-- April 16, 2011, Statement by New York City Police Officer Michael Daragjati, boasting of his false arrest of another African-American male.
Top News Story!
Posted: 04/26/2012 14:41 PDT - Updated: 05/5/2012 07:03 PDT
Los Angeles, CA (WCJB) -- Prosecutors have charged a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy with sex crimes against a girl he met through the Explorer program for youth interested in law enforcement careers. The district attorney's office said Thursday that 36-year-old Manuel Enrique Perallon Jr. is charged with one felony count of oral copulation of a person under 18 and misdemeanor child molesting. Prosecutors say Perallon oversaw the Explorer program at the Cerritos Station and met the victim when she was 16. The crimes allegedly occurred a year ago.
The deputy was arrested Wednesday and has been released on $70,000 bond. Arraignment is scheduled for May 16. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison. A telephone message left for Perallon wasn't immediately returned.
Posted: 02/10/2012 - Updated: 02/14/2012 12:20:09 PM PST
New York -- In his first television appearance since sexual assault accusations against him became public, Greg Kelly (pictured above, center) returned to the morning show on which he is an anchor and alluded to a decision this week by Manhattan prosecutors not to file rape charges against him. Near the beginning of the show on Channel 5, Mr. Kelly’s fellow anchor, Rosanna Scotto, turned to Mr. Kelly and said, “So you’re back.”
Kelly replied: “Rosanna, it’s great to see you. Folks, thank you. It was a tough couple of weeks obviously for a lot of people. And I’m very, very grateful for all the support I had here, the support from my family and friends, those I care about and the viewers of course. They’ve been just great, the people who watch the show, and have weighed in through social media, positive remarks. Thank you very much.” Mr. Kelly, a son of the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, did not discuss the nature of the accusations against him or talk about his accuser. It was the first time he was on the show since Jan. 25.
In late January, a woman in her late 20s or early 30s walked into the 13th Precinct station house and told officers that in October, Mr. Kelly, 43, had raped her in the Lower Manhattan law office where she works as a paralegal after the two had drinks together at a bar at South Street Seaport. Because of a conflict of interest, the Police Department handed the case over to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. After a two-week investigation, the chief of the district attorney’s sex crimes unit, Martha Bashford, wrote a letter to Mr. Kelly’s lawyer saying “the facts established during our investigation do not fit the definition of sexual assault crimes.”
(pictured above, center: Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney. Two years into Mr. Vance’s tenure running one of the nation’s most prominent prosecution offices, the cases in which the office’s actions have received the most criticism involved highly publicized allegations of sexual assault . Those were the cases against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, which Mr. Vance ultimately dropped; and against on-duty police officers, Kenneth Moreno and Franklin L. Mata, who were convicted only on lesser charges.)
A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said then that the agency had conducted a “thorough investigation,” interviewing witnesses and analyzing evidence including security logs, text messages, receipts and phone records. Both Mr. Kelly and the woman, whose name was not made public by the authorities, were interviewed as part of the investigation.
According to the woman’s account, the two continued to have contact by phone and text message after the encounter. At some point after her boyfriend heard about the night she spent with Mr. Kelly, he approached the police commissioner at a public event and said that his son had sexually assaulted the woman. The commissioner told the man to write a letter, the woman later told investigators, but there was no evidence that a letter was ever sent.
After the accusation became public, Mr. Kelly, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Reserves, took a leave from his position at the TV station show.
The Top Cop's Son!
First Posted: 01/26/2012 2:40 pm ET - Updated: 01/26/2012 1:47 pm PT
MANHATTAN, NY -- The woman who accused Greg Kelly of raping her also claims she became pregnant as a result of the alleged sexual assault, sources told Corrupt Justice™. She was described as a credible "professional person" who said she ended her pregnancy, sources said. Kelly, a local TV news anchor and son of NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly (pictured above, center) is being investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney's office after the woman walked into the 13th Precinct Tuesday night and claimed he raped her in her law office near South Street Seaport. The accuser, who is not a lawyer, told police that she was virtually passed out when Kelly, the co-host of Fox 5's "Good Day New York," allegedly sexually assaulted her last Oct. 8 at her Wall Street-connected firm. Kelly was absent from Thursday morning's "Good Day New York" broadcast. After the woman made the accusation, the NYPD contacted the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to take over the investigation because of the conflicts created for cops who would have to investigate the police commissioner’s son.
