Tag Archives: Sex Offender

Your Child Needs You – Pt 4

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Your Child Needs YOU
BEFORE It Is Too Late

Unsupervised boys at Dallas County juvenile
detention center engaged in sex acts

DALLAS, TX  –  Boys locked up for sex offenses were left unsupervised at a Dallas County juvenile detention center long enough to engage in sexual acts with each other on at least two occasions.

The misconduct occurred while the youths were sleeping on mattresses on the floor of a multipurpose room at the Lyle B. Medlock treatment facility in southern Dallas.  The boys were required to sleep on the floor as a group “intermittently” from December through April because of severe understaffing, said Terry Smith, the county’s juvenile department director.

At least five boys were found to have engaged in sexual contact during that period — three boys in one instance and two in the other, Smith said.

“I’m madder than hell,” said Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who sits on the juvenile board.  “They’ve turned it into a free-for-all out there.  Nobody’s minding the store.”

About 28 boys, ages 13 to 17, are in a treatment program known as STARS at the facility because they were found to have committed sex offenses.

Staffers learned of the sexual incidents in April during routine polygraph tests that are part of the STARS program, Smith said.  The youths said the incidents occurred while they were housed on the multipurpose room floor several months earlier, Smith said.

At least one boy’s parents called Price’s office to complain about the sexual incidents.  At a juvenile board meeting last week, Price asked about what happened.

Medlock superintendent Marilyn Boss told Price that the sexual incidents involved “touching” but “no penetration.”

After reviewing investigative reports related to the incidents this week, Price said Boss’ characterization was false, although he declined to answer whether the contact did include penetration.  He said the reports aligned with the parents’ accounts.

“They lied publicly,” Price said.  “It was a lot more than touching.  It was sexual shenanigans.”

In addition to the sexual contact and sleeping on the floor — which could violate state standards — detained children have escaped from low-security county juvenile facilities as recently as Wednesday.

Two juveniles who’d been adjudicated for offenses ran from the cafeteria at the Youth Village on Wednesday, Smith said.  At least two escaped in April after they broke a window by throwing a drawer through it. One of the juveniles has yet to be found.

This is all evidence, Price said, that the juvenile department is plagued by mismanagement.

“The fact that staff had access to this kind of information and no heads have rolled is unacceptable,” he said.

Smith said she has taken steps to hold officers accountable for the lapses in supervision and to address the issues created by understaffing.  She recently held a job fair to boost recruitment.

“There are things we must improve upon, absolutely,” Smith said. She said she plans to move the boys in STARS to another lockup by the end of June, where each youth will sleep in his own cell.  Smith said she planned that move six months ago — before the allegations. Price expressed skepticism about that, sarcastically calling the decision a “eureka moment.”

Smith said the department is doing the best it can with a group of deeply troubled children.  None of the youths involved in the sexual incidents alleged any force or coercion, she said.  Regardless, juveniles in confinement aren’t legally able to give consent for sexual activity.

“Those kids have been abused and exposed to horrific situations themselves,” Smith said.  “Part of the problem with our sex offender kids is they don’t have appropriate ways to express themselves sexually because of their own sexual trauma history.  Those are the cycles we try to break.”

County Judge Clay Jenkins, who sits on the juvenile board, said he was “concerned” about the “failures” but stopped short of calling the department mismanaged.  All juvenile lockups struggle to prevent sexual contact between youths and none are “100 percent successful,” he said.

“There were clearly issues here that need to be corrected and improved on,” Jenkins said.  “I can’t take a jump from that, to saying that the entire juvenile system is headed in the wrong direction or there’s a leadership problem systemically.  But I can say that any time there’s sexual contact between children in confinement, that’s unacceptable.”

Smith said she was disappointed in the managers at Medlock, where STARS is housed, for not telling her about the severity of the understaffing there.  She was unaware that youths were sleeping on mattresses on the floor until Price brought it up at the public meeting last week.

Raises and hiring boosts at state Child Protective Services caused some of the staffing woes, Smith said, as juvenile officers jumped to jobs they were qualified for at higher pay.

She said she needs about 40 more employees and hopes to hire them by the end of June.  Exacerbating the staffing issue, she said, the number of teens being placed under Dallas County’s supervision has risen 14 percent this year.

The department has been careful to stay within the staffing ratios required by the state, which are one employee for every 12 juveniles during waking hours and one employee per 24 youths during sleeping hours, Smith said.

The county’s Juvenile Board is responsible for inspecting and certifying that its facilities are up to state standards to keep receiving state funding.  The board is made up of Price, Jenkins, five judges and a community member.  Last week, Price voted not to pass the Medlock center, but the other members did approve the building’s certification.

