Archive for August, 2009

Too Hot

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Western Australia Coroner Alastair Hope ruled an aboriginal elder basically cooked to death in the back of a jail van he was being transported in one hot day. The man, identified only as Mr. Ward, had been picked up for drunk driving the previous day. The coroner said the man had a third-degree burn on his stomach from lying on the floor of the van, which had no air conditioning and little air flow into the back.

White Wisconsin Social Worker Could do Life for Impregnating Black Female Client

Sunday, August 30th, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Contact: Atty. Francis L. Holland

Afrosphere Blogger


Telephone: 55 (73) 9123-2538


SOCIAL WORKER/CLIENT SEXUAL CONTACT

A CLASS “C” FELONY


Milwaukee Social worker Peter Nelson may have committed two or more Class C felonies by engaging in a sexual relationship with his client, Theola Nealy, says American Atty. Francis L. Holland, an African American afrosphere blogger who blogs from his home in Brazil, under his reading of Wisconsin statutes.


Although the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office has opined that the therapist/client sex was not illegalbecause it was "consensual", afrosphere Atty. Holland points to two statutes under which the social worker might be charged, one of which specifically states that “consent is not an issue under this subsection.” Atty. Francis L. Holland says,


"There are chargeable crimes and penalties available

under at least two separate Wisconsin statutes:" - - Atty. Francis L. Holland

  1. “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist,” (Wisconsin Statutes Section 940.22 (2)), and (Class 3 Felony)
  2. “Second Degree Sexual Assault” (Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 940, Section 940.225(c) (2), paragraphs (a), (b), and/or (c)). (Class 3 Felony)


Did Peter Nelson, a Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare social worker commit one or more criminal acts when he engaged in sexual intercourse with an adult female client whose two children had been taken from her care by the Bureau?

“If convicted and sentenced consecutively

for all potential Class 3 felonies

Peter Nelson could conceivably face life imprisonment.”

Legislative Reference Bureau, p. 12.


Peter Nelson, a social worker with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, acknowledges that he had sex with a then current client, thirty-two year-old Theola Nealy, during a period in which Ms. Nealy was trying to demonstrate to this social worker and to his employer, the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, that the client was capable of caring for two children who had been taken from her by the Bureau. Peter Nelson has acknowledged that he engaged in sexual intercourse and impregnated his client during the course of the social worker/client relationship.


“If convicted Nelson would be required to register as a serious sex offender,

face lifetime court supervision.”

Wis. Stats. Section 301.45, LRB-01-1B-1, p 2. , Wis. Stats, Section 939.615.


Ms. Nealy reports that she engaged in sex with social worker Nealy because he represented to her that he would not authorize the return of her two children in Bureau custody otherwise. http://www.wisn.com/news/20606268/detail.html


ABC’s WISN.COM reports,


“A social worker who was supposed to be helping a Milwaukee woman got her pregnant instead, the woman said.”


The District Attorney's Office told 12 News it will not file criminal charges against Nelsen because the sex was consensual, and it's not a crime for a social worker to have sex with a client. That news devastated Nealy.


"He should go to jail," Nealy said. http://www.wisn.com/news/20606268/detail.html


The criminal law issue this case presents is whether, as per the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office and as a matter of law, “it’s not a crime for a social worker to have sex with a client,” or whether Wisconsin state statutes specifically criminalize the sex acts to which the social worker has confessed.


WISCONSIN LAW SPECIFICALLY FORBIDS

“SEXUAL EXPLOITATION BY A THERAPIST”


It appears, based on the social worker’s statements to the ABC affiliate, that Peter Nelson may have committed the criminal acts of “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist,” (Wisconsin Statutes Section 940.22 (2)) and “Second Degree Sexual Assault” (Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 940, Section 940.225(c)(2), paragraphs (a), (b), and/or (c)).


