Monthly Archives: January 2009

Bent county deputy arrested in child-porn sting

The Denver Post  reported January 26, 2009 that a Bent County deputy was arrested by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office for investigation of attempted sexual exploitation of a child.

Investigators of the DA’s office arrested Hubert E. Teague, 35, of LaJunta after an investigation lasting about two weeks during which time Teague was reported to have sent sexually-oriented emails to undercover agents and asked for nude photos of an underage girl.

The article reported that in one of the pictures Teague sent to investigators, he was wearing a T-shirt but was nude below the waist.

 He is being investigated for attempted Internet sex-exploitation of a child and attempted sexual exploitation of a child.

Complete story in The Denver Post

Leave a comment

Filed under child abuse, rural violence

SHARE Receives Daniels Fund Grant

SHARE Inc. has received a $12,000 Daniels Fund grant to support its domestic violence shelter and outreach program.

SHARE, the Morgan County domestic violence program, provides a variety of services to domestic violence victims. Services include 24-hour confidential crisis response, emergency shelter, individual advocacy and support groups for battered women in English and Spanish, children and teen programs for shelter and outreach children, court advocacy for both English- and Spanish-speaking clients, assistance with protection orders and victim compensation, and assistance and referral to other resource agencies within the community.

SHARE also has a two-year transitional housing program for battered women with children and the Safe Haven Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Project.

“The Daniels Fund grant will allow us to continue to enhance existing services,” said Director Jacque Morse. “Funds will be used to supplement general operating costs for client expenses and crisis response. The ability to assist families in immediate crisis, as well as provide an avenue for continuing support, dramatically improves their ability to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.”

The Daniels Fund was established in 1997 by Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity to those in need. For more information about SHARE Inc., call 970-867-4444 or toll-free at 877-867-9590.

Leave a comment

Filed under Domestic violence services, SHARE INC.

SHARE Inc. receives $12,000 Daniels Fund grant

elegant

SHARE Inc. has received a $12,000 Daniels Fund grant to support its domestic violence shelter and outreach program.

SHARE, the Morgan County domestic violence program, provides a variety of services to domestic violence victims. Services include 24-hour confidential crisis response, emergency shelter, individual advocacy and support groups for battered women in English and Spanish, children and teen programs for shelter and outreach children, court advocacy for both English- and Spanish-speaking clients, assistance with protection orders and victim compensation, and assistance and referral to other resource agencies within the community.

SHARE also has a two-year transitional housing program for battered women with children and the Safe Haven Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Project.

“The Daniels Fund grant will allow us to continue to enhance existing services,” said Director Jacque Morse. “Funds will be used to supplement general operating costs for client expenses and crisis response. The ability to assist families in immediate crisis, as well as provide an avenue for continuing support, dramatically improves their ability to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.”

The Daniels Fund was established in 1997 by Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity to those in need. For more information about SHARE Inc., call 970-867-4444 or toll-free at 877-867-9590.

Leave a comment

Filed under battered women, domestic violence, rural violence

Westcliffe reacts (or doesn’t) to Morman sect in area

 

Video on community of Westcliff, Colorado reactions to FLDS compound in the area.

Carol Lawrence of the Colorado Springs Gazette went to Westcliffe, Colorado to get the reaction from people there to the presence of a FLDS compound outside of town. She was unable to get anyone to comment at first, then did get some statements from a few area residents and the under sheriff.  Quotes from the video:

Brandon Heising: “Hey, to each his own. Freedom of religion, right?”

Craig Feldmann, Custer County Under Sheriff:  “At this point we have no indications that they are doing anything illegal or that justifies us taking any kind of action toward anybody in their organization. At this time they are being treated as anybody else in the county. . . . .”  Later in the clip he is shown saying that the compound is “very clean, very nice, they’ve done a lot of work to it. Real nice place.”

Steve, the Concrete Finisher: “They don’t drink, they don’t smoke, they don’t cuss, they don’t live like that — right?  . . . . Do I have a problem with them? No, I don’t have a problem with anybody.”

