Justice: Town Supports Shiner Texas Hero Who Beat Man To Death After He Caught Him Sexually Assaulting His 5 Year Old Daughter – Sheriff: “You Have A Right To Defend Your Daughter.”

June 14, 2012

SHINER, TEXAS – Shiner is a place you can raise your cattle and chickens under the hot Texas sun, cool off with a bottle from the Lone Star State’s oldest independent brewery, then go to bed knowing all your neighbors and believing that you’ll be safe.

But a few days ago, one of its trademark ranches turned into a crime scene. That’s when a father reportedly spotted a man sexually assaulting his 5-year-old daughter, then beat the alleged abuser to death.

In a community that prides itself as being peaceful, a place where things like this just don’t happen, there is a sweeping consensus that justice was served.

“Any father would have done that,” Michael James Veit, whose son graduated with the father from Shiner High School in 2007 and who now lives across the road from the ranch where the killing took place, said Thursday. “Everybody is saying the father is justified.”

According to the Lavaca County Sheriff’s office, the 23-year-old father and his family were enjoying a barbecue last Saturday at their ranch on Shiner’s outskirts where they keep horses and chickens.

His young daughter had gone off toward the barn, to feed the chickens, the child’s grandfather — who isn’t being named, to protect the identity of his granddaughter — told CNN affiliates KSAT and KPRC.

Then her father heard screaming and ran. He found a 47-year-old man in the act of sexually abusing his daughter, according to Sheriff Mica Harmon.

The father stopped the alleged abuser, then pounded him repeatedly in the head.

“I jumped the fence and saw the man on the ground,” the grandfather said of what he first saw. “At that point, I didn’t know if he was dead or not.”

Authorities did, in fact, pronounce the alleged abuser dead. Lavaca County Precinct Judge Alene Lyons said Monday that a preliminary autopsy report show he “died from blunt-force head and neck injuries,” adding toxicology report results should be back in six weeks.

Sheriff Harmon described the victim as an acquaintance of the family, known for his horse-grooming abilities. He has not yet been publicly identified by authorities.

The father himself called 911, telling them that his daughter’s alleged abuser was lying, beaten, on the ground. Afterward, the sheriff said that the admitted killer appeared “very remorseful” and didn’t know the other man would die at the scene.

Asked whether authorities would press charges against the father, the sheriff responded, “You have a right to defend your daughter. He acted in defense of his third person. Once the investigation is completed we will submit it to the district attorney, who then submits it to the grand jury, who will decide if they will indict him.”

Neighbors portrayed the father as hard-working, friendly and polite, the type of guy who reliably addresses others as “Sir.”

“He’s not a violent guy, he’s never been in any trouble in his life,” said Veit of a man he described as a single father who worked nobly to make ends meet. “He’s a good, honest, hard-working kid.”

Most any violence is unexpected in Shiner, a community between Houston and San Antonio that has about 2,000 people within its city limits and another 1,500 or so on its outskirts, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Billing itself as the “Cleanest Little City in Texas,” Shiner is known for the Spoetzl Brewery, a wire and plastics company, not to mention its acres upon acres of plains and farms. Veit calls it “a small-town community,” filled with folks who may not be wealthy but who work hard and look out for one another.

“Nothing ever happens, there’s never any murders here,” Veit said. “Everybody knows everybody, and gets along with everybody. (This killing) is a real big shock.”

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Pedophile Catholic Priest Thomas Harkins, Removed From Ministry Over Sex Abuse Allegations, Working For TSA In Sensitive Security Post At Philadelphia Pennsylvania Airport

May 25, 2012

PHILADELPHIA,PENNSYLVANIA – The CBS 3 I-Team has learned that a Catholic priest who was removed from the ministry over sex abuse allegations now holds a sensitive security post at Philadelphia International Airport.

The security checkpoint between Terminals D and E is a busy place where thousands of people – including lots of kids – pass through every day. But you might not believe who the I-Team observed working as a TSA supervisor at that checkpoint this week: Thomas Harkins.

Until 2002, Harkins was a Catholic priest working at churches across South Jersey. But the Diocese of Camden removed him from ministry because it found he sexually abused two young girls. Now, in a new lawsuit, a third woman is claiming she also is one of Harkins’ victims.

The I-Team asked Harkins about the suit as he was leaving his shift at the airport.

“I have nothing to say,” was Harkins’ reply.

The new lawsuit, filed in federal court against the Camden Diocese says quite a bit. It accuses Harkins of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl 10 to 15 times in 1980 and 1981. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the alleged victim, claims the abuse occurred while Harkins was a priest at Saint Anthony of Padua parish in Hammonton, NJ, with one assault even occurring in Harkins’ bedroom at the rectory.

The I-Team asked Harkins if the traveling public should be worried.

“No, they shouldn’t be,” he said.

“The public should not be worried with you in a position like this despite your past?” reporter Ben Simmoneau asked.

“I have nothing to say,” Harkins repeated.

He then used his TSA badge to walk into a restricted area where our cameras could not follow.

“They should know who they’re hiring,” said Karen Polesir, a Philadelphia spokeswoman with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). She believes Harkins’ TSA job is inappropriate.

“As the public, we are screened to our underwear getting on a plane, and yet they hire a man like that.”

A TSA official tells the I-Team Harkins’ title is “Transportation Security Manager, Baggage,” meaning he deals mostly with luggage, not passengers.

“Sure, that’s his title,” Polesir said. “That doesn’t mean that’s where he stays, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t fill other roles when necessary.”

The TSA says all its employees go through a criminal background check before they’re hired, but because these cases are so old, criminal charges were not filed. A spokesman says the Camden Diocese settled the first two lawsuits with Harkins’ accusers–it has not seen this suit just yet.

