenile 1 having sex with her underage boyfriend.

A court affidavit by an FBI agent investigating the case said Jacques and Gagnon had several lengthy telephone conversations in the hours after Brooke was reported missing late on June 25 and early June 26.

Brooke’s disappearance sent a chill through Vermont when police issued the state’s first Amber Alert. A video from the convenience store showed Brooke and Jacques together and then going in separate directions after leaving the store.

At first, state police called it a MySpace case, believing that Brooke had met with someone she had befriended online and then lied to her family about her plans that day to meet a friend in Randolph and visit a hospitalized relative of that friend.

Now prosecutors say it was Jacques who provided police the story about the meeting and that he and Juvenile 1 picked Brooke up in Randolph and took her to Jacques’ home. Jacques also found one of Brooke’s shoes near a small lake in Brookfield and planted pieces of her clothing nearby that were later found by police, investigators said.

E-mails in the court documents released Thursday described how Juvenile 1 helped Jacques plant some of the false evidence, prosecutors said. Jacques coached Juvenile 1 on obtaining and preserving semen from her boyfriend to be placed on a pair of Brooke’s underwear, to throw investigators off the trail.

Jacques has a history of sex crimes dating to 1985 when he was charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl about 100 times. Prosecutors eventually dismissed that case.

In 1993, Jacques was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping. An affidavit in the case said Jacques tied up the victim and threatened to kill her while he sexually assaulted her.

He was sentenced to six to 20-years in prison, but he was released early because of the Department of Corrections’ “good time” policy in effect at the time.

Brooke’s father Jim Bennett and her stepmother Janet said they knew of Jacques’ history as a sex offender, but he never saw any signs of trouble when Brooke and her uncle were together at family gatherings.

“That’s not something you tell a little girl,” Janet Bennett told the Valley News of Lebanon, N.H. “She was just a beautiful little girl.”

Jim Bennett said parents needed to keep a close eye on their children, even around family because, “It’s not just strangers you’ve got to watch out for.”

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

………Sarah Tofte

Michael Jacques – Repeat Sex Offender – Pedophile murderer

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

………Sarah Tofte


A funeral will be held for 12-year-old Brooke Marie Bennett on Wednesday at the Randolph Union High School in Randolph, Vt.

The viewing will be Tuesday evening at the same location.

Brooke would have turned 13 on July 12.

Her body was found last Wednesday in a shallow grave in Randolph, a week after she was last seen on a convenience store video walking out of the store.

Brooke’s uncle Michael Jacques has been charged with kidnapping. Police have not released a cause of death.

An obituary for Brooke in Saturday’s Barre-Montpelier Times Argus says she loved her cat Lily and her dog Scruffy and liked to eat bagels, popcorn and spaghetti.

At first, Brooke’s disappearance appeared to be a story of an abduction by an Internet predator who befriended the Braintree girl through her MySpace page.

But now prosecutors charge her abduction was planned by an uncle with a history of sex crimes who used Brooke’s MySpace page and a series of e-mails he sent using aliases to plan her abduction while deflecting attention from himself.

A 14-year-old girl, known in court papers as Juvenile 1, last saw Brooke alive when she was going upstairs with Jacques, 42, in his Randolph home on June 25, after Brooke was dropped off at a convenience store.

Juvenile 1 told police it was her understanding that Brooke was to be initiated into a “program for sex” that Juvenile 1 had been involved with since she was 9 years old.

A week later, Brooke’s body was found buried about a mile from Jacques’ house.

Police and prosecutors haven’t released the cause of Brooke’s death, they haven’t said she was murdered nor have they offered a motive for the kidnapping. But the federal kidnapping charge against Jacques carries with it a possible death sentence.

The investigation continues, but officials said Thursday they knew of no other victims of what was once feared to be a sex ring.

“This is the type of investigation where we are following every single lead,” Vermont U.S. Attorney Thomas Anderson said at a news conference in Burlington. “Wherever it takes us, wherever the facts take us, is where we will go.”

Neither the Vermont State Police nor FBI released any information on the case Friday, the Independence Day holiday.

Another defendant in the case, Raymond Gagnon, 40, of San Antonio, Brooke’s former stepfather, was charged on Wednesday with obstructing justice in the case. The FBI says he had his roommate in Texas throw out a computer believed to contain child pornography as well as images of Juvenile 1 having sex with her underage boyfriend.

A court affidavit by an FBI agent investigating the case said Jacques and Gagnon had several lengthy telephone conversations in the hours after Brooke was reported missing late on June 25 and early June 26.

Brooke’s disappearance sent a chill through Vermont when police issued the state’s first Amber Alert. A video from the convenience store showed Brooke and Jacques together and then going in separate directions after leaving the store.

At first, state police called it a MySpace case, believing that Brooke had met with someone she had befriended online and then lied to her family about her plans that day to meet a friend in Randolph and visit a hospitalized relative of that friend.

Now prosecutors say it was Jacques who provided police the story about the meeting and that he and Juvenile 1 picked Brooke up in Randolph and took her to Jacques’ home. Jacques also found one of Brooke’s shoes near a small lake in Brookfield and planted pieces of her clothing nearby that were later found by police, investigators said.