The woman, in her late 20s, said she and Kelly met for the first time that evening and they were drinking at a bar near the Seaport. They then strolled to her office where she claimed she the newsman assaulted her while she was incapacitated. She told investigators she eventually called Kelly demanding to know "what did you do to me?" sources said. Media sources reported that the woman is an "emotional cripple" and "distraught." The alleged victim told investigators that her boyfriend became enraged when she told him about the alleged attack, sources said. He confronted the police commissioner at a public event around the holiday season and told him that his son had ruined her life, a police spokesman said Wednesday. Ray Kelly told the boyfriend to write him a letter, the woman told investigators, sources said.
"Mr. Kelly is aware that the New York County District Attorney's office is conducting an investigation," Kelly's lawyer said in a statement. Kelly, through his attorneys, has vehemently denied the allegation. "Mr. Kelly strenuously denies any wrongdoing of any kind, and is cooperating fully with the District Attorney's investigation. We know that the District Attorney's investigation will prove Mr. Kelly's innocence." His lawyers have turned over text messages between Kelly and the woman that they believe undermine suggestions the encounter was anything but consensual.
Greg Kelly has not been charged with any crime. Mayor Bloomberg, speaking at an unrelated press conference, said Ray Kelly took the appropriate step when he told the accuser's boyfriend to write a letter. He also said turning the case over to the DA was "exactly what they should do," and added that "as far as I know, Greg Kelly has not been charged with anything." The NYPD referred all calls to the district attorney's office. The DA's office also declined to comment.
Kelly joined Fox News Channel in 2002 and was the White House correspondent from 2005 to 2007. A Marine Corps veteran and lieutenant colonel in the reserves, he also covered the Iraq War and the September 11 terror attacks.
Guilty as Charged!
Posted: 02/04/2012 - Updated: 02/14/2012 3:52:09 PM PST
(pictured above, center: Bennett S. Barbour and his wife, Valerie, shortly before his arrest in 1978.)
Richmond, Va. -- Investigators knocked on Bennett S. Barbour's door on Valentine's Day 1978 and arrested him on a charge of raping a College of William and Mary student at gunpoint a week earlier. The slight, 22-year-old handyman from rural Charles City County had been married just a few months when he was taken into custody, the romantic greeting card and box of candy for his pregnant wife left unopened.
Today, Barbour (pictured left) is a divorced, 56-year-old convicted sex offender who has bone cancer, and who desperately wants to clear his name. "I ended up losing my wife," he said. "I told them I didn't do it, but they railroaded me and locked me up." Now, the state has proof that he is innocent.
Tests conducted in 2010 on material from Barbour's old case file as part of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science's post-conviction DNA project identified the DNA of a known offender in biological evidence taken from the scene and failed to find Barbour's DNA. The DNA report has been in the hands of authorities for 18 months, but Barbour learned about his ticket to exoneration only two weeks ago.
The legal director of the Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law, plans to petition the Virginia Supreme Court for a writ of actual innocence on Barbour's behalf. "He is innocent, and the DNA proves it," he said last week. Another one of Barbour's lawyers and also with the U.Va. Innocence Project Clinic, said, "I don't know how they found him guilty without DNA." According to documents in the 1978 case file and news accounts of the trial, three witnesses testified that they were with Barbour at the time of the Feb. 7, 1978, attack in the Parkway Apartments in Williamsburg.
Arrest records show Barbour was 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 115 pounds at the time. The victim was 5 feet 8 and weighed 135 pounds, Barbour said. In addition to his smaller stature, Barbour said he had had a pin holding an elbow together at the time of the rape. "I was hardly able to move my arm at all," he said. Barbour was born with a medical condition that can lead to easily broken bones. Barbour had a solid alibi; he did not match the suspect's description; he has brittle bone disease; and he did not have a gun, said his attorney.
