The Growing Danger of Child Sex Dolls

A flourishing transnational industry that markets anatomically correct toys and robots currently operates with little official vigilance. Two John Jay College professors warn that U.S. legislators are ignoring a trade that encourages pedophile behavior.

Last October, Miguel Ruiz, a 41-year-old Florida resident who worked for Disney World in Orlando, was arrested after a police search of his home found child pornography, and revealed that he had created life-size child “dolls” in the size and stature of children by fashioning them out of swimming or pool noodles (i.e. buoyant foam tubes)—even dressing them in children’s clothes.

Ruiz was not arrested for the possession of these dolls but for his possession of the child pornography.

That illustrates a worrying gap in U.S. law. Under existing law, life-like child sex dolls are not considered a form of child pornography, making it difficult to successfully prosecute those who produce, distribute, receive, and possess with the intent to distribute child sex dolls and child sex robots.

The arrest of Ruiz highlighted a shadowy industry that is increasingly transnational.

Companies in Japan, China and Hong Kong are manufacturing and shipping these realistic child sex dolls to customers around the globe. Buyers can even custom-order child sex dolls with predesigned facial features and expressions. They can request certain facial expressions, such as happy, sad or afraid.

Even more disconcerting, they can request dolls to resemble children in provided photographs. The ultimate goal of manufacturers is to make the child sex dolls look and feel as realistic as possible.

Such dolls that have been confiscated at the borders in other countries—the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, to name a few—that contain anatomically correct body parts and orifices (mouth, vagina, and anus) which can be used to accommodate an adult male penis.

They are far from toys.

Although not yet reported in the media, there’s a strong likelihood that child sex dolls and robots capable of moving, speaking, and performing sexual activities have already been—or are close to being—created. Adult sex dolls with these capabilities are already on the market (and sold all over the world).

Specifically, adult sex robots can both move and speak, and can be positioned for the user to perform a variety of sex acts on them. These robots have artificial intelligence and have programmable personalities; for example, one programmable personality for an adult sex robot by True Companion is “Frigid Farrah,” which rejects all sexual advances, thus encouraging the user to rape the robot.

Given that child sex dolls and robots are of a smaller weight and size, it is likely that development with these enhanced capabilities is further along in the child versions than in the adult sex dolls and robots.

While real children are not involved in the sex acts performed by owners of these child sex dolls and robots, their use still causes harm.

One Wales-based organization, the Specialist Treatment Organization for the Prevention of Sexual Offending (StopSO) argues that such adult toys have potential therapeutic effects by deterring offending by pedophiles. Similar claims by the self-identified pedophilic child sex-doll manufacturer, Shin Takagi, maintain that child sex dolls and robots are an alternative to offending and minimize the risk of harm to children in our society

Scientific evidence contradicts these claims as nonsensical and irrational.

Enabling offenders to act upon their impulses to rape and abuse an anthropomorphic child sex doll or robot simply reinforces, rather than reduces, these urges, associated thoughts and behaviors. Committing sex acts on child sex dolls and robots normalizes sexual assault; it does not supplant or inhibit it.

Moreover, as with most child pornography, the user becomes desensitized and will need a higher level to reach gratification. Once the child sex dolls become insufficient to satisfy the pedophile’s urges, he or she s likely to seek out children in order to once again receive the same amount of satiety.

It is imperative that child sex dolls and robots be banned outright by U.S. law. This would require the creation of a new law to criminalize the production, distribution, receipt, possession, and possession with the intent to distribute child sex dolls and robots.

The introduction of a bill Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER) in December 2017 by Republican Daniel Donovan Jr. is a step in the right direction.

Lauren Shapiro

Lauren R. Shapiro

However, the bill only prohibits the distribution and importation of child sex dolls. Child sex robots should also be criminalized. Legislation is also needed to criminalize the manufacture and possession of both child sex dolls and child sex robots.

Marie-Helen Maras

Marie-Helen Maras

 

Without these additional prohibitions, criminals will find ways to evade criminal sanction by, for example, creating these child sex dolls and child sex robots themselves (for example, using a 3D printer).

(Readers seeking more information can contact the authors for access to their recent article, entitled “Child Sex Dolls and Robots: More Than Just an Uncanny Valley,” in the Journal of Internet Law (December 2017 issue), which reviews the scientific literature and illustrates the dangers and adverse impacts of child sex dolls and robots.)

Marie Helen Maras, Ph.D., is an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Lauren R. Shapiro, Ph.D., is an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Readers’ comments are welcomed.

from https://thecrimereport.org

The Andrew Nisbet Murder-For-Hire Case

     In 2006, 24-year-old Andrew Michael Nisbet began working as a golf instructor at the Las Positas Country Club in Livermore, California, a suburban community 45 miles east of San Francisco. He quickly became a popular and well-known …

     In 2006, 24-year-old Andrew Michael Nisbet began working as a golf instructor at the Las Positas Country Club in Livermore, California, a suburban community 45 miles east of San Francisco. He quickly became a popular and well-known golf coach. Within a few years Nisbet was promoted to Director of Instruction. During this period he not only trained young golfers in the bay area, he taught students in Michigan, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama.

     On December 7, 2013, the day before Nisbet was to receive the PGA's Northern California Section 2013 Junior Golf Leader Award, police officers showed up at the country club and took him into custody. An Alameda County prosecutor had charged Nisbet with 65 counts of child molestation that included lewd acts and oral sex with three of his former golf students during the period 2009 to 2012. The boys were between the ages twelve and sixteen.

