Monday, October 30, 2006

Israel President Facing Rape Allegations

Israel's attorney-general Menachem Mazuz is expected to recommend President Moshe Katsav suspend himself from duties after police said they had evidence he committed rape, Israeli media reported.

The reports said Mazuz would issue the recommendation in response to a high court petition against 60-year-old Katsav, who has denied any wrongdoing.

The Justice Ministry and police said in a statement on October 15 they had gathered evidence Katsav "carried out sex crimes of rape, sexual molestation by force and without consent" against women employees.

It is up to Mazuz to decide whether to indict Katsav.

An Israeli lawyer has petitioned the high court to order the president suspend himself from duties.

The reports said Mazuz would tell the court Katsav should at least temporarily refrain from carrying out his duties so as to avoid obstructing the prosecution, as employees had hesitated to testify against him.

The case is unlikely to have any direct effect on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government because the presidency is a ceremonial post in Israel.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Office Employees And Porn

Office workers are spending up to a fifth or their time online at work searching for porn. Porn obsessed staff in real estate, car dealerships and law firms are costing thousands of dollars a month in wasted hours and excess internet charges.

A survey by Brisbane internet security company Netbox Blue has revealed that porn routinely ranks among the top 10 most popular websites. Firms are losing productivity because staff are viewing pornography and other non-work-related websites instead of focusing on their proper tasks", chief executive Trent Davis said.

Recent examples of abuse include a boss's son who spent the day buying lingerie online and six lawyers who surfed the net for hardcore porn.

Source: The Courier Mail

I know this is a problem, altough I am not sure they would be working during that time anyway. If not porn, it would be MP3 downloading or eBay shopping. It really doesn't matter. People are not slaves, so sometimes they do need to relax a bit. Or you can try to fight workplace porn by giving free adult site subscriptions to your employees like Danes!

Army Cadets Escape Child Sex Conviction

Brisbane,AU -- Two teenage army cadets who engaged in consensual sexual experimentation with a pair of girls at a cadet cam ended up in the dock of Brisbane District Court yesterday as graphic details of their exploits were recounted to a packed room.

Keiran David Francis Johnston and Benjamin David Simmons were sexually naive 17 and 18 year old schoolboys when they became involved with the girls - who were aged 14 and 13 at the time. The girls were described in yesterday's proceedings as enthusiastic participants in the sexual conduct.

The alleged sexual activity mostly involved the girls giving oral sex to Johnston and Simmons in private while the group was taking part in two cadet camps in April and August last year. The majority of the incidents occurred at the first camp. A further two counts involving Johnston happened at the August camp.

The court was told that the two girls did not initiate the police complaint and one girl made it clear she did not wish the prosecution to proceed. The events only came to light after schoolyard gossip about it reached authorities. Prosecutor Glen Cash told the court that while any child sex offence was serious, there was no evidence that the two girls were cajoled into the activity.

Barrister Craig Eberhardt, for Simmons, said his client was sexually inexperienced at the time and has since been humiliated publicly and shamed by his expulsion from cadets and the exposure of his conduct in the media. Mr. Eberhardt said that after the incident his client had asked out one of the complainants and been rejected, which had damaged his self-esteem. He was hospitalized earlier this year for depression.

Both accused were placed on 12-month $500 good behavior orders. Convictions were not recorded. Judge Dick said the case was most peculiar but that was not to say the prosecution should not have been brought because the conduct was till a criminal offence. She told them she hoped the case would provide a lesson.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sex Slaves Sold On Streets Of London

Source: agency France-Presse

London, UK -- Women are being bought and sold on the streets of London for as little as US$5000 and than forced to work in the sex industry, a Government minister said last week.

Solicitor General Mike O'Brien was speaking as he opened Europe's first dedicated center to tackle gangs who bring unwitting young women to Britain from abroad - notably from Asia and eastern Europe - to work as prostitutes.

"Some victims do not even realize they are being trafficked until they arrive and then find the job they were being promised as a waitress turns out to be enforced servitude as a prostitute, including being beaten and raped" he said.

Mr O'Brien joined junior Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker and Women's Minister Meg Munn to open The UK Human Trafficking Center in Sheffield in northern England. The facility will be run by South Yorkshire Police using specially trained officers, lawyers and immigration workers. Although it will focus on all types of human trafficking there is a particular focus on exploitation in the sex trade following a high-profile, countrywide police operation launched earlier this year.

Operation Penameter involves all 55 police forces in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, as well as immigration and intelligence officials, prosecutors and charities. Since its launch on February 21 this year, 188 women - most of them aged 18 -25 but some young as 14 - were rescued in raids on brothels, massage parlor's and private homes. Eighty four were confirmed as trafficking victims.

The women came from as far as Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, India, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Namibia, Poland, Rwanda, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Thailand.

Bondage Killer Appeal Fails

Brisbane, AU -- A killer who engaged in bondage sex with his victim and tortured a second woman for his own "amusement" has failed to convince the Court of Appeal that his 16-year jail sentence is excessive. Earlier this year, after a lengthy legal process, Sven Huebner, 36, was sentenced to 12 years jail for the manslaughter of Linda Jane Roberts and a cumulative four years jail for the torture of university student Melissa Gazsik.

As a serious violent offender, he must serve 80% of the 16 years before being eligible four release. Huebner went to the Court of Appeal to request that the sentence be halved, painting himself as a caring friend who let his love of bondage get out of hand. In a unanimous judgment, the Court of Appeal dismissed his request.

Huebner's then girlfriend Amy Louise Maher, 24, was sentenced to 18 months jail for being and accessory after the fact of Roberts' manslaughter and three year and six month's' jail for the attack on Gazsik. Her sentences were wholly suspended to reflect the two years and nine months she had served.

Roberts was killed on August 18, 2001, but it was not until November that year that her naked body was found, along with plastic and rope, in bushlands at Mackenzie in Brisbane. Gazsik was lured to bushland by the pair in 2000, where she was bound, tortured and choked for hours before being freed. Huebner maintained he was trying to get Gazsik to focus "on the important issues" in life.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Consent Form Signed Before Sex?

When it comes to sex, we all know that “no” means “no.” But did you know that “yes” may also mean “no?”

New legislation currently being considered by lawmakers in the U.K. would make it illegal for men to have sex with women who have had a few too many drinks, even if the lady consents. That’s right. A woman who drinks a few martinis or has some wine with dinner and willingly engages in a night of passion can wake up the next morning and cry rape.

The proposed law is meant to safeguard drunk women. But the absurdity of this bill is enough to make a sober person vault off the wagon.

Rape is a horrible, brutal crime and anyone who commits rape ought to be locked up until Dick Clark is no longer with us.

But a man who has a one-night stand with an eager, tipsy woman is no rapist. Just because a woman wakes up the next morning with a slight hangover and a pang of regret doesn’t give her the right to accuse a man of rape. Rape is a serious offence and it diminishes the hurt and suffering of true rape victims when we dilute the definition of rape.

One group that strongly opposes the proposed legislation is the U.K. Men’s Movement. Chairman George McAuley says men will have to obtain written consent in the form of a sex contract before attempting a home run.

“Radical feminists within the Labour Party have made consensual heterosexual sex a dangerous minefield,” argues McAuley in a recent piece by London’s Daily Mail. “The changes in legislation will increase the number of innocent men convicted of rape. It means men will have to get a consent form signed, dated and countersigned in triplicate before they make love.”

Before Andrea Dworkin fans beat down my door, let me be clear. We are not talking about a woman who is so intoxicated that she passes out and cannot possibly consent to sex. If a man takes advantage of an unconscious woman, he is guilty of rape. The law is already clear about that.

And if a man slips some roofies (the so-called “date rape drug”) into a girl’s drink, then that man belongs in jail.

But a woman who has a bit too much alcohol — of her own volition — and invites a man back to her place for some non-existent coffee and proceeds to squeal “yes” in every way possible can not and must not cry rape afterwards.

We would never let a man off the hook for assaulting a woman just because he had a few too many beers. We would hold him accountable for his actions even if he was drunk at the time. Just like a drunk driver cannot plead intoxication as a defence.