E-mails in the court documents released Thursday described how Juvenile 1 helped Jacques plant some of the false evidence, prosecutors said. Jacques coached Juvenile 1 on obtaining and preserving semen from her boyfriend to be placed on a pair of Brooke’s underwear, to throw investigators off the trail.

Jacques has a history of sex crimes dating to 1985 when he was charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl about 100 times. Prosecutors eventually dismissed that case.

In 1993, Jacques was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping. An affidavit in the case said Jacques tied up the victim and threatened to kill her while he sexually assaulted her.

He was sentenced to six to 20-years in prison, but he was released early because of the Department of Corrections’ “good time” policy in effect at the time.

Brooke’s father Jim Bennett and her stepmother Janet said they knew of Jacques’ history as a sex offender, but he never saw any signs of trouble when Brooke and her uncle were together at family gatherings.

“That’s not something you tell a little girl,” Janet Bennett told the Valley News of Lebanon, N.H. “She was just a beautiful little girl.”

Jim Bennett said parents needed to keep a close eye on their children, even around family because, “It’s not just strangers you’ve got to watch out for.”

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

………Sarah Tofte

Michael Jacques – Repeat Sex Offender – Pedophile murderer

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

………Sarah Tofte


A funeral will be held for 12-year-old Brooke Marie Bennett on Wednesday at the Randolph Union High School in Randolph, Vt.

The viewing will be Tuesday evening at the same location.

Brooke would have turned 13 on July 12.

Her body was found last Wednesday in a shallow grave in Randolph, a week after she was last seen on a convenience store video walking out of the store.

Brooke’s uncle Michael Jacques has been charged with kidnapping. Police have not released a cause of death.

An obituary for Brooke in Saturday’s Barre-Montpelier Times Argus says she loved her cat Lily and her dog Scruffy and liked to eat bagels, popcorn and spaghetti.

At first, Brooke’s disappearance appeared to be a story of an abduction by an Internet predator who befriended the Braintree girl through her MySpace page.

But now prosecutors charge her abduction was planned by an uncle with a history of sex crimes who used Brooke’s MySpace page and a series of e-mails he sent using aliases to plan her abduction while deflecting attention from himself.

A 14-year-old girl, known in court papers as Juvenile 1, last saw Brooke alive when she was going upstairs with Jacques, 42, in his Randolph home on June 25, after Brooke was dropped off at a convenience store.

Juvenile 1 told police it was her understanding that Brooke was to be initiated into a “program for sex” that Juvenile 1 had been involved with since she was 9 years old.

A week later, Brooke’s body was found buried about a mile from Jacques’ house.

Police and prosecutors haven’t released the cause of Brooke’s death, they haven’t said she was murdered nor have they offered a motive for the kidnapping. But the federal kidnapping charge against Jacques carries with it a possible death sentence.

The investigation continues, but officials said Thursday they knew of no other victims of what was once feared to be a sex ring.

“This is the type of investigation where we are following every single lead,” Vermont U.S. Attorney Thomas Anderson said at a news conference in Burlington. “Wherever it takes us, wherever the facts take us, is where we will go.”

Neither the Vermont State Police nor FBI released any information on the case Friday, the Independence Day holiday.

Another defendant in the case, Raymond Gagnon, 40, of San Antonio, Brooke’s former stepfather, was charged on Wednesday with obstructing justice in the case. The FBI says he had his roommate in Texas throw out a computer believed to contain child pornography as well as images of Juvenile 1 having sex with her underage boyfriend.

A court affidavit by an FBI agent investigating the case said Jacques and Gagnon had several lengthy telephone conversations in the hours after Brooke was reported missing late on June 25 and early June 26.

Brooke’s disappearance sent a chill through Vermont when police issued the state’s first Amber Alert. A video from the convenience store showed Brooke and Jacques together and then going in separate directions after leaving the store.

At first, state police called it a MySpace case, believing that Brooke had met with someone she had befriended online and then lied to her family about her plans that day to meet a friend in Randolph and visit a hospitalized relative of that friend.

Now prosecutors say it was Jacques who provided police the story about the meeting and that he and Juvenile 1 picked Brooke up in Randolph and took her to Jacques’ home. Jacques also found one of Brooke’s shoes near a small lake in Brookfield and planted pieces of her clothing nearby that were later found by police, investigators said.

E-mails in the court documents released Thursday described how Juvenile 1 helped Jacques plant some of the false evidence, prosecutors said. Jacques coached Juvenile 1 on obtaining and preserving semen from her boyfriend to be placed on a pair of Brooke’s underwear, to throw investigators off the trail.

Jacques has a history of sex crimes dating to 1985 when he was charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl about 100 times. Prosecutors eventually dismissed that case.

In 1993, Jacques was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping. An affidavit in the case said Jacques tied up the victim and threatened to kill her while he sexually assaulted her.

He was sentenced to six to 20-years in prison, but he was released early because of the Department of Corrections’ “good time” policy in effect at the time.

Brooke’s father Jim Bennett and her stepmother Janet said they knew of Jacques’ history as a sex offender, but he never saw any signs of trouble when Brooke and her uncle were together at family gatherings.

“That’s not something you tell a little girl,” Janet Bennett told the Valley News of Lebanon, N.H. “She was just a beautiful little girl.”

Jim Bennett said parents needed to keep a close eye on their children, even around family because, “It’s not just strangers you’ve got to watch out for.”

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

………Sarah Tofte