With rule changes about yard signs, here’s how to check your trick-or-treating route for sex offenders, predators
Sex offenders also have specific rules about what they can and can't do around Halloween, depending on what county they live in. We've compiled a county-by-county breakdown of those rules and regulations.
Still trick-or-treating this year? Check your route for sex offenders
For those who still plan to head out in the neighborhood on Oct. 31, another important safety check will be to find out if there are any sex offenders on your trick-or-treating route. No Halloween decorations can be visible from the exterior of any sexual offender's or sexual predator's residence. Sex offenders and predators on probation are required to follow specific terms regarding holidays, which can vary by case. Because of strict city ordinances regarding sex offenders living in Starke, most offenders in Bradford County live in the county's rural areas, where trick-or-treating is less common, McKinley said. Union CountyBecause of the county's regulations, sexual predators cannot move into Union County, but sex offenders can, Capt.
Sex offender accused of filming up 9-year-old's skirt
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 28-year-old Jacksonville man, who is a registered sex offender, is back behind bars after police said he was caught recording up a little girl's skirt with a cellphone inside a Southside library. William Thomas IV recently got out of prison three months ago after serving time for burglary and lewd and lascivious molestation. He was charged with video voyeurism after police said an 11-year-old boy saw Thomas recording up his 9-year-old sister's skirt in the library. The boy told police he saw Thomas squatting behind his sister with his cellphone pointed to her skirt. “I have a little girl.
Gang member sentenced to 12½ years for selling child for sex
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 22-year-old Jacksonville man was sentenced Thursday to 12 years and 6 months in federal prison for sex trafficking a child, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard also ordered Harper to serve a five-year term of supervision after his release from prison and to register as a sex offender. According to court documents, Harper met a 15-year-old girl in December 2015 and advertised her for prostitution on the internet. He was paid for the girl to perform sexual acts with his associates and fellow members of the PYC street gang. The local charges were dropped when the case was turned over to the federal courts for prosecution.
House committee passes DeSantis bill targeting child predators
WASHINGTON – A House committee voted Wednesday to send a bill targeting child predators to the floor for consideration. 883), sponsored by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Palm Coast, is designed to strengthen the ability of law enforcement to bring child predators to justice. “The Targeting Child Predators Act will prevent suspects from destroying evidence and covering their tracks, giving law enforcement the tools they need to better investigate these heinous crimes. ISPs may then inform the user of the law enforcement inquiry, enabling suspected child predators to wipe clean their accounts and delete potential evidence, DeSantis said. Similar measures have been introduced in the Florida legislature: House Bill 1429 introduced by Rep. Shawn Harrison and Senate Bill 1244 introduced by Sen. Greg Steube.
Police: Street corner sign leads to sex offender arrest
David O'Neill pleaded guilty Dec. 19 to the transmission of material harmful to minors and was ordered to register as a sex offender with the state of Florida. Under the conditions of the registration, O'Neill is required to report all of his internet identifiers, including email addresses, social media accounts or websites. According to the arrest report, O'Neill was seen standing on a street corner advertising his business using a sign that displays a website in his name. A photo of O'Neill advertising on the street corner was posted to Facebook by a former client. Police said O'Neill also placed an ad on Craigslist using the same website and email address.
Man convicted of molesting 3-year-old gets life in prison
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – James Willie Holt, 56, was sentenced Wednesday morning to life in prison for his conviction of lewd or lascivious molestation. In October 2014, Holt inappropriately touched the victim, who was 3 years old at the time. The child later told her mother, who then contacted authorities.
Jacksonville man gets 20 years for child porn
TAMPA, Fla. – A 43-year-old Jacksonville man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for transporting and possessing child pornography. Evidence at sentencing showed that this prior conviction involved Little’s molestation and sexual abuse of a 4-year-old child. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kelly S. Karase and Gregory Nolan. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Palm Coast man gets 11 years for child porn
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 61-year-old Palm Coast man was sentenced to 11 years and 3 months in federal prison for receiving child pornography over the Internet. According to court documents, an FBI agent began an undercover investigation to identify individuals who were trading child pornography over the Internet. The agent determined that McDermott was hosting and trading images of child pornography using a peer-to-peer file sharing program. Forensic analyses of McDermott's computer revealed that it contained 310 images and 68 videos depicting child pornography, including babies being sexually exploited by adults. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
22nd man arrested in sex sting after police press conference
According to police, 31-year-old Scott Michael Henson, of Gainesville, was arrested after police held a press conference highlighting the success of their sting, which was covered by local media. The arrest was announced after News4Jax found that two of the other men arrested in the sting had ties to Santa Fe College in Gainesville. Of those arrested, many remained in jail Wednesday with bond amounts ranging from $75,000 to $300,000. Investigators said that Stamper also talked with agents posing as a 14-year-old girl and arranged to meet for sex. He also agreed to bring the girl Skittles and had the candy with him when he was arrested.
Child protection teams combat child sexual abuse
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Child sexual abuse is devastating and traumatic for victims and their families. But the University of Florida leads a group of Child Protection Teams dedicated to dealing with the sensitive matters involved. Dr. Randell Alexander is in charge of the Child Protection Teams for the state of Florida. In Northeast Florida alone the Child Protection Teams deal with about 3,000 child abuse cases every year. Alexander said if parents, guardians or teachers worry a child might be suffering abuse, they should call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873.
Child molester sentenced to life in prison
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man convicted of molestation was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison. James Robert Cox, 31, was charged in November on one count of lewd or lascivious molestation. Authorities learned of Cox's sexual activity with a 7-year-old girl in June 2012. Cox inappropriately touched the girl while she was asleep.