Myke and Jim Jones, distant neighbors at the Bull Domingo Ranch  say they are concerned about the young girls and that they believe the FLDS does “have a tendency to kick out the boys when they are 12 or 13 . . . just kicking them out on the street. . . .if you are going to have six or seven wives, why do you need a bunch of boys running around?” 

One commenter believes the FLDS picks rural communities because they “do not have real good police powers or zoning laws.”  He says the FLDS depends on the state for their wells, so if they are violating the water or sewer regulations, it would be a problem for the state engineer.

Another commenter: “Everyone’s got to do their own thing, right? Whatever makes you happy.”

Wanda Christian felt that some groups move into the Westcliffe area thinking that people there are “not intelligent and don’t know what’s going on in the outside world and they will be able to pull the wool over our eyes.”

When the FLDS compound was raided in Eldorado, Texas, authorities discovered under-age girls who were pregnant and some had already given birth.  This situation is known to be common to all FLDS compounds.  When girls under the legal age of consent are pregnant and have given birth, that in itself is evidence of sexual assault on a child.  So where is the dilemma? What is the problem in communities that tolerate these crimes happening under their noses and excuse themselves from responsibility on the basis that it is “freedom of religion.” 

The safe assumption is that minor girls who are pregnant or are underage mothers live in the compound outside Westcliffe.  There a numerous stories from women who took risks to runaway from the FLDS life.  It is not inconceivable that throwaway boys or runaway girls from the FLDS compound would turn up in our rural communities looking for help. Do we know where they could turn? What kind of help can they get? How will they know where to go?

The comments in the video from the people who weren’t afraid to speak to Ms. Lawrence aren’t very encouraging. And the fact that others didn’t want to speak out at all is telling.

Thanks to Ms. Lawrence for getting this story. Maybe she can contact some of the domestic violence shelters in the area and ask if they are prepared to assist runaway “wives.

Colorado Springs Gazette

Leave a comment

Filed under domestic violence

Victim privacy at community based DV programs protected by law

elegant

If you are a battered woman, what you tell an advocate at a domestic violence program is private and protected by Colorado law.  What you tell a victim assistant who works for the district attorney or a law enforcement agency is not private.

We have had more reports from victims recently that they were barred from getting services through SHARE, Inc. by local law enforcement agencies. 

For example, one victim who asked for a SHARE advocate was told that she could “only have only one advocate at a time.” Presumably this meant the victim assistant provided through the law enforcement agency. 

Critical differences between government-based victim assistant programs and community based domestic violence programs.

There are several important and critical distinctions between services that are and can be provided by government-based victim assistant offices, such as criminal justice and law enforcement offices, and community based programs providing services to victims of domestic violence. 

The most critial difference is that confidentiality of  information given by a victim to a community based domestic violence agency such as SHARE is protected by Colorado law.  Information a victim gives to a victim assistant is not privileged or private.

Obviously, the employer of the victim assistant is the law enforcement agency or office of the district attorney, and the employer has access to anything in the victim file. This information could be used against the interests of the victim, including filing charges against her, or taking other action without consulting the victim that could put her in grave danger. There are also examples in the 13th Judicial District of inappropriate actions victim assistants have taken with battered women, including a case where a victim assistant told the victim she had to fill out a financial affidavit for a bond reduction hearing for her estranged husband who had been arrested for beating her — in other words, directing the victim to help the perpetrator get out of jail and place herself in danger again. 

Other important distinctions include that the primary purpose of victim assistant offices is to ensure that victims of many types of crimes have information about their rights, and community based domestic violence programs like SHARE focus on domestic abuse victims, they have extensive training and expertise in the field, and their services are tailored to the unique needs of their clients.   The full range of services provided by  SHARE includes 24-hour crisis response, help with protective orders, emergency shelter, transitional housing, individual advocacy, support groups, going to court with a victim, children’s programs, a supervised visitation and safe exchange program, and other supportive services provided in English and Spanish. Obviously, these services are far beyond the scope of a victim assistant program.

