Saturday, January 27, 2007

Sex Offender Who Posed As Boy Indicted

A sex offender posing as a 12-year-old has been indicted on 15 counts of child pornography involving sexual exploitation of a minor, the Yavapai County Attorney's office reported today.

Neil Rodreick II had also been charged with fraudulent schemes, failure to register as a sex offender, five counts of forgery, taking the identity of another, possession of a forgery device and a misdemeanor assault charge.

Rodreick, a convicted sex offender from Oklahoma, was arrested last week after trying to enroll at Mingus Springs Charter School in Chino Valley. After searching the home, investigators confiscated computers and videotapes, at least one of which contained images of Rodreick with a juvenile, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office reports.

Between August and November, Rodreick successfully posed as seventh-grader "Casey Price" and attended class at Imagine School at Rosefield in Surprise. So far, the Surprise Police Department has found no cases of inappropriate behavior.

Rodreick camouflaged his age by shaving his body hair, wearing makeup and dressing the part, investigators report.

Three men living with Rodreick have also been indicted on charges including sexual exploitation of a minor. Two of the men, Robert Snow and Lonnie Stiffler, believed Rodreick was 12. They had a sexual relationship with him, investigators say. Brian Nellis, a former cellmate of Rodreick's, was possibly in on the con, the Sheriff's office reported.

All four men will appear in court 10:30 a.m. Feb. 26 in Division 5 of the Yavapai County Superior Court. If found guilty, each man faces in excess of 100 years in prison.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Dakota Fanning Sex Scenes Raise Ire

HOLLYWOOD -- Consider this your early-warning Sundance Film Festival controversy alert: Cute little Dakota Fanning plays a precocious child-sex-abuse and rape victim in Full Moon Films' upcoming "Hounddog."

The issue: Fanning, who turns 13 next month, is reportedly depicted in the film nude or scantily clad during compromising scenes, and her face is shown in close-up during a rape scene.

Early reports of the film's contents have stirred a minor Internet storm over whether Fanning's mother, Joy, and the girl's agent, Cindy Osbrink, are exploiting the girl in hopes of an Oscar nomination. A spokesman for Osbrink and the filmmakers did not return a message seeking comment.

Child actors being depicted in sexual roles is not new. Jena Malone portrayed a rape victim in "Bastard Out of Carolina" (1996), Brooke Shields' character's virginity was auctioned in Louis Malle's "Pretty Baby" (1978), and Jodie Foster famously played a prostitute in Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" (1976). All were younger than 15 at the time.

Such roles can vault a young actress from the category of "adorable" into being taken seriously as an artist, and Osbrink was quoted this summer as holding out hopes for an Oscar nomination -- despite the subject matter, which, the New York Daily News reported, scared off some investors.

Fanning is an experienced actress with more than 30 roles, including in the slasher film "Hide and Seek" and the remake of "War of the Worlds" (both 2005), and as Fern in "Charlotte's Web" (2006).

Among the outraged is Ted Baehr of the Christian Film & Television Commission. Baehr, whose advocacy group runs the Web site, which ranks films based on Christian themes and family appeal, said that he hadn't seen the film but that he was calling on movie distributors to reject the film and report the filmmakers to legal authorities. The movie has its first Sundance screening Jan. 22.

"It's pedophilia," Baehr said earlier this week. "There should be a sense of outrage about it."


Dirty Song Lyrics Can Cause Early Teen Sex

Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.

Whether it’s hip-hop, rap, pop or rock, much of popular music aimed at teens contains sexual overtones. Its influence on their behavior appears to depend on how the sex is portrayed, researchers found.

Songs depicting men as “sex-driven studs,” women as sex objects and with explicit references to sex acts are more likely to trigger early sexual behavior than those where sexual references are more veiled and relationships appear more committed, the study found.

Teens who said they listened to lots of music with degrading sexual messages were almost twice as likely to start having intercourse or other sexual activities within the following two years as were teens who listened to little or no sexually degrading music.

Among heavy listeners, 51 percent started having sex within two years, versus 29 percent of those who said they listened to little or no sexually degrading music.

'Cool thing to do'
Exposure to lots of sexually degrading music “gives them a specific message about sex,” said lead author Steven Martino, a researcher for Rand Corp. in Pittsburgh. Boys learn they should be relentless in pursuit of women and girls learn to view themselves as sex objects, he said.

“We think that really lowers kids’ inhibitions and makes them less thoughtful” about sexual decisions and may influence them to make decisions they regret, he said.

The study, based on telephone interviews with 1,461 participants aged 12 to 17, appears in the August issue of Pediatrics, being released Monday.

Most participants were virgins when they were first questioned in 2001. Follow-up interviews were done in 2002 and 2004 to see if music choice had influenced subsequent behavior.