Some people may disagree with me and wonder how a mom who has a daughter could possibly oppose this legislation. Well, as a mother who may one day have a son, I know that I don’t want to live in a world where men are labelled rapists and thrown in jail for having consensual sex.

By Lyida Lovric

Controling The Sex Criminals In Irland

William McAuley the man responsible for the assessment and management of paedophiles, rapists and sexual predators in Northern Ireland, talks to Deborah McAleese about Ulster's sex offending capital - and how he believes the situation can be managed and controlled
25 October 2006

"There is a cancer in society called sex offending. No part of society is free. It is everywhere - among solicitors, religious people, rich and poor.

"There is a huge portion that is benign and does not pose a risk, but there is some that is dangerous and risky, like malignant cancer."

William McAuley uses his sex offender/cancer analogy to drive home the reality that society will never be free from sex offenders.

But the Northern Ireland policy co-ordinator for the multi-agency MASRAM - which tracks and assesses sex offenders - also uses the comparison to offer reassurances that there are measures that can be taken to tackle the 'disease'.

"For those malignant offenders, just like malignant cancer, there are a whole range of treatments, including surgery, to remove a cancerous tumour.

"In some cases of sex offending you have to send the criminal justice system in and effectively use that surgery to remove the danger.

"But there are sex offenders that you cannot remove surgically and you have to deal with it on a basis of risk management."

Dangerous paedophile Paul Hunter Redpath was dealt with on the basis of risk management.

On his release from jail for having sex with a teenage girl, Redpath was moved into approved accommodation and placed under strict probation conditions.

Within hours of his release Redpath had disappeared. For three weeks he was on the loose, his movements and actions unknown.

He fled across the border and is currently living in Dublin where he is now subject to sex offender registration requirements in the Republic.

However, there has been outcry that the paedophile is not to be returned to the province to face punishment for breaking his probation conditions - an offence which can result in being sent back to jail.

In August Robert Simpson Wallace, a 77-year-old high risk sex offender, who "posed a serious risk to women and girls" also went on the run from his approved accommodation in Belfast and failed to sign the sex offenders' register. He was later arrested by police in Lurgan.

Redpath and Wallace are not the only sex offenders who have failed to comply with probation conditions, but in these cases police took the rare step of making completely public the offenders' details through the media.

To issue a public warning about a missing sex offender is a last resort and the decision is taken only after careful consideration by the assistant chief constable following an application for disclosure from MASRAM.

Full disclosure can only be made if it is in the public interest and it will not result in the offender being killed or seriously injured.

At lower levels, details about a sex offender can be disclosed on a need-to-know basis, when the ACC decides to make the disclosure to those people he/she would deem necessary, for example the victim, a partner or school principal.

"Around 97% of people required to notify police comply with requirements. Only a small percentage of people do not comply. That is when disclosure comes up. We have to protect everyone's human right not to be sexually assaulted or abducted," said Mr McAuley.

"The ACC has got to balance what is in the best public interest and what is going to impact on the individual's human rights."

The housing of sex offenders is one social issue that continues to spark heated public debates and at times can even trigger a level of public hysteria.

Mr McAuley is keen to dispel the myth that hostels are home to a large number of sex offenders who, if they haven't already, are just waiting to pounce on their next victim.

In fact, across the whole of Northern Ireland only 60 beds are available in hostel-type accommodation for people who have committed sexual offences.

The majority of sex offenders live in private accommodation.

Hostels - the proper term is supported accommodation - have restrictions on the number of sex offenders they house and the beds are allocated on a basis of need and assessment.

The decision of housing has nothing to do with police or MASRAM.

It is up to the sex offender to find appropriate accommodation which complies with any court restrictions or orders.

If no appropriate accommodation can be found the sex offender is sent straight back to prison.

"The offender is in breach of his licence if he does not live in approved accommodation. If their is no appropriate accommodation then he ends up back in prison.

"People have spent a long time in prison because they cannot find appropriate accommodation," said Mr McAuley.

While sex offenders come from all walks of life and can strike in any place, Belfast's 'Golden Mile', from Queen's University down towards the city centre, is the highest-risk sex offending area for adults in Northern Ireland according to Mr McAuley.

The majority of sex offences against adults in that area are not being carried out by convicted sex offenders but by offenders who have not yet been brought to the attention of the authorities.

Due to the number of bars, clubs, night spots and proximity to the university area, the 'Golden Mile' is a favoured area for teenagers, students and young adults and therefore it is a preferred haunt for sexual predators who are looking for vulnerable targets.

"Predatory sex offenders will target those areas where people are more vulnerable. The 'Golden Mile' does lend itself to a range of vulnerabilities through alcohol and late night venues," said Mr McAuley.

Different resident groups in south Belfast have often complained about sex offenders being housed in their area, saying that they do not feel safe letting their children walk along the streets.

"But when did they ever feel safe sending their kids down there?" asked Mr McAuley.

"By sending 10-year-old girls to walk down there by themselves is already increasing their vulnerability because everyone knows the majority of sex offences against adults occur down that golden mile," he added.

"Why send your children down the highest risk area of Northern Ireland? Sex predators are already there. The re-offending rate is very low. Most offences reported to police are new cases, they are new people."

When there are rumours of sex offenders being housed in an area it can lead to angry protests and even vigilante attacks. However, Mr McAuley said that people have to realise that sex offenders will always be there.

"I do not have the luxury of being able to choose whether you have sex offenders or you do not but a community can take steps to reduce their vulnerability and that's the message we need to get out.

"You do not go out and get drunk and separated from your friends and stagger down the road at 1.30am, because sex predators are out there and see that as an opportunity," he said.

And referring back to his favoured analogy, he added: "Just like with cancerous tumours you cannot remove them all. Over 9,000 people have convictions for sex offences.

"Where do you send them? There is no way you can surgically remove all of those.

"If you do you are only removing the tip of the iceberg, those that you know about.

"If the public thought we had removed all sex offenders then they are in an even more risky situation, because they would naively think the problem was solved."

Monday, October 23, 2006

Coach Indicted on Child Sex Trafficking Charges

By Brigid Schulte

Washington Post Staff Writer

Aaron Burroughs, the former junior varsity football coach at Bowie High School who was arrested on charges of pimping a 14-year-old girl, was indicted by a federal grand jury late Thursday on six counts of sex trafficking of children and first-degree child sexual abuse.

Burroughs, 35, has been held in the D.C. jail on local charges since he was arrested July 31 in a New York Avenue NE motel room, where he allegedly was waiting for the girl to come back after a night of working as a prostitute.

Instead, according to charging documents, Takoma Park police had taken the girl into custody early in the morning when they found her in a deserted parking lot performing oral sex for pay on a man police did not name. They had her send a text message to Burroughs's cellphone arranging a meeting for that evening. Burroughs gave police a statement that he had had sex on numerous occasions with the girl and taken her from Maryland to the District to work "the strip" along New York Avenue as a prostitute.

The night before, Burroughs, a Metro bus driver, had taken the girl to the bus depot on Bladensburg Road where he worked and, according to charging documents, had sex with her in the parking lot in his gold Range Rover.

The girl has not been publicly identified, and The Washington Post generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

Burroughs has been jailed without bond since his arrest. He has been segregated from the general prison population for his protection, police officials said, as is customary with those charged in child sexual abuse cases. He is expected to be arraigned next week.

Prosecutors are seeking to confiscate Burroughs's cars, a 1995 Range Rover and a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, if he is convicted, the indictment shows, along with any other real or personal property "used or intended to be used to commit or to facilitate the commission" of child sex abuse and trafficking.

Burroughs's attorney, Spencer Hecht, declined to comment on the indictment Friday.

Burroughs's childhood friend, U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Michael Malloy, 34, was also arrested on child sex abuse charges in connection with the case. According to charging documents, Burroughs drove the girl to Malloy's home, where both men had sex with her and videotaped it. Malloy, whose case is on a separate track in D.C. Superior Court, has been under house arrest in Southern Maryland since August.

The charges have left the Bowie community reeling.

Burroughs was an unpaid volunteer football coach for years, first for the Bowie Boys and Girls Club and later at Bowie High. Many could not believe the news. "He's a good man," said Pat Phipps, a coach at the Bowie Boys and Girls Club. "The man they were describing in the news is not the man I knew."

