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August 26, 2014



Human trafficking experts praise Connecticut's progress helping victims

by Mary E. O'Leary

Sex trafficking enslaves millions of people around the world, with thousands in the United States, including children, a panel of experts agreed as they talked about the need for better training for police and educators to help the victims.

The youngest victim ensnared in a sex trafficking ring in the state was a 12-year-old, said Krishna Patel, deputy chief of the National Security and Major Crimes Unit in the U.S. attorney's office in the state.

“We have a huge domestic trafficking problem,” Patel said as she joined a panel of advocates Monday who deal daily with the child victims.

They met at the new offices of Love 146 in New Haven, a group that worked to help international victims, but since 2010 has been running education programs and trauma-informed support services with offices Baltimore and Houston, as well as New Haven.

Tammy Sneed, director of gender responsive adolescent services for the state Department of Children and Families, said she has had 250 referrals of potential trafficking victims since 2008.

“They often don't see themselves as victims,” Sneed said of the children and young adults she encounters who usually have been subjected to abuse and neglect in dysfuntional homes before they become part of the sex trade.

These kids trade sex for food or a place to sleep, the panel agreed.

She said these children are similar to domestic violence victims years ago that didn't identify as victims.

Dave Tompkins, vice president of program services, Klingberg Family Centers, said the key is to get them to trust them as for most of their lives, adults have only abused them,

Tompkins said they work with the police to explain that these children will often go AWOL.

“That's what they do. Our job is to be there and accept them when they come back, help them come back so they go AWOL less,” Tompkins said.

Hartford police Officer Deborah Scates has worked in this field for years and helps train other police on how to approach child sex victims.

She said the state has come a long way. Ten years ago she said there never would have been the network that was present at the Love 146 offices. “There were no victim services,” she said. “We were being questioned by law enforcement as to our purpose.”

Police wouldn't always understand that if a teen would go back on the street, that they were still victims being abused either by johns or by pimps, she said.

Scates said making a case against traffickers takes a long time and departments need to dedicate resources to it. The officer said not all police departments are willing to take officers off the street to get the necessary training.

Beyond that, “I think a lot of officers don't understand what trafficking is.” She said it is hard for some to open their doors to the experts to teach them what to do.

Patel said they were doing pretty well until the recession in 2008 hit and they lost personnel.

Erin Williamson, Connecticut survivor support coordinator at Love146, said the education system is the first to see children at highest risk, and they go into the schools to tell teachers how to recognize the signs.

Scales made a pitch for more Job Corp programs to get the young adults in a positon where they can support themselves.

U.S, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said one of the most visible examples of sex trafficking involves the unaccompanied children coming over the border from Latin America. He said they are often fleeing trafficking in their countries and can encounter the same situations with the coyotes bringing them into the country.

Blumenthal said these issues have to be addressed in a “wholistic and comprehensive way.”



Q&A With Man Selected To Investigate Clergy Abuse

by Esme Murphy

(Q&A video on site)

MINNEAPOLIS The embattled Twin Cities archdiocese has appointed a former top cop to investigate allegations of clergy abuse.

Tim O'Malley is not only the former Superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, he is also a judge and a former FBI agent. Archbishop John Nienstedt announced O'Malley's appointment to the new position of Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment.

“I'm hoping that by these steps we are taking, we can regain the trust of our clergy and victim survivors,” Nienstedt said.

O'Malley said he's honored to have the job.

“The first step is to make sure that it doesn't happen again,” O'Malley said, referring to the clergy sex abuse scandal that's rocked the Catholic Church.

O'Malley says while he is deeply troubled by the church's handling of abuse claims, he is confident he will have the full authority to investigate all misconduct cases. Nienstedt said O'Malley will have the power to investigate all alleged misconduct.

“He is his own man. He is a man of great integrity and experience and he will report directly to me,” Nienstedt said.

The Archdiocese press release quotes from prominent admirers of O'Malley, including Patty Wetterling, whose son Jacob was kidnapped and disappeared in 1989. Wetterling said O'Malley “has proven his commitment to building a world without sexual violence.”

University of St. Thomas professor Charles Reid, who has been highly critical of the Archdiocese's handling of abuse cases, said this could be a turning point.

“The Archdiocese needs someone with Tim O'Malley's background,” Reid said.

O'Malley said he'll take steps to investigate past cases, and work to stop further abuse. He said his background in law enforcement should help.