Second Teacher Accused Of Sex Offences

For the second time in less than a week, a popular teacher at a Howard County high school has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of sex offenses against students. Police arrested Alan Meade Beier, a 52-year-old science teacher at the top-performing River Hill High School in Clarksville, yesterday at his home.

They say he undressed and photographed a 16-year-old male student Monday evening in his classroom. Police also say he fondled a 17-year-old female student on two occasions, most recently in the fall. Beier, who was chosen River Hill's 2001 Teacher of the Year by the senior class, has been placed on administrative leave by the school system.

Last week, Joseph Samuel Ellis, 25, a popular history teacher at Glenelg High School, was arrested and charged with several sex crimes. He is accused of exposing himself to one student, persuading a second to meet him at a park with the promise of alcohol, and sending a third suggestive computer messages.

"I can say positively that students are safe in our schools and in our classrooms," Howard County Superintendent Sydney L. Cousin said yesterday. "It is unfortunate that incidents of this type take place. We will investigate and take appropriate and deliberative action." Howard County does not have a specific session about student-teacher relationships during its teacher orientation held before the beginning of each school year.

All teachers are required to complete training in recognizing child abuse and then sign a document that gives an "explicit definition" of what child abuse is, according to Howard County's spokeswoman Patti Caplan. In the wake of the latest arrest, Howard County school officials are examining their procedures and policies.

Beier is charged with three counts of sexual child abuse, three counts of second-degree assault and three counts of fourth-degree sex offense. If convicted of all charges, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 108 years in prison and fined $10,500.

An employee at the Howard County Detention Center indicated last night that Beier had bond.
According to charging documents, the male student went with two other students Monday at school and asked Beier for community service hours. Beier allegedly gave the other students "normal assignments to complete" but asked the third youth to come back later in the evening to assist him with a "special job" in connection with the Mr. RHHS (River Hill High School) contest, a lively all-male pageant in which students compete for votes from their peers. Beier served as the teacher adviser to the contest, Caplan confirmed.

The student was asked to bring a bathing suit to the meeting. Later that evening, the student alleges that he met Beier - who brought a camera and lighting equipment - and the two went to his classroom, where they assembled the equipment.

The student said that Beier began to take photos of him with his clothes on. Beier took pictures of the student with his shirt off, then the student removed his clothing except for his bathing suit. Eventually, the charging documents said, Beier "pulled down both [the student's] swimming trunks and boxers" and photographed him.

A search warrant of Beier's home Tuesday yielded a camera with images that supported the student's claims, according to the Howard County Police Department. Sherry Llewellyn, a police spokeswoman, would not provide additional details involving the images on the camera.

While police were investigating the allegations of the male student, they learned about a 17-year-old female student who said that Beier, her teacher, grabbed her buttocks on two occasions.

The first time, during May or June, she said, Beier walked by her and grabbed her buttocks while she was in his room. She said Beier said: "Oh, excuse me." She told police she believed that Beier had intentionally grabbed her.

On the second occasion, in September or October, she alleges that Beier grabbed her buttock and "cupped" it. The Maryland Judicial Database indicates that Beier has no previous criminal history. Beier began teaching at River Hill in 1996, after teaching for 20 years in Prince George's County, according to Caplan.

John White, a spokesman for the Prince George's County Public Schools, could not disclose Beier's status when he left the school system.

Beier was in school Monday but did not return the rest of the week, leading to rumors about his disappearance. On Tuesday, police visited the school, Llewellyn confirmed. Also that day, several students said that Principal William Ryan made an announcement acknowledging Beier's absence and stating that it was "a personal matter."

By Wednesday, students started wearing homemade T-shirts that read "Free Beier." Some students had their T-shirts on yesterday when they learned of Beier's arrest during an announcement.

Students were shocked, according to one 17-year-old senior who has Beier as a physics teacher.
"He was a great teacher," the student said. "He made everyone feel welcome. He always brought fun activities to class for us to learn." Another of Beier's students, a 17-year-old senior, said the teacher was polarizing.

"You either loved him or you hated him," she said. "Most of the kids just loved him."

Margaret Bowers, the parent of a River Hill junior who played on an indoor soccer team and pingpong team that Beier coached, said Beier was "approachable, friendly and very caring."

"He was a respectable gentleman," the Clarksville mother said.

"I encouraged my son to have him as a mentor. He was able to reach students on a level that they appreciated." Neighbors in Beier's Columbia neighborhood were shocked to learn of his arrest.

"I was never around him socially, but he appeared to be a nice guy. ... When I saw him outside mowing the lawn, I would say 'hi' to him," said neighbor Thomas Roberts. "He was a nice guy, as any of my neighbors are."


