April 07, 2005
News from the San Joaquin Valley
April 7, 2005 [Associated Press]
FRESNO, Calif. - A former radio and television personality has been convicted on 13 counts of child molestation.
Nicholas Fanady, 62, known as Nick Ryan to listeners, was convicted of sex crimes against three boys, including 11 counts against one boy who was 9 or 10 when the sexual abuse occurred.
Testimony from that victim, now 19, capped an emotional, two-and-a-half week trial.
"The community is much safer now," the young man said Wednesday after the verdicts were read. "I feel something like this will not happen again."
Fanady, who confessed on the witness stand to molesting one child and pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting young boys at a local park, faces at least 30 years in prison. Superior Court Judge William Kent Hamlin set a sentencing date of May 9.
Fanady was fired as co-host of the morning news program at KFSN Channel 30 nearly five years ago, when the mother of another boy said that Fanady and her son went skinny dipping, and the man touched the boy sexually.
Another incident occurred in May, when Fanady allegedly approached boys at a city park, put his hand around one and took him to a secluded area. Fanady said in court he was trying to move the boy away from a river.
Fanady most recently worked for KMPH, a local radio news station, until his arrest last year.
Social services department hoping to provide more details in abuse cases
April 7, 2005 [Associated Press]
BATON ROUGE, La. The state's social services department will ask the Legislature to loosen restrictions on the information the agency can provide in child abuse cases.
Currently, department officials can't talk about specifics in open child abuse cases and are, instead, only able to outline general policies the department uses to deal with child welfare.
Ann Williamson, secretary of the Department of Social Services, said the agency will ask lawmakers in the upcoming session that begins April 25th for the ability to speak about specific cases, including any detailed steps D-S-S has taken to try to protect the child and respond to allegations of abuse.
Williamson outlined the department's legislative agenda today to the Press Club of Baton Rouge. That agenda includes a proposed extra licensing fee on the facilities it regulates, like day care and assisted living centers, if D-S-S staff has to make multiple visits for certification.
Also, the department is proposing a two-year license for those facilities in good standing, rather than the current annual license. Williamson says that will free up staff to spend more time at facilities deemed neglectful instead of making annual visits to the places without problems.
Move to force Church to report abuse
April 7, 2005 [AAP}
South Australia - LEGISLATION requiring priests, church workers and volunteers to report knowledge of child abuse has passed the Upper House of the South Australian Parliament.
However, the bill introduced by independent MP Nick Xenophon, will not force priests to breach the confidentiality of the confessional after an amendment from the Liberal Opposition.
The bill will now go before the Lower House for debate. Mr Xenophon said today he was disappointed with the exemption for the confessional.
"But the alternative was for the bill to fail in the Upper House and the measure is still a dramatic improvement to require notification of child abuse," he said.
Software Helps Track Child Pornographers
April 7, 2005 [Associated Press]
By Beth Duff-Brown
TORONTO - Microsoft and Canadian authorities on Thursday launched a software program designed to help police worldwide hunt down child porn traffickers by enabling authorities for the first time to link information such as credit card purchases, Internet chat room messages and arrest records.
Microsoft said the Child Exploitation Tracking System is the first software designed specifically to capture pornographers who prey on children and sell their images via the Internet. It will allow police departments worldwide to share and track previously unlinked information on investigations and suspects.
David Hemler, president of Microsoft Canada, said Internet pornographers were computer savvy, so the program would put law enforcement officials "on the same level as the bad guys."
The open source program was developed by Microsoft Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Toronto police, with the help of the Department of Homeland Security, Scotland Yard and Interpol.
The FBI has seen a 2,000 percent increase in the number of child pornography images on the Internet since 1996 and Canadian police estimate that more than 100,000 Web sites contain images of child sexual abuse. Experts say at least 95 percent of victims are abused by someone they know, either a relative or neighbor.
Hemler said Microsoft committed $4 million toward the program and that the software would be available to any police force at no cost.
John P. Clark, deputy assistant secretary of immigration and customs enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security, said the program released Thursday was the first dedicated to child protection.
"We were lending our expertise because we have established tracking systems," said Clark, who attended the launch.
The initiative was the result of a January 2003 e-mail sent to Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, from a member of the Toronto Police Service sex-crimes unit, asking for help in battling child pornography.
The billionaire, known for his philanthropy in the area of AIDS research and education, called on Microsoft Canada to develop software that would aid police officials.
Detective Sgt. Paul Gillespie, who sent the initial e-mail, told The Associated Press several suspected pornographers had already been arrested during testing of the new system. One man was arrested in Toronto last week, after a tip plugged into CETS linked with two previous reports on the suspect.
"When we pulled up all three, it gave us the ability to physically identify somebody and grounds for an arrest warrant," Gillespie said.
Gillespie said another suspect was arrested several months ago, after information from the FBI, Scotland Yard and Homeland Security, investigating child pornography chat rooms and credit card purchases of the images, were programmed into the system.
"It identified a link between one of those people on the credit card list with one very small consistency in this chat room in the UK," Gillespie said. "Both pieces of the puzzles were put together and out of that we were able to identify somebody; an abuser of a young child taking pictures with his own camera."
On the Net:
Microsoft Canada: www.microsoft.ca
Royal Canadian Mounted Police: www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Toronto Police Service: www.torontopolice.on.ca
Remembing Victims Of Child Abuse
April 7, 2005
The community of Levelland, Texas remembered victims of child abuse Thursday night with a candlelight ceremony.
The audience blew out a candle as the name of a victim was read, until the entire room was dark.
Levelland Mayor Hugh Bradley stated that the City is honoring Child Abuse Prevention during this month of April.