Tag Archives: Child Pornography

MI, FYI Child Victims Have Nothing Viable Thus Far

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Victims require safe, protected housing, on-going counseling, guaranteed continuing education, and on-going support groups.

Gov. Rick Snyder signs bills expanding protections for survivors of human trafficking

Our readers will find a short description of each of the three (3) House Bills addressed in this post.
~ Robert StrongBow ~

LANSING, MI  –  Survivors of human trafficking will have heightened protections under legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Rick Snyder.

“These bills help strengthen and increase protections for survivors of human trafficking,” Snyder said.  “By holding criminals accountable for their actions, we move one step closer toward stopping this dangerous threat.”

House Bills 5542-5544, sponsored by state Reps. Laura Cox, Gary Howell and Nancy Jenkins, respectively, provide assistance to survivors of human trafficking by giving them resources to help support their recovery.  The bills also increase penalties for those who commit crimes by coercing victims to engage in commercial sexual activity.  The measures are now Public Acts 336-338 of 2016.

Snyder also signed two additional bills:

House Bill 4874, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Leonard, names a portion of Business Route 127 in Clinton County as the “PFC Andrew H. Nelson Memorial Highway”.  The stretch begins at the intersection of Business Route 127 and West Walker Road and continues south to East Townsend Road.  PFC Andrew Nelson was killed in action on December 25, 2006 in Baghdad, Iraq after an explosive device detonated near his vehicle.  It is now Public Act 339 of 2016.

Senate Bill 800, sponsored by state Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, contains Fiscal Year 2016 and 2017 supplemental appropriations for multiple state departments and agencies.  It is now Public Act 340 of 2016.

For more information on this and other legislation, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.

HB 5542 of 2016

(PA 336 of 2016) House Bill Criminal procedure; expunction; setting aside certain convictions for victims of human trafficking violations; provide for.  Amends sec. 1 of 1965 PA 213 (MCL 780.621).

Last Action: 12/14/2016 – assigned PA 336’16 with immediate effect

HB 5543 of 2016

(PA 337 of 2016) House Bill Juveniles; crimes; set-aside juvenile adjudication for certain prostitution-related offenses; provide for. Amends sec. 18e, ch. XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.18e).

Last Action: 12/14/2016 – assigned PA 337’16 with immediate effect

HB 5544 of 2016

(PA 338 of 2016) House Bill Crimes; penalties; penalties for bodily injury to or commercial sexual activity involving a minor; provide for. Amends secs. 451 & 462f of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.451 & 750.462f).

Last Action: 12/14/2016 – assigned PA 338’16 with immediate effect

Backpage.com CEO Arrested In Texas

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Carl Ferrer, 55, the CEO of Backpage.com

Arrest of Backpage.com CEO Shows Texas Doesn’t Tolerate Human Trafficking

AUSTIN, TX   –  In his office’s continued effort to combat human trafficking, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced the arrest of Carl Ferrer, the CEO of Backpage.com, a notorious adult website that generates millions of dollars annually from its classified sex ads.

Ferrer, 55, was taken into custody this afternoon on a California arrest warrant after he arrived in Houston on a flight from Amsterdam.  A lengthy joint investigation by the offices of the Texas and California attorneys general uncovered evidence that adult and child sex trafficking victims were forced into prostitution through escort ads that appeared repeatedly on Backpage.

“Making money off the backs of innocent human beings by allowing them to be exploited for modern-day slavery is not acceptable in Texas,” Attorney General Paxton said.  “I intend to use every resource my office has to make sure those who profit from the exploitation and trafficking of persons are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Nearly three dozen members of the Texas Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Unit participated in Ferrer’s arrest and the execution of a search warrant on the Dallas headquarters of Backpage, which is considered the largest advertiser of adult escort services in the United States.

Last January, Attorney General Paxton launched his office’s Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime (HTTOC) unit, which works closely with prosecutors around the state to bring human traffickers to justice.  Recently, HTTOC helped the Nueces County district attorney’s office secure a 40-year sentence for the trafficker of a 15-year-old victim.

Texas Stops Another Purveyor Of Child Porn

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David Lloyd Kennedy, 44

Child Exploitation Unit Makes 37th Arrest
of the Year

August 26, 2016
AUSTIN, TX  –  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced the arrest of David Lloyd Kennedy, 44, for 10 counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

The Office of the Attorney General’s Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) received multiple reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) CyberTipline that Kennedy uploaded images of child pornography to a micro-blogging website.

The report prompted CEU investigators to execute a search warrant at Kennedy’s home in Wortham, resulting in the seizure of several digital storage devices.

During an interview, Kennedy admitted he had observed child pornography in the past, but denied any involvement in this case.

A forensic examination of the seized devices found large amounts of child pornography.

For the charges of Possession of Child Pornography, Kennedy faces a third degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000.

The CEU works tirelessly to keep predators away from vulnerable children in Texas.

