Archive for Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Man sentenced for sex crime with 13-year-old

July 19, 2006

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A 35-year-old Lawrence man has been sentenced to 60 days in jail followed by probation for a sex crime involving an acquaintance's 13-year-old daughter.

James W. Blackburn was sentenced Tuesday in Douglas County District Court for a May 13 incident at a home in Eudora in which prosecutors alleged he touched the girl inappropriately after a night of drinking alcohol.

He initially was charged with aggravated indecent liberties with a child, but Dist. Atty. Charles Branson's office dropped it to an "attempted" crime as part of a plea agreement, which put Blackburn in a gray area on the sentencing grid in which a judge can give the defendant probation or prison.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Bob Claus said his office didn't oppose probation but asked for the 60-day sentence. Judge Paula Martin granted the request.

Blackburn also will have to register as a sex offender and undergo a substance-abuse treatment program and a sex-offender treatment program.

Defense attorney Elbridge Griffy IV said Blackburn was remorseful.

"He knows he messed up," Griffy said.

Comments

geekin_topekan 8 years, 9 months ago

A grey area because of a plea agreement?Either he did the crime or he didn't.I thought that the law was written that way. Between this and the drug tax branson is scraping the barrel for convictions. Maybe it's time to elect a new DA

Sigmund 8 years, 9 months ago

Typically DA's will reduce an alleged (not yet proved beyond a reasonable doubt) crime to "attempted indecent liberties" in exchange for a guilty plea. It relieves the State from having a full jury trial (we all love serving on juries, don't we) where the DA will have to prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt often without the benefit of a confession and/or physical evidence, and without having to call the 13 year old accuser to testify and thereby subjecting her to cross examination by the defense.

So the DA reduced the charge to attempt if the defendant pleads guilty. Done. He probably would have been better off going to trial and taking his chances that she wouldn't testify and/or that the State had little or no physical evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

DanFreako 8 years, 9 months ago

"He knows he messed up," Griffy said.

I have no gulit in putting sick people in jail or the very least a place where help can be obtained.

Sigmund 8 years, 9 months ago

21-3504. Aggravated indecent liberties with a child. (a) Aggravated indecent liberties with a child is:

(3) engaging in any of the following acts with a child who is under 14 years of age: (A) Any lewd fondling or touching of the person of either the child or the offender, done or submitted to with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the offender, or both;

Basically, less than rape or doing a Lewinsky.

Nonsense 8 years, 9 months ago

Digital penetration is rape.... Branson got the conviction and put the guy on the registry. Now we know where he is.

jayhawks71 8 years, 9 months ago

Sex offender registries, what a joke and sadly, a violation of the Fourth Amendment; once you have done your time, whatever it is, your "debt" to society is served.

Amendment IV "The right of the people to be secure in their PERSONS, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Notice, the PERSONS and the probable cause language.

YOU have no right to "know where he is" and the government certainly is not given the authority to tell YOU his place of residence or to restrict his movement or where he can own property (also protected by the US Constitution).

Sex offender registries provide a vehicle for vigilante justice and provide a false sense of security ("well at least we don't have any sex offenders living on our street!").

The three big lies being pushed by government: 1. Everything and anything funds terrorism. 2. The war on drugs is necessary to remove this "scourge" from society. 3. Anything and everything must be done to "protect the children."

craigers 8 years, 9 months ago

This sucks. I feel sorry for the girl. Hopefully she doesn't have to see this guy ever again.

barnhardt01 8 years, 9 months ago

This is outrageous. I spent 10 years as a child being raped repeatedly by my father, who never did any jail time for what he did to me. When he went to prison he only spent 10 years at a minimum security work release facility.

I am now 37 years old and the laws on this subject have not changed. "Gee it is only a kid, who cares." This will follow this young girl around for the rest of her life.

What has to be done to change the laws. The rest of the county is trying to get tougher on this issue, and Lawrence give then 60 days.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 9 months ago

"prosecutors alleged he touched the girl inappropriately after a night of drinking alcohol"

So, either he was so drunk that the next day he was still drunk enough to do something this stupid...

OR, this girls parents allow her to hang out at keggers. Why was she around this kind of behavior? Why did a raging drunk have access to a 13 year old girl? "Parenting" is also at issue, here!