“We do it by doing background checks, and raising awareness,” he said. “Unfortunately there are people out there who abuse children, and when it happens we need to be prepared to help the victims, and then get to the bottom of it, and get to the people and make them accountable for what happened.”

O'Malley will be responsible for making sure the Archdiocese is in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and related federal and state laws.

While the Archdiocese clearly hopes the O'Malley appointment helps set a new direction, there are still many issues remaining. Among the most prominent are allegations that Archbishop Nienstedt himself acted in a sexually inappropriate way with adult seminarians.

The Archbishop has denied the allegations and would only answer questions today about O'Malley. In fact, the Archdiocese has never given a clear indication if any or part of the investigation surrounding himself will ever be made public.



Study: Soliciting sex from minor results in little prison time

by Megan Cassidy

The crime of soliciting sex from a minor in Arizona carries a sentence of up to 24 years behind bars, but a Phoenix suspect convicted of the crime may more realistically expect a term of three months, according to a new study released by anti-sex-trafficking group Shared Hope International and Arizona State University.

The outcome for a Phoenix convict hovers around the average median when compared with the sentences of counterparts nationwide. The median actual time served in Phoenix for soliciting sex from a minor was 90 days, in D.C.-Baltimore it was 180 days, 14 days in Portland and 88.5 days in Seattle.

The data indicates that the average time served in Phoenix, however, is drastically higher than the rest of the country, at an average of 4.7 years as compared to 1.3 years in D.C.-Baltimore, 154.3 days in Portland and 86.3 days in Seattle.

None of those studied was charged with a sex-trafficking crime.

The study's results indicate judicial leniency for a crime that is responsible for fueling the sex-trafficking market, said Linda Smith, president and founder of Shared Hope International.

"The research shows that when they're arrested … at state level, that they're not facing the full force of the law," Smith said.

The study's results were presented Monday at Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix.

The study was the first of its kind to focus on the criminal outcomes of the demand side of sex trafficking, the "johns" who are arrested for soliciting sex from a minor or an undercover decoy claiming to be one.

It has only been in the past three to four years that most states have enacted severe penalties for the buyers of minors, Smith said, and the study had limited subjects with which to work. So researchers tapped into 134 cases from four sites whose agencies have devoted extensive resources to anti-demand law enforcement: those in the D.C.-Baltimore corridor, Phoenix metro area, Portland metro area and Seattle metro area.

Maricopa County attorney spokesman Jerry Cobb said his office is concerned about the methods of the research.

"We believe that this is faulty research that is based on an extremely limited number of cases, most of which did not involve an actual victim," he said. "We welcome a public policy discussion on this serious crime, but it must be based on sufficient data that accurately reflects these crimes and how they are handled."

The Phoenix-area results align with those of the more highly publicized cases, many of which were pleaded down to lesser offenses.

Michael Gilliland, former Sunflower Farmers Market CEO, was sentenced to two 15-day terms after pleading guilty to misdemeanor pandering.

Jerry Marfe, a former high-school chemistry teacher who was caught in a December teen prostitution sting was sentenced to 15 days in jail followed by 10 years of probation.

Marfe was one of 30 who were netted in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office operation. All were initially charged with one or two counts of class-2 felony child prostitution, but of those sentenced to date, 18 ended up pleading to lesser counts of pandering, class-6 child prostitution or child/vulnerable adult abuse. Three others pleaded to charges of class 2 or class three felony child prostitution.

Researchers focused on the criminal justice outcome of each of the 134 cases and found that they resulted in 119 arrests, 118 of those arrested prosecuted and 113 of those prosecuted eventually found guilty.

Of those found guilty, 26 percent served no time and 69 percent of the sentences were suspended by an average of 85 percent.

Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, director of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at Arizona State University, said she was particularly troubled that only 66 of the 113 cases were registered as sex offenders. The outcome, she said, would have been different if there wasn't a dollar amount involved.

"How we categorize them is going to be very important for our culture moving forward," she said.

Former sex-trafficking victim and survivor advocate Rebecca Bender encouraged law enforcement to focus on the buyers rather than the traffickers, as it is extremely difficult to break a victim's bond with her trafficker.

"One thing that's not difficult is to get the victim to to turn on her buyer," she said. "They are less than scum to us."

In a separate portion of the study, researchers found 99 percent of 407 buyers studied across the country were male, the median age was 42.5 years, and 21.6 percent of the total buyer cases where a profession was identified involved someone in a position of authority or trust, including law enforcement, attorney or military personnel.

