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7. Absurdities

7-year old ... 
8-year-old too young  
War against boys... as young as twelve  
10 years for teener? 
Boy & Girl Teen Charged For Having Mutual Sex 
Sentenced to Life for Sucking Boys' Toes 
Is a kiss a crime? 
When does a snapshot of a mother breast-feeding her child become kiddie porn? 
200 years for a few pictures... 
Foul Play In Fair Oak 
Little girls might not like to have beards... 
Italian ban on kids on TV spots 
Nude child cannot violate law 
Prison without a crime 
Therapy as a crime 

7-year old ...

7 - Year - Old Boy on Trial for Molestation; November 13, 2003
MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) -- A 7-year-old boy accused of molesting a 5-year-old girl earlier this year will go on trial next week.
The Morris County Prosecutor's Office accused the Kinnelon boy and a 15-year-old neighbor of improperly touching the girl on May 8. The teen pleaded guilty to a disorderly persons charge of harassment by offensive touching and is now serving a year on probation, but the boy rejected the same plea offer.
Larry Goodman, the Kinnelon boy's attorney, called the charge "preposterous" and has sought to have the case dismissed. He claims his young client could not have formed the intent to commit the sex act and suggested the teenager may have influenced him.

"He wants to dig in the yard and play hockey. He doesn't even know what a sex act is," said Goodman, who likened the case to children playing doctor.
The names of the two youth were not released, and county Prosecutor Michael Rubbinaccio would not discuss specifics of the case, saying only that it will be "appropriately handled in juvenile court."

8-year-old too young

to be in sex offender program, AP, December 4, 2003
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. -- An 8-year-old boy accused of fondling four female classmates will be the youngest participant in Wayne County's sex offender rehabilitation program, prosecutors said.
The boy, who was not identified because of his age, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and no contest to a felony assault charge. He was sentenced Wednesday. If he completes the program, the felony charge will be dropped. The boy will receive individual counseling because the group sessions for teenagers are not age-appropriate, prosecutors said.
The judge also sentenced him to two years probation.
Authorities said the boy fondled a 7-year-old girl and touched three other 7-year-old girls inappropriately outside their clothing while the children watched "Mary Poppins" at a Mount Clemens school in May.


11-Year-Old Charged With Molesting Boys
WESTON, Fla., January 30, 2003 - An 11-year-old Weston boy has been charged with sexual battery and child molestation after police say he engaged in forcible sex acts with three younger children.
Two of the victims in this case were 6 years old at the time of the incidents. The third alleged victim was 7. The mother of one of the 6-year-olds contacted Broward sheriff's deputies after her son allegedly told her that he and his seven-year-old friend had been molested by the older boy, who was an acquaintance.
Deputies referred the case to the BSO Sex Crimes Unit, who conducted an investigation. The suspect (shown at left), whose name was being withheld, surrendered to authorities in Weston on Monday. He was scheduled to be released from the Broward Juvenile Detention Center on Wednesday. He will be required to wear an electronic ankle bracelet so he can be monitored by authorities.

The boy faces one count of sexual battery and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation. If he were to be tried as an adult, he could face a maximum life sentence plus 60 years. But authorities say he will be tried as a juvenile. The mother of one of the victims and the father of another spoke to WTVJ News on Wednesday. Both said they were unhappy with the BSO investigation, and that detectives did not immediately arrest the boy.

A BSO spokesman expressed sympathy for the victims and their families, but said detectives wanted to conduct a thorough investigation before proceeding with such serious charges. The mother of a 6-year-old victim said she was heartbroken by the attacks, which allegedly involved forcible oral sex and both attempted and actual penetration of the younger boys. The mother of the suspect said after Wednesday's bond hearing that her son was too young to understand what is going on.

