The jury trying megastar Bill Cosby on three counts of aggravated indecent assault has been unable to reach a verdict after six days of deliberations. A unanimous verdict is required in felony criminal cases.
"Geek Squad does not work for the FBI and never has," said a spokesperson for Best Buy, which owns the Geek Squad. Instead, the company says, it only turns over materials to the FBI when a crime is inadvertently discovered.
If you've been accused of a sex crime, it often seems as if the accusation itself can destroy your life. It certainly has a profoundly negative effect on your reputation, which can follow you wherever you go. A conviction is worse, of course. Depending on whether you are charged in state or federal court, a conviction means years behind bars and, in most cases, lifetime registration as a sex offender.
The recent tragic death of an Ohio State student allegedly by a released sex offender has made headline news. The consequence of this act is likely to resonate loudly in the halls of the Ohio legislature. These types of high-profile cases can reshape the law, often for the wrong reasons and often with negative consequences.
A ruling in nearby St. Louis could have significant impact on the way that alleged sex offender cases are handled in neighboring states, including Ohio. A recent ruling out of the federal appeals court in St. Louis determined that Minnesota's practice of holding sex crimes convicts past their sentenced prison terms protects the public, essentially compromising the rights of those who have been sentenced. Attorneys and civil rights advocates are dismayed at the ruling, which they say undoes about five years of work in attempting to protect convicts who fall under the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.
Most of the so-called sex offender laws have proven to be ineffective. They relied on the fiction that assumed most sex offenders are predatory and therefore the same people commit the bulk of these crimes. That is not the case, because, in spite of many more sex offenses, more severe penalties and such devices as sex offender registries and the use of the indefinite incarceration via civil commitment, the rate of sex offenses being committed is relatively unchanged from the period before all of these laws were passed.
A great many scare tactics are used when discussing registered sex offenders. They are often characterized as if they were all Tier III offenders found to have a high propensity to reoffend. In reality, the rate at which sex offenders commit new sex offenses is about five percent.
The functioning of the Ohio sex offender registry was highlighted recently with the return of the Stanford student who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Because of his conviction, he is classified as a Tier III sex offender and he had to register with Green County Sheriff's Department. Under Ohio law, every 90 days he must return to update this information, and if he moves, will have to report to the sheriff's department in whichever county he takes ups residence.