Monday, March 17, 2014

Former Chief Andrew Demers Charged with Unlawful Sexual Contact with Child

A former chief of the Maine State Police faces charges of unlawful sexual contact with a child younger than 12 years old.

Andrew E. Demers, 73, of New Gloucester turned himself in to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 9 a.m. Monday. He was charged with unlawful sexual contact — a Class B crime — then released on $5,000 cash bail, according to Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce.

The incidents that led to Demers’ arrest allegedly took place during the past several months. The alleged victim was a young member of Demers’ family, Joyce told the Bangor Daily News by phone Monday.

A tip from a previous employee of Demers’ at the Maine State Police spurred the investigation, according to Joyce.

During the past week, detectives from the sheriff’s office investigated reports of “an ongoing unlawful sexual contact situation,” and in recent days interviewed witnesses and a suspected victim, according to a release from Joyce.

If convicted, Demers could serve up to 10 years in prison and face a maximum fine of $20,000.

Demers served 26 years with the Maine State Police and held the position of chief from 1987 to 1993, when he retired.

In 2003, Demers was the most decorated officer in state police history and was named a “Legendary Trooper,” the Sun Journal reported at the time.

A condition of Demers’ release is that he not have contact with anyone younger than 16 years old.

On Monday, Col. Robert Williams, chief of the Maine State Police, released the following statement:

“The state police are stunned at the allegation and saddened for the victim and their family. Our thoughts and concerns are with them. We learned of the allegations last Monday and immediately referred the case to the Cumberland County district attorney’s office. To avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, we suggested that the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office investigate, and we have had no further involvement in the investigation.”

Tamara Getchell, spokeswoman for the Cumberland County district attorney’s office, said Monday afternoon that the case remains under investigation and nothing has been filed in court.

In recent years, two other former state troopers — one who served on Maine’s force and one from Massachusetts — were convicted of sex crimes in Maine.

In April 2012, Gregory Vrooman of Nobleboro, a 24-year veteran of the Maine State Police, was convicted of 12 sex crimes against a girl younger than 14 years old. He was sentenced to five years in prison with all but 21 months suspended.

In October 2011, retired Massachusetts State Trooper Joseph Silva of Newburyport, Mass., was convicted of gross sexual assault and two counts of aggravated assault against a woman in a Kittery motel. He will serve a total of 10 years in prison, with 10 years probation, WMTW TV reported at the time.

While declining to comment on the specific allegations, Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault spokeswoman Cara Courchesne said Monday that child sexual abuse is always perpetrated by someone who has more power and control than the child does, but when the perpetrator is a respected member of the community, that power often makes it more difficult for a victim to disclose the abuse.

“Take Jerry Sandusky,” she said. “He was a pillar in the community, and then it turns out he’s been sexually abusing boys for a number of years. The part of this that makes child sexual abuse cases more difficult than they already are is the cases often involve someone who people really respect and people really trust. … With people who abuse children, an aspect of their behavior is they are able to gain the trust of the adults around the child and end up being able to perpetrate the abuse. In cases where there is an ongoing pattern of abuse, that is often the case.”

Two Former Officers Indicted on Sex Abuse Charges

A grand jury has indicted a former Kentucky State Police trooper and a former Brandenburg police officer on sex abuse charges.

The two are accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old.

Click here to watch story

Former KSP Trooper Stratford Young was indicted on one count of rape third-degree and two counts of third-degree sodomy.

"It's disappointing for several families, for our agency, for the state of Kentucky," said Trooper Jeff Gregory.

Former Brandenburg police Officer Todd Matti was indicted on two counts of third-degree sodomy.

Special prosecutor Tom Wine told Judge Bruce Butler they chose not to present indictments against other individuals, but did not say why.

Both men entered not guilty pleas at their arraignments Monday afternoon.

"We protect and we serve, to the best of our ability, and at times things happen that may not represent our agency the way we want it represented," said Gregory.

Former Officer Patrick Earwood Charged with Molesting Girls Due in Court

A former Cave Spring police officer accused of molesting girls and forcing women into sexual acts is scheduled for an arraignment next month.

Patrick Edward Earwood, 31, remained in jail Friday without bond. Earwood is scheduled to appear April 11 before a Floyd County Superior Court judge.

Earwood has the option of having his charges read to him at the arraignment.

Prosecutors allege Ear wood coerced girls and women to perform sex acts or expose themselves.