Also, a March 24, 1978, forensic lab report obtained by Barbour's current lawyers shows that even the relatively crude blood typing performed on seminal fluid left by the assailant strongly suggested that Barbour was not the attacker. The seminal fluid was left by someone who is Type A, as was the victim. Barbour is Type B. In addition, "Negro" hairs taken from the crime scene were said to be "not consistent" with a sample from Barbour, the report said. Still, the jury found Barbour guilty, siding with the identification made by the 19-year-old victim who, according to a probation office report, identified him by police mug shots and in a lineup.
Barbour alibi witnesses included: his mother-in-law; his brother; and a woman "who is of the white race and the only white witness called by the defense," noted a motion to set aside the guilty verdict. Nevertheless, on April 14, 1978, he was convicted of rape by a jury.
In a post-sentence report, probation officer Frederick W. Toepke wrote: "I think it should be brought to the Court's attention that since the Court trial I have talked to the Police Officers who investigated this matter and it is still their personal opinion(s) that perhaps a strong possibility exists that (Barbour) could be innocent of the charge. I was further informed that the investigation of this offense is continuing." According to the transcript of Barbour's sentencing, Barbour's defense attorney, Charles L. Beard asked the judge for leniency. "He has maintained then, now, and at all points, that he was innocent. The evidence you heard was questionable," said Beard.
But at the sentencing the judge said the case "boiled down, as I recall, to a question of credibility, a question of who you believed; and the jury believed, obviously ... the Commonwealth's witness." On April 17 he was sentenced to 8 years for charges in the unrelated burglary and on April 28 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the rape. Barbour wound up serving 4½ years of his 18-year sentence, making parole his first time up for consideration. Parole was not abolished in Virginia until 1995.
The 1978 lab report from his forensic case file was signed by Mary Jane Burton, the forensic serologist who performed blood typing for what is now called the Virginia Department of Forensic Science in the years before DNA testing was available. Samples of evidence that Burton taped inside her old case files are now being tested by the department in an effort to clear people wrongly convicted from 1973 through 1988. Barbour's case was among those; the DNA in his case was tested in 2010.
A few years ago, Barbour was diagnosed with bone cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy at the VCU's Massey Cancer Center. On Friday, he was at the hospital after a bad reaction to medication, his lawyers said. Barbour, who now has three grandchildren, stays in touch by telephone with his 34-year-old daughter, who lives in another state. One afternoon last month, he was playing cards with a nephew when he got word that a lawyer wanted him to call him. Barbour called the next day and learned there had been DNA testing in his case, something he had sought in 2004 without success. He contacted the Innocence Project Clinic at U.Va. and soon learned that the DNA results cleared him and implicated someone else.
"I'm like, 'What?' Stunned. Very stunned and relieved," he said. "It was about time I got a break in life because I've been dealing with this for 34 years. "I would like my name cleared, and I would like some restitution for them putting me away for something I didn't do, and I want everybody to know that I never touched this woman, I never had any contact with this person. I didn't get a chance to help raise my daughter like I wanted to. I'm a good man. And I wanted to be a part of my kid's life. They took all this away from me."
Cops That Sexually Offend!
Part - XXXIV - 2012!
Part - XXXIV - 2012!
Posted: March 9, 2012 1:00 AM - Updated: March 9, 2012 04:27 PM PST
DAYTONA BEACH, FL -- A former Volusia County Beach Patrol officer will be sent to a state prison after pleading no contest to charges of having sex with an underage lifeguard and a teenager, according to a three-page plea agreement filed Thursday. Robert Tameris, also known to his peers as "Beautiful Bobby," entered a plea of no contest to two charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, according to the documents. The plea marks another chapter in a scandal that rocked the Beach Patrol, leading to the firings of three employees and a lawsuit against the county.