War against boys... as young as twelve 

Zero Tolerance for the Sexual Boys in Illinois, Associated Press.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.-- Sex offenders as young as 12 can be ordered to register as "sexual predators" for the rest of their lives, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled.
The justices upheld a law Friday that requires juvenile "predators," those who commit the most serious sexual offenses (like giving younger boys blowjobs), be held accountable for their actions. Three of the justices -- one in a dissent and two in a concurring opinion suggested the law should be rewritten.
Justice Thomas Kilbride, in his dissent, noted that the law required a 12-year-old sexual predator to be labeled for life but not a 16-year-old sex offender convicted of murder.

10 years for teener? 

Court weighs teenager's sentence; Georgia case raises questions about mandatory minimum Sentences; January 21, 2004
ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- Attorneys for a high school football player convicted of having consensual sex with a fellow student told the Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday that the teen's automatic 10-year sentence amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

Prosecutors insisted the mandatory prison term was exactly what state law intended for Marcus Dixon, who was convicted of aggravated child molestation and statutory rape. Dixon was 18 at the time; the girl was 15.
Defense attorney David Balser said Dixon's sentence "so deviates from society's view of sexual conduct that it shocks the conscience." Unless the court overturns the case, any teenager who has sex could potentially face prison time, he said.
Prosecutor John McClellan defended Georgia law, which classifies Dixon's crime as one of the state's "seven deadly sins" that come with a minimum decade-long sentence.
"It is the job of the Legislature and not the courts to define crimes and their penalties," McClellan said.
The high court issued no immediate decision but was expected to rule in the next few months.

At the time of his arrest, Dixon was a senior football player with a 3.96 grade-point average and a scholarship to attend Vanderbilt University. Dixon's scholarship was later rescinded. Dixon was enrolled in a home-economics class with the 15-year-old girl. He said he arranged to visit her in a trailer containing classrooms, where she was working as a student custodian. She told school counselors about the incident, and they contacted police.
Dozens of people packed the courtroom to hear Dixon's case, which has become controversial because he is black and the girl is white. Protesters have said Dixon would not have received such a long sentence if not for his race.

Boy & Girl Teen Charged For Having Mutual Sex 

Boy, girl referred for sex assault, April 14, 2003
Village of Pewaukee - Two teens are being referred to the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office for sexual assault.
According to police, a 14-year-old city of Pewaukee boy and a 13-year-old village of Pewaukee girl allegedly engaged in sexual activity in a residence on Sunnyridge Road between 1 and 2 p.m.  April 4. Under state law, teens under 16-years-old cannot consent to sexual activity.
The incident came to light when police were called to Asa Clark Middle School regarding a harassment complaint.
Some boys allegedly talked about the girl and the incident at the school, police said.
The girl made a complaint with school officials who called police.
Officers questioned the girl and boy and they admitted to their involvement in the incident.
Police are seeking to charge both with second-degree sexual assault.

Sentenced to Life for Sucking Boys' Toes 

Former Youth Supervisor Sentenced to Life for Sucking Boys' Toes
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The former supervisor of a Newport Beach youth program was sentenced Friday to life in prison on 25 counts of lewd conduct and assault for sucking the toes of 20 boys.
Trenton Veches, 32, will be eligible for parole in 15 years.
At his trial, Veches' lawyer said his actions with boys 6 to 10 years old were "horseplay." But the prosecutor said Veches "clearly befriended these children, manipulated them and he sexually molested them."
Veches' mother, Joyce Ormes, said the sentence was too harsh.
"I don't know how he can spend life in prison for this when there was no sexual contact with the genitals, things like that," she said.
"Clearly Mr. Veches posed a danger to the children of our community and he needed to be in prison," prosecutor Sheila Hanson said.
Veches was arrested in April 2002 after a co-worker reported seeing him sucking a boy's toes.

Is a kiss a crime? 

