Saturday, October 4, 2014

Louisiana teachers accused of group sex with student freed on bail

Published October 03, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Posted: 10:56 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014

By Rachel Stockman

GBI confirms it's seen several cases of a dangerous new sedative drug here in Georgia. The drug is rising in popularity among teenagers, and is still legal in Georgia.

The drug is called etizolam, and is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is also not yet detected in most drug tests.

“This is a drug that one could easily overdose on, and it is getting sold freely over the Internet,” said Dr. Ford Vox, who works at the Shepherd Center.

A quick Google search of the product turns up a plethora of pills for sale.

“In particular with alcohol, it can sedate someone to the extent that they can pass out unconscious. Slow respirations, even vomit, and not awaken from the vomit,” Vox said.

“I’ve treated a number of teenagers both here at the Shepherd Center,  and also in Massachusetts that have overdosed on that overdosed on benzos like etizolam,” said Vox.

Reports and online chatter indicate the drug is gaining popularity with teenagers.

“It is shipped from other countries into the United States,” said Nelly Miles chemistry section manager for the GBI.  Miles says they’ve seen several cases of it in northeastern part of Georgia.

“The lab is seeing a lot of new drugs, some of them designer drugs and research drugs, and we find that a lot of people are experimenting with them,” Miles said.

The drug is similar to Xanax or Valium, and experts fear it could be used as another date rape drug.

“It has slipped through the cracks  as there is a whole list of substances for which the DEA hasn't gotten around to scheduling or attempting to regulate yet,” said Vox.

The GBI crime lab forwarded the most recent discovery to the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency for possible regulation.


Monday, September 29, 2014

How the law punishes boys who are raped: Column

Helen Smith 7:50 p.m. EDT September 3, 2014

Imagine that your 14-year-old daughter engaged in sex with the 20-year-old man down the street. Anger would hardly begin to describe your feelings, but then imagine how you and your daughter would feel if she became pregnant and the man who abused her got custody of the child and your daughter had to pay him child support for the next 18 years.
This would not only be unthinkable in our society but most people would say that it bordered on abuse or worse. Yet, as reported in a recent Arizona Republic news story, this is what happened to Nick Olivas, who happened to be 14 at the time he had sex with a 20-year-old woman. The difference, of course, is he's not a girl.
At the age of 21, Olivas found out he had a child and that he owed over $15,000 in back child support plus interest. He was rightfully upset, stating: "It was a shock. I was living my life and enjoying being young. To find out you have a 6-year-old? It's unexplainable. It freaked me out."
When a state government finds out a 14-year-old girl is a statutory rape victim of a 20-year-old man, the common reaction would be to file criminal charges to put the predator in jail. But for male victims, child support laws turn state governments into the allies of abusers instead of advocates for the victims.
Why the double standard when the victim is male?
The main reason is that the law says so. According to a 2011 article in the Georgia Law Review "much of the law relating to child support is based on the fact that it is typically in a child's best interest to receive financial support from mothers as well as fathers" even when there is "wrongful conduct by the mother."
Such laws date back to the 16th century, but today across the United States, state laws are driven by a series of incentives and penalties in federal law to enforce child support laws so strictly that there is little room for such nuances as rape. As a result, courts hold boys responsible for the consequences of being raped. In a case involving a 15-year-old California boy raped by a 34-year-old woman who gave birth in 1995, the courts declared, "Victims have rights. Here, the victim also has responsibilities."
In Kansas, the courts said the same thing about a 13-year-old boy raped by his 17-year-old babysitter. In Ohio, courts have ordered child support in a case involving a 15-year-old boy and a 19-year-old woman. Sexual abuse of men and boys by women is far from unheard of. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 5 million men and boys have been "forced to penetrate" and that 80% of the perpetrators were women.
Male victims of statutory rape are thought of as culpable for child support because, as males, they are not seen as victims, but always as perpetrators of sex, no matter how young. After all, they were asking for it and should have kept their pants zipped. Isn't this what we used to say about female victims of sexual abuse?
Helen Smith is a forensic psychologist and author of Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream — and Why It Matters.