     The alleged sex offenses took place in Nisbet's parked car at the country club, at his home, and on out-of-town golfing trips. According to the criminal complaints, the coach bought his victims expensive golf equipment, took them to restaurants, and showed them pornography on his computer. Whenever one of the boys rebuffed his advances, the gifts and other perks would stop.

     Following his arrest, Nisbet reportedly confessed to the commission of lewd acts. He was booked into the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California. The judge denied him bond.

     In late February 2014, from his jail cell, Nisbet began exchanging letters with a man Nisbet hoped would murder his three accusers. In the correspondence, Nisbet and the potential hit man discussed how much it would cost to kill the three murder-for-hire targets. He said he wanted them "taken care of."

     The solicited trigger man took Nisbet's letters to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. Shortly thereafter, a undercover officer posing as a hit man, visited Nisbet at the Santa Rita Jail. During these tape recorded conversations, Nisbet provided the undercover cop with personal information about the targets of his homicidal wrath. The phony hit man told Nisbet he would make the murders look like robberies gone wrong.

     In April 2014, the Alameda District Attorney's Office charged the 32-year-old golf coach with three counts of solicitation of murder.

     In September 2014, Andrew Nisbet pleaded guilty to three counts of solicitation of murder. A month later, an Alameda County judge sentenced him to 27 years in prison.

     Parents of the victims expressed dismay and disgust at the leniency of Nisbet's sentence. "This is a sick man who should never be released," wrote one of the parents.

     Andrew Nisbet wasn't sick, he was a criminal sociopath with a good golf swing. In his case, the death penalty would have been appropriate.

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Pedophile Teachers in California

     On January 30, 2012, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies arrested 61-year-old elementary teacher Mark Berndt on 23 counts of lewd acts against minors. The third grade teacher at the Miramonte Elementary School in Florence Fireston…

     On January 30, 2012, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies arrested 61-year-old elementary teacher Mark Berndt on 23 counts of lewd acts against minors. The third grade teacher at the Miramonte Elementary School in Florence Firestone, an unincorporated community in Los Angeles County, stood accused of photographing 6 to 10-year olds in bondage positions, some with live bugs crawling on their faces. A few of the girls were shown holding spoons containing a white liquid up to their mouths. Children were also pictured about to eat cookies topped with the teacher's semen.

     Because of the influence of the California Teachers Association (CTA) and other education unions in the state, school administrators couldn't fire anyone, including teachers like Mark Berndt. In the Miramonte school, because parents were so outraged, and held protests, school administrators managed to get Berndt out of the classroom by paying him $40,000 to retire. That's how bad it was in the Golden State where it was truly golden for pedophiles working in the state's education system. (You can see why in California the firing of a merely incompetent teacher was unheard of. The unions simply did not allow the firing of crappy teachers. Teachers so rotten they managed to get dismissed from their jobs in other states could always find a home in the California system. The pay was outstanding, benefits were out of this world, and it didn't matter if the teacher was no good. And for pedophiles, California's classrooms were heaven on earth.)

     In 2012, in the wake of the Miramonte school scandal (Berndt wasn't the only pedophile working there), a group called Democrats for Educational Reform, introduced legislation in the state senate (S.B. 1530), that made it easier to dismiss teachers accused of sex, violence, or drug offenses against children. That bill, with vast public support, passed the Senate on a 33-4 bipartisan vote.

     In the California Assembly, when the Senate-passed legislation came before the Assembly Education Committee, committee members, by refusing to vote on the bill, killed the proposed law in committee. (These politicians didn't have the courage to vote "no.") That meant the bill did not reach the Assembly floor for a vote. If it had, it would have passed by a wide majority.)

     The committee members who killed this child protection legislation had bowed to the state's powerful teacher's unions, including the CTA. All of the state politicians who killed the bill through their abstentions, had been beneficiaries of large CTA political contributions. The fact that the CTA could stop legislation favored by a vast majority of California voters showed who was really running the show in that state. Democracy be damned. Moreover, the undermining of this needed legislation revealed what most citizens of the state already knew--that in California it was unions first, teachers second, and students, parents, and education third--and a bad third at that. It was no wonder the state had one of the worst public education systems in the country. For a sexually perverted school teacher, except perhaps for West Virginia, there was no friendlier place to work and abuse children than California.

     In California, the CTA, backed by an army of 325,000 teachers, and plenty of money to bribe and control state politicians, was in reality the fourth branch of government. As the biggest political spender in the state, its influence dwarfed other special interest groups. From 2000 through 2009, the CTA alone shelled out more than $211 million in political contributions and lobbying expenses. That was twice the amount given to politicians by the second largest bribery machine, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Since 2009, the CTA had pumped another $40 million into the state's political community. The union also played a major role in putting Governor Jerry Brown into office. So the teacher's unions owned him as well.)

     The fact that teacher's unions in California and other states were destroying the quality of public education in the country was bad enough. Even worse, they were enabling and protecting classroom child abusers. If school administrators couldn't protect students from the likes of Mark Berndt, California classrooms were not safe for children. This was as good a reason as any for home schooling or moving to a state where educating  students had a higher priority than protecting teachers from being fired for cause.