Price plans to file a complaint with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department asking the agency to investigate Dallas County’s problems.  Besides a lack of supervision, Price said the lockups have violated the standard that requires juveniles to sleep at least 6 inches above the floor.

After a sex abuse scandal roiled the TJJD in 2007, state lawmakers created the Office of the Independent Ombudsman to investigate state-run juvenile detentions.  Years of reforms have caused more youths to be held in county lockups closer to their homes rather than in remote rural detention centers.  But the ombudsman office is not staffed or mandated to keep tabs on county juvenile facilities, though watchdog groups say it should be.

The state pays $126 per day per youth housed at Medlock, which has the capacity for 96 juveniles.  That funding could be cut or suspended if state regulators find the lockup to be out of compliance and it fails to correct the problems.

There are signs that Medlock’s conditions are improving, at least in some ways.  In the first quarter of this year, Medlock logged five uses of physical restraints and zero instances of suicidal gestures or staff injuries.  That’s down compared with the first quarters of 2016 and 2015, when the facility logged more reportable incidents, including 18 and 38 uses of physical restraints, respectively.

Still, the issues coming to light are disturbing to observers.  They could cause youths to end up in worse shape than when they went in, said Lindsey Linder, juvenile justice policy attorney at the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.  She called the sleeping on mattresses on the floor “dehumanizing.”

“This is horrific,” Linder said.  “The idea that we’re putting these kids in situations that is going to further perpetuate their sexual trauma is abhorrent. It should be common sense and obvious that we should do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

TX Volleyball Coach Found Guilty

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Damian Merrick

Former volleyball coach found guilty of
Child Sexual Assault

Dallas, TX  –  A former Grapevine volleyball coach has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage girl and drug offenses.

Volleyball Club Owner Arrested Again

Damian Merrick was facing two charges of child sexual assault after he was accused of raping two girls, but he was only found guilty on one count.  He was also found guilty providing marijuana to the teen girls.

Jurors spent most of the day on Friday deliberating before reaching a guilty verdict.

Prosecutors argued that Merrick used alcohol and drugs to lure the teens during a team trip to Colorado.

Defense attorneys argued before the jury that Merrick had lost everything but his freedom.  During closing arguments, the defense told the jury the state had left too much reasonable doubt.  They pointed to inconsistent stories by two girls who testified Merrick sexually assaulted them when they were 16 and played on his volleyball team.

The jury deliberated for nearly 7 hours before reaching their verdict.

During closing arguments, attorneys from both sides made their points with the jury.

A Grapevine police detective testified Merrick had a sexual relationship with one of those girls for three months and raped a second girl in the bathroom at her friend’s house.

Merrick’s daughter tried to defend him.  She spoke on his behalf and said he never gave her drugs or alcohol, but she broke down crying after prosecutors poked holes in her testimony.

The judge began testimony of the punishment phase of the trial Friday afternoon.

Sex Predator Running From CA Warrant

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Calvin Lewis Jackson, 39

Police search for sex predator accused of
Child Abuse

JACKSONVILLE, FL  –  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said it’s searching for a registered sexual predator accused of child abuse.

Calvin Lewis Jackson, 39, has an outstanding warrant for child abuse, the Sheriff’s Office announced Friday night.

Police said Jackson is known to visit the areas of Eagle Cove Road and Ridge Boulevard.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.

To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.


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Our Veterans are Heroes!!!!

How can Sex Offenders be given presidence over Our Veterans????

How can Sex Offenders be Security Guards at any Veterans Facility, much less mistreat Our Veterans and even manufacture evidence that is used against Our Veterans????

The New England Center For Homeless Veterans is NOT TAKING CARE OF OUR VETERANS!!!!

“Many, many veterans who really need help do not go there because the conditions are so bad.”

“Unsafe, unsanitary conditions found at New England Center for Homeless Veterans”

The place is infested with bedbugs, there are also roaches in the kitchen, rats in the basement, and mice.

Also, 32 men who live or work at the veterans shelter are registered sex offenders, most of them Level 3s, who are considered the most likely to re-offend.

Two Imprisoned For Child Porn Face More Time

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Seagoville, Texas Federal Facility

Two inmates in Seagoville’s federal facility are accused of having drawings of girls engaging in sex acts.  Such depictions were outlawed in 2003.

Two men already in the Seagoville federal prison for child pornography convictions have been slapped with new charges of possession of obscene material for having drawings and writings showing children being sexually abused.

