libera voce/libera mente

"free voice, free mind"

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

No Truth Testing of Accusation Allowed

H.R.2876 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2005 (Introduced in House)

SEC. 2012. POLYGRAPH TESTING PROHIBITION.

No law enforcement officer, prosecuting officer or other government official shall ask or require an adult or child victim of a sex offense as defined under Federal, Tribal, State, Territorial or local law to submit to a polygraph examination.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

'Hissing Like the Devil'

D.C. Woman Gets 16 Years For Fatal Beating With Skillet

By Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
First, Dominique Jackson beat her boyfriend, Adolphus Jackson, over the head with a cast-iron skillet. Then, as he lay unconscious in his bed, she doused him with hot sauce, milk, shaving cream, bleach and insect spray and burned him with an iron.

He was, she would explain later, "hissing like the devil."

And then she left him. And went to church. And to the zoo.
cast iron skillet
When she returned that night to his apartment in the 2400 block of 17th Street NW, Adolphus Jackson, all 108 pounds of him, was barely alive. She had two other people with her, and she called 911, pretending that they had just found the injured man.

Adolphus Jackson, 45, was taken to a hospital, where he died the next day. He was killed, the medical examiner found, by the blow from the skillet and the internal bleeding that resulted.

Yesterday, as Dominique Jackson was sentenced to 16 years for manslaughter, she did nothing to explain the rage behind the October 2004 slaying.

Jackson, 32, told D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith E. Retchin that she had nothing to say. She had written to the judge that she was abused when she was growing up, and the judge acknowledged that she had had a hard life.

But Retchin found the crime to be "particularly awful" and "brutal" and granted the prosecution's request that she impose the recommended maximum under the court's voluntary sentencing guidelines.
"I don't know why you did what you did, but it is very disturbing," Retchin told Jackson. "And after you did this, you just left him there, and he bled to death."
The judge had been so disturbed by the killing, she said, that she initially questioned Jackson's mental competency.

Jackson does have mental health problems, and in seeking leniency, her attorney, Lloyd Nolan of the D.C. Public Defender Service, explained that "there was clearly an imbalance going on at that time."

Neither the judge nor the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas A. DiBiase, disputed the need for mental health treatment. But mental examinations did not find a basis to mount an insanity defense or to challenge the defendant's competency.

So in July, she pleaded guilty to a relatively common charge, with a very uncommon qualifier: voluntary manslaughter while armed (skillet).

Jackson, who was also known as Kia Kenard, had been dating Adolphus Jackson, whose nickname was Gi-Gi, the prosecutor said. She was staying at his apartment, and the two argued frequently, according to the government.

But none of the other clashes ended like the fight that took place early Oct. 17, 2004.

Afterward, Dominique Jackson said Adolphus Jackson was stealing from her to support a crack habit. But investigators found no evidence that he used crack, let alone that he was stealing from her.

It was a brutal attack, without provocation, DiBiase said.

Before Dominique Jackson was led away, Nolan asked the judge to recommend that she be imprisoned at the Carswell Federal Medical Center in Texas, which provides specialized medical and mental health services to female offenders.

The judge agreed.

washingtonpost.com; December 10, 2005.

"What's Going On?"

They moved here with a mission -- to build a Christian community for Bulgarians who had settled in Chicago.

Nikolai Vasilev was the pastor and his wife, Tonya, was the Sunday school teacher. Together they nurtured an evangelical community in the northwest suburbs and created their own family. They had three children and survived the death of one of them in a 2000 fire.

Wednesday night, Nikolai came home to find his two remaining children, a 9-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter, stabbed to death -- some 500 times -- and his wife bathed in blood, a source close to the investigation said.

Tonya Vasilev, 34, has given statements to Hoffman Estates police and was expected to be charged in the murders today, the source said.

Investigators believe 3-year-old Gracie was attacked first, around 8:30 p.m., and then her mother brought her to the second floor, where her older brother, Christian, was watching television, the source said, citing the mother's statement to police.
"The boy looks up, sees his sister all bloody, and asked the mother, "What's going on? . . . The mother then attacked the boy. The boy runs from her, flees to the first floor, where she catches up with him, and she then alternates between attacking the boy and the girl."
Nikolai arrived home around 9:20 p.m. "He sees signs of life in the 9-year-old boy and tries to give him CPR, obviously in vain, and then calls 911," the source said.

The source said it was not clear what set off the stabbing, but added that the mother had been treated for mental illness for "some years."

Authorities said they are going to re-examine the 2000 fire, the cause of which was never determined.