Wisconsin Statutes Section 940.22 (2), entitled “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist provides:


(2) SEXUAL CONTACT PROHIBITED. Any person who is or who holds himself or herself out to be a therapist and who intentionally has sexual contact with a patient or client during any ongoing therapist−patient or therapist−client relationship, regardless of whether it occurs during any treatment, consultation, interview or examination, is guilty of a Class F felony. Consent is not an issue in an action under this subsection. (Emphasis added.) http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0940.pdf


Section 940.22 (1)(i) defines the term “therapist” broadly and specifically includes social workers among those who commit a criminal act when they engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual contact with clients. Section 940.22 (1) (i) states that:


“Therapist” means a physician, psychologist, social worker, marriage and family therapist, professional counselor, nurse, chemical dependency counselor, member of the clergy or other person, whether or not licensed or certified by the state, who performs or purports to perform psychotherapy. http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0940.pdf


Explaining the application of Section 940.22 (1) (i), the State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, Informational Bulletin 01-1, January 2001, says that Wisconsin Statutes Section 940.22 (2), entitled, “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist”:


Prohibits intentional sexual contact by any person who is or who holds himself or herself out to be a therapist with a patient or client during any ongoing therapist-patient or therapist-client relationship, regardless of whether it is or is not consensual and whether it occurs during any treatment, consultation, interview, or examination. “Therapist” is defined in Section 940.22 (1) (i) as “a physician, psychologist, SOCIAL WORKER, marriage and family therapist, professional counselor, nurse, chemical dependency counselor, member of the clergy or other person, whether or not licensed or certified by the state, who performs or purports to perform psychotherapy.” As provided by Section 940.22 (3), a therapist who suspects that a patient or client has been sexually exploited by another therapist may, with the patient’s or client’s consent, report the sexual contact to the appropriate regulating body or the district attorney (Class C felony). (Emphasis added.) Legislative Reference Bureau, Informational Bulletin 01-1, January 2001


Although the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office has announced its decision not to prosecute the social worker, "because the sex was consensual", Wisconsin Statutes Section 940.22 (2), entitled “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist clearly states, under the heading “SEXUAL CONTACT PROHIBITED”, thatConsent is not an issue in an action under this subsection.” Therefore, the defense that the District Attorney’s Office offers for the social worker’s behavior is quite specifically excluded as a potential defense by the statute itself therapist anti-sex abuse statute itself. Consent simply is not available as a defense when sexual contact occurs between a therapist and client or patient.


Legislative Reference Bureau, Informational Bulletin 01-1, January 2001 makes it clear that a social worker is a “therapist” for purpose of the statute, so Peter Nelson was statutorily prohibited from having sexual contact and sexual intercourse with his client, Theola Nealy.


WISCONSIN STATUTE 940.225(c) (2) FORBIDS

SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSUALT


Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 940, “CRIMES AGAINST LIFE AND BODILY SECURITY”, provides in Section 940.225(c) (2), entitled “SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT”:


Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a Class C felony:

(a) Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that person by use or threat of force or violence.


(b) Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that person and causes injury, illness, disease or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ, or mental anguish requiring psychiatric care for the victim.


(c) Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who suffers from a mental illness or deficiency which renders that person temporarily or permanently incapable of appraising the person’s conduct, and the defendant knows of such condition.


FORCED COMPLIANCE IS NOT “CONSENT”


Even though consent is a potential defense under this Section, the definition of consent makes it highly unlikely that consent was legally possible under these circumstances.


“Consent is defined as words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give informed consent indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.” Minors, persons suffering from person incapable of giving consent, and the defendant knows this (Class C felony). Legislative Reference Bureau, Informational Bulletin 01-1, January 2001, p. 11, 12.


Since Theoly Nealy’s children have been removed from her home due to a decision that she was unfit, and since Peter Nelson would have had complete access to the records explaining the nature of her unfitness, such as psychological and/or psychiatric records, or any possible use of substances, Peter Nelson would have been in the best position possible to be aware of any reasons why Theoly Nealy might well not be “competent” to give her consent under these circumstances, even if she appeared willing.


The fact that Peter Nelson had it within his coercive power, or represented to Nealy that he had it within his power, to deny her access and parental rights to her two children already in state custody, made it impossible for Ms. Nealy to “freely” accept Peter Nelson’s demands for sex, because the consequences of refusing could have been the permanent loss of parental and visitation rights with her children. Far from freely consenting, Ms. Nealy could not freely refuse to have sex with this social worker, because he had and continues to use his professional power and authority to deny her access to her children.