Experts say that such offenders are using pencil and paper to fulfill their urges while behind bars, where the inmates pass the amateur comic books among themselves and sell them.

Seagoville inmates Danny Borgos, 27, and John R. Farrar, 56, are accused of having several drawings of girls depicted as being as young as 6.

A 2003 federal obscenity law makes it illegal to possess child pornography drawings, and a federal appeals court in 2008 upheld the nation’s first conviction under that law.

For a child pornography charge, the children have to be real.  But drawings, paintings, writings, sculptures and other depictions of children being sexually abused fall under the obscenity law, known as the Protect Act, if they are shown to lack serious scientific, literary, artistic or political value.

But some question whether the law goes too far.

James Cantor, Ph.D, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and an international expert on pedophilia, said child pornography laws are intended to protect actual people.

“When talking about a drawing, who’s the victim?” he asked.  “We feel these are icky.  But icky is not a real reason to pass a law.”

Drawings circulated

Borgos was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in Dallas last month for having the comic book.  That was more time than he got for having actual child pornography.

He was serving a five-year sentence for a 2013 conviction out of New York for possessing and distributing child pornography.  In that case, Borgos discussed online his “desire to rape prepubescent children and the excitement he derives from the children’s pain,” court records show.

That prior case boosted the statutory minimum sentence for the new conviction.

A prison guard was about to search a cell in October 2014 when he saw Borgos and another inmate sitting at a table in front of the cell, according to court records.

Borgos had a 37-page comic book that said “Kidskin COMIXXX” on the cover.  The title was “Three Daughters Pt. 1.”  The comic book featured drawings of three girls, ages 6, 9 and 11, who are engaged in sexually explicit conduct, with captions that tell a lurid story.

Borgos told prison authorities the book was his and that another inmate made the drawings for him and offered to draw more.

More recently, on May 5, Farrar was found at the Seagoville prison with at least six drawings, some titled “Family Night” and “Extra Credit,” which showed young girls being sexually abused, according to federal court records.  He was indicted on Nov. 4.

Federal authorities also seized two books of writings about the sexual abuse of minors from Farrar.  One of them was hidden inside the cover of a paperback book, court records show.

Farrar, a Massachusetts downtown revitalization consultant, was convicted in that state in 2007 of possessing and transporting child pornography and sentenced to 10 years in prison.  In that case, Farrar told an undercover FBI agent online that “I love them all, infant to 13,” court records show.

It’s unclear whether similar comics, drawings and writings are being distributed among other inmates in the Seagoville prison.  The Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on the cases, “due to this matter currently being in litigation.”

Local attorneys say they can’t remember the last time someone in North Texas was prosecuted under the 2003 federal obscenity law for having child pornography drawings.

But Amy Phenix, Ph.D., a forensic psychologist in California who provides expert court opinions on sex offender evaluation, said such material is not unusual in a prison setting.

“They want something to arouse themselves,” Phenix said.
Lyn Williams, training director for the Austin-based Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, said such material would be a “valuable commodity in prison.”  For some, it’s like getting a joint or heroin, he said.

“It’s reinforcing their behavior,” he said about the comics.  “That’s not going to help when they get out.”

But Cantor said government shouldn’t pass a law based on an “emotional gut reaction.”

“Good public policy comes from minimizing and eliminating harm,” Cantor said.

Legal precedent

The question of the legality of child sex comics has been settled in federal court, where First Amendment arguments have consistently failed.

In 2005, Dwight Whorley of Virginia became the first person convicted under the 2003 obscenity law.  A federal appeals court upheld the conviction in 2008.

Whorley used a state computer to download Japanese anime cartoons showing young girls having sex with men.  Whorley, who spent time in jail for previous child pornography charges, got 20 years in prison.

In another noted case, an Iowa comic book collector, Christopher Handley, was arrested after Japanese manga comic books showing children being sexually abused were mailed to him.

Handley was convicted in 2010 under the federal obscenity law after unsuccessfully challenging it during his trial.  He did not have a criminal record and was given six months in prison.  It was the first time someone was sent to prison for owning comic books, according to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

His attorney argued that there was no evidence the drawings represented any actual people and that they were “purely a product of the artist’s imagination,” court records show.

Handley’s attorney said that fictional characters in cartoons have no age.  He said the indictment violated the First and Fifth Amendments.

But U.S. District Judge James E. Gritzner said in his ruling that Handley was confusing child pornography laws with obscenity laws. Child pornography offenses require the depiction of an actual minor while obscenity offenses do not, he said.

“Obscene materials are afforded no protection under the First Amendment,” Gritzner said in his ruling.