Rotherham child sex abuse could be tip of an iceberg, say campaigners

The Guardian,  Wednesday 27 August 2014 18.49 EDT

Rotherham child sex abuse could be tip of an iceberg, say campaigners

Charities and experts argue child sexual exploitation continues in other areas that refuse to acknowledge problem

A general view of Rotherham
Rotherham is the subject of shocking revelations about the scale child sexual exploitation but other towns have had similar cases, with campaigners saying the problem is endemic. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA
Rotherham has been labelled a town of shame in the wake of revelations that 1,400 children were sexually exploited over a 16-year-period, but experts and campaigners argue the same abuse is continuing to happen across the country, and is hidden in other boroughs that refuse to acknowledge the problem.
"When you look at the Rotherham report – nature of the abuse, the failures – you could write the same report about any number of different places," said Dr Helen Beckett, of the International Centre, which researches child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking at the University of Bedfordshire. "What we see time and time again is that young people are not treated as victims, there is a real failure to see the vulnerability of these young people and instead write them off as out of control, problematic teenagers."
There is mounting evidence that the shocking revelations in the Rotherham report could provide a glimpse of the scale of childhood sexual abuse across the country, and not just in one town.
In an extensive report into the nature of child sexual exploitation, the Office of the Children's Commissioner identified 2,409 victims over a 14-month period and estimated that 16,500 children were at risk of a specific type of abuse that can see gangs of abusers grooming children as young as 11 in order to rape, sexually abuse and, in some cases, traffic them among other men and between cities.
"It's endemic," said Ray McMorrow, a health specialist at the National Working Group, a charity set up in Derby in the wake of the first prosecutions into child sexual exploitation. "Rotherham is just one of the places that it's been identified."
McMorrow acknowledged that in Rotherham, as well as other cases such as Derby, Rochdale, Telford and in Oxford, perpetrators have been mainly Asian, but said other cases were emerging with white perpetrators. Analysis of the 2012 report by the deputy children's commissioner said that 33% of child sex abuse by gangs in Britain was committed by Asians, where Asians are 7% of the population, but similarly concluded that it was "irresponsible" to dwell on ethnicity.
But he pointed to Operation Kern in Derby which saw the conviction of white abusers but received no national media coverage. White men were also found guilty in Torbay and a recent case in Peterborough involved men of Czech and Slovak Roma and Kurdish backgrounds.
"If we are only looking at one type of network involving only certain types of men and boys, then we are missing victims," he said.
According to Beckett, one of the leading voices of research into child sexual exploitation, while the crime is not new there is a sense that young people are more vulnerable to the type of grooming that can be carried out online, on social networks and by mobile phones. In Rotherham and other cases that have emerged since 2010, children have been groomed online, or controlled via texts. In some instances, explicit videos and pictures have been used to blackmail victims. "These avenues have given perpetrators more access and increased the risks for victims," she said.
Dr Ella Cockbain, a researcher at University College London (UCL), argues that the nature of the crime – and its victims – has enabled it to spread under the radar.
A Barnardo's report into child sexual exploitation in Northern Ireland found that in a sample of children aged between 12 and 17 who were known to social services, one in seven were judged to be at risk of exploitation. The UCL study led by Cockbain which was released yesterday – looking at 9,042 children affected by sexual exploitation and supported by Barnardo's since 2008 – found that 48% of male victims and 28% of female victims who were helped had a criminal record. "While it is true to say this could happen to anybody, victims are more likely to be in the care system, and to have previous convictions," she said. "In some ways they are not obvious victims and that is why there has been a lag in response from the authorities."
A culture of impunity among abusers can also create an environment where abuse is almost casual. "Condom use is very low because they are not expecting to get caught. They use their own phones, take girls to their own houses – there has been this sense that everybody does it and everyone gets away with it."