Nikolai, 36, had recently decided to leave the Des Plaines church to start his own congregation, said Stan Tanev, pastor of the Des Plaines church. The split was amicable and because of a difference in styles, including that Nikolai was going to preach in English, Tanev said.

Investigators were looking at this as a possible motive in the attacks, the source said.
"The motive is bizarre. . . . The mother feared people in the new religion were going to sexually molest these children," the source said.
Tanev, when asked about this, said the new congregation -- which was still part of the Church of God -- included members of the church whom Tonya already knew.

Tanev said the couple came to Chicago in 1995. They met while attending a Bible college in the South and married in 1994. Tanev said Nikolai left his native land in the early 1990s after the fall of communism and came to the United States, where he knew he could study theology and fulfill his dream of being a minister.

Together, the couple warmly welcomed members at the Des Plaines church, said the woman who knew them through church. She did not want her name used.

She said Tonya was particularly attentive to children. And she doted on her own constantly, she said.

"She was like a little bird on her children," the woman said, her eyes tearing up with each mention of their names. "[They were] always clean. Always happy. Always with a lot of love."

Christian was a third-grader at Schaumburg Christian School who liked to play with the tools his father used as a carpenter. Friends remember that Gracie was "sweet" and always smiling.

Tanev said the couple sought counseling after another child, 3- month-old Gabrielle, died in 2000 in a fire in the family's Elk Grove Village condominium.

"I was right next to them. It was terrible," Tanev said. "She was devastated. Little by little, they were overcoming."

The fire started in the laundry room, and the infant was found in a baby seat on top of a dryer. Tonya was home at the time but had left the child unattended, Elk Grove Village Deputy Chief Larry Hammar said.

Hammar said there was no sign of foul play at the time and that investigators focused on the furnace as the likely cause of the blaze. But no exact cause was ever found and the manner of death was never determined by the doctor who examined her body. Gabrielle's case file was pulled for review early Thursday, a source said.

The Chicago Sun-Times; April 29, 2005.

The Cruelest Month

FAIRFAX, VA. -- Two Northern Virginia women were under arrest in Fairfax County, accused of trying to hire hitmen to kill their boyfriends.

In the first case, April Davis, 27, of Fairfax, met twice with what she thought was a killer for hire who would get rid of her ex-boyfriend. In reality, she was talking to an undercover Fairfax County police officer.

In the second case, April Shiflett, 33, of Mount Vernon, met last week with someone she believed to be a hitman. He was also an undercover county officer. (AP)

December 9, 2005.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Boy Commits Suicide After Sex With Teacher

A few hours before daybreak on an August 2000 night, a Montgomery County police officer saw a grown woman and a 12-year-old boy dash away from his cruiser at a Wheaton park, apparently trying to hide from him.

He stopped them, and the woman -- Catherine Peay, then a 37-year-old English teacher at a local middle school -- told him the boy was her godson, she was tutoring him and he didn't want to go home.

The boy, Carlos Andres Perez, told police he and his teacher had been naked and kissing in the park. The woman later admitted to Inman that she and Carlos had intercourse several times, according to police charging documents.

That dawn marked the end of an intense, weeks-long affair, a teaching career and, according to the boy's mother, Carlos' life.

The teacher was charged with rape, among other counts. She pleaded guilty to child abuse and second-degree sex offense, and served three years behind bars. Carlos died in 2001 after failing to take medication for seizures. His mother, Ena Cubillos, says she believes he committed suicide.

Cubillos says school officials ignored concerns of another parent at Sligo Middle School who in the spring of 2000 told them Turner was calling her son late at night and giving him rides without her permission.

A jury found that the Silver Spring school breached its duty to Carlos and his mother but stopped short of holding the school board financially liable for the breach of trust.

Cubillos hasn't seen a penny of the $1.7 million that Turner was supposed to pay.

Carlos's downfall began the summer of 2000, his mother said. The boy, a Colombian immigrant who had been living in Maryland for five years, was enrolled in Turner's summer school class at Sligo to help with his difficulties with learning English.

Turner called Cubillos the week classes started.
"Carlos is a very sweet boy, but he's a little slow and easily distracted," Cubillos said Turner told her.
Turner said she was the kind of teacher who liked to meet her students' families. If it was all right with Cubillos, Turner said, she'd like to go to their home after school to help Carlos with his homework.
"I was surprised," Cubillos said. "I thought it was fabulous. In our countries we have more contact with teachers than one does here."
But Turner's teaching style struck Cubillos as bizarre. She and the boy would spend hours laughing, and she indulged him in wrestling matches, one of his favorite pastimes, Cubillos said. Turner routinely drove Carlos between school and home and often asked for permission to keep him after school.