The 46-year-old Tameris (pictured right) will be adjudicated guilty and spend 18 months in state prison, to be followed by four years of strict sex offender probation, the agreement shows. In the document, Tameris said he "maintains my innocence," and is pleading to the charges in his "best interest." For Tameris it culminates a nearly three-year firestorm after allegations surfaced in 2009 that he was among three men who had sex with former lifeguard Ashley Drury, who was a minor at the time. The criminal case against Tameris dragged along with numerous delays after he was arrested in 2009. The case was expected to go to trial next week, and would have taken five days. If convicted at trial of both counts, Tameris faced a minimum sentence of 11 1/2 years in prison.
Affidavits filed with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement alleged Drury had sex with each of the men at various times in 2008. The affidavits show Tameris and the former lifeguard exchanged more than 1,700 text messages during an undetermined amount of time and more than 1,100 texts with the two other men. After Drury's claims surfaced, a teenager told investigators she had a sexual relationship with Tameris after she met him while sunbathing. She said the pair had sex 20 to 25 times between September 2007 and May 2008 at Tameris' home when she was 16 and 17.
Drury later filed a federal lawsuit against the county for condoning a "culture of sexual abuse and depravity" and demanded more than $2 million in damages. The lawsuit has since been dismissed and she could be on the hook for nearly $300,000 the county spent defending itself in federal court.
A similar suit is pending in state court.
Tameris' attorney said there is an agreement between the state and defense not to discuss the plea agreement in the media. "I will honor that," he said, declining further comment. But State Attorney R.J. Larizza said in a news release that Tameris' pending sentence will make the community a "safer and better place." "Sometimes the pursuit of justice is an arduous and painful journey, as it was in this case," he said. Tameris answered the door at his Port Orange home on Thursday but declined comment.
The county launched an internal investigation after Drury alleged she had sex with Beach Patrol officers Tameris, the then 36-year-old Jecoa Simmons and 31-year-old lifeguard Chris Duarte. Tameris was not initially charged due to a lack of sufficient evidence. Simmons and Duarte were never charged with any sex crime. Simmons, a captain who was fired after the allegations arose, was sentenced to four years' probation last week for telling a young woman to lie to investigators about sexual activity within the agency. Duarte was never prosecuted.
Under Florida law, it is a felony for a person 24 and older to have sex with a person who is 16 or 17, regardless of whether the sex was consensual. Tameris, who has been out on $20,000 bail, will be designated a sex offender once his sentence is completed. If Tameris violates the terms of his probation, he could also spend more time in prison.
Posted: January 7, 2012 12:05 AM - Updated: January 17, 2012 11:34 AM PST
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The trial of former Volusia County Beach Patrol Officer Bobby Tameris on charges of underage sex has been postponed until February while the defense continues its efforts to get evidence tossed. The trial had been set for next week. The announcement was made Friday after Circuit Judge Joseph Will heard arguments on a number of evidentiary issues that have tied up the case against Tameris for years. The 46-year-old Port Orange man is accused of having sex with two teen girls who were younger than 18. If convicted, Tameris could face prison. Under Florida law, it is a felony for a person over 24 to have sex with a person who is 16 or 17, regardless of whether the sex was consensual or not. The case has dragged along with numerous procedural delays since Tameris was arrested in 2009. He was released on $20,000 bail.
His lawyer argued this week that the case against Tameris should be dismissed outright because the State Attorney's Office knew Tameris was represented by a lawyer when they used what he called methods of entrapment. The judge denied the motion to dismiss on those grounds, prosecutors said. But Will pointed out that he felt "uncomfortable" with the fact that a letter the defense attorney wrote to the office informing them he was Tameris' lawyer was never answered. After the letter was sent, an investigator with the prosecutors' office sent a young female witness to Tameris' house to record a conversation with Tameris about his sexual background. The defense attorney cried foul.
Prosecutor Celeste Gagne defended the decision by the office not to respond to the letter. The office, she said, had no legal duty to respond to defense counsel's letter. "The state has an obligation to prosecute crimes," Gagne said, adding that a vague response such as "thank you for writing" may have "clued (the attorney) off there was something in the works." "I can tell you, in this case, the law was followed," she said.
