Articles Posted in Child Molestation & Sex Crimes

Okay, California will probably not legalize prostitution, but one California nonprofit thinks it could be possible. Erotic Service Provider Legal Education and Research Project (ESPLER) is trying to legalize the profession by arguing that prostitution’s illegality violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. ESPLER argues in its complaint that laws prohibiting prostitution and solicitation violate substantive due process rights and violate one’s liberty interest in one’s private, sexual relationships. ESPLER argues in its brief that California laws criminalizing prostitution “deprive individuals of the fundamental right to engage in consensual, private sexual activity; deny individuals the right to choose for themselves how to earn a living and who to enter a contract with; limit how and with whom an individual can associate in private; discourage safe sex because the possession of condoms is used as evidence by prosecutors; California has failed to provide a legitimate rational to continue denying individuals the right of free speech, the right to earn a living, and the right to freely associate; and the Penal Code is so vaguely worded that it criminalizes the mere discussion of paying for erotic services between consenting adults.”

Veronica Monet, a former sex worker and current relationship counselor, is behind ESPLER’s fight to legalize prostitution. She says that criminalizing this behavior pulls the industry underground and sets “up antagonism between law enforcement and women who want to run their own lives, or women who are in it for survival.” Monet and ESPLER believe that decriminalizing the profession and setting up an open dialogue with sex workers can help prevent major problems with the industry, for example, underage women forced into prostitution, abusive pimps, or rapists.

There is no doubt that ESPLER has a difficult fight ahead of them, and it remains to be determined whether the court will buy their arguments. In order to prevail in court, ESPLER must demonstrate that the denial of the rights mentioned above “offends decency and fairness,” and that the rights are “deeply rooted in the nation’s history.” Time will tell if this fight is successful, but until then prostitution remains illegal in the state of California. If you are accused of prostitution, you will need to consult an experienced attorney.

At the law firm of Sean F. Leslie, Attorney at Law, our criminal defense attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in defending restraining order violations. Restraining orders can have a devastating effect on the person restrained. They may not be able to have contact with their loved ones and may even be forced to leave their home in order to comply. If you have been charged with violating a restraining order, we are committed to defending your case aggressively and protecting your rights.

What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order, also known as a protective order, is a court order designed to protect someone from continued abuse, harassment, threats, or stalking. Generally, the restrained party is prohibited from any type of contact with the individual requesting the restraining order. Contact includes all forms of communication, including social media contact.

Two local gangs in San Diego located out of North Park have been indicted for a large compilation of criminal affairs. San Diego police and the FBI have arrested 17 gang members and associates who had direct involvement in the case, which is comprised primarily of sex trafficking crimes spread throughout the country, but also other crimes including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery, and drug trafficking. Three other suspects were arrested in Arizona and New Jersey and three remain yet to be found and brought to justice. Sadly, prostitution has became an increasingly profitable business for street gangs, whose members proudly flaunt their “pimp status” with gold chalices and scepters worth thousands of dollars on the internet through social media sites, showing the extent to which gang activity can spread. San Diego U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy stated on this issue, “The kind of sex trafficking described in this indictment is nothing less than modern-day slavery. Unfortunately, more gangs are expanding from traditional pursuits like drug dealing into this lucrative business.” Duffy also stated that this will be the second time her office has utilized the racketeering statute to pursue a street gang, the first in 2011 when 39 members of an Oceanside gang were indicted for charges involving the prostitution of women and underage girls. All defendants in the current case have been accused of luring young women and girls into prostitution either against their will or by methods of persuasion and manipulation. Shockingly, they are accused of traveling to several cities throughout 23 states and selling sex in local hotel rooms, acts that have accumulated 60 known female victims thus far, 11 who were minors as young as the age of 15. The defendants being held locally are set to make their first court appearance in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Major.

