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Reduced Sentencing for Vet Charged with Possession of Child Porn

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

An Army veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder recently received a much lower sentence for sex crimes because of his condition.

The judge, who handed down the sentence, admitted that he was giving U.S. Army Veteran, Joseph Keller a huge break, by agreeing to a sentence of five years in prison. Keller had been charged with possessing child pornography and a home-made explosive device.

In April, Keller was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, after investigators found child pornography images on his computer. A search of his home also yielded an explosive device. Keller entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors under which he would agree to plead guilty to all the charges in exchange for a five-year sentence. This happens to be the mandatory minimum sentence for child porn charges.

The judge was not obligated to accept the plea deal. However, he has agreed to accept the deal, because he believes that the kind of charges that Keller faced were different from the charges typically facing people charged with child porn. In Keller's case, the accumulation of child pornography was not massive, in contrast to many defendants who face these charges after amassing large collections of sexually explicit images of children. Also, in Keller's case, the images were downloaded on his computer when he lived with his father for a brief period of time. The images were not found on his computer, after he moved to live with an aunt in Florida.

Keller joined the Army after high school, and says that he began to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after he completed two years of combat duty in Iraq. He also suffers from a serious alcohol problem, and this is believed to have clouded his judgment.

Maryland Begins Deleting Sex Offender Names from Registry

Thursday, June 27, 2013

In a move that is expected to open the floodgates of sex offenders who will appeal to get their names deleted from the registry, the state of Maryland recently deleted a sex offender’s name from its registry. The name of Robert M. Haynes Jr. has been removed from the State’s registry, and a link that contains details about the guilty plea that he filed while pleading guilty to charges of abusing a 13-year-old child decades ago, has also been removed.

The registration has been eliminated because a Maryland State Court of Appeals recently declared that requiring people, who were convicted of sex offenses before the registry was established in 1995 to register themselves, was unconstitutional.

This means that there are several sex offenders in Maryland, who committed crimes before the establishment of the registry, and may now be eligible to have their names eliminated from this registry. In fact according to official estimates, as many as one in four registered sex offenders in Maryland might now file lawsuits to get their names cleared from the registry. Officials estimate that as many as 1,800 or out of the 8,000 registered sex offenders, would appeal to get delisted from the registry.

However, they are also likely to face a tough fight. Maryland officials have announced that they will strongly resist any appeals in this matter.

In 2009 and 2010, Maryland made sex offender registry requirements even tougher, and any new lawsuits that are filed to remove names from sex offender registries are likely to make those laws more relaxed. The state laws on sex offender registration have been a source of pride for the state administration, and Governor Martin O'Malley has hailed laws against sex crimes as one of his administration's major accomplishments.

Study Finds Young People Much More Likely to Be Victims of Sexual Assault

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A study conducted recently by Penn State criminologists has a number of interesting findings for California sex crime lawyers. The research finds that young people are much more likely to be victims of sexual assault, and also that sexual attractiveness plays a big factor in these crimes.

The recent study found that young males as well as females are much more likely to become targets of sexual assaults, including rapes. Fifteen year olds were the most frequent victims of assaults, regardless of whether they were male or female, and regardless of the age of the person committing the offense.

Seniors and women are much less likely to commit sexual assault, but when they are involved in such crimes, their most frequent victims are still 15 years of age. Females who were 15 years old were approximately 9 times more likely than 35-year-old women to be victims of sex crimes, like rape.

The researchers also believe that sexual attractiveness plays a big role in such crimes. In fact, they believe that sexual attractiveness is a major reason why younger people are at such a high risk for sexual assaults. Males are typically attracted to younger females, a fact that is borne out by the media and entertainment industry. When a person is committing a robbery, he's also much more likely to commit rape if the robbery victim is a young woman between the ages of 15 and 29.

If you believe that negative male attitudes towards women are the major reason for such targeting of younger female victims, you would be wrong. Statistics confirm that both gay as well as straight men are likely to target younger victims during these sex crimes.

California School Water Polo Coach Charged with Sex Crimes

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A water polo coach at Walnut Creek high school is facing charges of sex crimes against a minor which as any Orange County criminal defense lawyer knows, are some of the more serious crimes that a person can be charged with.

According to reports, the 27-year-old coach has been arrested, and is facing 9 felony charges against a minor. He was arrested at his home in Walnut Creek, and has now been released on a $390,000 bail. According to prosecutors, they have charged him with felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, sexual penetration of a minor, and oral copulation of a minor.

The man is believed to be no longer employed by the Mount Diablo Unified School District, which says that he was a “seasonal” coach. The School District is cooperating with the police investigation, and is also conducting its own investigation.

The man faces very serious charges during his arraignment which is scheduled for May 20th. Sex crimes against minors are some of the most serious of sex offenses that any person can expect to be faced. In fact, sex crimes belong to a very rare category of crimes, in which a person's guilt is almost presumed even before he is charged.
There is a very low level of public tolerance for such crimes in the community, and as such, investigators and prosecutors are often under very high pressure from the media and the public to prosecute these crimes very stringently. Unfortunately, very often, in such situations the rights of the defendant can be compromised.

If you're currently being investigated for sex crimes, or have been arrested for a sex crime, get in touch with a lawyer immediately.

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