"It's perfectly legal to not respond and perfectly legal to continue to investigate, but there's something upsetting in our small community," the judge said, "to write a letter and be ignored." While the judge didn't find the case should be dismissed for any due process violation on the part of the state, he felt the fact that the defense attorney's letter wasn't answered "lacked civility." Will suppressed some evidence, including phone records and text messages from a phone that was recovered with a search warrant. But he reserved rulings on the suppression of other evidence, including recorded conversations Tameris had with the young woman who was working with investigators. Will said a hearing will be set next week to announce his remaining rulings on the pretrial motions.
Since the case is largely a battle over the credibility of witness testimony, what additional evidence is suppressed could have a dramatic effect on the outcome. The judge assured the attorneys he would make a ruling so the case can be tried Feb. 20, 2012. The trial is expected to take five days.
First Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 - Updated: Friday, February 23, 2012 - 9:46 am PST
"It's as significant a restriction as we have in the system. ... At least with electronic monitoring we know where he is."
-- Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning explaining why he lifted a $300,000 bail and placed accused rapist, Pittsburgh police officer, Adam Skweres on house arrest under electronic monitoring.
Pittsburgh, PA -- An Overbrook woman, who claims a Pittsburgh police officer sexually assaulted her a week ago, said on Friday she was appalled a judge released the officer from jail. Investigators believe the 33-year-old woman became Officer Adam Skweres' fourth victim since 2008, his second year on the job. "That's insane," said the woman, who asked the media not to use her name. "What does he have to do to get in trouble? Now, I have to worry. I really am scared."
Pittsburgh police yesterday added charges of attempted rape, bribery, oppression and indecent assault against Skweres, 34 (pictured left) of Lincoln Place. Police filed similar charges on Thursday, saying three women complained Skweres offered them legal help in attempts to receive sexual favors. Police said the Overbrook woman told them Skweres sexually assaulted her on Saturday at her home, telling her he could help get her boyfriend out of jail. She reported the incident to the FBI two days later. An agent told her authorities were investigating Skweres for other incidents.
Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning lifted a $300,000 bail and placed Skweres on house arrest under electronic monitoring, saying "it's as significant a restriction as we have in the system. ... At least with electronic monitoring we know where he is." Manning said Deputy District Attorney Chris Avetta did not present credible evidence that someone threatened or tried to intimidate witnesses.
"I've been in disbelief," she said. "They said they didn't have enough evidence and they had to build a case -- at the expense of my mental wellness for the rest of my life."
District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said the investigation began in 2008 when a woman complained to the Office of Municipal Investigations. A complaint "is entirely different than having sufficient evidence to prosecute," Zappala said. "You need the evidence to prosecute. This evidence was developed over a period of time."
Skweres became a police officer in February 2007 and worked in the Zone 3 station in Allentown. He remained on the job as city police, OMI, the FBI and the District Attorney's Office investigated complaints against him. Police Chief Nate Harper suspended him without pay after his arrest. "During the ongoing investigation, there was not enough information to substantiate him being taken out of uniform or being moved from his duty location," Harper said through a spokeswoman. He said removing Skweres from active duty could have jeopardized the investigation.
Police said two women complained of incidents that happened in 2008: one said Skweres approached her at Pittsburgh Municipal Court, Downtown, and the other said he propositioned her after a traffic accident in the South Side. Melissa Watkins of Beltzhoover, who police believe was Skweres' third victim, told media sources he came to her home in December and asked her how much she loved her jailed boyfriend and what she would do for him. She told police he demanded oral sex and she finally agreed to show him her buttocks "in order to satisfy him," a complaint said. "I was an emotional wreck," Watkins, 27, told sources. "Anytime I saw a patrol car it made me hold my breath and want to hide."