      As for Mark Berndt himself, he pleaded no contest in November 2013 to 23 counts of lewd acts on children. The judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison. A year later, the Los Angeles United School District agreed to pay out $170 million in court settlements related to the Berndt pedophilia case. The settlement involved more than a hundred students.

     If all the zookeepers in the state of California belonged to the CTA, the animals would be starving in their cages while their custodians sat around gorging themselves, complaining about their jobs, and threatening to strike.          

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Pedophiles

     Anyone who follows the news regularly comes across stories about boys who have been repeatedly sexually molested by relatives, neighbors, mothers’ boyfriends, teachers, priests, ministers, Boy Scout leaders, coaches, and youth …

     Anyone who follows the news regularly comes across stories about boys who have been repeatedly sexually molested by relatives, neighbors, mothers' boyfriends, teachers, priests, ministers, Boy Scout leaders, coaches, and youth counselors. These accounts tend to have the same narrative arc: following years of suspicious behavior and rumors of molestation, someone finally comes forward to report the crimes. After a plea bargained sentence, families of the victims sue the pedophile's school, church or institution, and if the offender is a public employee, the city or the state. Following this, local politicians and others call for measures that will protect future victims. But it never shops. Why?

     While we are familiar with the general profile of the adult male who preys on boys under thirteen, we have no idea how many of them are out there working in our schools, juvenile facilities, churches, and day care centers. Dr. Gene Abel, an expert in this field, has estimated that between 1 and 5 percent of our adult population sexually molests children. If this is true, there are hundreds of thousands of them among us victimizing millions of youngsters. Because pedophiles are serial offenders who cannot be cured or rehabilitated, the victimization rates for this type of offense are through the roof. According to studies, before being caught for the first time, the average pedophile assaults 120 boys. Once released from prison, a vast majority of them reoffend. Since only a small percentage of pedophiles end up in prison, who knows how many children are victimized during the sex life of just one of these criminals?

     Although conscientious parents teach their children to be wary of strangers, most cases of pedophilia involve preditors who are either related to or acquainted with the boy. The most vulnerable targets are "at-risk" youths from dysfunctional families.

     Pedophiles flourish in our society because, in matters of criminal justice, we are taught to be careful with out accusations. No one wants to be part of a "witch hunt." Moreover, if you make a false accusation, you can be sued. Besides pedophiles, America is home to a lot of lawyers. According to the FBI, only between 1 to 5 percent of child molestation crimes are reported to the police. I believe it's more like one percent. According to one study of 255 cases involving students sexually molested by their teachers, in only one percent of these cases did the school district superintendent attempt to revoke the offenders' teaching licenses.

     Pedophilia is a crime of stealth, single-minded and clever offenders, frightened victims, and, on the part of people who should intercede on the child's behalf, denial. Pedophiles are often charming, hard-working employees who have ingratiated themselves into the community. Notwithstanding the increased awareness of this crisis, it will not go away. Unfortunately, there are certain social problems that cannot be fixed by a criminal justice system. At least not ours.

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Pedophiles In Public Education: Passing The Trash

     In 2000, 37-year-old Wilbert Cortez, an elementary school teacher at PS 184 in Brooklyn, New York, was accused of inappropriately touching two of his male students. One of the boys reported the abuse to another teacher–three times….

     In 2000, 37-year-old Wilbert Cortez, an elementary school teacher at PS 184 in Brooklyn, New York, was accused of inappropriately touching two of his male students. One of the boys reported the abuse to another teacher--three times. The teacher wrote a letter detailing the accusations, and put it in Cortez's personnel file. He did not, however, report the incident to the principal. Shortly after the students made their complaints, school administrators decided to transfer Cortez to PS 174 in Queens. Instead of dealing with the problem, and if appropriate, firing this teacher, they "passed the trash."

     On February 16, 2012, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown charged Wilbert Cortez, now 49, with the sexual abuse of two male elementary students in his computer lab class. The next day, after posting his $50,000 bail, Cortez walked out of the Queen's County Criminal Court building.

     The accused child molester, on May 29, 2012, was arraigned on additional charges that he had repeatedly molested three male students at PS 174 between 2007 and 2011. Cortez faced up to seven years in prison on each count.

     When word got out that Wilbert Cortez had been accused of sexual molestation back in 2000 at PS 184 in Brooklyn, parents of children who had attended both schools were outraged that education administrators had swept the problem under the rug by sending him to Queens.

     Feeling the heat, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, on May 30, 2012, called an emergency meeting with these angry parents. More than 100 people attended the meeting held at PS 174, and they all wanted to know why this teacher hadn't been investigated in 2000. Attendees also expressed concern that the school system's hiring procedures did not screen out pedophiles. Chancellor Walcott told those assembled that his staff would be digging through personnel files looking for old sexual complaints that had been ignored, and "take appropriate action where necessary."

     Chancellor Walcott's response, the promise to fix a problem that shouldn't have existed in the first place, didn't satisfy too many people at the meeting. Elementary schools in New York City and around the country are crawling with sex offenders, and because of government laws and regulations that limit what employers can ask job candidates about their past, pedophiles, like foxes in the henhouses, get into our schools. And once they get in, because of teacher's unions, they are hard to get out. Administrators know this. That's why it's just easier to pass the trash. Public education, as we all know, is more about teachers than students.

     On February 25, 2015, Wilbert Cortez pleaded guilty to inappropriately touching one student and endangering three others. Following his guilty plea, Chancellor Walcott stripped him of his New York State teaching certificate.