Arguably, there is no greater “use or threat of force or violence” that a social worker could impose upon a woman than to refuse to return children to her.


“For a social worker to impregnate a client

and then take her baby for himself is an abomination

that simply cannot be tolerated in a civilized society.” - - Atty. Francis L. Holland


Under the Section 940.225(c)(2)(a), “SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT,” a jury might well decide that withholding access to children constituted “use or threat of force” under these circumstances.


Under Section 940.225(c)(2)(b), “SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT,” the trier of fact might well decide that this “sexual intercourse . . . without consent . . . cause[d] injury, illness, disease or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ, or mental anguish requiring psychiatric care for the victim.”


And under Section 940.225(c)(2)(c), “SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT,”a jury might well decide whether Nealy “suffer[ed] from a mental illness or deficiency which render[ed]” her “temporarily or permanently incapable of appraising” the social worker’s conduct, and whether the social worker “kn[ew] of such condition”, based on his access to Theola Nealy’s child abuse and neglect records, psychological and psychiatric evaluations, or other means.


The fact that Peter Nelson has subsequently withheld a child from her Theola Nealy, which child is the product of their sexual relationship, conceived in the context of the social worker/client negotiations therapy and negotiations over the return of her children, evinces behavior by Nelson using the power of his professional office in a sexually coercive manner for force his sexual advances upon his client.


Taking away a third child from the woman and obtaining custody of that child when Ms. Nealy refused to accede to the social worker’s demands for a continuing sexual relationship further demonstrates that Peter Nelson used and continues to use force to compel sexual relations upon Nealy, by the threat and the fact of personally keeping her youngest child from her even at this time.


SOCIAL WORKER COULD FACE

15 YEARS IMPRISONMENT

ON EACH CLASS “C” FELONY COUNT


The State of Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau reports that the crimes of “Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist” and “Second Degree Sexual Assault” are Class 3 felonies punishable a ten thousand dollar crime, 15 years imprisonment or both. If tried and convicted for each instance of a violation of these statutes, and if penalties were imposed consecutively, then Peter Nelson could conceivably be sentenced to life imprisonment.


CO-WORKERS MIGHT ALSO BE HELD

CRIMINALLY LIABLE


Any co-worker or other therapist involved in the treatment social worker/client relationship with Ms. Nealy and who knew of the relationship between Mr. Nelson and Ms Nealy but failed to investigate and report it may be criminally liable for the commission of a misdemeanor. Section 940.22(3)(a), entitled, “Sexual exploitation by therapist; duty to report” provides:


(3) REPORTS OF SEXUAL CONTACT. (a) If a therapist has reasonable cause to suspect that a patient or client he or she has seen in the course of professional duties is a victim of sexual contact by another therapist or a person who holds himself or herself out to be a therapist in violation of sub. (2), as soon thereafter as practicable the therapist shall ask the patient or client if he or she wants the therapist to make a report under this subsection. The therapist shall explain that the report need not identify the patient or client as the victim. If the patient or client wants the therapist to make the report, the patient or client shall provide the therapist with a written consent to the report and shall specify whether the patient’s or client’s identity will be included in the report. (Emphasis added.) Wis. Stats., p. 8 (Emphasis added.) http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0940.pdf


Under 940.22(3) (d), providing penalties for social worker violation of the reporting statute,

Whoever intentionally violates this subsection by failing to report as required under pars. (a) to (c) is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Wis. Stats., p. 8 http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0940.pdf Under Section 939.51, a “Class A Felony” is punishable by “a fine not to exceed $10,000 or imprisonment not to exceed nine months, or both.” LRB, p. 12 http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cache:sQnMo7KrXwMJ:www.legis.state.wi.us/LRB/pubs/ib/01ib1.pdf+wisconsin+intercourse+%22social+worker%22+client&hl=en


"Atty. Francis L. Holland refused to speculate

as to why the Milwaukee District Attorney's Office refused to prosecute at least

two separate felonies committed by a white male therapist

on a Black female client, where the defendant has confessed to the elements of the crimes."