Authorities first learned of the allegations when a girl alleged she rode in Earwood’s patrol car, and that he asked her for sex, police reported.

An investigation began, which led detectives to two different women.

According to an order by Superior Court Judge Tami Colston:

The first woman said Earwood arrested her and took her to City Hall. Earwood then told her he’d free her if she gave him oral sex. When she said nothing, Earwood returned her to his patrol car and began driving to the Floyd County Jail.

“On the way to the jail, Defendant Earwood said ‘are you going to do this or not?’” the order states. “She responded, ‘You know, I’m going to have to do this?’ He said yes and pulled off the road.”

The woman performed oral sex on Earwood, and he then took the woman to meet her mother. She did not go to jail.

The second woman said she encountered Earwood when he arrested her for DUI. Earwood said they could “work something out” if her boyfriend wasn’t in the car. She thought little of the comment, and Earwood took her to the police station for a breath test. When she failed the test, Earwood put her in his patrol car and began driving to jail.

“On the way to the jail, Earwood offered to lower one of the traffic charges if she would let him touch her breasts,” the order states. “She moved up closer to him and he fondled her breasts on the way to the jail.”

Earwood faces two counts each of aggravated sodomy, second-degree child cruelty, sexual battery and sexual assault against a person in custody. He also faces charges of aggravated child molestation, child molestation, giving false statements and violation of his oath by a public officer.

Officer Tyrone Jenkins Arrested for Dealing Drugs

A Tulsa Police officer has been arrested on suspicion of dealing drugs.

Officer Tyrone Jenkins was booked into the Tulsa County jail on complaints of Possession of Firearm in Commission of a Felony, Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine and Violation of the Computer Crimes Act.

According to a press release, Tulsa police received information regarding alleged criminal activity involving Jenkins and launched an internal investigation.

Police said more information would be released later.

Border Patrol Agent Esteban Manzanares Kidnapped and Assaults Three then Kills Self

An immigrant woman, her daughter and another girl who said they were kidnapped and assaulted by a border patrol agent were in the process of surrendering to the agent when their ordeal began, another Border Patrol agent and a federal law enforcement official said Friday.

Agent Esteban Manzanares, who officials say committed suicide early Thursday morning, is accused of driving the three away from the river after they surrendered and assaulting them. The other agent said Manzanares cut the wrists of the adult woman, assaulted one teenager in the group, and then fled the area with a second teenage girl.

The Honduran embassy in Washington, D.C., said the three are a mother, her underage daughter and another girl not related to them. The FBI has said the three were in the country illegally.

The woman who had escaped the attack and walked further upriver tripped a camera at the border fence shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday, the agent and law enforcement official said.

They said in the camera image a woman can be seen walking toward a gap in the fence. The border agent said there was blood covering her wrists. Within ten minutes of the camera image being taken, agents responded to the woman and began the search, the border agent and federal official said.

The federal law enforcement official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to talk about the case because the FBI was leading the investigation. The border agent spoke on condition of anonymity because the agent was not allowed to speak to the media because of the ongoing investigation.

Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency of which the Border Patrol is part, has said that when they found the woman she told them she had been attacked by a man. The federal official said the woman described the man as wearing green fatigues. Border Patrol agents wear green uniforms. She also described a vehicle that the federal official said authorities believed to be a Border Patrol vehicle.

The official and the agent said a search was quickly launched in the area for the other two victims. One of the teenagers was found near the border in the brush, and hours later the second girl was located in Manzanares’ home in Mission, the federal official and the agent said. Mission is a suburb of McAllen, close to the Texas-Mexico border about 350 miles from Houston.

 When authorities approached the agent’s apartment, they heard gunfire. A short time later, when investigators went into the apartment, they found him dead and rescued the other girl.

A CBP official told The Associated Press that the agent was on duty when he encountered the females and that his shift had ended by the time authorities showed up at his house and he shot himself. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing investigation by the FBI.

Karol Escalante, a spokeswoman for the Honduran embassy in Washington, D.C., said the three Hondurans are recovering at a hospital in McAllen. She would not elaborate on their injuries.

R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said in a statement Friday that such acts are not representative of the agents of theBorder Patrol. He added that the agency is working to make sure the victims receive proper care. The CPB is collaborating with the FBI, who is conducting the investigation.

 “I am deeply sorry that this incident occurred and am committed to doing everything in my power to prevent incidents like this from occurring again,” he said.