Soon, Turner's sons began calling Cubillos, at home and at work, almost obsessively, asking her to let Carlos go to their house to play video games. Carlos often went there to play, but Cubillos became annoyed by the boys' relentless calls.

Turner then called Cubillos and asked whether she could accompany the family to church on Sundays.

Leery as she may have been of Turner, Cubillos said she was dumbfounded by what police told her the morning of Aug. 11, 2000, after the incident at Wheaton Forest Local Park. A detective called to tell her that Carlos was at a police station and asked what the family knew about Catherine Peay.

Detectives learned that Carlos, prodded by Turner, had been sneaking out of his home virtually every night to spend time with his teacher.

In November 2000, Turner pleaded guilty to child abuse and second-degree sex offense, admitting to a sexual relationship with the boy. She was imprisoned until Nov. 19, 2003.

During her sentencing hearing in January 2001, she pleaded for leniency.
"At that particular time I was going through some things," she said, according to a recording of the hearing. "I did not look at Carlos as a 12-year-old, a child I'm lusting after. That's not my nature. At that particular time there was a need. I was vulnerable. It could have been a 20-year-old, a 30-year-old, 40-year-old, a 90-year-old. I was not out to get or seduce or abuse a minor."
Shortly after Turner's arrest, Carlos, once an effusive and loving boy, became irate and unmanageable, his mother said. He recoiled at the slightest show of affection, spent hours crying and began having intense, unpredictable seizures. His health problems were long-standing, but his mother said they worsened after the relationship with Turner.

Friends turned their backs on him and kids at school mockingly called him "Mr. Peay," Inman said. Classmates' parents asked Carlos never to call their homes again. The father of a female friend slammed a door in his face.
"They said he was a dangerous boy," Cubillos said. "I fought with several parents. I told them that he was not at fault. He was the victim."
Carlos left Sligo and passed through two schools in the county before being suspended in early February 2001 after he tried to choke himself with venetian blinds on campus, his mother said. Later that month, he called his psychiatrist, Joan Kinlan, and told her he had knives that he was thinking of using to hurt himself, according to a deposition filed in the civil case.
"He told me he was taking a knife and he was starting to cut his face," Kinlan said in the deposition.
Kinlan tried to calm him. She called Cubillos and police while keeping Carlos on the phone. He was hospitalized for about a month shortly after that incident, in which he wasn't seriously hurt.

His behavior deteriorated from there, Cubillos said. Doctors increased his daily dosage of Tegretol, a drug prescribed to people who suffer from seizures, from 400 to 1,200 milligrams.

Carlos returned home the next month. He said he wanted to stop taking his medicine because "he wanted God to cure him," his mother said. Cubillos, who had been giving Carlos Tegretol since he was 2, gave him the pill every day at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., always watching him pop it in his mouth.

The morning of March 26, 2001, she walked into Carlos' room. The night before, he had had a seizure in bed, and she wanted to make sure he was all right. His body was lukewarm. His hands were cold. Paramedics who responded to the scene found him dead. Carlos, an autopsy later revealed, had stopped taking his medication days before. His mother said she believes he was pretending to take the pills, hiding them in his cheek and later spitting them out.

The case haunts Inman, a veteran investigator of sex crimes, who is retiring this month.

Cubillos, who lives in the Baltimore suburbs, blames the school system for failing to intervene. She blames Turner for seducing her child. And she blames herself.
"I always end up questioning whether I failed as a mother," she said. "I should have had other instincts."

Washington Post, December 7, 2005.

Dead Newborn Found in Trash

The mother of a 17-year-old girl from the Anne Arundel County community of Arnold found the body of her daughter's newborn son in a trash can outside the family home Sunday evening, said police, who awaited autopsy results yesterday to determine how the baby died.
"Of course, the big question is: Was the baby born alive, or was it stillborn?" said Sgt. Shawn Urbas, spokesman for the Anne Arundel police. "That will determine what direction we need to go in our investigation."
Urbas said the mother learned of the birth -- and death -- of her grandson when she confronted her daughter Sunday with suspicions that she was or had been carrying a child. The daughter eventually admitted that she had given birth that day and that the mother "could find the baby in the trash container" outside the house, Urbas said. The mother found the body and dialed 911.
garbage can
Police considered the death suspicious but had not charged the girl, a student at Broadneck High School in Annapolis.

Last week, a 21-year-old college student from Prince George's County was charged with first-degree murder in the death of her baby, who police believe was born in a bathroom on the Villa Julie College campus in Baltimore County.