Teacher makes bail; sex probe is still on; Teacher accused of sex with a former student is on house arrest while police investigate additional allegations;

The Boynton Beach music teacher accused of having sex with an 11-year-old former student was granted $30,000 bail Thursday and placed under house arrest while she awaits trial.
Carol Lynn Flannigan, 49, was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Wednesday and charged with capital sexual battery on a child under 12 in connection with the alleged 19- month affair.
A new police probe could net more charges. Boca Raton police said Thursday they are reinvestigating allegations that she kissed the same boy romantically in 2002.
"'Now, with this new evidence, all parties will be interviewed to see if there is any new evidence in the case,"' said Officer Jeff Kelly, Boca Raton police spokesman.

Flannigan befriended the boy's family and invited him and his two brothers to her house for sleepovers, authorities said. She had sex with the victim at her home, a Lake Worth park and a Lantana airport parking lot, officials said.
The alleged affair was revealed when the now 13-year-old's stepmother found text messages on his cellphone.
"'We trusted her like a family member,"' said the boy's father outside the courtroom for Flannigan's first appearance Thursday. "That's why I never thought something like this would happen."
He said he had hoped the judge would side with prosecutors who asked for no bail. But Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Sheree Cunningham allowed Flannigan's release on the conditions she remain under house arrest at her parents' home and have no contact with children or the victim's family, but she is allowed to have supervised visits with her 16-year-old autistic son. She was also barred from using the computer.

Sitting together in one row at the courtroom were Flannigan's supporters: her husband, parents, sister, brother-in-law and several neighbors. They didn't comment, but one woman gasped and began to cry quietly after catching a glimpse of Flannigan walking in a blue jail-issued uniform before the hearing.
Flannigan's lawyer, Kenneth Ronan, told reporters that she will plead not guilty, citing the first investigation conducted by Boca Raton police and the state Department of Children & Families, when allegations that Flannigan and the boy kissed were ruled out as "unfounded."

Inappropriate behavior was brought to the attention of investigators by a therapist of Flannigan's husband, Douglas DePue, who filed for divorce in 2002. "'Back then DCF just had the husband's hunch,"' Kelly said.
DCF officials are prohibited by law from commenting on specific cases. But Alan Abramowitz, deputy district administrator for DCF in Palm Beach County, said families have differing standards for appropriate contact and a kiss is not always sexual.

The boy told investigators he did not feel uncomfortable. But Flannigan's arrest report alleges the two already had sex at the time of the first investigation.
"'If everyone were to deny it, you really have no evidence to go forward," Abramowitz said. He said cases with female abusers and male victims are among the hardest to investigate because it is nearly impossible to find physical proof that a male victim had sex.

The evidence that led to her arrest this week includes the text messages and a phone call the boy made to Flannigan that was monitored by police. Authorities alleged that in that conversation, she apologized, urged the boy to keep lying about their relationship, offered him $1,000 and said that revealing the truth would ruin her life.

She is on paid leave from her job as a music teacher at Rolling Green Elementary School, where she first met the boy in her music class.
Principal Gay Voss sent a generic letter to parents, translated into Spanish and Creole, alerting them that a teacher had been arrested and that the charges involve ''inappropriate behavior'' with a student.

When does a snapshot of a mother breast-feeding her child become kiddie porn? 

Ask the Richardson police. BY THOMAS KOROSEC
Jacqueline Mercado, a 33-year-old Peruvian immigrant, took a few photos of her young children
at bath time. A week later, Richardson police were rummaging through her house for kiddie
porn, and a state child welfare worker came to take her kids away.
The photo in question Jacqueline Mercado and Johnny Fernandez say they took this image last October to memorialize the breast-feeding stage of their son's life. Defense lawyers argued that while breast-feeding images are a second-degree felony in Richardson, they are also on public display in the finest art museums in the world.
The legal team Steven Lafuente, Bill Stovall and Andrew Chatham all went to work on the Mercado-Fernandez case.

The service was fast, the judgments even hastier. Never did Jacqueline Mercado imagine that four rolls of film dropped off at an Eckerd Drugs one-hour photo lab near her home would turn her life inside out, threaten to send her to jail and prompt the state to take away her kids.