Barnhardt: I feel for you. I've known many men who have been in your shoes. If you are interested in recovery resources, e-mail me and I can put you in contact with someone who can help (no cost).

freudian_slip 8 years, 9 months ago

How was Wells for a DA? That was before my time in Lawrence, but I have used him for personal representation recently and he is great to deal with. Great, great guy. What is his rep around town?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 9 months ago

There are a very broad range of behaviors that fit the definition of this crime, and what he did may have been somewhat "light" in comparison to the things that we are all imagining him doing. I'm guessing that while he did commit a crime, the specifics of his actions may have been something along the lines of grabbing her on the "buttocks" or something like that.

And, as we learned from the incident in which Paula Martin gave those knuckleheads probation for RAPE, it seems that the D.A. (for some reason) tends to take drunkenness into account.

jafs 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm quite surprised at the comments on this story. Inappropriate behavior with children is for too common, and as a society we should do everything we can to prevent it. I agree there may be privacy issues in play with sex offender registries, but perhaps the prevention of future abuse outweighs those issues (it is generally accepted that sexual abusers will continue to abuse once released).

mztrendy 8 years, 9 months ago

do they mean he knows he messed up, or that he knows he's messed up. Because I think the second statement is more accurate.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 9 months ago

Parents are responsible for knowing where their children are, who they are with, etc. The story made it clear that this person is someone who hangs out with the family. That gives us insight into the environment that they are choosing for their daughter. Do you know why you and I aren't getting stabbed at 1:00 a.m. at the Moon Bar? Because you and I have enough common sense to not be in those situations. Likewise, this girls parents ARE fully responsible for knowing where she is, and for creating a safe home environment for her.

I'm reading in-between the lines a little, but the picture being painted is that the girl's parent was up late partying with Mr. Offender and the 13 year old was with them. That is not exactly a wholesome situation to be in when you are 13. I don't blame the parent for the guy being a perv, but I do blame them for not being adult enough to not expose their daughter to that kind of activity at the age of 13. The parent helped create the situation "after a night of drinking." Bad parenting.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 9 months ago

"The Mother may no have been awre of the diviency of the male involved and quite frankly it is summer now and not unusual for a 13 year old to be up late in her own home."

I totally agree. BUT, do we think that the parent can't count? After the 8th shot of Jaeger, someone should have put the brakes on the inking-dray in front of the een-tay.

My guess (only speculation) is that Mr. Offender suffers from a number of addictions (including alcohol and sex) and that Mr. Parent suffers from some as well. That helps to explain the boozing in front of the child at all hours.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 9 months ago

One of the things that happens on these boards is that no one really READS the posts. If Enforcer would READ what I wrote, he'd understand that I'm not blaming the girl or the parent for the acts of the offender. What I'm doing is questioning whether or not the parent deserves to be accused of making some obvious judgment errors about the environment that the girl was put in. Those errors in judgment help create an opportunity for the girl to become a victim. Sort of like locking your door at night: it's too bad we have to do it, but not doing it is asking for trouble.

"with newage and old enoughs logic the kids who are moleste byt priests should not be prosecuted becaus their mothers took them to church"

Can you differentiate between taking a 13 year old to church and taking a 13 year old to a drinking party? I imagine you can, but it seems that Mr. Parent cannot.

Enforcer, please copy and paste for me the part where I said that no one should be prosecuted.

Don't be so eager to type that you forget to take the time to process what you've read. I've read enough posts from you to know that you have better logical skills than this.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 9 months ago

Somehow I have failed to be clear.

THE GUY WHO DID IT DESERVES TO BE BLAMED.

Clear enough, now?

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 9 months ago

Enforcer:

Rape is more than penis penetration check out the statue and definition below.

http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatuteFile.do?number=/21-3501.html

21-3501 Chapter 21.--CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS PART II.--PROHIBITED CONDUCT Article 35.--SEX OFFENSES 21-3501. Definitions. The following definitions apply in this article unless a different meaning is plainly required:

  (1)   "Sexual intercourse" means any penetration of the female sex organ by a finger, the male sex organ or any object. Any penetration, however slight, is sufficient to constitute sexual intercourse. "Sexual intercourse" does not include penetration of the female sex organ by a finger or object in the course of the performance of:

  (a)   Generally recognized health care practices; or

  (b)   a body cavity search conducted in accordance with K.S.A. 22-2520 through 22-2524, and amendments thereto.

  (2)   "Sodomy" means oral contact or oral penetration of the female genitalia or oral contact of the male genitalia; anal penetration, however slight, of a male or female by any body part or object; or oral or anal copulation or sexual intercourse between a person and an animal. "Sodomy" does not include penetration of the anal opening by a finger or object in the course of the performance of:

  (a)   Generally recognized health care practices; or

  (b)   a body cavity search conducted in accordance with K.S.A. 22-2520 through 22-2524, and amendments thereto.