Beth Pittinger, executive director of the independent Citizen Police Review Board, said police brass should have carefully supervised Skweres after the first complaint. "How many victims could've been avoided?" Pittinger said."I think everybody is kind of scratching their heads wondering why. I think it would've been prudent with that kind of suspicion that he be taken off the street and his interaction with the public be limited."
"I think it's important for everybody to not rush to judgment," said the attorney who represents Skweres. Skweres' older brother said the allegations shocked his family. "This is completely uncharacteristic of him," Joe Skweres said. "I don't see how these allegations could be true."
Under Arrest ...!
First Posted: January 30, 2012 2:40 pm PT - Updated:
Santa Maria, CA -- A Santa Maria police officer suspected of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed by a fellow officer as he was about to be arrested, authorities said. The officer, who has not been formally identified, was near the end of his shift at a DUI checkpoint when supervisors arrived after 1 a.m. Saturday to detain him, Police Chief Danny R. Macagni told reporters at a news conference. There was a struggle, the suspected officer fired his gun and a fellow officer then shot him in the chest, Macagni said. "He chose to resist," Macagni said. "He drew his weapon. A fight ensued. He fired his weapon. And one of my officers that was there also discharged his weapon, and the officer was fatally wounded."
The dramatic shooting of a police officer by a colleague in the same unit roiled this northern Santa Barbara County city of 100,000, known more for its tri-tip and Elks rodeo than violent crime. "It's a very, very tragic day," Macagni said. In a briefing posted to the website of media sources, the police chief said developments in the probe of the officer forced police to take immediate action. He said detectives believed that the officer knew he was under investigation, that witnesses were being intimidated, and that the public would be at risk if the officer was not arrested before he left his shift.
"The information that we had in hand demanded that we not let him leave that scene, get in a car, drive somewhere. It would put the public at risk if he did," Macagni said. "We just did not know what was going to happen. And we did not expect him to react the way he did."
Macagni outlined some details of the police investigation:
Santa Maria police detectives were made aware of allegations that the officer was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl, but the information was sketchy.
Detectives continued the investigation into Friday evening, while the officer began his shift at a DUI checkpoint at Broadway and McElhany Avenue, near a fast-food restaurant, a liquor store and a market.
"Information unfolded during the time that the officer was on duty and unfolded very rapidly. It was very explicit, very specific, that indicated that the officer was involved in not only an inappropriate sexual relationship, but a very explicit one, and it demanded immediate action," Macagni said.
By 1 a.m. Saturday, detectives had enough information to arrest the officer, who would have been booked on multiple felony counts.
Two police supervisors were dispatched to the checkpoint to make the arrest. A fight ensued, and the suspected officer was fatally shot by an officer who had been working at the DUI checkpoint with him.
"We had no choice. And I am not at liberty to divulge the specifics of the ongoing information that caused us to take the action that we did," Macagni said. "But let me stress the fact that we had information in hand that was very specific, that demanded we go out and take this officer off the street immediately. There is some witness intimidation involved, and the allegations of sexual misconduct are very explicit."
Macagni added: "We also understand that the community demands that we hold our people to a very high standard, and this type of conduct by a sworn police officer … cannot be tolerated, and agencies will take the necessary enforcement action to take these people off the streets."
The officer, who was married and was a four-year veteran of the department, was pronounced dead at Marian Medical Center after undergoing emergency surgery. No one else was injured. The officer's father and sister, speaking to media sources in Santa Maria, identified him as Albert Covarrubias Jr., 29.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department is investigating the shooting.
Posted: 2:23 p.m. EST, January 19, 2012 - Updated: 11:56 PM PST, Wed. January 25, 2012
Fla. -- A Davie police officer accused of drugging and raping a family member is preparing for a new trial this spring after rejecting a plea deal, said his attorney. Stephen Olenchak, 37 (pictured above, center) was found guilty in December 2010, but won the right to a new trial because a juror brought a Wikipedia article into deliberations. "They made a plea offer of three years, which we rejected," Olenchak's attorney said this week. Trial is likely three or four months away, he said.