For Mercado and her family, last fall was a happy time, one they wanted to record and save in the venerable tradition of the family photo. Johnny Fernandez, Mercado's boyfriend, had just emigrated from Lima, Peru, ending a yearlong separation, and on top of that, it was their son's first birthday.
The photographs they took over several days in late October included pictures of Fernandez reunited with the family at their modest home in suburban Richardson. Others captured their 1-year-old son Rodrigo, and 4-year-old Pablizio, from Mercado's earlier marriage, playing in a neighborhood park. Using the camera's timer, they also took three snapshots of themselves, naked in their bed. They arranged their bodies in ways that showed less flesh than most freeway billboards.

A half-dozen others recorded the kids at bath time. Fernandez took several photos of the boys "playing around," naked and innocent, with the oldest flashing a big smile. Mercado, who says she often bathed with the kids, is in several of the shots unclothed from the waist up, holding her arm modestly across her bare chest. In one--the photo that would threaten to send Mercado and her boyfriend to prison--the infant Rodrigo is suckling her left breast.

After Mercado dropped off the film for processing, a technician viewed the images and decided they were "suspicious," according to a police report. As required under Texas law, he immediately contacted local police. Mercado says that when she went to pick up her pictures, the clerk told her there would be a delay, and then only returned three of the four sets of prints. To Richardson police, who arrived at the store that afternoon and apparently made up their minds from the content of the pictures alone, this was nothing short of a felony case of child pornography.

"We thought they contained sexuality," says Sergeant Danny Martin, a Richardson police spokesman, explaining why two Richardson police detectives began pursuing a criminal case. "If you saw the photos, you'd know what I mean."

With nothing else to support their contention that the photos were related to sex or sexual gratification, the police and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office presented the photos to a grand jury in January and came away with indictments against Mercado and Fernandez for "sexual performance of a child," a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The charges centered on a single photo, the breast-feeding shot. Fernandez and Mercado say they took it -- although the child had ceased breast-feeding -- to memorialize that stage of their baby's development.

"We wanted to see if he would take it, and he did," says Mercado, explaining through an interpreter that it was a spur-of-the moment notion to which they gave little thought. "Johnny never saw the child breast-feeding, so this was for memories. For us."

Mercado, who brushed back strands of brown hair from her reddened eyes as she spoke, has a story that has not changed from the start. She told the Richardson police officer who responded to the store's call that she had always taken pictures of her children nude, and that it wasn't uncommon in her native Peru to do so. They were innocent baby pictures, taken for the family's benefit, she said. []

[The full article and another one about the case are available: see the Documentation List in this Newsletter]

 200 Years for a few pictures... 

Cortez ex-teacher gets 200 years for owning child porn; Carol Sowers, The Arizona Republic Mar. 8, 2003

A former Cortez High School teacher convicted last month of possessing child pornography was sentenced Friday to 200 years in prison. Judge Ruth Hilliard of Maricopa County Superior Court sentenced Morton Robert Berger, 51, to 10 years for each of 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in connection with possessing 20 images of child pornography. The sentences must run consecutively.

Phil Wooten, Berger's lawyer, tried to get the charges dismissed in December, arguing that Arizona's child pornography law has been declared unconstitutional by one Superior Court judge on grounds that it is vague on the definitions of child pornography. Berger's lawyers also argued that the mandatory sentencing for possessing child pornography is far harsher than for defendants who actually touch children. But prosecutor Lisa Parsons said Berger didn't just "look at pictures, he kept them in three-ring binders." Parsons agreed that Arizona's law is the most severe in the nation but said it was passed to protect children. Texas has the next-toughest law, with sentences of 2 to 10 years. Some states consider the crime a misdemeanor.