Prince George's County public schools, partly in response to the case, will begin requiring either commercial or complete background checks, with fingerprints, on all volunteers who interact with students while they are unsupervised by school officials. The policy will take effect Jan. 1.

"Bowie High has been suffering, along with this young lady and her family, and we're hoping that this indictment will be the beginning to our healing," said Mary Nusser, president of Bowie High's Parent Teacher Student Organization.

The group is compiling a list of experts on sex abuse and sex trafficking and hopes to make a presentation to students and the community. "It's going to be geared toward young men and young women about keeping themselves safe," Nusser said. "This is still something that is beyond belief."

Muslim Husband Attacks Male Gyneacologist

Paris, FR - The agency in charge of Paris-region hospitals on Saturday confirmed that the husband of a Muslim woman examined by a male gynaecologist had physically attacked the doctor, but refused to confirm allegations that the assault was motivated by religious extremism.

The AP-HP hospital agency said it had taken legal proceedings against the husband for an incident that occurred on the night of September 8 in the emergency service of an unnamed Paris hospital.

However the agency refused to endorse a statement by the professional association of French gynaecologists and obstetricians, who described the assault as a manifestation of "Muslim fundamentalism."

The statement by the CNGOF professional association mentioned a similar incident that occurred in a Paris-region hospital in 2003.

n both attacks, gynecologists were "physically attacked and injured by the husbands of patients on the grounds that as male doctors they should not examine their wives," the statement said.

However the hospital authorities said they had "not at this stage confirmed any religious motivation" behind the latest incident.

French Health Minister Xavier Bertrand on Friday condemned the September incident, but also said he could not confirm that it was related to "religious or cultural motives."

"Hospitals must remain absolutely neutral from the religious and ideological point of view," he said.

The hospital agency said that a total of 185 violent incidents had been recorded in the 38 Paris-region public hospitals in 2005, up from 145 in the previous year.

However the hospital authorities did not record whether there was any religious motive to any of the attacks, because "such records would be discriminatory, and we have a neutral position," the statement said.

In their statement the gynecologists and obstetricians made a link between the case and a recent high-profile incident in which a French schoolteacher received death threats after publishing a virulent anti-Islamic article in a national paper.

"Are male gynecologists and obstetricians going to have to be protected by the police from now on when they do their job?" the statement asked. "Will they have to go into hiding like philosophy teachers?"

Source: Sapa-AFP

Why Children Rape Children?

Pretoria, SA -- Eighty-two children are charged in courts across the country every day for raping or indecently assaulting other children. A Pretoria News investigation has found that processing by the state of child-committed sexual offences has nearly doubled in the past year.

Police, prosecutors, social workers and child rights activists estimate that between 25 percent and 43 percent of the perpetrators of sex and violent crimes against children are children themselves - some as young as six.

Approaching school holidays - which are peak periods for child-committed offences - now threaten to increase the 130 059 child sex offenders processed by the state between 1999 and March this year. Of these, 146 have been sentenced to prison terms and 161 are awaiting trial.

The problem has become so bad that several state-supported rehabilitation organisations have - in the absence of any concrete laws to deal with children accused of crime - recently launched diversion programmes aimed specifically at child sex offenders. And, if ground-breaking research by a Gauteng academic and child abuse counsellor is to be believed, a "huge" proportion of these children claim their sexual abuse of other children was inspired by acts they witnessed on television.

Meanwhile, we have seven reports from angry parents who were turned away from police stations in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Gauteng when they tried to lay sexual abuse charges on behalf of their children against other children.

"I was told these are children; we can't do anything," a woman from KwaZulu-Natal said. She claims her seven-year-old daughter was forced to perform oral sex on three boys aged between nine and 11. She said she had decided to move to her mother's home in the Western Cape to shield her daughter from further abuse.

Senior Superintendent Anneke Pienaar, national co-ordinator of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, denied that police could not do anything to address sexual abuse claims made by children against other children. She said police were given specific instructions on how to process all reports of child-perpetrated crime and had to accept such charges.

But Pienaar admitted police had noticed a "definite increase" in the number of sexual abuse allegations made against children. And, she said, the alleged perpetrators of this abuse were "getting younger and younger".

Studies in KwaZulu-Natal last year showed that a staggering 90 percent of all male child sex offenders between the ages of 13 and 18 had been exposed to violent pornography and "believed that this had an impact on the development of their abusive behaviour".

Shaheda Omar, therapeutic manager at the Teddy Bear Clinic in Johannesburg, has interviewed 100 child sex offenders and their mothers "from across the social spectrum" for her doctoral research project.

"What surprised me was that most of these children had not been sexually abused themselves, although they may have witnessed sexual or physical abuse. What united them was the influence of media on their behaviour," she said.

While some children claimed they wanted to emulate love scenes in soap operas like The Bold And The Beautiful, others admitted they had been inspired by late-night pornography on Soweto Protea Court prosecutors Nadine Nel and Louise Smit confirmed both Childline's research and Omar's preliminary findings.

"Usually, when you first ask a child why they did certain sexual things to another child, they shrug their soldiers and say they don't know. But later they will tell you they saw things on The Bold And The Beautiful and they wanted to try it," said Smit.

She said that, following the 2001 airing of the infamous Yizo Yizo prison rape scene, the Soweto Protea Court was hit with a spate of "little boys indecently assaulting other little boys".

The child victims of sexual abuse by other children were usually "much younger" than their abusers, Nel and Smit said, with some victims as young as two. This made it very difficult for prosecutors to discover exactly what had happened, because the child did not have the ability to describe his or her abuse and medical evidence was usually inconclusive.

Childline director Joan van Niekerk believes cases of sexual abuse by children are dramatically under-reported. "We know police seldom open such dockets, so it is difficult to quantify the extent of the problem," she said. "Police at station level prefer to tell the parents it is a 'domestic matter' which must be sorted out at home."

Source: Pretoria News

Friday, October 20, 2006

New Zealand Finds Black Cocks Hard To Swallow

Priest To Dob In Child Sex Abusers

Adelaide, AU -- ANGLICAN priests no longer will be able to use confidentiality as a reason for not reporting child sex abuse, under strict new rules to be introduced across Adelaide.

The unprecedented measures, to be endorsed by the Diocese of Adelaide Synod next weekend, will extend to confessions heard by priests, including those with other priests.

They follow the compulsory training of South Australian Anglican priests on their legal requirements to report child abuse to authorities, which have been opposed by some priests who believe confidentiality should be maintained for pastoral reasons.

The new rules surpass those implemented nationally by the Catholic Church, which still maintains confidentiality over confessions.

Adelaide Anglican Archbishop Jeffrey Driver yesterday told The Advertiser he would not tolerate any more "cover-ups" within the Anglican Church of child sex abuse, saying previous inaction by church leaders had caused enormous problems.

Archbishop Driver said priests would be given no option but to observe a new code of conduct under which they would be forced to report child abuse, including information received during confession.

"If I was giving confession to a priest who told me about child sex abuse, I would not give him absolution. I would immediately stop the confession and march him straight to the nearest police station," he said.

Detailing the most comprehensive strategy developed by the Adelaide Anglican Church to combat child sex abuse, Archbishop Driver said the church "needs to recover its own integrity and confidence in the community".

"This has been diminished by a relatively small group of people who have done a massive amount of damage," he said. "I am aware confidence in the church and morale within the church has been profoundly affected."

Also included in the child sex abuse strategy - triggered by revelations four years ago of widespread pedophilia within the Adelaide Anglican Church over five decades - are measures to force priests, church workers and volunteers to co-operate with church investigations into suspected child sex abuse.

Under the new laws, priests who are found guilty of professional misconduct such as child abuse can be stripped of their licences, counselled, suspended or sacked.

State Government laws requiring priests and church officials to report child abuse are still before Parliament.

Sex Offender Found On My Space Website

Los Angeles - Hundreds of convicted sex offenders have been discovered using the popular internet website MySpace following an investigation by a US technology magazine, it emerged on Wednesday.

Former computer hacker Kevin Poulsen, a senior editor for Wired, made the discovery after developing a programme that cross-referenced people using the phenomenally successful site with registers of sex offenders.