     Pursuant to the plea agreement, the judge sentenced Cortez to ten years' probation. The molester was also required to register as a sex offender and undergo counseling. Like so many ex-public school teachers like him, he got off light. 

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Pedophiles in Hollywood: Hey Kid, You Want to be a Star?

     While child sexual molestation takes place behind closed doors, pedophiles groom their potential victims in plain sight. They do this in classrooms, churches, gymnasiums, and day care centers–anywhere vulnerable children are subjected to the influence and control of adults. They also do it in Hollywood where parents eagerly offer up young, aspiring actors and entertainers to pedophiles working as talent managers, agents, publicists, acting coaches, and casting directors.

Jason James Murphy

     In Edmonds, Washington, 19-year-old Jason James Murphy, an aspiring actor working as a camp counselor, met and began grooming a 5-year-old boy for sexual encounters. In December 1995, an employee of the Hazelwood Elementary School in Lynnwood, Washington, saw Murphy kissing this boy who was now 7. The teacher notified the police who took Murphy into custody on a child molestation charge. Murphy’s family posted his bail and shortly after his arrest he was released.

     In January 1996, Murphy’s fixation on this child was so intense he disguised himself as a woman and lured the boy from the elementary school. Murphy and the abducted child flew to New York City and checked into a hotel. After a massive police hunt for the missing victim followed by a segment featuring the case on “America’s Most Wanted,” a New York City hotel clerk who recognized Murphy and the boy notified the authorities. A short time later, FBI agents rescued the child, and arrested Murphy. Eight months after that a federal jury found Murphy guilty of kidnapping and child molestation. He served 5 of his 7 year sentence behind bars.

     Four years after getting out of federal prison, Murphy moved to West Hollywood, California where he registered as a sex offender under his legal name, Jason James Murphy. Under California law, there were strict rules regarding the circumstances under which a registered sex offender can work with children under 16. The law also required registered sex offenders to notify law enforcement if they changed their names or use aliases.

     Murphy, under the professional name Jason James, became a successful freelance child actor casting director. He worked on films such as “Bad News Bears,” “The School of Rock,” and “Cheaper by the Dozen 2.” Director and co-producer J. J. Abrams hired him as a freelancer on “Super 8.”

     On November 17, 2011, J. J. Abrams, having been tipped off by his manager David Lonner who had just learned of Jason James’ true identity, informed Paramount Pictures, the studio that released “Super 8.” Someone at Paramount called the police.

     Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department, on December 9, 2011, arrested Murphy on charges he had violated California’s sex offender registry regulations. Violations of these laws were felonies that carried sentences of up to three years in prison. Murphy’s attorney blamed the arrest, and the attention it drew from the media, on the highly publicized Penn State child molestation story that was breaking at the time. The lawyer also claimed that the people who had hired Murphy as a casting director knew his full, legal name. Mr. Murphy had not been accused of molesting any of the children he had worked with professionally.

     On May 2, 2012, a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge dismissed the charges against Murphy on the grounds that all the studio executives who used his services were aware of the casting director’s true identity.

Martin Weiss

     Less than two weeks after producer J. J. Abrams notified Paramount Pictures of who Jason James really was, Los Angeles detectives with the Topanga Division’s Sexual Assault Unit arrested 47-year-old Martin Weiss, a Hollywood manager who specialized in child actors. Weiss stood accused of committing 30 to 40 sexual crimes against an aspiring singer and musician he represented from 2005 to 2008. The sexual encounters allegedly took place at Weiss’ apartment/business office in Santa Monica, and at his home in Woodland Hills. After being taken to the Los Angeles County Jail, a judge set his bond at $300,000.

     According to the alleged victim, now 18-years-old, the molesting stopped when he turned 15. After that, he and Weiss parted ways. The victim didn’t report the abuse then because he didn’t think anyone would believe his story. But after the Penn State scandal became big news, the victim decided to report his abuser, and come forward with evidence that backed up his story.

     On November 15, 2011, the victim confronted Weiss at his apartment in Santa Monica, and secretly taped their conversation. (In the Penn State case, the victim’s mother taped her confrontation with former football coach and child molester Jerry Sandusky.) In discussing their past relationship, Weiss did not deny having sexual relations with his accuser. When Weiss’ accuser compared his victimization with that of Jerry Sandusky and the boys he molested, Weiss reportedly replied, “Those kids didn’t want it.” Weiss’ accuser pointed out that his sexual encounters with Weiss, acts that took place when he was 11 and 12, had also not been consentual.

     Martin Weiss, at a December 15 pretrial hearing, entered a plea of not guilty. If convicted as charged, the owner of Martin Weiss Management faced up to 34 years in prison.

     Paula Dorn, the co-founder of the non-profit child talent support organization BizParentz Foundation, reportedly said that, over the years, she and members of her group have heard rumors of Weiss’ sexual relationships with some of his clients. But without any hard evidence of sexual abuse, no one reported this to law enforcement.

     On June 1, 2012, Martin Weiss pleaded no contest to two counts of a lewd act with an 11-year-old client. The judge, Leslie Dunn, sentenced Weiss to one year in the Los Angeles County Jail. He also received five years probation, had to register as a sex offender, and stay away with people under 18. In return for the plea, the prosecutor dropped 6 other sex offense charges against  him.