Foul Play In Fair Oak 

The London News Review, 27 January 2004

David Snugge, the vicar at St. Thomas Church in the Hampshire village of Fair Oak, is sleeping uneasily in his bed tonight. Around the vicarage, angry villagers gather, with pitchforks and bricks and raised fists. We know what you're thinking, but no, David Snugge, despite being a young rural priest, is not (to our knowledge) a paedophile. Quite the opposite: the fury of his parishioners is his reward for trying to keep his beloved village free from child molesters. And how did try and do that? By chopping down the 140-yr-old yew tree that stood next to his church. The Daily Express explains: ...the church council has had it chopped down without permission - because paedophiles might hide behind it.

And the parishoners are furious. Not - we should stress - because they're all paedophiles, who used to enjoy hiding behind the yew tree but who have had that simple pleasure snatched away from them by an unsympathetic clergyman. They are angry because they loved their tree. Joan Owen, 81, a longtime Fair Oak resident, says: "The idea that paedophiles might hide behind the tree is ludicrous" - and we agree with her. The Rev Snugge might very well not be a paedophile, but he is certainly an idiot.

However, the remarkable thing about this whole sorry saga is not the idiocy of David Snugge, it is the idiocy of The Daily Express. The Express presents this story as just another example of political-correctness-gone-mad: The tree, which was planted as a sapling when St Thomas Church was built in 1864, simply became a victim of 21st century correctness.

Simple as that. But completely false. The tree wasn't a victim of "21st century correctness" it was the victim of paedophile paranoia: a relatively modern madness, the primary cause of which is the constant tabloid fear-mongering about child molesters. They're out there. They want your children. Be afraid, be very afraid. And the Daily Express is perhaps the worst offender when it comes to whipping up the terror. They love fear at the Express. Fear of paedos, fear of disease, fear of gypsies, fear of terrorists, fear fear fear fear fear.

Note: the headline of today's paper: PANIC AS BIG FREEZE BITES

It is the most breathtaking piece of hypocrisy for the Express to go on and bloody on about the threat of paedophiles lurking behind every corner and in every dark bush (if they can find a bush which isn't full of asylum seekers, that is) - and for them to then criticise the fruits of their terror campaign as "21st century correctness." More than anyone - more than the tree surgeon who did the chopping, or the idiot vicar David Snugge - it is the Daily Express which is responsible for the loss of that lovely old yew tree. The parishioners should take their bricks and pitchforks and hurry along to Ludgate House. See if Richard Desmond is home. Put the fear up him, good and proper.

Little girls might not like to have beards... 

STUBBLE AND STRIFE, Evening Express, LEE MACKAY, 06 February 2004

A suggestion that children could wear disguises to get round a school photo ban has been branded "silly and unworkable". North-east MSP Richard Lochhead has slammed a decision taken yesterday by Aberdeenshire Council to set guidelines on parents filming their children. And education director Hamish Vernal caused even more fury by suggesting pupils could wear beards so they are not identified in pictures or videos.

The new guidelines mean mums and dads could be stopped from recording sports days, nativities and concerts - unless all parents agree in writing. If just one parent refuses, other parents might not be allowed to take photos or film.

The proposal - which was passed by 24 votes to six - sparked outrage from parents, experts and politicians. Mr Vernal said options would be looked at for children whose parents did not want them photographed - or left out of the event. He said: "In a nativity, for example, the child could be one of the kings and wear a beard and their identity would be protected." Mr Lochhead said:

"The comments by officials just sums up how difficult these guidelines will be for school staff to put into practice. I have no objections to general guidelines to deal with parents who do not want their kids photographed. But this must not lead to silly situations or any bans on other parents."

He branded the proposal as "heavy handed" and "unworkable" adding: "Edinburgh City Council tried to adopt this measure but backed down in the face of criticism. "Aberdeenshire Council must do likewise."

One mum, who has two children at an Ellon primary school, said: "Forcing children to play particular roles seems a shame - particularly for girls if you are making them dress as a king in a beard when they might want to play the pretty fairy.

"I think it is absolute nonsense. It is just political correctness gone mad. It is part of the joy of having young children - seeing them in school plays and their pictures in the paper."