Inputting the names of nearly 386 000 sex offenders from 46 states across the United States, Poulsen found thousands of possible matches.

Poulsen, who achieved notoriety in the early 1990s for a string of audacious hacks that ultimately earned him jail time, sifted through 7 000 names before discovering 744 sex offenders with profiles on the site.

Wired's investigation led to the arrest of 39-year-old Andrew Lubrano, a New Yorker now facing his fourth arrest for a sex crime.

Poulsen said the investigation highlighted the flaws in existing security procedures at MySpace, which has an estimated 100 million users.

"MySpace have done a lot in terms of security to stop predation. But this clearly shows that they could be doing more," he said.

"Lubrano sent messages to one 14-year-old boy where he addressed him as 'Sextoy'. It seems like they should be able to come up with a technological solution where they could spot behaviour like that."

Lubrano was arrested by undercover police officers and eventually charged with the misdemeanour offence of attempting to endanger the welfare of a child.

A statement from MySpace chief security officer Hemanshu Nigam said the website was working to develop software that would identify sex offenders.

"We are committed to keeping sex offenders off MySpace and are evaluating all functional and scalable solutions," the statement said.

"In the meantime, we will delete profiles of any convicted sex offender we find on MySpace."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Little Justice In Pakistan Rape Cases

By Salman Masood The New York Times

Pursuing justice is not easy for a woman in Pakistan, not if the crime is rape. Ghazala Shaheen knows.
Two years ago, her relatives say, an uncle eloped with a woman from a higher social caste. The revenge was the rape of Shaheen, she and relatives charge, after a gang of men raided her father's home and abducted her and her mother in late August.
It is not uncommon in Pakistan for women to suffer callous vendettas for the wrongdoings of their male relatives, even a 24-year-old woman like Shaheen who, despite being from a relatively poor family, has earned a master's degree in education and wants to be a teacher.
Under what is known as the Hudood ordinance in Pakistan, to prove rape a woman must produce four witnesses. A failure to do so can result in her being charged for adultery, becoming a victim twice over. The stigma alone is enough to keep many women from trying to bring their attackers to justice.
Human rights activists have repeatedly called for the repeal of the Hudood laws, which were enacted in 1979 by General Zia ul-Haq, the country's last military dictator.
President Pervez Musharraf has vowed to introduce amendments to the laws, but critics say his efforts have been halfhearted. But in September, under pressure from hard-line clerics, Musharraf's government delayed passage of a proposed law that would have allowed rape to be tried in civil courts, where a rape victim needs only to provide a medical witness and other evidence.
In 2002, the case of Mukhtar Mai became a cause célèbre among human rights advocates after a village council ordered that she be gang-raped. Mukhtar has since become an international figure, winning worldwide praise for her courage in speaking out and for her efforts to bring the culprits to justice.
Despite the outcry, lesser-known cases, like Shaheen's, continue to emerge with disturbing regularity as the laws go unchanged.
Shaheen, whose father is a retired military police officer, recounted her ordeal at an uncle's home in Kabirwala, a dusty farming town in the southern part of Punjab Province, not far from where she says about a dozen men forced their way into her father's house on Aug. 25.
Some of the attackers were wearing police uniforms, Shaheen said. "Pick up the women, they shouted," Shaheen recalled. "They dragged me and my mother and put us on two motorbikes."
Both of them were told they were being taken to the police station in connection with Shaheen's uncle. "But we soon found out that we were kidnapped," Shaheen said.
The abductors held them for 11 days. Both said they were beaten.
"I was raped by two men," recalled Shaheen, with moist eyes ringed by dark circles. One of her rapists, she said, was Nazar Mirali, someone from the rival clan. She did not know the other one.
"I pleaded," she said. "I implored but they did not listen to me." Mirali could not be found for comment. He and another man, who was not identified, were named in the complaint filed by Shaheen on Sept. 26.
Word of Shaheen's late August abduction had spread throughout the area. On Sept. 2, human rights activists, along with Mai, the woman who has brought attention to such cases after her own ordeal, called a rally in Kabirwala to demand the arrest of the accused.
Two days later, both Shaheen and her mother were recovered by police from Jhang, a neighboring district, after a tip from someone in the area, said Abdul Rashid, a cousin of Shaheen.
Shaheen said that evening at the police station that she had been threatened and harassed by her attackers not to talk about the ordeal. A police official, too, told her not to mention rape, and the police logged the case only as a kidnapping.
"I was frightened - they threatened they would kill my father," Shaheen said, referring to the Miralis, who are a relatively well-connected family in the area.
Shaheen said she suffered in silence for more than a week but then gathered the courage to come forward. She went for a medical checkup.
"Yes, I confirmed in my medical report about rape," said Dr. Saima Iftikhar, the medical officer at the Kabirwala district hospital who examined her.
Since then, Shaheen's ambitions have been shattered, and it is she who suffers scorn for the rape, rather than her attackers. She says she feels helpless. The school where she had expected to teach refused to accept her.
"They said they can't accept me as it is a matter of their repute now," Shaheen said.
Human rights activists have been critical of the police. They say the police have been slow to move against the accused because of pressure from high- level politicians to hush up the case.
"Have they collected all the evidence? Have they raided the houses of all the accused?" said Rashid Rehman, an official with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent body that has taken up the case.
On Sept. 26, Shaheen, along with Rehman, submitted another application to the police and presented a copy of the medical report confirming rape.
Thirteen of the 14 men accused of taking part in the abduction are in hiding, police officials say. The police say they are doing their best.
"We have apprehended the main accused," said Shahid Hanif, the district police chief of nearby Khanewal, who seemed clearly exasperated by the case.
"No one is happy with police," he said. "What else does she expect us to do? We recovered her. We have arrested the man accused. Does she expect us to kill him? We can't do that."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

UK Rape Laws To Change Over "Drunk Consent"

London, UK -- The government is drawing up laws to make it easier to convict men of rape if they have sex with a woman who has drunk so much that she may not know what she is doing.

Ministers confirmed that they are planning to amend rape legislation to clarify the legal position on the issue of consent, a change first revealed in The Observer last December. At stake is the question of whether a jury should convict when large amounts of alcohol have been consumed by the victim of an alleged attack.

Mike O'Brien, the Solicitor-General, said last night that they wanted to see more men convicted of raping a woman in such circumstances but also wanted to avoid wrongful guilty verdicts. 'The issue [of consent] becomes particularly difficult where there is alcohol involved. What we have to do is find ways of ensuring that where a rape occurs, the rapist is convicted, but that we don't create miscarriages of justice,' he said.

Currently, women are judged as being able to consent to sex if they have been drinking, as long as they have not lost consciousness through excessive consumption. Cases in which the victim has drunk heavily before the assault occurs often do not make it to court because the police or the Crown Prosecution Service think she will stand little chance of having her account believed by a jury.

The changes would not affect the burden of proof, which means that jurors would still have to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that a rape had taken place.

O'Brien said that while the most recent changes to rape laws, in 2003, were 'a big step forward in clarifying the law in relation to rape, some recent cases have suggested that we may need to ensure that juries get the opportunity to take a view where significant amounts of alcohol are involved'.

Government lawyers were uneasy when a judge at Swansea Crown Court told a jury last year to bring in a not guilty verdict on a man accused of raping a university student who admitted that she had drunk so much that she could not recall what had happened. 'Drunken consent is still consent,' said the judge.

Ministers are also considering letting juries see the initial interview a victim has given to the police describing the attack, often soon after it has happened, and allowing women to be helped through the ordeal of a trial by having a 'victims' advocate' to support her.

Susan Sharp And Sex With Teenage Boys

A former southeast Missouri middle school teacher faces sentencing Dec. 19 after pleading guilty to four felony counts for having sex with underage teenage boys.

Susan Sharp of New Madrid originally pleaded not guilty before reaching an agreement with prosecutors Wednesday to plead guilty to two counts each of second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy. The case was moved toButler County on a change of venue.

Sharp, 49, was removed from her teaching position in November 2004 after the allegations surfaced. None of the boys were students at New Madrid Central Middle School, where Sharp taught.

The Missouri Attorney General's office, which handled the case, recommended the maximum seven-year sentence on each count, to run concurrently.