      Martin Weiss got off easy.

      A Documentary on Pedophilia in Hollywood

     On June 13, 2016, The Week magazine published an article about a column by Oliver Thring that had appeared recently in The Sunday Times (London) regarding pedophiles in Hollywood. What follows is an excerpt from the The Week piece:

     “…Serial child abusers lurk among the legions of directors, managers, and agents, sheltered by powerful friends and their own wealth. One agent who managed high-profile child stars was convicted of molesting a boy and trafficking in child pornography, and he spent eight years in jail. Others, though, are never exposed or return to work in Hollywood after serving just a few months in prison–and their old pals hire them to work with children again. Those who speak out are shamed or silenced. Actor Corey Feldman, for example, went public after the abuse he and Corey Haim suffered for years. Both actors went on to abuse alcohol and drugs, and Haim died at age 38. But Feldman’s tell-all memoir was dismissed as unreliable because of his drug addiction….Oscar nominated director Amy Berg has a made a documentary about the prevalence of child sexual abuse in Hollywood, in which five former child actors describe their abuse and name names. But though An Open Secret was well received at Cannes, Berg can’t get a distributor. Hollywood bigwigs just don’t want the story told.”

     While child sexual molestation takes place behind closed doors, pedophiles groom their potential victims in plain sight. They do this in classrooms, churches, gymnasiums, and day care centers--anywhere vulnerable children are subjected to the influence and control of adults. They also do it in Hollywood where parents eagerly offer up young, aspiring actors and entertainers to pedophiles working as talent managers, agents, publicists, acting coaches, and casting directors.

Jason James Murphy

     In Edmonds, Washington, 19-year-old Jason James Murphy, an aspiring actor working as a camp counselor, met and began grooming a 5-year-old boy for sexual encounters. In December 1995, an employee of the Hazelwood Elementary School in Lynnwood, Washington, saw Murphy kissing this boy who was now 7. The teacher notified the police who took Murphy into custody on a child molestation charge. Murphy's family posted his bail and shortly after his arrest he was released.

     In January 1996, Murphy's fixation on this child was so intense he disguised himself as a woman and lured the boy from the elementary school. Murphy and the abducted child flew to New York City and checked into a hotel. After a massive police hunt for the missing victim followed by a segment featuring the case on "America's Most Wanted," a New York City hotel clerk who recognized Murphy and the boy notified the authorities. A short time later, FBI agents rescued the child, and arrested Murphy. Eight months after that a federal jury found Murphy guilty of kidnapping and child molestation. He served 5 of his 7 year sentence behind bars.

     Four years after getting out of federal prison, Murphy moved to West Hollywood, California where he registered as a sex offender under his legal name, Jason James Murphy. Under California law, there were strict rules regarding the circumstances under which a registered sex offender can work with children under 16. The law also required registered sex offenders to notify law enforcement if they changed their names or use aliases.

     Murphy, under the professional name Jason James, became a successful freelance child actor casting director. He worked on films such as "Bad News Bears," "The School of Rock," and "Cheaper by the Dozen 2." Director and co-producer J. J. Abrams hired him as a freelancer on "Super 8."

     On November 17, 2011, J. J. Abrams, having been tipped off by his manager David Lonner who had just learned of Jason James' true identity, informed Paramount Pictures, the studio that released "Super 8." Someone at Paramount called the police.

     Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department, on December 9, 2011, arrested Murphy on charges he had violated California's sex offender registry regulations. Violations of these laws were felonies that carried sentences of up to three years in prison. Murphy's attorney blamed the arrest, and the attention it drew from the media, on the highly publicized Penn State child molestation story that was breaking at the time. The lawyer also claimed that the people who had hired Murphy as a casting director knew his full, legal name. Mr. Murphy had not been accused of molesting any of the children he had worked with professionally.

     On May 2, 2012, a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge dismissed the charges against Murphy on the grounds that all the studio executives who used his services were aware of the casting director's true identity.

Martin Weiss

     Less than two weeks after producer J. J. Abrams notified Paramount Pictures of who Jason James really was, Los Angeles detectives with the Topanga Division's Sexual Assault Unit arrested 47-year-old Martin Weiss, a Hollywood manager who specialized in child actors. Weiss stood accused of committing 30 to 40 sexual crimes against an aspiring singer and musician he represented from 2005 to 2008. The sexual encounters allegedly took place at Weiss' apartment/business office in Santa Monica, and at his home in Woodland Hills. After being taken to the Los Angeles County Jail, a judge set his bond at $300,000.

     According to the alleged victim, now 18-years-old, the molesting stopped when he turned 15. After that, he and Weiss parted ways. The victim didn't report the abuse then because he didn't think anyone would believe his story. But after the Penn State scandal became big news, the victim decided to report his abuser, and come forward with evidence that backed up his story.

     On November 15, 2011, the victim confronted Weiss at his apartment in Santa Monica, and secretly taped their conversation. (In the Penn State case, the victim's mother taped her confrontation with former football coach and child molester Jerry Sandusky.) In discussing their past relationship, Weiss did not deny having sexual relations with his accuser. When Weiss' accuser compared his victimization with that of Jerry Sandusky and the boys he molested, Weiss reportedly replied, "Those kids didn't want it." Weiss' accuser pointed out that his sexual encounters with Weiss, acts that took place when he was 11 and 12, had also not been consentual.