  (3)   "Spouse" means a lawful husband or wife, unless the couple is living apart in separate residences or either spouse has filed an action for annulment, separate maintenance or divorce or for relief under the protection from abuse act.

  (4)   "Unlawful sexual act" means any rape, indecent liberties with a child, aggravated indecent liberties with a child, criminal sodomy, aggravated criminal sodomy, lewd and lascivious behavior, sexual battery or aggravated sexual battery, as defined in this code.

  History:   L. 1969, ch. 180, § 21-3501; L. 1983, ch. 109, § 1; L. 1990, ch. 149, § 14; L. 1991, ch. 86, § 1; July 1.

ttongie 8 years, 9 months ago

It sickning that a grown man would even think of touching a child and 60 days isin't enough time

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 9 months ago

I've just added one more person to my list of people I don't write responses to on these boards.

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 9 months ago

Enforcer apparently you don't hence the definition of rape let me remind you of a previous post Mr smarty pants-

Posted by enforcer (anonymous) on July 19, 2006 at 8:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Classification! trauma inflicted has none. Aggravated indecent liberties means that act lacked penial penetration, says nothing about digital penitration whicjh is just as evasive."

Digital penetration is always rape whether they are under 14 or above.

GardenMomma 8 years, 9 months ago

OldEnuf said: "So, either he was so drunk that the next day he was still drunk enough to do something this stupid...

OR, this girls parents allow her to hang out at keggers. Why was she around this kind of behavior? Why did a raging drunk have access to a 13 year old girl? "Parenting" is also at issue, here!"

My respose is: OldEnuf, suppose the man was out at a bar and got drunk there, then came over, and then "inappropriately touched" the victim? So, your either-or scenario is not so either-or. There are lots of ways this man could have gotten drunk enough to do what he did. Parenting issues are not too big an issue here. A 13-year old is old enough to stay home alone. Maybe the parents were out that night, maybe the girl was babysitting that night. We really don't know.

Before you make an either-or assumption, think about it.

GardenMomma 8 years, 9 months ago

Where in this article does it say that the man was in the victim's home drinking with the parents when this crime occurred? Could the "night of drinking" have happened at another location?

There seem to be lots of posts assuming this happened while the victim's parents were around and that the drinking happened in view of the victim. I didn't see anywhere in the article that that is what happened.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 9 months ago

I posted "I'm reading in-between the lines a little".

Yes, per the way I read the story, my assumption is that there was a lot of drinking taking place at home. Regardless, at some point the parent had the kid hanging out with a drunk dude. I still say "bad parenting" just on that one fact. That part is a known fact.

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 9 months ago

Indecent liberties and agg only cover touching without penetration and they are seperated by age ranges.

Rape staute covers the under 14 age range even when it is voluntary.

There are no flaws. The State has covered all. Digital penetration is under rape in sub section (2)

21-3502 Chapter 21.--CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS PART II.--PROHIBITED CONDUCT Article 35.--SEX OFFENSES 21-3502. Rape. (a) Rape is: (1) Sexual intercourse with a person who does not consent to the sexual intercourse, under any of the following circumstances:

  (A)   When the victim is overcome by force or fear;

  (B)   when the victim is unconscious or physically powerless; or

  (C)   when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of mental deficiency or disease, or when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the effect of any alcoholic liquor, narcotic, drug or other substance, which condition was known by the offender or was reasonably apparent to the offender;

  (2)   sexual intercourse with a child who is under 14 years of age;

  (3)   sexual intercourse with a victim when the victim's consent was obtained through a knowing misrepresentation made by the offender that the sexual intercourse was a medically or therapeutically necessary procedure; or

  (4)   sexual intercourse with a victim when the victim's consent was obtained through a knowing misrepresentation made by the offender that the sexual intercourse was a legally required procedure within the scope of the offender's authority.

  (b)   It shall be a defense to a prosecution of rape under subsection (a)(2) that the child was married to the accused at the time of the offense.

  (c)   Rape as described in subsection (a)(1) or (2) is a severity level 1, person felony. Rape as described in subsection (a)(3) or (4) is a severity level 2, person felony.

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 9 months ago

The Agg statute covers sexual intercourse when it is VOLUNTARY between a 14/15 year old and an adult. If a 14/15 is FORCED to have intercourse it is still rape under the rape statute.