"The conduct was egregious, which is why we asked the court for the maximum penalty," said John Fougere, a spokesman for Attorney General Jay Nixon.

Sharp was accused of having sex with the boys on Oct. 17, 2004, at her home, and giving them prescription medication.

Information in the case emerged after a 15-year-old boy tried to kill himself with an overdose of an anti-anxiety drug.

During a routine follow-up by the sheriff's department, the teen disclosed that he and Sharp had had sex the week before he attempted suicide. He said he'd struggled with suicidal thoughts and gone to Sharp's home, taking more of her pills and, he believed, having sex with her again.

The sheriff's department also took statements from three other boys, all 15, who described an evening of kissing, oral sex, intercourse and pill-popping at Sharp's home.

The case was moved out of New Madrid County, in part because Sharp is from a prominent family there. Her father, Van Sharp, was the county clerk for more than 40 years and her mother ran a popular catering business.

Sex Attack On 87 Year Old Woman

Matt Withers, Wales on Sunday

AN ELDERLY woman was recovering in hospital last night after being subjected to a sickening sex attack in her home.

The 87-year-old pensioner called police to her home in Caernarfon at 3am yesterday to report the assault.

Police arrested a man, 34, within hours and he was being questioned last night. No-one else was being sought in connection with the attack, a spokeswoman said.

"North Wales Police received a call just after 3am on Saturday morning from an elderly woman reporting that she had been the victim of a sexual assault in her home in the Caernarfon area," she said.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, but her exact condition was unknown last night.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Women Get Horny Just As Quickly As Men Do

Research from McGill University shows that women become sexually aroused just as quickly as men do. The discovery, to be published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine next January, not only shatters an age-old myth, but will likely help diagnose and treat women with sexual dysfunction.

Unlike previous sexual arousal experiments, the researchers forewent distracting and invasive genital probes in favor of thermal imaging (heat-sensitive) cameras that use the same technology as military night-vision goggles (a la Silence Of The Lambs). "Compared to previous techniques involving invasive measures or electrodes, this is minimally invasive and the same measurements are used for men and women, which makes it very interesting that the data ended up being the same," says psychology professor Dr. Irv Binik, founder and director of the Sex and Couple Therapy Service of Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University Health Centre.

As the subjects watched an array of movie clips - comprised of everything from The Best Of Mr. Bean to gender specific sexually explicit Kinsey Institute blue movies - Binik trained his thermal cameras on their genitals. Binik found that both men and women became aroused within 30 seconds of watching a clip (not Mr. Bean, one would presume), and reached maximum arousal after approximately 10 minutes. "Comparing sexual arousal between men and women, we see that there is no difference in the amount of time it takes healthy young men and women to reach peak arousal," said Dr. Binik.

Now that a crucial aspect of female sexuality has emerged from the dark, so to speak, Binik and his co-researcher, Tuuli Kukkonen, are predicting big things from the results. "This will help diagnose and treat sexual dysfunction in women, such as female sexual arousal disorder, which is poorly understood," Kukkonen said.

Source: McGill University

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Woman Sentenced For Lying About Rape

(AP) A woman who gained national notoriety for writing a book about being raped, then abandoning her newborn in a college trash been has been sentenced to prison for being the rapist in the case.

Twyana Davis, 30, claimed in 1995 that she had been raped, appeared on television shows to tell her story.

She also formed a nonprofit group aimed to prevent teen pregnancies and provide alternatives for young mothers who didn't want to keep their babies.

But she also was harboring a secret: She wasn't raped. She was the rapist, Franklin County prosecutors said.

Davis was sentenced Tuesday in Common Pleas Court to 10 to 25 years in prison on a charge of rape. She had confessed to having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old cousin, leading to her unwanted pregnancy.

Judge Michael J. Holbrook labeled her a sexual predator and also fined her $10,000. Davis successfully manipulated the system to her advantage after the crime, Holbrook said.

She told the judge that she is trying to become a better person. "With all respect to you, there is a judge we all have to stand before sometime," she said.

Davis confessed to clear her conscience and claimed the sex was consensual, defense attorney Byron Potts said. He blamed her actions on a poor upbringing and abuse when she was a child.

In November 1995, Davis left her daughter in a trash bin at Ohio Dominican College, where she was a student. The baby survived. Davis was caught and convicted of child endangering.

She then wrote the book "Sacred Womb" and formed the group, Second Chance of Life, leading to appearances on Oprah and 20/20.

Scarlett Johansson Encourages Safe Sex

Sexy Scarlett Johansson insists she is regularly tested for sexually transmitted diseases and slams people who refuse to get tested, calling their behaviour "disgusting and irresponsible".

The actress recently hit back at reports she was promiscuous before finding love with Josh Hartnett on the set of The Black Dahila last year.

Johansson encourages responsibility when having sex telling Allure magazine, "I get tested for HIV twice a year.

"One has to be socially aware. It's part of being a decent human, to be tested for STDs.

"It's just disgusting behaviour when people don't. It's so irresponsible."

Monday, October 09, 2006

Filmmaker Arrested On Teen Sex Charges

Salt Lake City, USA -- A Salt Lake City actor and filmmaker has been accused of having sex with a teenage girl and flying her to Los Angeles at least twice for the encounters.

Gilbert L. Medina - who recently wrote, directed, produced and appeared in "Jack's Law," a revenge drama filmed in Utah that featured Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson as a defense attorney - was arrested Thursday at his downtown condominium, FBI Agent Scott Wall said.

After a brief appearance Friday before U.S. District Magistrate David Nuffer, the 37-year-old was ordered held pending a detention hearing. The charge of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity filed against him carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 30 years. A statement filed by the FBI with the complaint alleges that a confidential source told a detective that Medina had engaged in sex with the minor between 2004 and this year.

The source said Medina and the girl traveled separately to California to avoid suspicion about why a minor and an obviously older man were together. In addition, Medina checked into hotels alone while the girl waited around the corner so no one would see them together, the statement alleges. It says that hotel and airline records corroborate the source's story. At least two of the encounters, one in Los Angeles and the other in Medina's condominium in the American Towers, were recorded by Medina with a handheld video camera, according to the source.

The statement says a second source reported opening up files while using Medina's home computer and saw a depiction of what appeared to be a minor female performing a sex act on the actor-director. A search of the condominium conducted Thursday turned up film cartridges and prescription drug containers, the statement says.

The document also alleges that after being placed in custody, Medina asked if his car keys were being seized and when told no, replied, "Good," because when he made bail, he was going to "jump."

Medina, who was born in Salt Lake City
also appeared in the movie "The Crow: Wicked Prayer," and co-produced "Prosperity."

Source: Salt Lake Tribune

High School Coach Arrested After Sex Tape Descovered

(AP) -- A high school girls' basketball coach was arrested on child pornography charges after detectives found homemade tapes of him having sex with an eighth-grade student in the 1990s, authorities said.

William ''Buck'' Lanham, 47, who has been coaching at Orlando Christian Prep since 2002, was arrested at the school Thursday and charged with possession of child pornography and possession of marijuana, Orange County sheriff's Sgt. Rich Mankewich said.

A phone message left for a William Lanham in Orlando was not returned and efforts to reach Lanham on Sunday were unsuccessful. Lanham is free on $25,000 bond.

A former player, now 23, told detectives in June she began a sexual relationship with Lanham when she was a 14-year-old at St. John Vianney Catholic School in the late 1990s.

The former player said the coach twice videotaped them having sex, Mankewich said. Lanham could not be charged with having sex with a minor because the statute of limitations expired.

The tapes and marijuana were found during a Thursday search of Lanham's apartment, police said.

Lanham has led the Orlando Christian Prep girls basketball team to a 108-25 record and to the state high school Final Four three times.

''The kids, they like Buck,'' said Ken Mitchell, whose 15-year-old daughter plays on the team. ``It is sad.''

The arrest has brought scrutiny on the hiring practices at Orlando Christian Prep, which was founded in 1960 by the Orlando Baptist Church and has about 450 students.

Court records show Lanham -- using the alias Louie Rivera -- served time in state prison for possession of cocaine in Orlando in 1988.