San Francisco Police Chief Proposes Amnesty Plan

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

For his own officers, that is.

Discipline cases against dozens of San Francisco police officers would be dismissed under an amnesty program proposed by Chief George Gascón.

The new police chief told The Chronicle on Wednesday that he wants to see “the great majority” of roughly 75 discipline cases pending before the civilian Police Commission end with little or no punishment for officers accused of minor misconduct.

Those cases, he said, include charges such as use of inappropriate language, being discourteous, failing to properly fill out a police report or a first-time misdemeanor drunken-driving arrest. They would also most likely involve first-time offenders rather than officers with a long history of complaints against them.

“We don’t get anything out of taking a pound of flesh,” Gascón said.

According to Bay area DUI defense sites, penalties for a first-time conviction in California can include six to 30 months of alcohol and driving safety classes, suspension of your driver’s license, up to three years of probation, $390-$1,000 in fines, and the possible installation of an ignition interlock device at your expense.

Will Chief Gascón propse non-police residents of San Francisco get a pass on first time offenses too, or just those residents who also happen to be members of law enforcement?

CORRECTION: The amnesty for drunk driving would be with respect to professional disciplinary action, not to possible criminal charges.

Cop Choler

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

It began with a domestic dispute call. But after Philadelphia police Officer Tamika Gross got to the scene it escalated to her challenging Latifa Savage to a fight then striking her. By all accounts Savage got the upper hand against the much larger cop, until other officers arrived and Savage surrendered. But after those officers handcuffed Savage and had her on the ground, Gross jumped on her and began pummeling her and slamming her head into the pavement. They pulled her off of Savage twice, but even after they had Savage in a patrol car, Gross continued to pound on the window and scream threats at the woman.

Morning Links

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
  • Forget the IRS, U.S. citizens with secret Swiss bank accounts may now have to face the wrath of their ex-wives.
  • Reddit poster applied online for a job with the Geek Squad, and got this message.
  • The DEA’s next target. And you won’t be able to outrun them.
  • Marketing strategies to combat the problem with black dogs being less likely to be adopted.
  • Cops in Montgomery County, Maryland may have covered up drunk driving accident caused by an assistant fire commissioner. The police department is now suing to keep records of the internal investigation clearing the cops from being released to county’s inspector general.
  • NPR looks at under-funded public defenders.
  • Grandmothers and Pregnant Women Beware.

    Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

    Dear TLC,

    What the hell is wrong with you?

    Yours,

    Radley Balko

    CM Capture 1

    (Snapped by a reader in New York City.)

    More: Per the comments, here’s a trailer for the show. It features the lovely line: “There’s always a good time to use a Taser.”

    InjusticeNews: West Virginia State Trooper sued for persuading woman to have sex to avoid a DUI charge, she wasn’t drunk: http://2ftr6.tk

    Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
    InjusticeNews: West Virginia State Trooper sued for persuading woman to have sex to avoid a DUI charge, she wasn't drunk: http://2ftr6.tk

    Sunday Morning Links

    Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
  • This movie looks like it could be amazing, or really, really awful.
  • Not quite puppycide, but agonizing to watch. Again, I can’t understand why more police departments don’t give their officers training on how to deal with dogs. The subsequent ass covering is SOP.
  • You, out of the gene pool.
  • Great piece by my colleague Katherine Mangu-Ward about how tech geeks are trying to bring some transparency and access to the courts.
  • All Obama’s czars.
  • Some New York lawmakers collecting both pension pay and regular pay.
  • Ninety percent of U.S. currency includes traces of cocaine. As Agitator reader Chris Berez asked on Twitter, does this mean the dollar’s actually worth something again?
  • InjusticeNews: Albuquerque NM police suspend reserve program after an officer made numerous illegal arrests and was paid overtime for it: http://71bpl.tk

    Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
    InjusticeNews: Albuquerque NM police suspend reserve program after an officer made numerous illegal arrests and was paid overtime for it: http://71bpl.tk

    The Police Beat: The first sign of a sociopath is torturing animals

    Friday, August 21st, 2009

    Patrolman Terry Lowther. Lakewood Division of Police. Lakewood, Ohio. Otis, a white boxer, got loose from his owner’s house in Lakewood, Ohio early in the morning about a month ago. Now a loose dog can be a problem — for the owner, for the dog, and for innocent bystanders. So when responsible people see a loose dog in their neighborhood, they’ll usually keep their distance, try to keep an eye on it, keep it out of the road, shoo it away from anyone who passes by, and, while they have an eye on it, find the owner to get them to bring the dog to heel and take it back to its home.