21-3504 Chapter 21.--CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS PART II.--PROHIBITED CONDUCT Article 35.--SEX OFFENSES 21-3504. Aggravated indecent liberties with a child. (a) Aggravated indecent liberties with a child is:

  (1)   Sexual intercourse with a child who is 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age;

  (2)   engaging in any of the following acts with a child who is 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age and who does not consent thereto:

  (A)   Any lewd fondling or touching of the person of either the child or the offender, done or submitted to with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the offender, or both; or

  (B)   causing the child to engage in any lewd fondling or touching of the person of another with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the child, the offender or another; or

  (3)   engaging in any of the following acts with a child who is under 14 years of age:

  (A)   Any lewd fondling or touching of the person of either the child or the offender, done or submitted to with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the offender, or both; or

  (B)   soliciting the child to engage in any lewd fondling or touching of the person of another with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the child, the offender or another.

  (b)   It shall be a defense to a prosecution of aggravated indecent liberties with a child as provided in subsection (a)(1), (a)(2)(A) and (a)(3)(A) that the child was married to the accused at the time of the offense.

  (c)   Aggravated indecent liberties with a child as described in subsections (a)(1) and (a)(3) is a severity level 3, person felony. Aggravated indecent liberties with a child as described in subsection (a)(2) is a severity level 4, person felony.

sweetpeagj 8 years, 9 months ago

Actually, I think that in the original articla it stated that the man grabbed the girl as she was taking out the trash or something like that. No where does it mention that this person had been drinking with or around the child. She was grabbed while exiting her home by this man. Having gone through "rape" and "incest" none of the laws take into account hw much one touch can make the victim feel like garbage for the rest of their life. I don't care where you find all the laws and print them daily will it ever make 60 days in jail fitting.

jayhawks71 8 years, 9 months ago

What is really sick is that people support sex offender registries to track people that have served their debt to society. Then to deny people a place to live is absurd. Telling them they can't live within 1000 feet of school, etc... ultimately banning a person who has served his/her time from living anywhere.

Imagine all of the registries that can be created. Speeder registries, bad check registries, noise-complaint registries, smoker registries, red-light runner registries... each of these is a "scourge" on society. Expect to see yourself on a registry in the near future, you trans-fat eaters.

Just to clarify, I have no vested interest in supporting criminals, but these registries are just plain wrong.

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 9 months ago

Jay

if you would read the studies and work on the majority of child molesters they are manipulative and good at "winning over" potential victims and their parents to gain access to the victims. THey are conartists who constantly prey on the weak and the weak minded...such as single mothers with busy lives and multiple children. They prey on children who are desperate for attention from someone and "if they can give them the attention"... guess what.

If these molesters are identified they may go the other way when someone gives them a hard look.

Lists of smokers, speeders, noise complaint people is not even in the same league.

Althought bad check writers would save the businesses a lot of money in the long run in court costs and fees they have to spend with checkwrite and other agencies in tracking down the bad check writers and getting their money back civilly.

irritablegeezer 8 years, 9 months ago

Well, the article tells me nothing about what the guy actually did, only that prosecutors "alleged" he did something "inappropriate." I don't know anything about it. I wasn't there.

As an adult male in today's witch-hunt climate, I try to avoid even speaking  to minor females anymore, because of the very real dangers of false accusation.  I am serious. All it takes is for you to say something- anything at all, something innocent!- to some young girl, and  the next thing you know the cops are at the door and pretty soon, with NO charges, NO arrest, NO trial, NO crime, nothing at all, your reputation is damaged severely for a long time.

This happened to a close friend. It was awful. It happened because he was just being friendly- friendly!- and talked to a minor female, who actually had approached him, not the other way around.

He didn't touch her, he didn't ask or say or do anything whatsoever lewd or illegal- but the girl told lies about him . No one relevant- not her parents, nor the police- believed a word of it. She had done it before. They knew it was all lies.

But the lies got around town anyway. The deep chill came down on him. He was suddenly persona non grata in houses where he had been welcome two weeks before. The popular attitude (not everyone, but enough)was "well, even though they didn't charge him, he probably did it. He LOOKS like he did it."

He was socially ostracized. Kids that had visited his own children at his home suddenly weren't allowed to come over.... no reason given. He was treated like a probable sex criminal on the basis of a lie and a rumor. It took over a year before he was trusted in his own neighborhood where he had lived for 20 years.

Only safe thing is to just stay away from them. Unless you are the parent. They're more dangerous than a den of rattlesnakes.

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