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

US Buddha Porn Site Banned In Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand: The Thai government blocked access Monday to a U.S.-based pornography Web site that uses an image of Buddha as its logo and is calling on Buddhists around the world to condemn the site, an official said.

The Chicago-based Web site,, features sexually explicit material beneath an image of a golden statue of a seated Buddha and contains pornographic images divided up in different categories named, the Buddha Galleries, Nirvana Galleries, and Satori Galleries — the last two referring to Buddhist beliefs about reaching enlightenment.

About 90 percent of Thailand's 65 million people are Buddhist.

"It certainly crosses the line in a Buddhist society, " said Culture Ministry official Ladda Tangsuphachai, adding that the site was blocked by the Information Ministry after culture officials brought it to their attention. "We ask Buddhists around the world to send letters to condemn the Web site," he said.

The Foreign Ministry is asking the Web site's administrators, through the U.S. Embassy in Thailand, to remove all Buddhist references from the site, Ladda said.

"I don't know what their intention is, but I assume they did not know that this is unacceptable in our culture," Ladda said.

The Web site's home page offers this disclaimer: "This site is in no way associated with religion and any religious symbols on this site are just a joke."

XXX Domains Proposal - Again

NEW YORK — The Internet's key oversight agency has revived a proposal it earlier rejected to create an online red-light district, after adding stronger provisions to prohibit child pornography and require labeling of Web sites with sexually explicit materials.

The use of the proposed ".xxx" domain name would remain voluntary, but any porn sites that choose to use it instead of the more popular ".com" would be subject to the new terms issued late Friday by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

The idea of a separate ".xxx" domain has generated significant opposition from conservative groups and even some pornography Web sites.

But ICANN officials said they initially rejected the proposal in May not because of the opposition but because of concerns that the agency might be put in a difficult position of having to enforce all of the world's laws governing pornography. They noted that various nations' speech-related laws sometimes conflict with one another.

The new proposal does not directly address any potential conflicts in laws, but it calls for the company backing it, ICM Registry Inc. of Jupiter, Fla., to hire independent organizations to monitor porn sites' compliance with the new rules.

ICANN, the agency in Marina del Rey, Calif., designated by the U.S. government to oversee domain name policies, opened the proposal to public comment but did not indicate when it would rule.

If approved, ICM would be required to help develop mechanisms for promoting child safety and preventing child pornography, "including practices that appeal to pedophiles or suggest the presence of child pornography on the site."

Porn sites would have to participate in a self-descriptive labeling system, likely one from the Internet Content Rating Association. Under it, Web sites add tags based on such criteria as the presence of nudity and whether it is in an artistic or educational context, such as for sites on breast feeding. Relatively few sites now participate, although major Web browsers have mechanisms for reading the tags.

ICM also would have to develop automated tools to check for compliance and give users ways to report violations.

ICM believes the domain would help the $12 billion online porn industry clean up its act, as those using it must abide by rules designed to bar such trickery as spamming and malicious scripts.

Anti-porn advocates, however, countered that sites would be free to keep their current ".com" address, in effect making porn more easily accessible by creating yet another channel to house it.

Many porn sites also objected, fearing that an ".xxx' domain would pave the way for governments or even private industry to filter speech that is protected in the United States by the First Amendment.

Ex Prison Guard Remains In Jail On Sex Charges

S.Dakota, US -- The man accused of using the Internet to lure a 14-year-old Escondido girl into running away with him to South Dakota pleaded not guilty yesterday to raping her.

Charles “Chuck” Leroy Crowell, 34, a former prison guard, could face up to 30 years in prison on two counts of rape, said officials in Sioux Falls, where he appeared in court yesterday.

Crowell could face more charges in California, according to the Escondido Police Department. Escondido detectives are still investigating, checking e-mails, chat-room messages and text messages that they say were exchanged between Crowell and the girl.

The girl's parents discovered that she was missing Sunday morning. Police found her safe Monday afternoon, as she and Crowell drove up to his apartment in Sioux Falls. The girl is in protective custody, while Crowell remains in jail with bail set at $500,000, according to the Minnehaha County Court Clerk's Office.

The 300-pound, 5-foot-7 Crowell was a correctional officer in the South Dakota State Penitentiary from May 2003 until Nov. 6, 2006, officials said.

In November, Crowell was arrested and charged with assault on a family member, said Sioux Falls police spokesman Loren McManus. He had no other criminal record, McManus said, and is not a registered sex offender.

Officials said Crowell has been married and has at least one child, but was living alone in the apartment where he attempted to take the Escondido girl.

The domestic violence case is scheduled for trial in late February, court officials said. Crowell's trial status could change because there could be a grand jury hearing on the rape charges. South Dakota officials said he also could face federal charges.

In the Escondido case, he faces two counts of fourth-degree rape, which according to South Dakota law applies if the victim is a juvenile 13 to 15 years old and the accused is at least three years older.