1,400 cases of 'appalling' sexual exploitation revealed in UK report

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
 (CNN) -- Hundreds of children have been systematically raped, beaten and sex trafficked in a northern English town for more than 12 years. And it is still going on, a government commissioned report says.
The "appalling" revelations also expose cultural tensions and lack of communication between authorities and the town's ethnic minorities that may have helped stop it.
Social counselors saw evidence of sexual exploitation early on, but turned a blind eye, according to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham.
The city's government recently made the inquiry's report available on its website.
And so the abuses amassed, which included gang rape and death threats at gunpoint.
At least 1,400 cases of abuse went on between 1997 and 2013 -- a conservative estimate, the report says. This year, specialist investigators are handling 51 cases. Other teams are looking at additional cases.
Torturous sexual abuse
The exploitation has reached a level tantamount to torture, according to the report.
"There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone," the report says.
Some victims were not even in their teens.
"Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators," the inquiry says.
The report accuses politicians, social services and police of "blatant" failure to stop them, citing an inability to traverse cultural barriers with Rotherham's small Muslim community.
Fear of label of racism
The perpetrators often worked together and were mostly of Pakistani heritage; the victims were mostly white girls, the report says.
An earlier report said that "Asian" gangs originally were exploiting women and girls "for their personal gratification" but later turned to making money with it, passing girls around.
Social counselors often took a hands-off approach to the cases for fear of being branded as racists or stoking a right-wing backlash in the city.
"Several (counselors) interviewed believed that by opening up these issues they could be 'giving oxygen' to racist perspectives that might in turn attract extremist political groups and threaten community cohesion. To some extent this concern was valid, with the apparent targeting of the town by groups such as the English Defence League," the report says.
Though known victims were mostly white, the report delved into an underbelly of alleged systematic abuse by select groups of Asian men against women in their own ethnic groups.
These often go unreported, because the victims fear vengeance or public shame in their communities, the report says. Perpetrators may be using that fear to blackmail these victims into continued sexual servitude.
Community left out
Cultural differences also hindered effective involvement with concerned members of Rotherham's Pakistani community.
Authorities turned to male community leaders and imams and greatly left out women. Many ethnic Pakistani women told the Inquiry that it made them feel disenfranchised and prevented people from speaking openly about abuse.
Members of both genders said they missed any direct engagement on the topic by officials. "This needed to be addressed urgently, rather than 'tiptoeing' around the issue," the report said.
Under the rug
Some social counselors also hoped cases they were seeing were one-off occurrences and hoped they would go away. That may have been bolstered by the fact that the vast majority of child sexual abusers in Britain are white males.
Research reports on the problem began appearing a few years ago, but they had little effect.
"The first of these reports was effectively suppressed, because some senior officers disbelieved the data it contained," the report said.
Social services managers downplayed the problem. Officials thought reports were exaggerated. Law enforcement gave it little importance.
"Police gave no priority to (child sexual abuse), regarding many child victims with contempt and failing to act on their abuse as a crime," the report said.
Improvement but frustration
By the time awareness of the problem increased by 2009, thinly staffed social service workers were overwhelmed by the number of potential victims.
There has been a marked improvement in training police to recognize sexual abuse and work together with social services, the inquiry says.
"But the team struggles to keep pace with the demands of its workload," according to the report. And finances are running low.
And still, few cases even make it to court.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Stalking and Mental Illness