    Unfortunately for Otis, the first people to encounter him were not responsible people but rather a couple of heavily-armed police officers working for the Lakewood city government, who had made their way into the neighborhood on an unrelated call. So, instead of trying to keep anyone from getting hurt, the cops decided that the situation needed controllin’. They surrounded the dog and started yelling at it and waving their weapons around. After being surrounded by these complete strangers barging into his neighborhood, Otis started barking and backing up defensively. A couple times he tried to run off. The dog posed a threat to exactly nobody, but since it wouldn’t stop barking, and since twitchy government cops have been trained not to consider themselves safe as long as anyone or anything in the vicinity is moving without their permission, rather than waiting the literal 90 seconds that it took for the dog’s owner to get out there, they decided instead to close in on the dog and try to get a noose around its neck. When the dog barked and bristled at the complete strangers moving in to grab it, Patrolman Terry Lowther decided to blast Otis with a 50,000-volt electrical charge from his taser. After the dog tried to stagger to its feet — while it already had a noose around its neck — they blasted him again with a second 50,000-volt electrical charge. Just to be sure, I guess. Then they dragged the senseless dog along the ground over to their patrol car.

    Trigger warning. Graphic footage of a dog being tortured and dragged by police officers.

    When Otis’s owner showed up — a whole 90 seconds or so after the first taser blast — they hollered at him and gave him a citation for having a dangerous animal and for letting the dog run loose. I guess he’s lucky they just tortured his dog instead of killing it; according to the police report, the only reason consummate professional Patrolman Terry P. Lowther Jr. didn’t just whip out his handgun and shoot Otis dead is that he was afraid that the bullet might ricochet off the blacktop and harm a bystander.

    When the story hit the local news, the cops tried to defend this electrical torture of a helpless animal that was already surrounded, did nothing more than bark, and posed no physical danger to anyone, in two ways. First, they made up lies about the dog’s breed — first they claimed it was a pit bull; when the owner contradicted their claim and put out photos of the dog, they claimed that it kinda looked like a pit bull and musta had some pit bull in ’im. Then they tried to spin the story back their way by releasing the video from Patrolman Terry Lowther’s taser-cam — video which they claimed showed the dog acting aggressively and threatening the cops. This seems to have been a serious miscalculation on the city government’s part — since the ideas that twitchy government cops have about what counts as aggressive and threatening is very different from the ideas that civilized people have, and the video didn’t show the dog doing much of anything more than barking. Also, presumably, since most people react poorly to hearing a helpless animal howl in agony and seeing it writhe on the ground while a cop shocks it twice in rapid succession. After the police released the film, it quickly spread through the Internet, and public outrage over the case intensified rather than petering out.

    In any case, the city government responded to the situation by using the vicious animal charges to exile Otis and his owner, Daniel Kier, from the city: the city agreed to drop the utterly bogus vicious animal charges against Kier only in exchange for an agreement that he would not sue the Lakewood city government for torturing his dog, and that he would move with Otis out of the city limits (to the city of Cleveland, as it happens). None of the news stories I’ve read on this case have mentioned it, but the vicious animal charge is just a misdemeanor rap for Kier; but since the same law also provides for the impounded vicious animal to be humanely destroyed, I suspect that the reason he was so ready to get it dropped, even if it meant moving out of the city, is because the city government was effectively threatening to kill his dog if he didn’t shut up and accept their terms.

    So who are the real vicious animals running loose here? I’m pretty sure it’s not the poor son of a bitch that got tasered.

    (Via Brad Taylor 2009-08-04.)

    See also: