Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Law Sends Jerry Penton to Prison for 40 Years

In a first-of-its-kind case, a Chilton County man has been sentenced to prison under a new federal law that targets the use of child pornography to break down a child's defenses to illegal sexual contact. The practice is offender referred to as "grooming".

District Attorney Leura Canary's office made the announcement regarding the case against 37-year-old Jerry Alan Penton. Penton was found guilty by a jury on all counts in December, 2008 under the anti-grooming provision of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.

The sentence, handed down Friday, came after years of investigation by the FBI into allegations that Penton sexually abused two children, ages 6 and 8.

Nine computers, CDs and other pieces of equipment were seized from the man's home and examined for evidence. Thousands of images and movies containing child pornography were uncovered in the examination.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says many of the victims have been identified as child victims from other states and countries.

Several of the victims gave accounts in Penton's case including one who is now 19-years-old. "When I was told how many people have viewed these images and videos I though my pulse would stop," said the unidentified victim recalled. "Thinking about all those sick perverts viewing my body being ravished and hurt like that makes me feel like I was raped by each and every one of them."

Penton will spend the next 40 years in a federal prison.

Trent Perault Jr Arrested for Sexually Assaulting 2-year-old

District Court authorities set a $250,000 bond for an Oklahoma man accused of sexually assaulting a 2-year-old girl.

Trent D. Perault, Jr., 27, was arraigned on single counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving penetration and first-degree child abuse.

Perault could spend the rest of his life behind bars if he is convicted of the criminal sexual conduct charge. The child abuse charge is a felony that carries a maximum 15-year sentence.

He must return to court for a 9 a.m. Monday, July 27, preliminary hearing.

Gladwin police arrested Perault early Sunday after an investigation that began Saturday when the tot's mother and Perault, who is the mother's boyfriend, took the child to the emergency room at Mid Michigan Medical Center - Gladwin for treatment of injuries to her vaginal area, said Chief Charles P. Jones.

Doctors in Gladwin transferred the youngster to Covenant Medical Center in Saginaw where doctors determined she had been sexually assaulted, Jones said. The victim remains hospitalized.

"During the subsequent intensive investigation, officers learned that the injuries occurred while the victim and her 6-month-old sibling were left in the care of the boyfriend while the mother was at work," the chief said.

14-year-old Edgar Concepcion Jr Charged with Murder

Police received a call about a young child falling at a Charles City home last Friday. Not long afterward, three-year-old Krystel Banes died. Now autopsy results are offering answers, and leading to more questions.

"The cause of the death has been determined to be asphyxia, and the manner of the death, a homicide," said Police Chief Mike Wendel.

Wendel is not saying how the toddler stopped breathing, or how falling relates to her death.

On Saturday, they arrested a teenage boy who lives at the Charles City home where Krystel was found.

Monday morning, he was charged with two Class A Felonies, "14 year old Edgar Concepcion Junior is charged in juvenille court with first degree sexual abuse, and first degree murder."

The police chief isn't offering anymore information on the sexual abuse charges, and prosecutors aren't saying if they plan to try Concepcion as an adult. That will be determined at his next hearing, scheduled for the end of the month.

In the meantime, Krystel's family is planning her funeral, and trying to come to terms with their daughter's death.

"The family at this time is requesting that the media, and the public recognize that they are grieving the loss of their daughter, and are requesting sensitivity and some time and privacy," said Banes family advocate BJ Franklin.

Franklin said the Horizon Survivor Program she works through is not setting up a support group for Concepcion's family. At least one parent is asking for someone to provide counseling for the teen's friends.

Calvin Nail Arrested for Sexually Assaulting 3-year-old

A Marlin teenager is facing charges that he sexually assaulted a 3-year-old girl Monday in Marlin.

Falls County Sheriff's Deputies arrested 17-year-old Calvin Nail Tuesday morning charging him with aggravated sexual assault of a child.

The investigation began after the local hospital notified deputies of the case.

Marcus Clark Arrested for Distributing Child Porn

A 29-year-old Arbutus man was charged today with five counts of distributing and nine counts of possessing child pornography, according to Maryland State Police.

Marcus Curtis Clark, of the 1000 block of South Beechfield Avenue between Wilkens Avenue and Leeds Avenue, had been under investigation by the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force since April 2008, police said.

The task force’s assignment is to protect children from “computer-facilitated sexual exploitation,” according to police.

The investigation began after a trooper assigned to the task force discovered that someone on a computer connected to a peer-to-peer file-sharing network was offering pornographic videos of children for others to download, police said.

Troopers traced the computer to Clark, then obtained a warrant to search his home.

The warrant was executed last August, according to Sgt. Arthur Betts, a spokesman for the state police.

They confiscated multiple computers, hard drives and other media storage equipment, state police said.

State police forensic examiners recovered “dozens of videos and images of children engaged in various stages of sexual activity” from the confiscated items, police said.

Forensic investigators “have to carefully go in there and dissect the information and pull stuff out,” Betts said.

An arrest warrant was issued yesterday and police notified Clark.

Clark turned himself in to one of the computer crimes investigators early this morning, police said.

If convicted of all the charges, he could be sentenced to 70 years in prison and have to pay $150,000 in fines, police said.

Clark was taken before a District Court commissioner today, and was held on $50,000 bail pending his trial.

Sex Offender Jose Ruiz Arrested for Sexual Abuse

Already serving 16 to 32 years in state prison and designated a sexually violent predator, Jose J. Ruiz is back in York County court, accused of sexually abusing three more young girls.

In 2007, a jury convicted Ruiz of rape of a child, involuntary deviated sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, indecent assault and corruption of minors.

Testimony at that trial was that Ruiz, now 30, sexually assaulted one girl between ages 8 and 10 during an eight-month period in 2003 and 2004 in the city. The jury also convicted him of unlawful contact with another girl, between ages 9 and 10, in 2005 and 2006.

York City Police Detective Dana Ward testified Tuesday that, days before the 2007 trial began, three other young girls came forward with similar allegations of sexual abuse.

Charges -- including multiple counts of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and corruption of minors -- filed after that investigation resulted in this week's trial in Common Pleas Court.

Before a jury Tuesday, Ward testified in graphic detail about the sexual acts Ruiz allegedly performed on the girls under threat and forced them to perform on each other.

First Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Boyles rested his case Tuesday.

The trial was recessed until today after defense attorney Korey Leslie requested a Spanish translator for witnesses he intends to call.

Juvenile Arrested for Killing Sex Offender Jon Hazard

A juvenile boy was arrested Monday, accused of shooting and killing a man who was supposed to go to trial on charges of sexually assaulting a child.

Jon Hazard, 43, was found dead near the picnic pavilion in Palmer Park on June 1. He had been shot multiple times. After investigating for more than a month, members of the Violent Crimes/Homicide Unit arrested a juvenile suspect for first-degree murder, Colorado Springs police said.

The boy's name and picture are not being released due to his age.

Police officers did not disclose the motive for the shooting, nor the suspect's relationship to Hazard or to Hazard's alleged victim.

Police said no additional arrests are expected at this time.

Hazard was set to go to trial on several charges involving sexual assault on a 14-year old girl, who is now 15. He had been charged with sexual assault with a pattern of abuse, sexual assault on a child from a person in a position of trust, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The girl said she first met Hazard two years ago when she was in sixth grade, when he lived with her neighbors.

She told police that he would invite her over, give her alcohol and then take pictures of her nude, according the arrest affidavit. She said he would take pictures of her while she was kissing or making out with friends, or in the middle of lewd acts, without her knowledge, and then would later blackmail her into sending him explicit photos of herself, according to the arrest affidavit.

She said at his request she met him at the Hampton Inn, where she was given alcohol until she passed out and then woke up to him rubbing her or fondling her, according the affidavit.

The alleged assaults occurred on Aug 23. 2007 and several times before and after that, according to the affidavit.

James McConnell Arrested for Sexual Assault

A 38-year-old northeast Nebraska man has been arrested, accused of sexual assaulting a child.

James McConnell of Stanton faces charges of first-degree sexual assault and sexual assault of a child.

Sheriff Mike Unger of Stanton County said Monday that McConnell is suspected of several assaults on the girl and that there may be more victims.

Samuel Mariani Arrested for Child Abuse

A 23-year-old man who was arrested early Tuesday following a domestic disturbance at a home in Carlsbad was later booked on suspicion of beating his 17-month-old son, police said.

Officers were dispatched to the home in the 2600 block of Jefferson Street around 12:20 a.m. to investigate a domestic disturbance call, according to Carlsbad police Lt. Jay Eppel.

They located Samuel Mariani and arrested him on suspicion of public intoxication, Eppel said.

Shortly before 1:30 a.m., someone called police and asked that Mariani not be released from jail, alleging that he beat his son, Eppel said.

Officers went back to the home and found bruises and abrasions consistent with abuse on the child, according to Eppel.

The baby was taken to Tri-City Medical Center for treatment and released to the custody of San Diego County Protective Services, Eppel said.

Mariani was being held in the Vista jail in lieu of $150,000 bail on suspicion of public intoxication and child abuse, according to jail records.

Justin Robinson Arrested for Severely Beating 20-month-old

Police call it one of the worst child abuse cases they have seen.

Police say a Pike County man severely beat his girlfriend's 20 month old son so badly that the baby had a broken leg and his entire head was black from the bruising.

Police believe 26 year old Justin Robinson beat the child and police say they had to Taze him just to arrest him, but he is already out of jail on bond.

Police are investigating how and why the alleged beating happened.

Police say 26 year old Justin Robinson was taking care of his live-in girlfriend's 20 month old son while she was at work.

Police say the mother came home and discovered the child in pain and took him to the hospital. Pikeville Medical Center doctors called state police.

“When he saw the child, he saw that there was severe bruising on the face and forehead. To quote Detective Cramer, he said it was “The worse case of bruising he had ever seen for a child this age,” Mike Goble said.

Investigators say the boy's entire head is black from the bruising and say he has a severe broken leg.

Police charged Robinson with abuse.

Troopers say when they went to arrest him, they had to taze him just to take him to jail. Robinson bonded out of jail and is now on home incarceration.

He did not want to talk to us when we went to his home on Greasy Creek Road.

Police believe this was not the first time he abused the child and say there is no clear motive for the alleged beating.

“It's an unbelievable thing to think about anyone that would harm a child, of any age, let alone a 20 month old,” Goble said.

The child is expected to survive. Police say the child is in protective custody and is safe.

Court officials say Robinson has not entered a plea yet.

He is due in court on Thursday.