In connection with the case, murder accusations date back to 1995 with the killing of a 20-year-old pizza deliveryman named Tariq Khamisa who was shot to death during a robbery believed to be executed by gang members. Authorities have also taken several illegal items into custody that were found during their arrests, including two guns, six luxury cars, more than 50 pairs of Air Jordan shoes, flat-screen televisions, thousands of dollars in cash, and multiple marijuana plants. The indictment states that the crimes were headed by a combination group of the two gangs in the North Park neighborhood that police have named “BMS”. Members of the group even went so far as to cross ties with other local street gangs for the management of prostitutes, hotel room booking, money handling, and the distribution of drugs. Attorney Duffy said, “Members of BMS are really akin to a crime family whose members were all working together to commit various crimes for one purpose. And that purpose was simply to earn money for the organization.” All the defendants recruited young girls and women into prostitution through various methods including threats, violence, and promising them a glamorous lifestyle, and then branded them as property with tattoos and bar codes. Many of the victims were picked up through popular social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Several of the defendants and their obedient victims were also found to have attended “Players’ Balls” parties which took place all throughout the country. These parties are intended to celebrate the gangsters, pimps, and prostitutes and glorify their so-called business ventures. The victims of this case have thus been pulled out of the horrific life they had fallen prisoner to and are being offered medical and psychological services.

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55-year-old Jeffery Barton, the former top administrator of the Army and Navy Academy military boarding school in Carlsbad, has been charged with molesting numerous students from 1997 to 2001. Earlier this week, Barton pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of sexually abusing two cadets at the boarding school. If found guilty, Barton could be looking at 15 years to life in federal prison. All of the alleged victims are said to have been students of the academy when the molestations occurred. Deputy District Attorney Tracy Prior filed 16 felony charges against Barton, composed of two counts of sodomy by force and 14 counts of oral copulation by force. Each of these charges holds a potential sentence of up to eight years in prison, however due to being charged with multiple accusations of molestation, prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 15 years to life. The 13-page long complaint goes into detail about Barton’s victims. Starting at the young age of 14, one victim was allegedly molested by Barton continuously from 1999 to 2001. The molestations reportedly occurred in Barton’s office, in his home on the campus, in his car, on an overnight ski trip to Big Bear, and during an overnight rock-climbing trip to Joshua Tree. It also discusses a proposed “open doors and blinds” policy that Barton overruled and a bout of angry behavior Burton expressed towards a coworker for questioning one of the students about his overnight trips with Barton. Under California state law, certain serious sex crimes can be charged after the 10-year statue of limitations has passed under the requirement that the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the crime and that there is evidence to validate the victim’s claims. Barton is currently jailed on a $6 million bail.

After the first victim came forward in June of this year, and extensive investigation began. Since then, seven accusers have come forth with similar testimonies. Barton promptly resigned in June once the first of the accusations was out, after working 18 years at the private academy and reaching head of schools as the administrator in charge of academic and residential programs. Before reaching this position, Barton worked for four years as the head of the academy’s lower school grade 7-9 and had been in charge of the school’s summer program. The second victim reported his accusations earlier this month. The most recent court documents for the case that were obtained earlier this week details a long history of suspicious signs and allegations against Barton. Included in these papers were stories of children whose disclosures to parents about Barton’s actions against them were simply brushed aside or dismissed as phony, of employees who were concerned something was not right, and of prior police investigations cut short when the victims suddenly and questionably denied abuse. Barton’s accusers say they initially feared skepticism, retribution, and teasing by their peers, keeping them from speaking up all these years until now. Despite these horrendous accusations, a court filing Barton submitted was comprised of a stack of letters from people attesting to his solid character and excellent work performance. An attorney who has performed legal work for the academy, wrote one of the letters in which he stated, “I do not believe he is guilty of the charges against him.” Nonetheless, any criminal defense lawyer taking on a case as abounding as Barton’s has his or her work cut out for them.