The Border Patrol agent who participated in the search said Manzanares was assigned to Anzalduas Park. The FBI said it is awaiting an autopsy report on Manzanares, who the Border Patrol said had been with the agency since 2008.

The number of apprehensions by the Border Patrol —a figure commonly used to gauge the ebb and flow of illegal border crossers — rose by 16 percent last year to 420,789 undocumented immigrants detained. More than half of those arrests were made in Texas.

Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher said last October that much of the increase was due to a rise in the number of people from Central American trying to enter the U.S. in South Texas.

While apprehensions of Mexican nationals remained fairly steady, arrests of immigrants from other countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, rose 55 percent. Limited economic opportunities and widespread gang and drug cartel violence in Central America have driven tens of thousands north along a dangerous route through Mexico.

Former Trooper Stratford Young and Officer Todd Matti Charged with Sodomy on 15-year-old

Two former law enforcement officers accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor were indicted by the Meade County Grand Jury.

Charges against former Kentucky State Trooper Stratford Young and former Brandenburg City Police Officer Todd Matti were presented by Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth Attorneys Sara Farmer and Bill Burt and Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney Thomas Wine.

"It's disappointing for several families for our agency, for the state of Kentucky," Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Officer, Jeff Gregory said.

Stratford Young, 33, and  Todd Matti, 44, face two counts of Sodomy  in the Third Degree against a 15-year-oldgirl. Matti's charges date back to November, 2012. Young also charged with Rape in the Third Degree. His alleged encounters with the teen date back from May to July, 2013. They both plead not guilty.

"When I heard it was Stratford, I couldn't believe it," Wesley Veatch, a Brandenburg resident told WAVE 3 News.

News of the indictments spread around town- a Kentucky State Police Trooper fired from the job he was respected for.

"He's one of the most decorated officers that I've heard, I would have never thought he'd done something like that," Veatch said.

Todd Matti resigned as a Brandenburg Police officer. We interviewed him last May for saving a teen's life.

"I didn't realize how much recognition we'd get, but it's humbling," Matti said back then.

Both men walked away from our camera after the hearing. Two other officers have also been accused. Their cases were not presented Monday....prosecutors told us that was to avoid jeopardizing the evidence they say they have against Matti and Young.

"You hate to uh, see anything of this nature come about, but we'll just fall back and let the court system do what it's supposed to do," Gregory said.

The two men paid $1,000 towards their bond. Their next court date is May 22nd.

Sgt. Rick St. Blanchard, a spokesperson for KSP headquarters, confirmed Young was terminated from the Elizabeth town post on September 13, 2013 after the investigation was launched concerning accusations of inappropriate behavior involving a 15-year-old girl.

Matti, who was awarded by the Army for his role in saving the life of a teenager in May 2013, resigned from his position in October 2013 after the investigation came to light.

Young was charged with rape and two counts of sodomy. Matti is charged with two counts of sodomy.

Young and Matti are not currently in custody. Both their cases are scheduled for a pretrial conference May 22 in Meade County.

Officer William Norton Arrested for DUI

A North Myrtle Beach police officer was arrested and charged with DUI on Friday, according to city spokesman Pat Dowling.

William Henry Norton, a K-9 officer, was booked just before noon on Friday and released hours later on a $1,000 bond, Dowling said.

Norton was not on duty when this happened, but he was arrested while driving his patrol car, Dowling added. K-9 officers are allowed to take these cars home.

South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers responded to a crash on Brighton Avenue, near Norton's home. A neighbor told WMBF News Norton had driven the patrol car into a median, wedging against a palm tree.

Norton is on restricted administrative assignment, or "desk duty," Dowling said. Norton's car, badge, and equipment have been turned over to department, and he does not have law enforcement authority.

This incident has prompted an official investigation by the North Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Under the South Carolina Penal Code, a DUI charge does not just apply to alcohol or illegal drugs. Prescription drugs and some over the counter drugs can also net an impaired driving charge from authorities.

Officer Steven Harrison Charged with DUI

A Forest Park police officer was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and cited for failure to maintain lane in Buckhead on Sunday morning.

According to Georgia State Patrol, troopers were conducting a traffic stop on Old Ivy Road when the officer was arrested.

The officer, Steven Harrison, was taken into custody during the stop.

Officials have not released any other details on Harrison's arrest.