''We've been advised not to comment because it is an ongoing investigation,'' said Orlando Christian Prep admissions director Shelly Brown.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

MD Loses Licence Because Of Sex With Patient

TORONTO,CA - A disciplinary panel for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario stripped a family physician of his licence Thursday after he tried to cover up that he had sex with a patient.

Dr. Vaito Manohar, who owns and operates the Pine Valley Medical Centre in Woodbridge, Ont., and specializes in cosmetic treatments, cannot reapply for his certificate to practise for at least five years.

"You let your profession down. You let yourself down and you let your family down," Dr. Oscar Kofman, chair of the disciplinary panel.

Kofman said it was unfortunate that Manohar was a young physician with a "potential career that was cut short."

Manohar, who graduated from the University of Toronto in 1998, pleaded no contest to an agreed statement of facts read out at the hearing Thursday.

The panel heard that Manohar invited a female patient, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, to join him, his girlfriend and a male doctor out for an evening of dining, dancing and drinking.

After suggestions of group sex (which did not occur), Manohar and the patient had sex at his condo.

The patient said she did not consent to the sexual activity, adding that she was intoxicated, feeling numb and disoriented, the panel heard.

Manohar stated that she was a willing participant who did not appear inebriated.

When the college contacted Manohar about the allegations, he denied them and refused to give a DNA sample. Manohar also got his girlfriend to lie to college investigators in exchange for free cosmetic treatments, the panel heard.

Manohar's DNA matched forensic evidence found on the patient's underwear.

In the patient's victim impact statement, which was read to the panel, she said: "I no longer trust people. I find it difficult to sleep...I feel exhausted, scared, lonely, confused and lost."

Jenny Stephenson, Manohar's lawyer, told the panel that her client regretted his errors.

National Post

Detained Women In Mexico Raped

MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities have failed to adequately investigate the alleged rape or sexual abuse of 23 women by federal, state and local police officers while in custody, violating numerous domestic and international human rights laws, the human rights group Amnesty International said Thursday.

The allegations are contained in a 12-page report the London-based group turned over to a special Mexican federal prosecutor's office for crimes against women, which it asked to take over the case.

“The state of Mexico promised there would not be impunity, but what we've found up until now is that the necessary steps haven't been taken; in fact, it's completely the opposite,” organization investigator Rupert Knox told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from London on the eve of the report Wednesday night.

Knox said Amnesty fears the cases might be forgotten with Mexico's transition to a new government on Dec. 1, and that the organization will ask to discuss the situation with aides to President-elect Felipe Calderon.

Seven women claimed they were raped and another 16 said they were sexually abused after being taken into custody by police who retook control of the town of San Salvador Atenco, 25 kilometers (15 miles) northeast of Mexico City, to end violent protests in early May.

The protests began with demonstrators kidnapping and beating six policemen, one brutally, after authorities tried to prevent flower vendors from setting up stands in a nearby city.

Police responded with rage the next day: Television images showed angry officers repeatedly clubbing helpless detainees in the town. More than 200 people were taken into custody.

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission filed complaints with the prosecutor for Mexico State, where San Salvador Atenco is located, and President Vicente Fox's office said the case should be thoroughly investigated and that any officers found responsible for sexual abuse or any other crime should be punished.

In June, Mexico State prosecutor Abel Villicana Estrada said he would press charges against 23 police officers for using excessive force. It was not immediately clear what the status of those cases were.

In addition, four police officers were fired and five others suspended for 90 days for tolerating the use of excessive force – but apparently none has been tried or convicted for rape or sexual abuse.

Mexico State Police Chief Wilfrido Robledo repeatedly has denied the allegations, initially saying they were part of a strategy by detainees' lawyers to make police look bad. In an interview last month with a Mexican magazine, he insisted the women had made up the charges.

Sections of the Amnesty report deal with the alleged lack of attention authorities paid to women who made the complaints.

“When I arrive (at the authorities' offices), the doctor doesn't want to certify that I've been raped,” said one alleged victim whose testimony was included in the report. “It seems unfair that they don't believe me, that someone could think I made this up.”

The report claims that by not attending the complaints, authorities have violated a law in the state of Mexico against torture as well as several international accords Mexico signed guaranteeing human rights and the prevention of abuse against women.

“According to international law, the rape of a woman or child who is in the custody of an agent of the state always constitutes torture, for which the state is directly responsible,” the report said, concluding, “It's time to review the methods, training and tactics of the public security forces in situations of public disturbances or protests to ensure that they are in line with international human rights norms.”

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sex On False Promise Of Marriage In India Is Rape

New Delhi : The Supreme Court has held that having sexual intercourse with a girl with her consent obtained through fraud, coercion or on promise of marriage amounts to rape.

A Bench, comprising Justice A.K. Mathur and Justice Altamas Kabir, said consent given under fear of injury or a misconception of fact could not be construed to be a valid consent and the sexual act would come within the definition of rape under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.

It said: "What is voluntary consent and what is not a voluntary consent depends on the facts of each case. One has to see the factors like the age of the girl, her education and her status in the society and likewise the social status of the boy. If the attending circumstances lead to the conclusion that it was not only the accused but also the prosecutrix [girl] who was keen, then in that case, the offence is condoned. But in case a poor girl does not understand what the consequences may be for indulging in such acts and when the accused promised to marry but never intended to from the beginning then the consent of the girl is of no consequence."

Writing the judgment, Justice Mathur said that if sexual intercourse had been committed by the accused when there was no valid consent, the court could presume that the accused had committed a rape. The Bench said that such a presumption had been introduced by the Legislature in the Evidence Act in view of the atrocities being committed against women.

In the instant case the appellant Yedla Srinivasa Rao was convicted and sentenced to undergo seven years imprisonment on a charge of raping a 16-year-old girl. The prosecution case was that he promised to marry her but did not do so. After the girl became pregnant, a case of `rape' was registered against him. The trial court acquitted the accused holding that since the girl consented to the intercourse, it would not amount to rape. On appeal by the State, the Andhra Pradesh High Court reversed the order and awarded him seven-year imprisonment.

Upholding the judgment, the Supreme Court Bench said it was clear from the evidence that the accused had made a false promise to marry the girl. The intention of the accused right from the beginning was not bona fide and the poor girl was misled by the promise of marriage.

Shortbus Movie - Art Porn

LOS ANGELES: Since its debut at the Cannes film festival in May, director John Cameron Mitchell's film "Shortbus" has been labelled many things for its full on depictions of sex including porn for everyday audiences.

But Mitchell, whose first film "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" in 2001 became a cause celebre among fans of movies made outside Hollywood, said the movie is far from pornography because it uses sex with artistic licence to comment on how people's lives are impacted by sexual thoughts and feelings. Moreover, he argues he did not make the movie with mainstream audiences in mind.

"The very explicitness of the sex limits the audience, which is fine," Mitchell said.

Mitchell, 43, has built a strong -- if still formative -- reputation by telling stories that shock some audiences with his point of view that comes from outside the mainstream. In fact, the title "Shortbus" refers to the small buses that took special education and other kids to school separately from the larger buses that delivered most teenagers to class.

"What I want the film to do is to remind people that it (sex) is integrated into our lives and shouldn't be hidden away because it can change lives. Monogamy might be right for some, and celibacy, and all these things might be right, but you can't ignore it," Mitchell said.

Many of the most explicit acts occur at the start of the film because Mitchell wanted to move quickly beyond prurient thoughts and get to more substantive themes on how some individuals, and society at large, allow sex to impact life.

Sofia (Sook-Yin Lee) is a sex therapist whose thoughts on the topic block her from achieving orgasm. James (Paul Dawson) and his boyfriend Jamie (PJ DeBoy) love each other but lack a healthy sex life. Dominatrix Severin (Lindsay Beamish) feels isolated in her career.

What they all have in common is gathering weekly in a downtown New York salon called Shortbus where people outside mainstream society openly share ideas on art, culture and sex.

The actors are not stars and several are not even actors because Mitchell wanted the cast to bring its own ideas on sex to the story and not be worried about ruining a career by performing oral sex, intercourse or masturbating on-screen.

Mitchell's unconventional style called for performance workshops where the actors grew comfortable with each other to heighten the movie's sense of reality.