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Jeremy Stutzman pleaded not guilty on Thursday, June 2nd, to the charges of sexual assault of two women. Both women, one 19 the other 20, say that Mr. Stutzman blindfolded, gagged and sexually assaulted them at knife point. Mr. Stutzman faces up to 307 years to life in prison if he is convicted of all the crimes he is charged with.

Mr. Stutzman is a registered sex offender pursuant to Penal Code section 290 as a result of a prior conviction to a sex related crime he committed in 2000 against a 24 year old women. The crime he is accused with allegedly mimics the crime he was found guilty of almost eleven years ago. Judge Marshall Hockett set bail at $4 million dollars, due to the severity of the crimes and because Mr. Stutzman is still on parole.

For a more detailed description of his crime please visit my blog here.

Registered sex offender Jeremy Stutzman was arrested in Oceanside Tuesday, May 31st, for allegedly raping and kidnapping his neighbors. Mr. Stutzman, 33, was arrested at a Motel 6 on N. Coast Highway by San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Officers were also able to recover the alleged victims car, a 2005 Toyota Corolla, found with Mr. Stutzman at the Motel 6.

Officers were first alerted of the scene Monday night when a 20 year old woman reported that she had been raped. Around the same time investigators learned that the woman’s friend, a 19 year old, was also taken against her will and raped. Mr.Stutzman released the kidnapped victim Tuesday morning about 10 hours after police had learned of his alleged crimes.

The alleged crimes occurred at the Mill Creek Apartments on the south block of Santa Fe Road, Escondido. Mr. Stutzman was on parole after serving almost all of a 10 year sentence. He was sentenced for several crimes including assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment. He was released on parole in August of 2009 and since then has returned to prison three times for parole violations. He has also received two misdemeanors for drunken driving in late 2000.

Eighteen year old Jugo Elmer Garcia, an illegal immigrant, was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of armed robbery, rape and carjacking on East Valley Parkway in Escondido.

The first part of Mr. Garcia’s crime spree started at 1690 East Valley Parkway where he assaulted and robbed a lone store clerk in a small strip mall. Mr. Garcia held her at gun point and raped her and then proceeded to take several items from the store along with the store clerk’s vehicle, a 2000 Ford Expedition. The Police call came in at 5:07 p.m confirmed by Lt. Mark Wrisley.

Mr. Garcia returned several hours later to a nearby location where he tried to commit another series of crimes. He attempted to rob another woman, however, she was able to quickly run to a near-by gas station and call 911.

In San Diego County, Vista, 28 year old Eduardo Martinez Cruz was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on allegations that he was having a sexual relationship with a 13 year old girl. These are serious charges and can result in long prison sentences if not properly handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

San Diego County Sheriff deputies began the investigation early Thursday morning when the teenager was reported missing from her Vista home. During the investigation, it was allegedly learned that the young girl had a boyfriend in his late 20’s who provided her a cell phone so they could arrange late night meetings at which time they would engage in sexual relations.

Police Say San Marcos Man Had Sex With 13-year-Old, North County Times, July 4, 2009

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The old saying “you can run, but you can not hide” came true to convicted sex offender and his girlfriend. A fugitive sex offender, Robbi Potter, and his girlfriend, Candace Watson, were arrested in Valley Center in San Diego County. The couple and Ms. Watson’s pre-school aged daughter, Haylee Donathan, fled Ohio and began residing in Valley Center about one week ago.

A local rancher recognized the three persons from information on a digital billboard in Las Vegas and then called the police. Mr. Potter and Ms. Watson were arrested without any altercation.

This case grabbed National attention on CNN and was aired on America’s Most Wanted on June 13th. Mr. Potter is in San Diego Federal custody on probation violation allegations while Ms. Watson has an extradition hearing in State Court on the Ohio arrest warrant for aiding and abetting Mr. Potter’s disappearance. Mr. Potter will need an experienced criminal lawyer knowledgeable in sex crime cases. Likewise, Ms. Watson is also looking at federal charges for aiding in Mr. Potter’s escape.