Austrian Man Confesses to Keeping Daughter, Her Children Captive in Cellar

Monday, April 28, 2008

AMSTETTEN, Austria —  A man has confessed to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years in a windowless cell with a soundproofed door and fathering seven children with her including three who “never saw sunlight,” police said Monday.

The man, now 73, also told investigators that he tossed the body of one of the children in an incinerator when the infant died shortly after birth, said Franz Polzer, head of the Lower Austrian Bureau of Criminal Affairs.

“We are being confronted with an unfathomable crime,” Interior Minister Guenther Platter said.

The daughter, who is now 42, had been missing since 1984 and was found by police in the town of Amstetten on Saturday evening after police received a tip. She and her children have been placed in psychiatric care.

Police on Monday released several photos showing parts of the cramped basement cell, with a small bathroom and a narrow passageway leading to a tiny bedroom. Investigators said an electronic keyless-entry system apparently kept the daughter from escaping from the cell, which was made of solid reinforced concrete.

Click here to see photos of Josef F. and the “House of Horrors.”

For full story click [ HERE  ]

 

Ohio man facing charges for having sex with a picnic table-draft

FoxNews19 – April 1, 2008

(“This was an article I came across 2 days ago and one I couldn’t believe.  I thought I had heard of everything but this one has to be the most ridiculous but true story I’ve ever heard…….flagranny2”)

Art Price / Courtesy Bellevue Police(BELLEVUE, OH) — Police say a man in Bellevue, Ohio was caught on tape having sex with a picnic table.Bellevue Police Captain Matt Johnson says Art Price, Jr., 40, was seen on four occasions between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and noon having sex with his picnic table.
What makes this a felony, Johnson says, is that it took place in close proximity to a school, which made it likely that children could have seen Price.  The neighbor — who wishes to remain anonymous — saw Price walk out onto his deck, stand a round metal table on its side and……  [full story and update …. continue
Warning as this article contains some explicit language

Update: Alleged Child Rapist’s Case Under Appeal for Dismissal – Stating “Improper Decision to Dismiss” as State felt accused understood English therefore did not need an interpreter

1:45PM 7/23/07

The following information was given today at a news conference on Fox News.

Fox News aired the news conference when State’s Attorney John McCarthy reported his office was appealing the court’s decision of dismissing this case on the grounds that it was an “improper decision” to dismiss the case due to lack of finding an interpreter and in doing so delayed the accused’s right to a speedy trial. 

The reason for this is the fact the accused does speak English.  He sought assylum here in the states where he attended and graduated from high school and continued on to community college for 2 years.  It is the law you can not graduate from high school without being able to speak English.  Since the accused could speak English the court was wrong in delaying the trial for 3 years while trying to find an interpreter.   Even after one had stepped forward just recently the judge still dismissed the case. 

The terrible part is if this case is not allowed to be brought back to trial this could set a precedent for many immigrants whose native language is NOT English.

Alleged Child Rapist Goes Free Because Court Can’t Find Interpreter

Md. Judge Dismisses Sex-Abuse Charges

By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 22, 2007

This is without a doubt one of the worst, if not THE worst case, that shows the quality or “lack of” in our judicial system to allow something as horrible as this to occur.  Not only did it allow this to occur but in my mind this may very well have set a precedent for anyone where English is not their native language. 

Washington Post – Full story 

A 7-year-old girl said she had been raped and repeatedly molested over the course of a year. Police in Montgomery County, acting on information from a relative, soon arrested a Liberian immigrant living in Gaithersburg. They marshaled witnesses and DNA evidence to prepare for trial.

What was missing — for much of the nearly three years that followed — was an interpreter fluent in the suspect’s native language. A judge recently dropped the charges, not because she found that Mahamu Kanneh had been wrongly accused but because repeated delays in the case had, in her view, violated his right to a speedy trial.

“This is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in a long time,” Katherine D. Savage said from the bench Tuesday, noting that she was mindful of “the gravity of this case and the community’s concern about offenses of this type.”

Loretta E. Knight, the Circuit Court clerk responsible for finding interpreters, said her office searched exhaustively for a speaker of Vai, a tribal language spoken in West Africa.

[Kanneh was granted asylum in the United States, according to State’s Attorney John McCarthy. A conviction could have led to deportation proceedings.]

[Kanneh was arrested in August 2004 after witnesses told police that he raped and repeatedly sexually molested the girl, a relative.

In a charging document, Detective Omar Hasan wrote that the girl “attempted to physically stop the behavior from the defendant, but was unsuccessful.” Hasan wrote that Kanneh threatened the young girl “with not being able to leave the apartment unless she engaged in sexual behavior with the defendant.”]                                                                                                          

Jessica Lunsford’s Killer Fights Death Penalty at Hearing

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

INVERNESS, Fla. —  The man convicted of kidnapping and raping 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford before swaddling her in garbage bags and burying her alive in his yard was likely faking mentally retardation in earlier tests, a court-appointed psychologist said Tuesday.

John Evander Couey, 48, who spent part of his murder trial earlier this year drawing in coloring books, “is not mentally retarded,” clinical psychologist Gregory Prichard testified at a pre-sentencing hearing Tuesday. Prichard said the convicted killer has an IQ of 78, slightly above the 70 level generally considered retarded.

At the end of Tuesday’s seven-hour pre-sentencing hearing, Jessica’s father, Mark Lunsford, took the witness stand and spoke directly to the man convicted of killing his daughter.

“I hope you hear her cries as you try to sleep at night,” Lunsford said, wiping tears. “I hope you see the tears run down her face as she asked you to go home. I hope you spend the rest of your life in fear of death. You will never hurt another child.”