Olenchak was arrested in March 2009 by Davie police on charges he drugged and raped a family member, then 19, while his wife and 4-year-old son slept next to them in the same bed. Olenchak claimed the young woman seduced him. In the first trial, Olenchak pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual battery. On Dec. 2, 2010, jurors convicted him of digital penetration but acquitted him on the second charge of penile penetration. If convicted on both counts, he could have received a maximum 30-year sentence. Two weeks later, Broward Circuit Judge Stanton Kaplan declared a mistrial after a jury forewoman admitted to downloading information from Wikipedia and bringing it to the jury room. Olenchak was briefly declared a sex offender after being convicted by the first jury. The judge revoked that designation because of the mistrial.
In this next trial, Olenchak can be prosecuted only on one count of sexual battery because he was acquitted on the second. A status hearing was held Thursday morning before Broward Circuit Judge Barbara McCarthy. Assistant State Attorney Victoria Watson said she plans to upgrade the charge to sexual battery on a helpless victim, a first-degree felony that carries a maximum 30-year sentence. The original charge of sexual battery was a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Posted: 5:47 PM EST, Fri January 13, 2012 - Updated: 02:51 PM PST, Fri January 13, 2012
A jury on Wednesday found fired Milwaukee police officer Ladmarald Cates (pictured below, left) guilty of violating a woman's civil rights by raping her after he responded to her 911 call in July 2010. The jury deliberated for just three hours. In their split verdict, they found Cates not guilty of using a firearm in a crime of violence. They also found that although Cates committed a rape that qualified as aggravated sexual abuse, it did not result in bodily injury to the victim. Despite being acquitted on a second count, Cate's, 44, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced April 11, 2012. He will likely serve far less time under federal sentencing guidelines.
The victim in the case cried as the verdict was announced. Afterward, she said she was glad her ordeal had ended. "I really appreciate the federal government helping me," she said. "It means a whole lot to me that I don't have to deal with it anymore, and no other women will have to deal with it. I'm happy he won't hurt anybody else."
The U.S. attorney's office and FBI began investigating Cates in late 2010 after the Milwaukee County district attorney's office declined to charge him. Cates was fired from the Police Department in December 2010 for lying and for "idling and loafing" because having sex on duty is against department rules.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mel Johnson said he was pleased with the outcome. "We feel like we won the heart of the case," he said. "Of course, we want to win everything, but it was a difficult case."
The defense attorney for Cates said she and her client accepted the result of the trial process. "They made a decision that he violated her civil rights, and we accept that," she said. "They obviously didn't believe some of her testimony in regards to the gun and decided there was no bodily injury." Now, the attorney said, she and Cates would shift their focus to keeping him out of prison.
The trial, which began Monday, came down to who was more credible: Cates or the victim. Both testified, and they gave vastly different accounts.
Cates said the woman had sex with him willingly after he arrived at her north side home in response to her 911 call about neighbors throwing bricks and rocks through the windows. The two had met previously, during a traffic stop, and they started flirting and talking, he said. When he told her he was becoming aroused, she performed a sex act, which led to intercourse, he said.
In stark contrast, the woman testified that Cates assaulted her. As he did, she feared he could kill her and she would never see her two young children again. She didn't try to fight him, but did not want to have sex with him and did not consent, said the woman, then 19. She felt threatened by his police firearm, which was on his belt during the assault, she said.
During closing arguments earlier Wednesday, both the prosecution and the defense focused on the issue of whose version was more credible.
Saeed A. Mody, a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, told jurors Cates "went from police officer to predator when he preyed upon a young woman he saw as powerless, vulnerable and voiceless."
"He picked someone he thought would never say what happened, and if she did, no one would believe her," Mody said.
The jury should believe her, Mody said, because her consistency in relating the details of the assault, her actions afterward and the medical evidence in the case make her credible. He reminded jurors that Cates had told an internal affairs detective three different stories. First, Cates denied having sexual contact with the woman in July, but said the two had previously had sex in his car while on a date after a traffic stop. Then, he said that although they did not have sex in July, she grabbed him and touched herself sexually. In a third statement, he said he and the woman engaged in two sex acts that were consensual. During the third statement, he also said they had not really had sex previously.