After school club worker Sian McGregor, who is based in Newmachar, said:

"Banning parents from taking pictures of their children at school events does seem a bit extreme. And the suggestion the disguises could be used is bizarre."

Oldmeldrum play leader Lindsay Milne stressed children's safety was paramount but added:

 "It's a daft idea to put them in beards to disguise them."

And a former school board member from the Inverurie area, who declined to be named, added:

"The education director must have been speaking on the spur of the moment when he suggested children in nativities could wear beards to protect their identity."

Speaking at yesterday's meeting, SNP councillor Jim Towers said:

"It's a sad state of affairs if one person could spoil things for the other 99% of parents." Tory councillor Jill Webster branded it "political correctness gone haywire".

But Mr Vernal said he hoped alternative solutions would be found before a ban would be necessary. These could include the child withdrawing from the event or wearing costumes where they can't be identified - such as a beard. Earlier this week in the Evening Express child protection and sex crime experts spoke out against the plans.

Professor Frank Furedi, a world-renowned expert in childhood sociology, said: "Steps like this mean the paedophiles have scored something of a victory.

"Their worldview is now starting to dominate, with every parent or adult seen as a potential pervert."

Mr Lochhead added:

"Many parents take photographs of their children in the school play, or on school sports day, as a cherished memento of their son or daughter's youth. The council's proposal could pave the way for the loss of such opportunities. It is in no way a common sense approach. It doesn't do anything to truly protect children and merely obstructs the rights of parents."

Aberdeen City Council operates an "opt-out" procedure rather than a blanket ban. If parents do not give their consent, their children will withdraw from the event or performance.

Italian ban on kids on TV spots 

Ban on Kids in TV Spots Riles Advertisers

ROME (Reuters) - How can you advertise a brand of diapers without showing a baby, or vaunt a new toy without a happy child playing with it? Italian advertisers face these tough challenges after parliament approved a new media law that bans the use of children under 14 years old in television advertising.

"What are we supposed to do? Use little dolls, or teenagers dressed up as children? Animation? This is a big problem," said Federica Ariagno, creative director at advertising firm McCann- Erickson in Milan.

The ban slipped into a controversial media law that parliament approved Tuesday. It was one of more than 3,000 amendments presented by the opposition to slow the bill's passage through parliament, but by a fluke it was adopted. The thought of Christmas without miles of footage of cute kids trying out their new toys has horrified both advertisers and producers, who are mounting a fierce campaign to have the rule scrapped.

"We will do everything we possibly can to get rid of this strange and ridiculous measure, which seeks to create a world without children," said Felice Lioy, head of UPA, the main Italian association of firms that advertise.

Nude child cannot violate law 

Judge: Nude child, mother not guilty.

Marialice Redmiles is not guilty of breach of peace just because her three and a half year old son was in the front yard naked. That was the decision of Fort Morgan Municipal Court Judge Ronald Lebsack Tuesday as he laid out the precedents in the case that has run for nearly 17 months.

On Oct. 3, 2001, Redmiles' child was playing nude in the front yard of his home across the street from Abner Baker Central School, a school for fifth and sixth grade kids -- no one disputed that. Seven school staff members and a resident of the neighborhood then decided to file complaints of breach of peace with Fort Morgan police.

By common law it is clear a child that young "cannot be charged with committing a criminal offense," the decision states. In addition, even though the Fort Morgan City Code says "No person shall...aid in isturbing the peace of another person," a parent cannot be found responsible for the criminal act of a child unless it "was done under the fear of, of compulsion by, the parent" or a parent "must have actually known his child was violating the ordinance or the circumstances must have been such that a responsible parent should have known the child" was violating a law. Evidence showed Redmiles did not know her son was violating the breach of peace ordinance when he played in the front yard without wearing clothes, Lebsack said.