Mitchell is no stranger to making movies outside the mainstream. "Hedwig" told of a boy who grew up with conflicted sexual feelings and became a transvestite rock singer before facing his future as a man. It premiered at 2001's Sundance Film Festival, won awards and garnered acclaim for Mitchell.

The movie played mostly in art houses and made a mere $3.6 million at U.S. box offices. Yet at the time, that figure was a success for a low-budget movie with homosexual themes.

Still, "Hedwig" grew into a cult-like hit on DVD because friends gave it to friends who gave it to other friends, and he is hopeful "Shortbus" will become similarly shared.

"This, too, will be a hard thing to see for some people," Mitchell said. "They might not see it for a few years but then get it on DVD and go, 'damn.'"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Supreme Court Refused To Hear Texas Case On Sex Toys

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court refused Monday to consider whether a Texas law making it a crime to promote sex toys shaped like sexual organs is unconstitutional. An adult bookstore employee in El Paso sued the state after his arrest for showing two undercover officers a device shaped like a penis.

The employee, Ignacio Sergio Acosta, says a Texas law outlawing the manufacture, marketing or dissemination of devices shaped like sex organs is unconstitutional because it prevents individuals from using such devices, violating their right to sexual privacy.

Colorado, Kansas and Louisiana have held such laws unconstitutional, while Georgia, Mississippi and Texas have upheld them, said Acosta's lawyer in urging the Supreme Court to take the case.

An El Paso County court granted Acosta's motion to dismiss a criminal complaint against him, but an appeals court reinstated it, saying the Texas law did not infringe on private sexual behavior.

Acosta also said the Texas law should be examined in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a Texas criminal law banning gay sex as an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.

Washington No Stranger To Sex Scandals

(Reuters) - Washington is no stranger to sex scandals, such as the uproar that forced Rep. Mark Foley, a Republican from Florida, to resign after sending steamy instant messages to teenage pages.

* President Bill Clinton had a sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky, then 21, which led to his impeachment after accusations he lied about it under oath. He survived the impeachment process and was able to serve out his term but his presidency, which ended in 2001, was badly damaged.

* Sen. Gary Hart, a Colorado Democrat, saw his second presidential bid ended in 1987 when it was learnt he spent the night on a yacht, named the Monkey Business, with a woman who was not his wife.

* Rep. Wilbur Mills, a Democrat from Arkansas and then chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, was caught in 1974 with stripper Fanne Foxe, who performed as "the Argentine firecracker", who leapt from his limousine and jumped into the Tidal Basin. Mills went into treatment for alcohol and retired two years later.

* Sen. Bob Packwood, a Republican from Oregon, resigned in 1995 after 26 years in Congress. He had been accused of sexual misconduct with 17 women, among other charges.

* In 1983, both Rep. Dan Crane, a Republican from Illinois, and Rep. Gerry Studds, a Democrat from Massachusetts, were censured for illicit affairs with underaged pages. Crane, who had had sex with a teenage girl, was voted out of office but Studds, who had had an affair with a boy, was returned to office many times.

* Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who is homosexual, was reprimanded in 1990 after it was learnt that a lover had run a prostitution ring out of his Washington apartment. Frank remains in Congress.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Nymphomania And Satyriasis

(CNN) -- Reading Carol Groneman's new book "Nymphomania" in a public place elicits reactions from people ranging from bewildered stares to lewd grins. These responses confirm everything she has written on the pages behind the simple and erotic line drawing on the cover. That is, we still don't know what to make of nymphomania. Anyone who has ever wondered how much sex is too much sex -- and who decides -- will be fascinated by this thoroughly researched and well-executed book.

Groneman guides the reader through the history of nymphomania as a medical illness, mental disorder, legal construct, cultural perception and off-color joke. In chronicling the transformation of the term, the author begins with the medical model of the 1800s, when strong sexual desire in a woman was considered a disease stemming from lack of morals and willpower. Groneman's analysis continues to the present day as she describes how new attitudes are colliding with persistent stereotypes surrounding female sexuality.

"Nymphomania is a metaphor which embodies the fantasies and fears, anxieties and dangers connected to female sexuality," she writes. "By tracing its many meanings over two hundred years, we see how clearly it is reflected in the eye of the beholder."

As the author points out, it is telling that a libidinous women has been a cause of anxiety as well as locker-room snickering, while few of us have even heard of "satyriasis," the male equivalent of nymphomania. In fact, notes Ms. Groneman, generations have passed where the standard measurement of sexual normalcy was in relation to the husband - a woman with less desire than her husband was frigid, while greater desire suggested the sickness of nymphomania.

Revealing attitudes

A history professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/City University of New York, Groneman became intrigued by the idea of what nymphomania could reveal about attitudes toward female sexuality. It was far from a passing interest. The author spent 10 years researching and writing "Nymphomania."

Her book is engaging because of the stories it tells. Colorful examples and anecdotes serve Groneman's research so well that the factual data merely supports the stories. What emerges from the author's integration of all this information is a textured tapestry of women's history that lingers with the reader long after the book is finished.

For instance, Groneman recounts the first full study on nymphomania by an obscure French doctor in 1775. According to this Dr. Bienville, causes of nymphomania included "eating rich food, consuming too much chocolate, dwelling on impure thoughts, reading novels, or performing 'secret pollutions' (masturbation)," because these items or actions overstimulated a "woman's delicate nerve fibers." Any pleasure derived from engaging in the suspected causes was harshly negated by the awful medical treatment that followed. "Cures" for an active female libido (as diagnosed by a woman's lascivious glances, lewd language, or an enlarged uterus) included bleeding, cold-water douches and caustic applications to the genitals.

Yet "Nymphomania" does not sit in smug judgment of the past. The author debunks notions about modern-day cultural enlightenment with recent examples that seem as unbelievable as old-fashioned nymphomania cures.

One memorable example is the "Cable Car Nymphomaniac." In 1970, a San Francisco woman was awarded $50,000 by a jury after she claimed, in a personal injury lawsuit, that a cable car crash had left her with a "demonic sex urge." In a much more sobering example, the author details a disturbing gang rape trial in 1991 in which nymphomania was allowed as defense evidence. The defense in this case argued that the 20-year-old victim -- who was forced into a car on her way home from a family gathering and raped by as many as 15 men -- actually wanted sex.

Underpinned by curiosity

Although the book is relentless in chronicling gender inequality -- and, often, misogynist sentiments and actions -- "Nymphomania" is far from a feminist manifesto. Whether the author is writing about the "hypersexual girls" of the '20s or "professional nymphomaniac" Kathy Willet of the '90s, the book is underpinned by her own curiosity. Groneman's own analysis is even-handed and thought-provoking, making it a pleasurable journey through social history for a wide audience.

Still, Groneman, an authority on women's issues and co-editor of "To Toil the Livelong Day: America's Women at Work, 1780-1980" (1987, Cornell University Press), reminds us that the feminist mantra of "the personal is political" has some truth: The way women are perceived in the privacy of the bedroom tends to mirror their perception in public spheres.

Groneman describes a 1956 article titled "My Bride Was a Nymphomaniac" as an example. In it, a distraught husband tells how his lusty bride had "something wrong with the mind," and how she "took up sculpting and brought an all-male artist crowd, 'spouting left-wing philosophy,' to their suburban home at all hours of the day and night." The husband concludes that his bride's insatiable sexual desire "masked a desire to wear him and other lovers out, to castrate him symbolically."

The author really hits her stride in "Happy Nymphos and Sexual Addicts," a chapter about today's attitudes and mores. Citing current pop-psychology catchphrases such as "love addict" and "sex addict," Groneman illustrates how terms used to describe female sexuality reflect the tone of the times. Today's addiction model, asserts the author, still perpetuates the belief that strong sexual desire is a sickness.

So, in the end, those two tricky questions remain: How much sex is too much? Who decides?

Fortunately, Groneman doesn't give her readers a simple answer like Alfred Kinsey, who once quipped, "A nymphomaniac is someone who has more sex than you do." Instead, "Nymphomania" explores why, even today, those questions aren't adequately answered.

Promiscuous 10% Guilty For The UK Sex Health Crisis

A "promiscuous 10%" of the population who have multiple partners are fuelling a UK sexual health crisis, say experts.