The defense attorney, conceded in closing arguments that Cates had initially lied to the detective but contended that his third account, which he repeated on the witness stand, was the truth. She pointed out several inconsistencies in the details of the woman's statements, such as who took her children out of the house and whether Cates responded when she asked him to use a condom. She also emphasized that a medical examination of the victim after the incident showed no injuries to her vaginal area.
The jury believed the victim and convicted Cates. The attorney who was retained by the victim to help her bring the case to prosecutors, said she was proud her client had not given up. "It's humbling to have a client who went out and actively attempted to save the lives of other women," the attorney said. "It was a crime against her civil rights, and it was violence against women. . . . She has achieved justice on behalf of women in Milwaukee, and that doesn't happen very often."
Last year, a media investigation revealed Cates had been accused of breaking the law five times before. Three of the previous allegations involved sexual misconduct - two with female prisoners and one with a 16-year-old girl. The alleged incidents date to 2000, three years after he was hired by the department. Internal investigators referred Cates to the district attorney's office for possible charges in two of the previous cases.
The first was a domestic violence battery in 2000. Cates' then-girlfriend said he shoved and choked her. Prosecutors offered Cates a diversion agreement, which allowed him to avoid charges by refraining from criminal activity, avoiding violent contact with the victim and undergoing counseling. A conviction on a domestic violence charge would have prevented Cates from carrying a gun under federal law and resulted in his removal from the force. Police also referred Cates to the district attorney's office on allegations of having sex with the 16-year-old in 2007. Prosecutors declined to charge him.
Due to the rules of evidence, the jury was not allowed to hear testimony about any of the previous allegations.
Killeen Teen Sex!
Published: Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 4:13 PM PST - Updated: Friday, January 13, 2012, 10:04 AM PST
KILLEEN, TX -- Killeen Police Officer Kirt Yarbrough Sr. (pictured below, left) has been arrested and charged with sexual assault after allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old. The teenager was a member of the Killeen Police Explorer Program, which Yarbrough was one of the leaders of. He was initially placed on administrative leave the day after the alleged inappropriate relationship was reported on January 4, 2012. After an investigation by the Bell County District Attorney's Office Yarbrough was arrested Thursday and released after posting a $100,000 bond. There is an ongoing investigation which could result in more charges being filed, according to a police press release.
The Explorer Program is chartered through Learning for Life, a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America. Killeen's chapter was established in the early 1980's, and police department policy expressly prohibits fraternization between Explorers and their adult leaders. That program has been suspended to allow for an administrative review of the policies and procedures affiliated with it. Killeen Police say it appears the activities surrounding the relationship between Officer Yarbrough and the juvenile are isolated.
Darby Township Rapist!
Posted: Sat. December 31, 2011 3:56 PM PST - Updated: Tues. January 3, 2012 11:16 AM PST
DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (WCJB) – A former Darby Township police officer is facing some serious charges. Kevin Joseph Walker is behind bars after Delaware County prosecutors filed rape, sexual assault and other criminal charges against the former officer. According to the criminal complaint, Walker used his authority as a Darby Township police officer to coerce women into performing sex and sexual acts. The women accuse Walker of harassing and stalking them and say Walker committed some of the crimes while he was on duty and in uniform.
Walker is currently an elected state constable for the City of Chester. He was suspended with the intent to terminate this past July and is currently suspended without pay, pending the outcome of the charges.
Walker was arraigned Thursday afternoon and is now free on bail. He will be required to stay away from the victims. Walker’s wife turned in his personal weapons and he is required to turn in his badge, gun and other police materials by Friday.
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Movie Intermission! Death of a Ghost Hunter (2007)
Description: USA (2007) Renowned "ghost hunter", Carter Simms is paid to conduct a paranormal investigation of a supposedly haunted house. Along with a camera man, a reporter, and a spiritual advocate, she embarks on a three night journey into terror. (Runtime: 01:45:52)