Since January, the CEU has arrested 15 offenders of child pornography crimes and 22 offenders of online solicitation.

If you suspect or know anyone possessing or producing child pornography or involved in any child exploitation activities, please report it to the NCMEC at https://cybertip.org/

Texas Stops Another Child Predator

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Kevin Scott Burke, 38

Registered Sex Offender Arrested in Williamson County

August 25, 2016
AUSTIN, TX  –  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced the arrest of Kevin Scott Burke, 38, on Tuesday for five counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

The Office of the Attorney General’s Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) CyberTipline that Burke uploaded images of child pornography.

The report prompted CEU investigators to execute a search warrant at Burke’s home in Taylor, where child pornography was found on his laptop computer.

Investigators seized numerous digital storage devices during the search of Burke’s home.

During an interview, Burke confessed to uploading the images detailed in the NCMEC CyberTipline report.

Burke also revealed that he downloaded and saved additional child pornography onto his digital devices that were seized during the search warrant.

Burke is a registered sex offender with a criminal history that dates back to 1997.

For the charges of Possession of Child Pornography, Burke faces a third degree felony punishable by two to ten years in state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000.

The CEU works tirelessly to keep predators away from vulnerable children in Texas.

Since January, the CEU has arrested fourteen offenders of child pornography crimes.

Courts Still Protecting Corrupt CPS

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Court still protecting CPS

NH Supreme Court says Child Sexual Abuse suit against DCYF can be filed openly

CONCORD  –  The state Supreme Court has ruled that a civil lawsuit pending against the state’s child protection agency, in a case involving Child Sexual Abuse and Pornography, does not have to be filed confidentially.

Rus Rilee, a Bedford attorney representing the adoptive parents who are planning the lawsuit against the Division for Children, Youth & Families, called Friday’s ruling “a big win.”

“Our goal in this entire appeal was to be able to publicly hold the system accountable, and to effectuate change,” Rilee said.  “And we feel we definitely achieved that goal here.”

The court had to balance the public’s right to access governmental records and proceedings with a state law that protects the confidentiality of child abuse and neglect proceedings.

Lawyers: Privacy shields DCYF in Child Sex Abuse case

In its unanimous opinion, the high court reversed part of a ruling by the Superior Court that any proceedings in such a lawsuit should be filed under seal, calling that “unconstitutional prior restraint.”

But the justices reaffirmed another part of the lower court’s ruling, protecting confidential records in the child abuse case. In any lawsuit that is filed, “any portions of the pleadings therein that derive from court records of the abuse and neglect case must be submitted under seal,” they wrote.

Attorneys from the state Attorney General’s Office, representing DCYF, and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) argued that the state’s child protection statutes require that any such lawsuit should be filed under seal to protect the privacy of the children involved.

Daniel Deane, who represented CASA in the Supreme Court case, said Friday’s order is a “partial win” for CASA “in that it confirms our understanding that New Hampshire law protects the identity and privacy of children involved in abuse and neglect cases.”

The family may file a lawsuit publicly, Deane said in an email, “but they remain obligated to maintain the confidentiality of information obtained from the abuse and neglect court records.”

The case before the court involved a child abuse and neglect investigation that the state began in 2012.

DCYF had removed two young children from their home and placed them in the custody of their grandmother.  But according to court documents, their parents sexually abused the children during an unsupervised visit.

The court later terminated the biological parents’ rights and the children were adopted by their grandmother and her husband, according to court documents.

Both of the parents pleaded guilty in 2014 to two counts each of aggravated felonious sexual assault and manufacturing child sex-abuse images;  both were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, according to published reports.

Rilee said he is now drafting a lawsuit on behalf of the children’s grandmother, now their adoptive mother.  In addition to DCYF, he said it will also name CASA and Easter Seals New Hampshire, which he said was supervising the children’s visitation at the time of the abuse.

Deane said CASA’s mission is to advocate in New Hampshire’s courts for abused and neglected children; the organization takes seriously its obligation under state law to protect their identities and privacy, he said.

“Throughout this case, CASA has sought the guidance of the courts on how best to fulfill its mission while respecting the privacy of the children involved,” Deane said in the email.  “With this ruling, the Supreme Court has given us that guidance and we respect its decision.”

Rilee said he doesn’t need to rely on confidential records to file his lawsuit.  “It’s going to be based on public information, and that will give everyone everything they need to know about this case,” he said.

Rilee said what happened to the children was “horrible.”

“The abuse in this case is indescribable.  It will be detailed, in some respect, in our complaint, but it really doesn’t do justice to what these poor little girls were subjected to, and what they’re going to have to deal with for the rest of their lives.”

A spokesperson for the state Department of Health and Human Services, which includes DCYF, said in a statement Friday, “The Department and the Attorney General’s office are reviewing today’s decision and will determine the implications of the decision as part of the review.”