Lunsford then asked Circuit Judge Richard Howard to sentence Couey to death.

Sentencing has tentatively been set for Aug. 10.

Howard must first weigh the prosecution and defense arguments on Couey’s mental competence. A 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibits the execution of mentally retarded people.

During more than six hours of testimony, Prichard said it is easier to fake mental retardation than intelligence. He said standardized tests and interviews showed Couey was intelligent enough to manage money, take care of himself and even keep secrets.

Assistant Public Defender Daniel Lewan spent most of the hearing hours challenging Prichard’s assessment. Lewan said other experts have shown Couey is mildly retarded with an IQ of 64. He asked the judge to rely on the earlier testimony.

Lewan is trying to get a life sentence. Prosecutors want Couey executed.

In March, a Miami jury brushed aside Lewan’s pleas for mercy, voting 10-2 to recommend that Couey be executed for Jessica’s slaying. Florida law puts the final sentencing decision in the hands of a judge, who must give great weight to a jury recommendation.

The jury convicted Couey of taking Jessica in February 2005 from her bedroom to his nearby trailer, where he raped her and buried her alive. Despite a massive search, the third-grader’s body was found about three weeks after she disappeared in a grave in Couey’s yard, about 150 yards from her own home.

Couey, already a convicted sex offender when he committed the crime, was arrested in Georgia and confessed to the killing. That confession was thrown out as evidence because Couey did not have a lawyer present.

The trial was moved to Miami because of intense media coverage in Citrus County.

Online social network will help reveal sex offenders….

Published: May 16, 2007

MySpace, an online social network popular with teenagers, said in two statements yesterday that it was prepared to work with state attorneys general who have requested the identities of MySpace members who are known sex offenders.

But the company said its cooperation hinges on whether the state officials follow the law and subpoena the names, a step that a leader of the state attorneys general said was not necessary.

In its first statement, MySpace said it was “doing everything short of breaking the law to ensure that the information about these predators gets to the proper authorities.”

MySpace, a division of the News Corporation, said it would release information about its members as long as it was able to comply with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. That law “prohibits us from disclosing the information they’re seeking without a subpoena,” the second statement said.

MySpace’s statement was interpreted as a rebuff by Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general of Connecticut and the co-chairman of a working group of 50 attorneys general.

“I do believe it is disingenuous and disappointing because much of the information that we have sought, specifically the numbers of convicted sex offenders on the site require no subpoena or any other compulsory process,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “We have a valid and viable need to know about convicted sexual offenders who may pose a threat to children.”

Mr. Blumenthal said that parole conditions for sex offenders ordinarily say that they cannot be in contact with children.

He said that Connecticut and other states do not require subpoenas for enforcing parole conditions. Mr. Blumenthal said he plans to convene a conference call in the next few days of the 50 attorneys general to decide how to respond to MySpace.

He said they would issue subpoenas, if need be.

Hemanshu Nigam MySpace’s chief security officer, said in an interview that the site had already taken down the profiles of thousands of sex offenders since the beginning of May when it began running its own database check.

“We’re hoping that we can work out the proper legal channel so we can provide this information to the attorneys general,” Mr. Nigam said. “The attorneys general have a particular goal, which is to try to do something against online predators, and we do too, which is to try to keep them off our site.”

Mr. Nigam said that the company had aggressively tried to crack down on sex offenders. Late last year, the company hired Sentinel Tech, a company in New York, to design a system to compare its 175 million member records with public sex offender records.

“In six months, we are the only company in the country that has stepped up in an area that faces the entire Internet industry,” Mr. Nigam said. “We did it with our own costs.”

Information source: nytimes.com

Woman Who Posed As Boy Pleads Guilty

Published: May 10, 2007

Filed at 11:30 a.m. ET

“I know there are sick people out there but reality never sets in until reading articles like this.”

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A woman who posed as an homeless orphaned boy, befriended a teenage girl and was taken into her family’s home has pleaded guilty to child molestation.

Prosecutors say they would seek the maximum one-year jail term for Lorelei J. Corpuz, 30, who entered her plea Wednesday. Charges of third-degree child rape were dropped last month.

Authorities said Corpuz, who cropped her hair and stands 5-foot-3, passed herself off as 17-year-old Mark Villanueva after meeting the girl at a mall in September 2005. Her parents, immigrants who speak little English, later let Corpuz live at their home.

The deception became known after a traffic stop led to Corpuz’s arrest on an unrelated warrant. The girl was in the car and told police that Corpuz was her boyfriend, according to documents filed in court.

Although Corpuz had sexual contact with the girl, ”the suspect never let victim see her/his private parts and victim always thought that suspect was male until officer informed her otherwise,” Police Officer Don de Nevens wrote. The girl also said Corpuz beat her and bit her twice on the back, leaving a scar.

The girl and her family were not in court Wednesday. Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roe said they were relieved by the outcome of the case, which drew wide attention.

”They just want to be left alone. Being a victim of a felony sex offense should not turn you into a sideshow,” Roe said.

Sentencing was set for June 18.

After serving her sentence, Corpuz must register as a sex offender, and she remains under investigation for fraud and other sex offenses, including accusations in Kitsap County that closely resemble the Everett case, authorities said.

In that case, detectives looked into whether Corpuz had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old Bremerton girl three years ago.

That girl gave a nearly identical account of what happened in Everett — someone posing as an orphan named Mark and being allowed to move into her home, Deputy Scott Wilson said.

Information source: The New York Times