     Martin Weiss, at a December 15 pretrial hearing, entered a plea of not guilty. If convicted as charged, the owner of Martin Weiss Management faced up to 34 years in prison.

     Paula Dorn, the co-founder of the non-profit child talent support organization BizParentz Foundation, reportedly said that, over the years, she and members of her group have heard rumors of Weiss' sexual relationships with some of his clients. But without any hard evidence of sexual abuse, no one reported this to law enforcement.

     On June 1, 2012, Martin Weiss pleaded no contest to two counts of a lewd act with an 11-year-old client. The judge, Leslie Dunn, sentenced Weiss to one year in the Los Angeles County Jail. He also received five years probation, had to register as a sex offender, and stay away with people under 18. In return for the plea, the prosecutor dropped 6 other sex offense charges against  him.

      Martin Weiss got off easy.

      A Documentary on Pedophilia in Hollywood

     On June 13, 2016, The Week magazine published an article about a column by Oliver Thring that had appeared recently in The Sunday Times (London) regarding pedophiles in Hollywood. What follows is an excerpt from the The Week piece:

     "...Serial child abusers lurk among the legions of directors, managers, and agents, sheltered by powerful friends and their own wealth. One agent who managed high-profile child stars was convicted of molesting a boy and trafficking in child pornography, and he spent eight years in jail. Others, though, are never exposed or return to work in Hollywood after serving just a few months in prison--and their old pals hire them to work with children again. Those who speak out are shamed or silenced. Actor Corey Feldman, for example, went public after the abuse he and Corey Haim suffered for years. Both actors went on to abuse alcohol and drugs, and Haim died at age 38. But Feldman's tell-all memoir was dismissed as unreliable because of his drug addiction….Oscar nominated director Amy Berg has a made a documentary about the prevalence of child sexual abuse in Hollywood, in which five former child actors describe their abuse and name names. But though An Open Secret was well received at Cannes, Berg can't get a distributor. Hollywood bigwigs just don't want the story told."

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

A judge Throws the Book at a Middle School Teacher

     In the spring of 2013, Neal Erickson, an eighth grade science and computer education teacher at the Rose City Middle School in northern Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal conduct with a male student. Back in 2006, Eri…

     In the spring of 2013, Neal Erickson, an eighth grade science and computer education teacher at the Rose City Middle School in northern Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal conduct with a male student. Back in 2006, Erickson had ten sexual encounters with the eighth grader at the teacher's house. (The authorities learned of these sex offenses several years later when an anonymous tipster sent the police an old photograph of the student that in some fashion incriminated the teacher. The victim, at the time of the guilty plea, was attending college. Mr. Erickson had left teaching.)

     In anticipation of the former teacher's sentencing, six Rose City educators and two of their retired colleagues wrote letters to the judge on Neal Erickson's behalf asking for leniency. Amy Huber Eagan wrote: "I am asking that Neal be given the absolute minimum sentence, considering all of the circumstances surrounding the case." (What circumstances could possibly mitigate this crime?)

     Rose City teacher Sally Campbell, in her letter to the judge, wrote: "Neal made a mistake. [Losing your wallet is a mistake. Stealing someone's wallet is not.] He allowed a mutual friendship to develop into much more. He realized his mistake [again the mistake] and ended it years before someone sent something to the authorities which began the legal process."

     Middle school teacher Harriett Coe wrote this on Erickson's behalf: Neal has plead [sic] guilty his one criminal offense but he's not a predator. [One could argue that any time a teacher has sex with a student, the teacher, by definition, is a predator.] He understands the severity of his action and is sincere in his desire to make amends."

     On July 15, 2013, Neal Erickson's sentencing day, Judge Michael Baumgartner looked out over his courtroom and noticed that the defendant's teaching supporters were sitting with members of his family. Speaking directly to Erickson, Judge Baumgartner said, "I'm appalled and ashamed that the community would rally around you. What you did was a jab in the eye with a sharp stick to every parent who trusts a teacher."

     Judge Baumgartner sentenced Neal Erickson to fifteen years to thirty years in prison. The former teacher's courtroom cheerleaders reacted with shock and disgust.

     Following the sentencing hearing, one of Erickson's supporters told a reporter with The Detroit News that Judge Baumgartner had socked it to the teacher because he was a man who molested a boy. Had the defendant in this case been a woman, she may have gotten off light. (This may be true, but it doesn't mitigate Erickson's crime.)

     Not long after Judge Baumgartner handed down the sentence, someone burned down the garage owned by the victim's parents, John and Lori Janczewski. An unknown person also spray-painted a threatening message on their house.

     Overall, citizens of this rural community agreed with Judge Baumgartner's hardline approach to pedophilia in the local school. Many have asked the school superintendent to fire Erickson's teacher friends. Several parents have said that if these sex offense cheerleaders were not sacked, they would take their children out of the school system.

     As could be expected, the embattled Erickson supporters responded to the public's outrage by making threats of their own. If the school superintendent tried to fire them, they would fight back by suing the cash-strapped school district. These pedophile supporting educators would not go down without a fight. Moreover, taxpayers and parents had a lot of nerve trying to interfere with public education.

     None of the teachers who supported and defended Neal Erickson lost their jobs over this case. Following the scandal, parents pulled 87 students out of the school.