Because we believe it is important for victims of domestic abuse to understand the basic differences about privacy of the information they give, we have a page about it here and are reprinting it below:

PRIVACY OF INFORMATION GIVEN BY VICTIMS TO SHARE AND OTHER COMMUNITY-BASED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAMS IS PROTECTED BY COLORADO LAW

SHARE firmly supports victims’ rights to confidentiality in all areas of our work.  

Under Colorado Revised Statute 13-90-107 (k), SHARE must hold all client information confidential. This includes information a client tells us about herself and her family. It also includes information about whether or not a person is currently or has ever been a client.  

There are only three exceptions to this law: suspicion of child abuse (SHARE is a mandated reporter), imminent threat of homicide or harm of another or imminent threat to self. As Morgan County’s only Domestic Violence agency, we take the responsibility of safety of information very seriously and welcome client questions regarding confidentiality.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LACK OF PRIVACY OF INFORMATION GIVEN BY VICTIMS TO GOVERNMENT-AGENCY BASED VICTIM SERVICES, SUCH AS  OFFICE OF DISTRICT ATTORNEY, POLICE DEPARTMENTS, AND SHERIFF’S OFFICES.

Government-based victim services such as victim assistant programs provided by an office of a district attorney, a police department or county sheriff’s office, are not covered under the privacy statute.  Information given to a victim assistant employed by one of these agencies is not confidential and can be shared with others in law enforcement.

https://shareinc.wordpress.com/confidentiality/

Leave a comment

Filed under battered women, domestic violence, rural violence, violence against women, women's rights

U.S. District Court Judge Charged in Superseding Indictment with Aggravated Sexual Abuse and Abusive Sexual Contact

WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Houston returned a superseding indictment today charging U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent, 59, with aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact and obstruction of justice, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division announced. Kent was previously indicted on Aug. 28, 2008, on one count of attempted aggravated sexual abuse and two counts of abusive sexual contact of a clerk’s office employee.

The superseding indictment charges three counts based on alleged offenses involving an additional victim who is also a court employee. The first two additional counts charge Kent with aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact. The third count of the superseding indictment charges obstruction of justice related to an inquiry by a special investigative committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit into a complaint of judicial misconduct filed against Kent by the clerk’s office employee.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Chief for Litigation Peter J. Ainsworth and Trial Attorneys John P. Pearson and AnnaLou T. Tirol of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, which is headed by Section Chief William M. Welch II. This case is being investigated by the FBI.

An indictment is merely an allegation. Defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2009/January/09-crm-009.html

Leave a comment

Filed under sexual assault

Justice Department Sues New Mexico Community College for Sexual Harassment of Former Employee

Friday, January 9, 2009

http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2009/January/09-crt-022.html

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in New Mexico against Luna Community College, alleging discrimination against former employee Charlene Ortiz-Cordova in the form of sexual harassment by a supervisor that resulted in a hostile work environment.

“Title VII protects women from discrimination in employment,” said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will vigorously pursue cases when employers fail or refuse to take appropriate action to stop sexual harassment in the workplace.”

The Department’s complaint alleges that the supervisor, Luna’s former president, subjected Ms. Ortiz-Cordova to sexual harassment over the course of several months by making unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature, unwanted sexual gestures, and repeated sexually explicit comments to her, among other allegations. The complaint further alleges that Luna failed or refused to take appropriate action to prevent and correct the sexual harassment.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion, and prohibits retaliation against an employee who opposes an unlawful employment practice, or because the employee has made a charge or participated in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under the Act.

The Department of Justice is committed to the vigorous enforcement of Title VII. The Department’s lawsuit against Luna is the first Title VII suit it has filed in 2009. Last year, the Department filed a total of twelve Title VII suits. More information about Title VII and other federal employment laws is available on the Department of Justice Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/emp/index.html.

Leave a comment

Filed under women's rights