Crowell is being represented by the Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office. His public defender declined to comment yesterday.

Since the news broke that a girl may have been taken by a possible Internet predator, Escondido police Lt. David Mankin said his office has been flooded with calls from parents worried about how to protect their children. Mankin tells them to do the same thing the girl's parents did.

“These parents actually did a good job tracking their daughter,” Mankin said. “They checked up on where she visited on the Web and what she wrote, and when they caught her using what they considered inappropriate conversations, they took away her Internet privileges and cut off her text-messaging capabilities.”

He lauded the girl's parents for contacting her friends and asking them not to let her go online or text message on their equipment.

While it may have been technology that introduced the eighth-grader to the the former prison guard, it also helped authorities catch them.

The girl's parents found Crowell's cell phone number on their phone bill and left messages with him, as did Escondido police.

“If she's portraying herself as an 18-year-old online, and he believes she's 18, that's no defense in this case because he has messages from us and from her parents that, 'You're in possession of a runaway 14-year-old,' ” Mankin said.

Twice last weekend the girl's parents foiled her plans to meet Crowell at the Motel 6 near Old Town, the parents and police said. Crowell registered at the motel Thursday after flying to San Diego from Omaha, Neb., which is a three-hour drive from Sioux Falls, officials said.

The girl's parents discovered her plans when the cab company called to confirm that she needed a taxi and her father answered the phone. The girl's name was made public by the media when police were seeking help in finding her. However, The San Diego Union-Tribune no longer is identifying her because it is the policy of the newspaper to not name someone who authorities believe is a victim of sexual crimes.

Although the parents kept close watch on her, the girl slipped out of her home in a gated community sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning. It is unknown whether she knew the man from the Internet was more than twice her age and married.

Staff writer Kristina Davis contributed to this report.

New Year Sex Resolutions

One of the most fun New Year's resolutions I ever heard was from a girlfriend some years back.

Asked what she had resolved to change for the new year, she replied firmly "Have more orgasms!"

I was full of admiration. She boldly stated it in front of friends and, to his chagrin, her husband. She did, after all, add "for me" at the end of her statement.

To his credit, he amiably agreed to help her fulfil and keep her resolution.

I didn't check up with her for a long time after that to see how it all was going but they're still married and they looked blissfully happy in the last photo I received, so perhaps it happened.

Whether or not couples agree (and I hope they do!) sex is a wonderful and joyful part of any relationship and an important glue for holding a marriage together.

But loving intimacy can get pushed far down the scale of priorities in frantically busy and demanding days and whereas some men can manage to get along with the occasional speedy physical release it's not what most women want -- or long for.

A lot of people, men and women, don't believe this, but women want sex as much as men. The difference is in the style and approach.

While there are plenty of great guys who feel the same way, women often feel they're missing loving, caring, skillful, relaxed time spent sexually connecting with a partner they love and desire. And, no, this doesn't necessarily mean taking a lover in order to get this.


Above all, women want satisfaction.

In other words, orgasms are good and women shouldn't accept being denied them.

But if a woman isn't getting them, it's partly her fault. Takes two, after all. She should say so and then direct the action to make it happen. Honesty is also one of the very important factors in making a relationship work.

Faking it, (which according to numerous sex surveys happens all too frequently), only ensures the status quo is maintained and drives an unseen wedge of resentment between couples.

Men, in turn, have to make more effort to learn exactly what it is that excites and pleases their partner. I can assure you, a lot of women love being sexually explored.

But the key here is something that is so often overlooked and discarded. Something that when neglected becomes lost forever.


So how about this for another New Year's resolution: Resolve to communicate more with your partner. Talk, talk, talk together, tell each other (kindly) what you like or dislike, what you expect and dream about, what you resent or appreciate. Make sure you have quality time together in order to do this and, above all, share your lives.


Not just sexually but every day. A shared life with love in it is tough to divide.

But what about singles?

Not everyone is in a relationship. Single are all ages nowadays and many of them are on the hunt for that special someone. And, despite what married folk think, not all of them are having endless hot sex. Chance would be a fine thing.

But for most singles, the New Year's vow is often to make more effort to find a partner. Conversely, they may decide to give up the difficult and sometimes depressing search to focus on other life goals.

This is hard to do, especially for many women, who can feel a life without love and cherishing in a close partnership is empty and unfulfilling despite other successes.

But I'm a single and, yes, my resolution for 2007 is to try harder to find a relationship.

Note I said relationship -- not date or one-night stand despite their obvious instant pleasures. In the world of singles, that's an important point and, let me tell you, narrows the field considerably.

Yes, more orgasms are great but take it from one who knows, nothing beats a really good relationship in which they're included.