"In the case before the Court, the evidence does not support a conclusion that (Redmiles) prevented her son from wearing clothes in the front yard or encouraged him not to wear clothes while in the front yard. In fact, the undisputed evidence is that the defendant did not prevent her son from wearing clothes or require him to be nude in the front yard, nor did she encourage him to do so," the decision reads. "By charging (Redmiles), the People are attempting to do what they cannot do under the law, i.e., charge the child with the offense," it adds.

Prison without a crime 

2003 nov, slashdot.org 

It's even easier than you think. I know from very personal experience, having spent a year in jail - and I'm on the state sex offender's list - for a "sex crime" that never even took place. A young girl (a couple of weeks before her 15th birthday) confided in me that she'd been with her 16-year-old boyfriend only twice, but she thought that she was pregnant and she was considering running away from home. I tried to talk some sense into her head, but then a couple of her friends AND her boyfriend told me that she was also considering suicide. The boyfriend asked me to help, one of her girlfriends pleaded with me... and I, in complete naivete, decided to try to "do something" to help.

She spent the night at my house. We spoke to her friends on the phone several times, I even offered to talk to her father (she freaked and threatened to leave if I did). Later in the evening, when she'd talked to her best friend again, and after a trip to the bathroom, she announced that she had started her period. So she wasn't pregnant after all. So I'd talked her out of running away from home. And I'd kept her from thinking about suicide, and she'd started her period, so the reason she'd been so upset had been resolved. The next morning, I took her home and talked with another friend of hers who thanked me for my help. She told me that she'd actually been fearing for her friend's life.

Her father was pretty pissed, to say the least. And he wanted me arrested for something. But the original charge would have been "contributing to the delinquency of a minor". Sex never crossed his mind. But when the county's newly-formed Sex Crimes Unit got wind of it, it changed quickly into Child Molestation. Never mind that there was no sex involved, confirmed by her gynecologist.

The doctor's report was deemed "inadmissable" by the Assistant DA. Can't have us talking about the girl's sex life in the courtroom! We have to think of the victim's rights! Talking about the suicide threat was disallowed, too. We can't pretend there's something wrong with the victim! So, by the time it got to court, there was nothing left but the single event: she spent the night at my house. What other reason could there have been? SEX! Isn't there something in the law about being able to confront your accuser? She wasn't going to be allowed to testify. Indeed, she wouldn't even have been in the courthouse.

They kept me in jail for eleven months before getting near a courtroom. It could have been another year or two to go to trial. I was offered a plea bargain, and I took it. What I pleaded to was "Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes". My conviction isn't for anything that I did, it's for something that they think that I maybe thought about doing. A sex crime. One equal to the child molestation charge, in the eyes of the court.

I've been through three years of counseling (at my expense), and eight years of probation. And in two more years, I have to apply to have my name taken off the sex offender registration. Five years after that, I can apply to get my civil rights back (voting, etc.). I'll never be allowed to own a gun. It's downright difficult to find or keep a job. I'm currently self-employed, mainly because it's just easier than dealing with the FUD in the job market.

Sex Offender registration has very little to do with sex offenses. It has even less to do with protecting the community. Its only function is to appease the media and the politicians, and the parents of kids who truly were abused, molested or killed by a parolled sex offender. I'm sorry that these things do happen, but erring on the side of caution and sending an innocent person to prison is not the way it's supposed to work in this country. I'm paying the price.

Therapy as a crime 

Psychologist Investigated For Child Abuse; Doctor Says Social Services Was Aware Of Treatment; February 27, 2002, TheDenverChannel.com 

DENVER -- It is a case of horrible child abuse involving a 5-year old boy, and how officials at Adams County Social Services have tried to prosecute the very doctor they called in to help him.