Smith said it is up to police, prosecutors and judges to enforce the laws to their fullest extent, but said a culture of tolerance for buyers is pervasive.

The study operates on the notion that tougher, enforced penalties will act as a deterrent for buyers. So researchers view the issue in terms of economics: Shrink the demand, reduce supply.

"If there's no market because the buyer stayed home with his own family, then the traffickers would not be out there preying on the children in our neighborhood," Smith said.

Researchers point out that the buyers are often overlooked by police in favor of extracting minor victims from a dangerous situation or arresting traffickers. The amount of time and resources it takes to investigate buyers is often disproportionate to the penalties, which are substantially higher for traffickers.

"The problem on the law-enforcement end is making it a priority to go back and do the buyer end of it," Sgt. Clay Sutherland of the Phoenix Police Department's vice unit says in the report. "Our emphasis on going back after the buyers is limited. We have our hands full."

Defense attorneys and several suspected buyers involved in these cases have rebuked the "predator" designation due to the method police use for arrests.

Law enforcement agencies often rely on decoys to sweep the streets of would-be buyers. Undercover officers post ads on 18 and over websites but later make it known that the "girl" is underage. Many defendants say they were seeking an of-age prostitute—a misdemeanor offense that turns into a serious felony when the girl is underage.

"Ninety-nine percent (of johns) — they're looking for an adult," said defense attorney Mark Nermyr in an earlier interview with the Arizona Republic . "At some point, the officer sneaks age in the conversation, and that changes it from a misdemeanor — 10 days in jail — to a felony. It's not doing anything to combat child prostitution."

Smith argued that there are signs of intent from many of the defendants, but said intent should be irrelevant.

"You're not allowed to run over somebody while under the influence of alcohol and say, 'Oops, I didn't know I drank too much,'" she said. "You should stand and take the punishment for hurting the child."

Researchers say while state laws are catching up to the reality of the business, work needs to be done as a culture. The study says anti-trafficking push could benefit from a public-awareness campaign like those of MADD and texting-and-driving, to make the practice more shameful in the public eye.

"When people start seeing that this is the crime of a man or a person who is buying an innocent child, it will change," she said.

Study: Soliciting sex from minor results in little prison time

Researchers studied 134 cases from four sites whose agencies have devoted extensive resources to anti-demand law enforcement.






Cases that made it to sentencing phase





Average total sentence

4.7 years

2 years

5.25 years

228.9 days

Average actual time to be served

1.3 years

154.3 days

4.7 years

86.3 days

Median actual time to be served

180 days

14 days

90 days

88.5 days

Average time on probation

3.26 years

2.57 years

2.29 years

1.31 years

Avreage fines, fees





Sex offender registration






South Carolina

As Darkness to Light grows, volunteers express concerns about leadership

by Lauren Sausser

Two hours before committee members were scheduled to discuss plans for the upcoming Darkness to Light gala during a June meeting, they learned that the November event - long considered one of Charleston's biggest black-tie parties - had been canceled.

A series of smaller, "grassroots" events would do a better job reaching a national audience, Darkness to Light President and CEO Jolie Logan told the group in an email. A local gala wasn't a good fit anymore.

"We have had so much growth over the last several years, and there's one thing that hasn't changed - the gala," Logan said in a recent interview. "It served its purpose."

While Logan and her Board of Directors insist this was simply a strategic business move - particularly because a $300-per-ticket party no longer seemed like the best way to spread their message about preventing child sexual abuse - some longtime supporters and ex-employees interviewed by The Post and Courier worry that Darkness to Light is unraveling and that canceling the gala was simply the latest in a string of poor management decisions. Local volunteers who remain deeply committed to the cause believe Logan is alienating the community that nurtured this organization from the ground up in favor of becoming a national brand.

"It just feels like they're turning their backs on the hand that fed them for so many years when they were getting started," said Katie Shayda, who started volunteering for Darkness to Light more than 10 years ago as a College of Charleston student. She said she felt compelled to walk away after the gala was abruptly called off. "It was literally hours before one of our scheduled meetings."

Darkness to Light was founded in Charleston 14 years ago by Anne Lee, a survivor of child sexual abuse. She has since left the organization, but it continues her mission - developing training programs for adults to detect signs of sexual abuse among children. An estimated 6,700 facilitators now teach the Darkness to Light curriculum in all 50 states and in an additional 16 countries.