Police found the newborn girl in a storm drain Oct. 4, the day after Danielle Eboni Riley allegedly gave birth.
"We don't want anybody to jump to conclusions" in the Anne Arundel case, Urbas said, "because we need to determine what exactly caused this infant to die."

Washington Post, December 7, 2005.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Count Me Out

"Casanova, like The Chronicles of Narnia, creates a magical world for its newly-conceived characters and instills in them a great sense of empowerment.

The film's shooting location in Venice was an important part of maintaining the romantic atmosphere necessary for the legendary womanizer Casanova (Heath Ledger) to seduce his feminist love Francesca (Sienna Miller), according to Director Lasse Halstom (Cider House Rules, Chocolat).
Heath Ledger
This light-hearted romantic comedy about the antics of love and confused identities also puts a modern twist on an old tale. The story follows Casanova's efforts to court the one woman who does not want him, the very smart and empowered Francesca Bruni.
"Francesca is a complete anachronism," Halstom said of his female lead, who storms universities demanding to be treated as an equal, cross-dresses and writes feminist literature under a pen name.
"She's a strong, feisty woman," Sienna Miller had to say of her character who struggles against female oppression.
But the most liberating part of the tale is that the ultimate womanizer is taken not with the blushing virgin but with the real, empowered woman.

This Christmas, Disney is breathing new life into two legendary tales, updating them for a modern audience. It may be time to revisit these revived stories in a theater near you."

Kaitlyn Edsall writing in The Hoya, Georgetown University, December 2, 2005.

Women's Shelters used as Lesbian Hunting Grounds

We hear stories about women's shelters being used by lesbians to prey on vulnerable women. Erin Pizzy, the founder of the women's shelter movement pointed this out in her books.

Attached below, please find an MP3 audio file extracted from a very recent interview with a woman who stayed in a women's shelter in Ontario. She spoke about being sexually approached by staff members at the shelter - that other women residents were approached as well. She describes how women are being abused more in the women's shelter than with their former partners.

This is one of a series of interviews with women who want to come forth with the truth and expose these Government of Ontario funded shelters for what they are.

Another audio segment of a taped interview contains a former women's shelter resident describing how she was threatened and assaulted in front of her children by other women residents - but that she was not allowed to call the police to report this.

She reported that other women fight in the shelter - screaming and pulling hair - and that women coming into the shelter must sign a document which prevents them from calling the police.

See Equal Parenting Group for audio files.

Teacher's Pet

COURTS across the US are cracking down on women, especially teachers, who have sex with underage boys.
At least seven women, four of them teachers, have been charged or sentenced in the past month.
The flurry of prosecutions follows the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Experts say that the trend reflects a growing recognition that sexual abuse of boys can be just as serious as that of girls.

However, the courts are reluctant to punish women as harshly as men convicted of similar crimes.
Whereas male abusers of girls routinely receive sentences of 15 to 20 years, women often avoid jail.
A US Department of Education study released last year found that 7 per cent of pupils were victims of physical or sexual abuse by teachers or other school employees. Of those, 22 per cent were abused by a woman.
"Whether a boy might enjoy the attention or not is actually irrelevant," Charol Shakeshaft, a professor at Hofstra University and the author of the report, said. "Many of the girls who are sexually abused by males say that they are willing or are in love."
The recent prosecutions of teachers follow the celebrated case of Mary Kay Letourneau, a primary school instructor whose affair with a boy she met when he was 12 produced two daughters.

Letourneau, now 42, finally married the boy, who is now 21, after serving seven years in jail for child rape.
  1. Last month Debra Lafave, 25, a middle-school teacher in Florida, avoided jail by striking a deal that will put her under house arrest for three years for having sex repeatedly with a 14-year-old pupil.
  2. Sandra Geisel, 42, was sentenced to six months in jail for having sex with a 16-year-old pupil in upstate New York.
  3. Margaret De Barraicua, 31, will spend a year in prison after being found with a 16-year-old remedial student in her parked car behind their school in California.
  4. A fourth teacher, Kimberly Ann Cordrey-McKinney, 32, was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old pupil after authorities discovered incriminating text messages.
  5. Nicole Barnhart, 36, a teacher from Colorado, faces sexual assault charges after being discovered with a 16-year-old pupil she said had begged her to have sex with him.
One of the cases involving a non-teacher is that of 38-year-old mother of two Julie Ann Welborn.

She has been charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and importuning, after travelling to Ohio to engage in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy she came in contact with through an online role-playing game.

© Queensland Newspapers

The Courier Mail, 02 December 2005.