7 NEWS Investigator John Ferrugia has the story of how a mother in search of help for her son, has been living a nightmare while the sexual abuser remains free.
John Ferrugia: It was a tough case. Two other therapists couldn't get the child to talk. But Dr. John Dicke used some unconventional therapy and the child literally acted out his sexual abuse, and his condition improved. That's when Adams County Social Services officials went after the doctor who they had recommended.
Karen/mother: "My son was very aggressive to other kids. I had him in a day care and he just started acting out. It was like a big puzzle. It just seemed like nothing would work."
John Ferrugia: His aggression finally made sense when in a fit, her son described how he had been sexually abused. But an investigation by Adams County Social Services was closed after the child did not repeat his allegations to authorities, so they referred the mother to Dr. Dicke.

Dr. John Dicke is a clinical psychologist treating, among others, victims of child abuse. In the first session with the 5-year-old boy, he was stunned.
Dr. John Dicke: "I wasn't even engaged with him when he touched me. I was fully clothed talking with his mother when he came over and touched the area of my crotch."

John Ferrugia: After the session he reported in detail to the caseworker at Adams County Social Services. But this was just the beginning.
Dr. John Dicke: "I was again sitting on the couch with his mother and he went behind another couch of mine and you could hear some rustling back there and he appeared totally naked and then he began acting out the sexual abuse that had been perpetrated on him."
Karen/mother: "It was really hard watching what was coming out."
John Ferrugia: Karen was in every session and she said the therapy made their family life so much better.
Karen/mother: "I mean, it was just phenomenal the improvement in my son after we would leave. It was almost as he knew it was a place where he could get everything out."

John Ferrugia: As Dicke reported information to Adams County Social Services the agency re- opened its child abuse investigation and pressed Dicke to videotape the sessions. They hoped to identify and prosecute the person who did it. John Dicke agreed. At the same time, Dicke felt the child could benefit from traditional therapy with an anatomically correct doll, but the doll wasn't immediately available.

Dr. John Dicke: "There were two phalluses made available to him. One that was small and one that was large and he could do with them what he wanted."
John Ferrugia: Almost immediately the child used the large phallus to demonstrate what happened to him.
Karen/mother: "It was almost too horrible to comprehend. He was enraged. He was biting on it."

John Ferrugia: Dicke felt the child had begun to master his fear and anxiety. He was also sure that he had evidence on tape that would convict the abuser. But when he turned the tapes over to Adams County Social Services, officials turned on him. They charged that his unorthodox therapy constituted child abuse. But wait a minute! Weren't these sessions monitored by social services?

Karen/mother: "The social worker was well aware of what was going on in therapy through Dr. Dicke and through myself after practically every session. I would call her and give her a rundown."
Ferrugia: In detail?
Karen/mother: "In detail of what happened in the therapy sessions, and she would say, 'That sounds great. It seems like you are really making progress.'"
Ferrugia: Concurrent with the process, are you telling social services everything that's going on? That you are using a phallus?
Dr. John Dicke: Yes.
Ferrugia: That the child has used the phallus to demonstrated what has happened to him?
Dr. John Dicke: Yes.
John Ferrugia: Even so, officials turned the tapes over to Denver police and to the Denver D.A. for criminal prosecution. The Denver district attorney found no criminal activity on the tape and dropped the case.
Karen/mother: "I felt so betrayed because he is an organization you are supposed to trust."
John Ferrugia: Even though her child was showing dramatic improvement, social services threatened Karen, telling her if she continued to take her child to John Dicke, the boy would be placed in foster care.
Karen/mother: "It was like he had a safe place where he knew he was safe to express it and he no longer had that."
John Ferrugia: Dr. Donald Cassatta, director of Adams County Social Services, admits the caseworker was informed about the therapy. But he says, no one in his department was actually aware of what was happening until they saw the videotape. He claims what was seen on the tape was abusive to the child.

Adams Country Socials Services has now filed a complaint with the State Board Of Psychologists and the Attorney General is investigating whether John Dicke provided sub-standard care. Ironically, there is yet another complaint to the state board about Dickey. It is from the person who was the chief suspect in the sexual abuse of the child. No one has been charged in the case.

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