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Robert Van Handel: The Profile Of A Pedophile

     In 1994, Robert Van Handel, a 48-year-old Franciscan priest and former rector at St. Anthony’s Seminary School in Santa Barbara, California, pleaded guilty to sexually molesting an 8-year-old student. He had been accused of molestin…

     In 1994, Robert Van Handel, a 48-year-old Franciscan priest and former rector at St. Anthony's Seminary School in Santa Barbara, California, pleaded guilty to sexually molesting an 8-year-old student. He had been accused of molesting fifteen other boys between the ages 8 to 11, but those cases were too old to prosecute. In preparation for his sentencing hearing, the psychiatrist who evaluated Van Handel at the Pacific Treatment Associates in Santa Cruz, asked him to write a history of his sexual life. Van Handel complied, producing a detailed, 27-page memoir of a life devoted to sexually abusing boys.

     Van Handel's revealing description of his perverted thoughts and behavior provided a rare look into the twisted mind and life of a sexual predator. The document didn't come to light until 2006, the year the Franciscans, in a civil court settlement, paid twenty-five clergy abuse victims $28 million in damages. The church, in an attempt to keep Van Handel's revelations from the public, fought several newspaper organizations all the way to the California Supreme Court. The church lost. What follows is Van Handel's account of his life as a priest, teacher, and pedophile.

     In 1956, at age 10, Van Hendel and his family of seven settled in Orange County, California. Three years later, the 13-year-old, to escape his strict, demanding father who forced him to read a sex education manual that scared the hell out of  him, enrolled in the Franciscan run St. Anthony's Seminary School in Santa Barbara. Two years later, while in the infirmary with a fever, a priest sexually molested him. According to the seminarian pedophile who attacked him, this activity would, by making the sick boy sweat, draw the fever out of him.

     Over the next nine years, while at St Anthony's, Van Handel collected magazines featuring child pornography, and used a telephoto lens to take clandestine photographs of children. While he fantasized about having sex with young boys, Van Handel did not actually molest anyone during this period.

     In 1970, at age 24, Van Handel moved to Berkeley, California to pursue his master's degree at the University of California. While there, he formed a neighborhood boy's choir and molested a 7-year-old choir member. He also, during this period, raped his 5-year-old nephew.

     Robert Van Handel, as an ordained Franciscan priest, returned to St. Anthony's in 1975 where he taught English. He also became the director of the school choir. In his sexual memoir, the priest acknowledged that the school choir provided him with a steady supply of victims. An 11-year-old boy, a student he had been abusing since the child was 7, resisted for the first time after four years of molestation. In his memoir, Van Handel said that he was shocked by the rejection. He wrote, "He started to cry and that snapped something in my head. For the first time, I was seeing signs that he really did not like this." In another passage, the priest wrote: "There is something about me that is happier when accompanied by a small boy. Perhaps besides the sexual element, the child in me wants a playmate."

     Van Handel's relationships with his students and choir boys exemplified typical pedophile behavior. The priest rubbed their backs, photographed them tied-up in ropes, wrestled with them, and invented tickling games. (The Penn State pedophile, coach Jerry Sandusky, called himself the "tickle monster.") In his memoir of perversion, Van Handel, noted that the fact the boys couldn't stop him from doing what he wanted, turned him on. He wrote, "It was though I could do anything with them that I wanted."

     In 1983, Robert Van Handel became rector of St. Anthony's. As head of this enclave of pedophilia, he was asked to investigate another priest who had been accused of molesting two boys who were brothers. As it turned out, Van Handel had also sexually assaulted these students.

     Van Handel's tenure at St. Anthony's came to an end in 1992 when the parents of one of his victims wrote a letter to the head of the Franciscan order. Within months of this letter, Van Handel was removed from the ministry.

     After the defrocked pedophile's guilty plea in 1994, the judge sentenced him to eight years in prison.  (Eight years? This serial sex offender should have been sentenced to life without parole.)

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Framing Your Estranged Husband

     On August 11, 2014, a jury in Indiana, Pennsylvania found 43-year-old Meri Jane Woods guilty of trying to frame her estranged husband of a crime. According to the district attorney, in August 2013, the  Clymer, Pennsylvania def…

     On August 11, 2014, a jury in Indiana, Pennsylvania found 43-year-old Meri Jane Woods guilty of trying to frame her estranged husband of a crime. According to the district attorney, in August 2013, the  Clymer, Pennsylvania defendant downloaded 40 images of child pornography onto the family computer and took the photographs to the police. She accused her estranged husband, Matthew Woods, of downloading the pornographic contraband.

     When investigators examined the time stamps on the images, they determined they had been downloaded more than two weeks after Meri Woods had kicked her husband out of the house pursuant to a protection from abuse order. Since he didn't have access to the dwelling or the computer, he couldn't have downloaded the incriminating material.

     In December 2014, the Indiana County judge sentenced Woods to six months to two years in prison. 

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Mark Berndt: The Elementary Teacher From Hell

     People without sexual perversions are normal in generally the same way. Sexual perverts, on the other hand, are deviant in disturbingly diverse ways. Adults who use innocent children to satisfy their perverse sexual compulsions…

     People without sexual perversions are normal in generally the same way. Sexual perverts, on the other hand, are deviant in disturbingly diverse ways. Adults who use innocent children to satisfy their perverse sexual compulsions are not mentally ill in the sense they are detached from reality. To other adults, even to people they work with every day, they seem normal. Sexually perverse elementary teachers are hard to detect because they victimize kids who are under their control. Sometimes the children don't even know they are being victimized. Teachers like this can get away with sexually abusive behavior for decades. Most of them probably die before they are caught. Short of launching McCarthy-like witch hunts, how can these sexual predators be identified and stopped?