While many stalkers do not suffer from a mental illness, mental disorders are not uncommon among stalkers whose behaviour attracts attention from criminal justice and mental health services. Research in the United States and Australia on stalkers who have entered the criminal justice system suggests that at least 50% of this group experience some sort of mental disorder, with personality disorders, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, depression, and substance use disorders being most common (McEwan et al., 2009; Mohandie et al., 2006; Rosenfeld, 2004). Ongoing research in Melbourne and New York is attempting to clarify information about the prevalence of various personality disorders among stalkers.
Stalking is a behaviour not a mental disorder. Where mental disorder does play a role in stalking, its contribution varies greatly depending on the nature of the symptoms experienced, the context in which they are experienced, and the role of other personal and environmental factors. Stalkers present with a wide variety of mental disorders, with psychosis often playing a role for those stalkers with Intimacy Seeking or Resentful motivations, while personality disorders, depression and substance misuse are common amongst those with Rejected, Resentful, and Predatory motivations. Stalkers who are classified as Incompetent Suitors (those whose stalking  is an inept attempt to get a date) sometimes present with development disorders such as intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorders, with the stalking behaviour being a consequence of social skills deficits associated with these disorders. Amongst Predatory stalkers, paraphilias (disorders of sexual attraction) may play a role in motivating the stalking behaviour. In many cases stalkers present with multiple mental disorders, or a primary disorder is accompanied by specific personality traits that are linked to the stalking behaviour but are not sufficient for a diagnosis of personality disorder.
Given the complex and heterogeneous nature of mental disorder among stalkers, it’s role can vary widely. Drawing from published research to-date, and from clinical experience, we believe that mental disorder interacts with stalking in the following ways:
  • In a significant minority of stalking cases, the behaviour occurs as a direct result of psychotic symptoms, usually in the form of paranoid or erotomanic delusional beliefs about the victim(s). In these cases the stalking behaviour is likely to resolve if the disorder underlying the behaviour is successfully treated. Pharmacological treatments may take time to come into effect or only serve to attenuate  rather than fully resolve the delusional beliefs. Ideally the stalking   should to be managed  through  practical and psychological interventions in addition to psychopharmacology. At times this may require use of mental health provisions or criminal legislation if the behaviour cannot be managed and presents a significant risk to victims. Where psychotic symptoms are present research has shown that stalking is likely to be highly persistent unless effective treatment and management strategies are implemented.
  • For a larger proportion of stalkers, mental disorder is present and contributes to the onset and maintenance of stalking behaviour, however the relationship is indirect or complicated by other factors. For these individuals, remediation of symptoms is often beneficial, both in reducing the stalking behaviour and in improving  the stalker’s overall quality of life. However, treatment of the mental disorder alone is unlikely to be sufficient to stop the stalking and addition, more criminogenically relevant, interventions may be indicated.
  • The remainder of stalkers do not suffer from a mental disorder that plays any role in producing stalking behaviour. We hypothesise that these individuals might hold particular attitudes and beliefs that are supportive of stalking, and/or lack specific skills that mean that when confronted with the desire to change their interpersonal situation in some way, they use stalking as a strategy rather than a more socially appropriate behaviour. 
The prevalence of mental disorder within the population of stalkers who attract attention from the criminal justice and mental health systems means that professionals within these systems need to be looking for and responding to mental disorder where it is present. A number of authors have advocated for routine psychiatric assessment of stalkers presenting to courts and in some jurisdictions this is possible via specialist assessment and treatment services that focus on the problem behaviour and can provide referrals to general mental health services where appropriate.
While this section has focussed on the role of mental illness in stalking behaviour, it is insufficient to only consider mental disorder when working with a stalker. Stalking is a complex, multiply-determined behaviour and we believe strongly that understanding the context in which the behaviour began is an integral part of a comprehensive assessment of any stalker. The vast majority of individuals who stalk do not behave in this way most of the time and, in fact, their behaviour is usually restricted to a specific victim in a specific context. The role of contextual factors such as relationship breakdown, unemployment, perceived failure or embarrassment, and social isolation all play a central role in the commencement and perpetuation of stalking. These types of factors, and how they impact upon and are interpreted by the stalker needs to be given equal weight to mental disorder when considering the reasons that the stalking may have developed and is continuing.
McEwan, T.E., Mullen, P.E., & MacKenzie, R. (2009). A study of the predictors of persistence in stalking situations. Law and Human Behavior, 33, 149-158.
Mohandie, K., Meloy, J.R., Green McGowan, M., & Williams, J. (2006). The RECON typology of stalking: Reliability and validity based upon a large sample of North American stalkers. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 51, 147-155.
Rosenfeld, R. (2004). Violence risk factors in stalking and obsessional harassment. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 31, 9.
Further information
Mullen, Pathé & Purcell (2009). Stalkers and Their Victims. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Scarfing, or autoerotic asphyxiation is the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain through hanging, strangulation, or suffocation for the purpose of increasing feelings of sexual pleasure during masturbation. This type of behavior is also called asphyxiophilia. Yes, it sounds strange, but these practices are extremely dangerous. Scarfing is a lethal form of sexual experimentation becoming continually more prevalent among adolescent youth, particularly males. Young boys just reaching sexual maturity are more prone to engage in dangerous types of sexual experimentation, simply because they believe themselves to be invincible and do not know any better.

There are many suspected deaths through autoerotic asphyixiation each year, but it is difficult to guess just how many. The reason for this confusion is that when the authorities arrive at the scene of a death such as this, the coroner and investigating officers either don’t know the signs of scarfing, or refuse to report them as death by autoerotic asphyxiation, and instead report a suicide.

Warning signs of scarfing may include discovering ropes, knotted T-shirts, or other such items that could be constricted around the neck. Other signs include neck abrasions, trouble breathing, and unusual grogginess or bleariness after spending time alone. If you have noticed these warning signs in your teen, do not hesitate to bring the matter up. If you are wrong, the worst that you will do is warn them of a potential danger. However, if you are correct, you may save your child’s life.