But recent staff departures and the fact that only one local member remains on the Board of Directors concerns some volunteers and former employees - and they believe Logan is to blame. An executive coach that the board hired to improve her management skills isn't working, they said.

"The community and the issue deserve better," said Doug Warner, who resigned in March as director of development.

Logan contends that the organization's balance sheet is strong, that its influence is growing and that a disgruntled, but vocal minority is simply reluctant to embrace change.

"Every company goes through growth. That leads to change," she said. "All of that sometimes comes with detractors, but we're focused on making a difference - and we are."

'A big vision'

When Lee, Darkness to Light's former president and founder, quit in 2011 - citing "philosophical differences" with the Board of Directors - Logan was promoted to the position.

Meanwhile that fall, conversations about child sexual abuse - locally and nationally - were forced to the forefront when allegations surfaced that Skip ReVille, a former Citadel summer camp counselor, and Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State football coach, had molested dozens of young boys. Both men have since been convicted for their crimes.

Immediately after Lee left, Logan told The Post and Courier that Darkness to Light intended to train more than 10 million people in the next decade. She estimates the organization sold 185,000 training packets during the past fiscal year, up from 76,000 in 2011.

"We have a big vision and we need to be focused on it," she said.

In 2012, Penn State students organized a high-profile "Walk for Prevention" following the Sandusky sex abuse scandal to benefit Darkness to Light and Logan brokered a deal with The Citadel to train everyone on campus, including cadets, to notice signs of sexual abuse.

Logan, who is paid $120,000 a year according to tax records, regularly offers expert commentary on child sexual abuse to national news outlets and helped forge partnerships with more than 200 YMCAs across the country.

"We are this little Charleston organization supported by amazing people in Charleston, but with a reach that is really sometimes mind-boggling," Logan said. Darkness to Light was recently named a Top 5 Child Rights program by the United Nations Foundation. "We're so proud of that. The community should be very proud of that."

Local volunteers have "given selflessly for years," said David Repinski, the Darkness to Light Board of Directors chairman, who lives in Atlanta. Still, the organization needs to continue broadening its scope, he said, and that includes nixing the gala in favor of other events that can be replicated across the country.

"We don't mean it at all as a slap in the face to Charleston," he said. "We worried about that."

'What's going on?'

Prior to Logan's 2013 performance evaluation, several of her employees shared their feedback on her abilities in a series of emails obtained by The Post and Courier. The comments were overwhelmingly negative with staffers expressing doubts about her effectiveness, leadership skills and fundraising abilities.

"I have serious doubts about the current effectiveness of the executive management of the organization," wrote Beth Anne Crane, a former gala committee chairwoman, in an email.

Crane laid out those concerns to the Darkness to Light Board of Directors chairman on May 6 - a full month before she found out the gala was canceled. "I have benefactors and volunteers asking me 'What is going on at D2L?'"

Ralph Mellard, a local real estate agent and the only Charleston representative on the Board of Directors, would not disclose how much the board spent on Logan's executive coach.

"I know many executives in many companies that do have coaches and it helps them develop and that's the sole purpose of it," Mellard said.

Repinski, the board chairman and CEO of a claims management firm, said, "If we didn't have confidence, she wouldn't be leading the organization."

But Crane said recent staff departures speak for themselves. The director of operations left last September. The special events manager and the programs prevention manager left May and June.

"I didn't feel comfortable raising money," Crane said. "I saw, sort of, the writing on the wall."

Evolution and growth

Tax records show Darkness to Light raised $2.3 million during the 2013 fiscal year. Most of it - about $1.4 million - came from the training kits.

By comparison, special events, including the annual gala, raised $154,000 after expenses. During the 2012 fiscal year, proceeds from the gala were even lower - only $84,000 after expenses.

"It's not just about the money, otherwise no one would do events," Logan said. "That's the tough part - they don't raise as much money as other efforts, but they do other things. It's the community interaction. It's all the reasons that the gala has been important to us over the years."

Previous galas drew hundreds of people with deep pockets and featured well-known names - supermodel Lauren Hutton and TV host John Walsh, for example.

When Logan announced that the 2014 gala was canceled, committee members were confused. Some felt her email was flippant and that she seemed ungrateful for work that they had already invested. Companies had committed to buy several $2,500 tables. A designer was working on the "Alice and Wonderland" themed invitations.

But the gala no longer seemed the best way to spread Darkness to Light's message, Logan said, partly because it "lent itself to a fairly exclusive audience."