     Mark Berndt, a 61-year-old third grade teacher at the Miramonte Elementary School in Florence Firestone, an unincorporated community in Los Angeles County, began teaching at the school in 1979. Miramonte, situated in an hispanic neighborhood, is in the Los Angeles Unified School District which is comprised of hundreds of campuses and 650,000 students. During his tenure at Miramonte, Berndt, according to his personnel file, had performed up to school standards without a single disciplinary action taken against him. Moreover, he had never been arrested for anything more serious than a traffic ticket.

     In October 2010, a technician at a CVS drugstore in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, came across a set of disturbing photographs of grade school boys and girls depicted in situations suggesting a bizarre form of sexual bondage. The film processor, as mandated by state law, notified the Redondo Beach Police Department. On December 2, 2010, the Redondo police turned the 40 photographs over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office.

     In some of the photographs, Mark Berndt either has his arm around a third grade boy or girl, or his hand covering their mouths. Some photographs show children with live bugs crawling on their faces. Other kids are either blindfolded, or have their mouths covered with clear tape. Some of the girls are depicted holding spoons containing a white liquid up to their mouths. Children are also pictured about to eat cookies topped with the teacher's semen. (In Berndt's classroom trash can, police recovered a blue, plastic spoon containing traces of his semen.)

     Detectives with the sheriff's office's Special Victims Unit, started identifying the students in the photographs for interview. On January 3, 2011, a detective showed up at Miramonte to question Berndt. The teacher refused to speak to the investigator without first consulting with an attorney.

     A former fourth grade student of Berndt's, a woman now 30, told detectives that in 1990, she and two other girls spoke to a school counselor about their teacher's odd, inappropriate behavior. They had seen him, seated at his desk at the front of the room, playing with himself. The counselor accused the girls of making up the story. As a result, nothing came of their complaint. (In 1993, police investigators looked into similar complaints against Berndt. The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, on grounds the police had not gathered sufficient evidence against the teacher, decided not to pursue the case. Presumably, school officials knew of the investigation.)

     Shortly after Berndt refused to be interviewed by the police, school administrators removed him from the classroom. A month later, February 201l, they fired him. (Actually, he wasn't fired. School officials induced him to retire by offering him $40,000 which he accepted. Firing a public school teacher is no small feat.)  While the parents of the children depicted in the photographs were told of the investigation, the police kept the public in the dark. (Placed under police surveillance, Berndt, between the time of his discharge and arrest, was not in contact with children.)

     On January 30, 2012, following a 13 month investigation, the case went public with Berndt's arrest at his home in Torrance. A search of his dwelling resulted in the discovery of 400 photographs similar to the ones seen by the CVS employee. (A normal person, knowing that he was under police investigation, would have destroyed these photographs. The fact that Brendt didn't, reveals how important these photos were to him. The police have recommended that the children in the photographs be tested for sexually transmitted diseases.) Charged with 23 counts of lewd acts against minors, Brendt was hauled off to jail where he was held on $23 million bond. The criminal charges against him pertained to his contact with children ages 6 to 10 from 2008 to 2010.

     On February 3, 2012, the police arrested a second Miramonte teacher on charges unrelated to the Berndt case. Martin B. Springer, 49, was charged with three counts of committing lewd acts in connection with the alleged fondling an 8-year-old girl in one of his classes. He was fired and held on $300,000 bail. From Alhambra, Springer had been teaching at the school since 1986. The judge who set bail decreed that if Springer made his bond, he was to wear an ankle monitoring device and to stay 250 feet away from schools and parks. On February 7, 2012, one of the two girls who accused Springer of fondling her, recanted her story.

     A lawyer representing "Jane Doe 1," one of Berndt's victims who ate a sugar cookie laced with the teacher's semen, announced plans to sue the Los Angeles Unified School District. The plaintiff claimed that the school district did not take adequate steps to prevent Berndt from repeatedly abusing his students after numerous complaints had been filed against him. (Following Berndt's arrest, seven more students came forward with allegations of abuse.)

     On February 6, 2012, perhaps in response to allegations of an institutional cover-up, the 88 teachers and 40 staff employees at Miramonte were suspended with pay. They were replaced by a substitute crew of teachers and clerks.

     The Miramonte situation continued to worsen on February 7, 2012, when the mother of a former fourth grader told the Los Angeles Times that in 2009, a 50-year-old female teacher's aide wrote three love letters to her then 11-year-old son. One of the letters read, "...when you get close to me, even if you give me the chills, I like that. Don't tell nobody (oh boy) about this!"

     In November 2013, Mark Berndt pleaded no contest to 23 counts of lewd acts on children. The judge sentenced the 62-year-old former elementary teacher to 25 years in prison. According to Berndt's defense attorney, his client was "remorseful and apologetic." The lawyer said that Berndt had entered a plea to spare his victims the ordeal of a trial. (How about this: Berndt had spared himself the ordeal of a trial and made the deal to get a lighter prison sentence.)

     On November 21, 2014, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that it had agreed to pay nearly $170 million in court settlements related to the Berndt pedophilia case. The settlement involved more than a hundred students.

           

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/