Attempts to cut sexually transmitted infections will fail unless this 10% is encouraged to change its behaviour, the John Moores University team said. They told the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health how poor sex education and sex on TV was to blame. But a growing minority of people are abstaining from sex, say researchers.

Multiple partners

According to research published in New Scientist, a small percentage of the population - 1% - have absolutely no interest in having sex with men or women. This group of 'asexuals' are coming together and forming virtual communities via the internet to insist on their right not to have sex, the report said.

The opposite is true of the "promiscuous 10%" who started their sex lives at an early stage and have multiple partners, according to Professor Mark Bellis and his colleagues in Liverpool. Figures show one in 10 young people has already had sex by the time they are 14.

About 10% of UK adults have had an STI and 13% have visited a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic. Overall, 708,083 people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were diagnosed with an STI in 2003.


Professor Bellis and colleagues say society is ignoring the problem for fear of upsetting a vociferous minority.

"Perhaps a greater level of statutory, pertinent and timely sex education is now required despite the complaints of a few. At national level, the choice to guarantee the delivery of high quality sex education is evaded, often to avoid offence to a sensitive but vocal minority," they said.

A BBC poll, conducted by ICM, of 1,010 adults in England, Wales and Scotland found most people would like measures to change people's behaviour to cut rates of sexually transmitted infections. Professor Bellis and his team also criticised the portrayal of strong sexual images in films and television, where there was usually no attempt to promote safe sex.

"More realistic portrayals of sex, condom use, and safer sex practice in the media may, again, upset a few but may also help counter the sexual innuendo that currently promotes promiscuity but provides no hint of safe sex behaviour," they said.

Long waiting times at GUM clinics due to underresourcing is only adding to the problem, they said.


A spokesman for the Terrence Higgins Trust said: "This research reflects some of the reasons for the rises in STIs that we have seen in the UK over the last few years, and we support its calls for consistent, well delivered sex education in schools.

"However, we would caution against using the term 'promiscuous' when describing anyone who has an active sex life. Labelling people in such a way isn't helpful - we need to listen to people and give them the information and support they need to ensure their sexual well-being."

A spokeswoman from the Family Planning Association said: "Anyone can be unlucky enough to get an STI.

"Current high levels cannot be blamed on one group alone. I do not think this 10% rule holds up."

Paul Burstow MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, said stigmatising those who seek help could drive the problem underground instead of solving it.

The Department of Health said it was committed to tackling the rise of STIs and that millions of pounds had been allocated to the sexual health strategy.

A spokesman said: "This sets out the work we are doing with young people to help them resist pressure to have early sex, improving sex and relationship education to increase their awareness of risk and knowledge of how to protect themselves."

He said the government's investment in GUM clinics clearly reflected the importance of sexual health, which would be a key issue addressed in its imminent Public Health White Paper.


Waltham Teacher Indicted On Rape Charges

A longtime Waltham public school drama teacher and assistant football coach has been indicted on charges of child rape in the alleged sexual assaults of three male students.

Robert Dacey, 49,
is accused of luring two current students, now 15, to his home at various times in 2005. In addition, the indictment added a third alleged victim, who was found during the investigation. In the third case, Dacey is accused of raping and sexually assaulting a student, now 21, in the late 1990s, beginning when the alleged victim was in eighth grade, prosecutors said.

A Middlesex grand jury returned the 17-count indictment against Dacey on Thursday.

Dacey, who taught drama at the McDevitt Middle School, posted $25,000 bail last month and was placed under house arrest with an electronic monitoring device at the home of a sister in Belmont, said Melissa Sherman, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney's office. She said Dacey has since been placed in another relative's home under house arrest.

Police reports allege Dacey lured the two eighth-grade drama students to his home last year by saying that a friend of his owned a massage parlor and was trying out a new masseuse. When the boys arrived at Dacey's Waltham apartment, police say, he blindfolded them and left the room. The boys told police they then heard someone enter the room and were massaged by someone with long hair and long fingernails who they thought was a woman.

``The Commonwealth has determined and alleged that this person is Mr. Dacey," Sherman said.

Authorities allege Dacey assaulted the two eighth- graders at least nine times, sometimes together and sometimes separately, between June and November. The grand jury indicted Dacey on six counts of rape, indecent assault and battery, and enticement of a child.

The grand jury also indicted Dacey on two counts of rape of a child, one count of rape, and other charges in connection with alleged sexual encounters with a former student, who is now 21. Authorities say the sexual assaults began when the boy was a 14-year-old eighth-grader.

Waltham school officials said Dacey worked in the district for 26 years. He is currently on paid leave, according to district officials.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Man That Pay For Sex Put Wives In Danger

Glaswgow, UK -- WOMEN are being put at risk by partners who cheat on them with prostitutes.

Figures showed 43 per cent of all men using hookers were married or in stable relationships. And 56 per cent of men who paid for unprotected sex had a steady partner. One in five of the men surveyed had a sexually-transmitted infection.

The statistics have been published by Dr Tamsin Groom and Dr Rak Nandwani of Glasgow's Sandyford sexual health clinic, who interviewed 2600 men for their study. Dr Groom said: "Very little is really known about these men, their behaviours and the risks they may pose to themselves or indeed their partners."

A survey of the men, average age 34, revealed one in 10 had paid for sex. Of those, about one in four said that they repeatedly used prostitutes. More than 50 per cent had done so abroad, four out of 10 in Glasgow and the rest elsewhere in the UK.

Men were twice as likely to have unprotected sex with hookers abroad than at home.

None of the men was HIV-positive but one in five had a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhoea or syphilis. A high proportion of the men had also paid for unprotected oral sex.

Dr Nandwani said: "There is a lack of awareness...that oral sex alone can facilitate STI transmission including herpes, syphilis and HIV."

Travel To Istrael? First Prove You Are Not A Whore

Moscow - When Devorah Leah Bandorenko went with her three-year-old son to the Israeli Embassy here earlier this year to apply for a tourist visa to visit her ailing 85-year-old grandmother in Karmiel, she did not expect to be asked whether she was a prostitute.

"I couldn't believe it," said the Orthodox Bandorenko, who covers her hair with a wig and works full-time at the Chabad-Lubavitch Center in Volgograd.

"The official at the Israeli Consulate told me I need to bring proof that I will not sell my child in Israel, and that I do not plan to work there as a prostitute," she said in an interview in fluent Hebrew, with tears welling up in her eyes.

"They told me that I was young and attractive, so they suspected that I was planning to go to Israel to make some money in a sordid and disgusting way. How can they treat people like this? And just how is someone supposed to prove that they are not a prostitute?" Six months after submitting her application, Bandorenko has yet to receive a visa.

Although the Foreign Ministry vigorously denies that Russian Jewish women seeking visas at the Moscow embassy are subject to such questioning, Bandorenko, it appears, is not alone in having been confronted in such a manner by Israeli consular officials.

"That is a known thing, it has been going on for some time," said an Israeli official based in Moscow. "The consular staff frequently ask good-looking women seeking to visit Israel to prove that they are not prostitutes, or that they do not plan to work in the sex trade while they are there. It is completely outrageous, extremely insulting and it should be stopped."

"Consular officials do not speak that way, and I can assure you that such things do not happen," Foreign Ministry spokesman Eddie Shapira said.

According to Shapira, who served in Moscow until returning to Jerusalem last year, "Such claims are utterly baseless. Our staff meticulously follows the rules and procedures laid down by the Interior Ministry and by the consular section of the Foreign Ministry."

"Anyone who feels that a consular official has not treated them properly," he said, "can submit a complaint to the Interior Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, and it will be reviewed with the utmost seriousness."

Shapira noted that some 50,000 Russian citizens visited Israel last year, and that the consular staff at the Moscow embassy handled hundreds of requests for visas on a daily basis, largely without incident.

But Inna Chizikova, a Russian Jew with grown children who edits a Jewish community newspaper, told The Jerusalem Post about a similar experience she had when she went to the embassy to apply for a visa to attend her son's wedding in Jerusalem.

"My husband, my mother and I, together with our other son, went to request visas," Chizikova recalled. "Then, in front of my family members, the clerk told me that I was very pretty and asked if perhaps I was going to Israel to make money as a prostitute. My husband thought it was a joke, but for me it was terrible. I felt horrible afterward."