Darkness to Light will host a Charleston event in April during which Matt Sandusky, one of Jerry Sandusky's adopted children and abuse victims, will speak. Tickets will cost about $40 - significantly less than the $300 gala tickets - making the event more affordable for many people. It's an example of a local event that may be more easily copied in other cities, Logan said.

Even so, deciding to cancel the gala this year was not made lightly, she insisted. The board debated the idea for months, reviewing decisions that other organizations have made and pouring over best practices, including a national report called "Breaking the Gala Addiction," which explains that galas are among the most expensive and riskiest ways to raise money.

"The decision was not an easy one," Repinski said. "I hope we got it right."

Still, Shayda said volunteers are upset about the change.

"Some people care, some people don't," she said. "It's just sad because we are all very, very passionate about the actual cause."



Woman pleads guilty to child sex abuse committed while she was a man

by Geoff Liesik

DUCHESNE — A Duchesne County woman has admitted she sexually abused a child in the early '90s while living as a man.

Susan Elizabeth Rye pleaded guilty Monday in 8th District Court to a single count of sex abuse of a child, which was reduced from a second-degree felony to a third-degree felony. Judge Samuel Chiara agreed to dismiss two other child sex abuse charges at the request of Duchesne County prosecutors in exchange for Rye's plea.

Rye, 61, was arrested in January following a 14-month investigation into allegations that she had sexually abused a 5-year-old girl. The alleged abuse took place over the course of several months in late 1989 and early 1990 while Rye was still living as a man.

Court records show Rye legally changed her name from Randall Donald Rye in January 2009. Defense attorney Bill Morrison said his client identifies herself as a woman. Her driver's license also lists her as a woman, Morrison confirmed.

Rye's victim came forward for the first time in October 2012 after months of counseling because she feared there might be other victims, according to Duchesne County sheriff's detectives. Over the next year, investigators interviewed a number of people, including Rye, before prosecutors reviewed the case and filed charges.

Following the entry of Rye's plea Monday, Morrison asked Chiara if his client could be released from jail pending sentencing. The defense attorney told the judge that a recent psychosexual evaluation conducted as part of the case showed that Rye does not pose a danger to the community.

Duchesne County prosecutor Grant Charles objected to any kind of release from jail prior to sentencing. Charles said during their investigation detectives obtained a copy of a book Rye was writing around the time of his arrest.

"It's a fictional book about incest and the sexual abuse of children," the prosecutor said. "I don't think the psychosexual evaluation went into enough depth to tell us how dangerous (Rye) really is."

Morrison countered that Rye's book was part of a therapeutic exercise meant to "purge inclinations toward behavior outside societal norms," but Chiara declined to reverse the decision he'd previously made to have Rye held in jail without bail.

The judge ordered Rye to undergo a second psychosexual evaluation in advance of an Oct. 22 sentencing hearing.



Child sexual abuse in Newcastle Anglican diocese in 1970s to be investigated by new police strike force

by Lucy Carter

New South Wales Police have begun a new major investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse within Newcastle's Anglican Diocese in the 1970s.

Strike force Arinya-2 has been established to investigate alleged child sexual assaults in the Newcastle region, dating back 40 years.

The Anglican Church in Newcastle has been investigated before, most recently in 2012 when the then Newcastle Anglican Bishop, Brian Farran, defrocked three priests over what he described as "disturbing" allegations of abuse that allegedly occurred in the 1970s and 1980s.

At the time, the Professional Standards Board of the Anglican Church of Newcastle accepted that the former dean of Newcastle, Graeme Lawrence, and the reverends Bruce Hoare and Andrew Duncan engaged in sexual misconduct against a male teenager.

Mr Lawrence challenged the professional standards board investigation in the NSW Supreme Court but was unsuccessful.

The current Bishop of Newcastle, Greg Thompson, said he would support the police in their investigation.

"I continue to be saddened by the reality of abuse experienced by people and I am committed to ensuring justice and support for each of them," Bishop Thompson said.

He encouraged of victims of abuse to contact the police.

He said they could also contact the diocesan director of professional standards, who could arrange counselling or other support, on 1800 774 945.

Bishop Thompson said the diocese would refrain from making further comments while the investigation was underway.

Police are now urging anyone who has been a victim or has knowledge of child sexual assault by a member of the diocese during the 1970s to contact the Newcastle police station or Crime Stoppers.

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