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Pedophile Rialto California Police Officer Theodore Fernandes Arrested, Charged After Repeated Sex With Female Relative Child

May 10, 2012

RIALTO, CALIFORNIA – A Rialto police officer has been charged with having sex with an underage female relative.

Bail is set at $2 million for 50-year-old Rialto police Officer Theodore Fernandes, who has been charged with 20 sex counts involving a juvenile. Fernandez was arrested on Tuesday at his Fontana home.

Fontana police Sgt. Billy Green says the allegations surfaced in February and an arrest warrant was issued on Monday.

There are no details about the victim, who is now an adult, or the dates the alleged sex crimes took place.

Green says investigators do not believe there are additional victims.

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On Duty Santa Maria California Police Officer Alberto Covarrubias Jr., Shot And Killed By Fellow Officers, Was A Pedophile – Won’t Get A Police Funeral…

February 7, 2012

SANTA MARIA, CALIFORNIA – When a police officer dies on the job, a department and a community mourn together. But not this week in Santa Maria, where they are too stunned and outraged.

Officer Alberto Covarrubias Jr. was shot and killed early Saturday at the end of his shift working a DUI checkpoint. The shooter was his best friend on the force and best man at his wedding just three weeks earlier.

More shocking still was that the shooting occurred as detectives moved in to arrest Covarrubias, 29, on charges of having sex with a 17-year-old girl.

Now, as Covarrubias’ family prepares to bury him without a police funeral, two retired officers who spoke to police at the scene of the shooting offered new details of the case:

— The girl was a member of the department’s Police Explorer program for young people interested in law enforcement careers.

— A lieutenant at the checkpoint had alerted the officers assembled, including Covarrubias, that the girl was part of an investigation and that she was going to be pulled off checkpoint duty.

The former officers disclosed the details to The Associated Press only on condition of anonymity. Police officials have not returned repeated calls seeking comment.

Since the shooting, a memorial of candles and flowers has risen where Covarrubias was killed. The death of an officer on duty is rare, though the city came close in December when two were wounded by “friendly fire” during a botched SWAT team raid.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Davinder Singh, who manages the 7-11 store 50 yards from the memorial. “It’s not supposed to happen that way.”

Santa Maria, nestled between oak-studded hills and cooled by the Pacific 10 miles away, is a mixture of 1950s California and the kind of stucco-clad, cookie-cutter development seen elsewhere. Over the years, Latinos have increasingly moved in to the city about 170 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

It’s easy to see their influence — they now comprise 70 percent of the city’s 100,000 residents. A new Rite-Aid drug store sits around the corner from a Mexican herbal medicine shop, Clinica Naturista. And a throw-back hamburger stand on the main drag serves menudo, a Mexican stew, on weekends.

Killings are uncommon; the city averages less than a half-dozen homicides a year, mostly gang-related. But the recent spate of violence has some city officials worried.

“We’re in tough times trying to get business and people to settle here,” said Mike Cordero, a City Council member who served 30 years on the Santa Maria police force.

Police have disclosed few details about the Covarrubias case, leaving residents to wonder why police felt compelled to make the arrest while the four-year veteran was on duty and how it could have ended with a bullet in the officer’s chest.

Covarrubias’ family wants answers, too.

“What happened to procedure?” asked his father, Alberto Covarrubias Sr. “Why did they go to arrest him in the field? If it was so urgent why didn’t they just say there was a family emergency and he had to come to the station?”

Chief Danny R. Macagni did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, nor did City Manager Rick Hayden or City Attorney Gilbert Trujillo.

At a news conference the day after the shooting, neither Macagni nor his top deputies were wearing the black bands across their badges that are customary after an officer is killed.

“Events unfolded very rapidly,” he said. “It was very clear to the investigators that he knew what was going to happen. I cannot divulge why we know that. The information that we had we knew we could not let him get in the car and drive somewhere.

“But we did not expect him to react the way he did,” he added.

Covarrubias, a 2000 graduate of Santa Maria High School, always wanted to be a cop. His classmates said he was a funny and charming guy. He had recently remarried — a woman with whom his father said “he just clicked” — 13 months after his first wife committed suicide during their divorce proceedings.

He once was heralded as employee of the month in the department of 105 for nabbing an ATM robber, his father said. Last fall, he was named to the motorcycle unit. “My son was proud to be a cop,” he said. “He was a good cop. Now they’re dragging his name through the mud.”

Everyone has the same question: Why did police try to arrest Covarrubias while he was armed with his service pistol and aware of the investigation?

“I’m concerned about what’s happening and it goes beyond the shooting of an officer. It reflects on the management of the police department,” said Toru Miyoshi, who formerly served on both the city council and the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

“They could have waited for a more controlled situation. A DUI checkpoint does not just put the accused at risk but it puts the public at risk as well,” Miyoshi said.

It’s unclear for how long Covarrubias and the girl carried on a sexual relationship, but she confided to an adult described as a “mother figure” on Thursday — Covarrubias’ birthday — that the two “were dating.” The woman called police, the retired officers said.

Police decided to set up a sting to arrest Covarrubias on sexual misconduct charges. In California, the age of consent is 18 unless the two people are within three years of each other in age.

Before the DUI checkpoint started, the lieutenant in charge was told that the Explorer Scout was going to be called away to do a “pretext call,” the name for setup calls designed to get suspects to confess with investigators listening in, both retired officers said.

For reasons unknown, the commanding officer told all of the officers at the checkpoint, including Covarrubias, that the girl would be called away for an investigation, they said.

The officers, who have more than six decades of experience between them, independently described what happened that night.

Covarrubias panicked when he heard the commanding officer’s announcement about the pretext call, the officers said. He texted the girl, asking if she had spoken to investigators.

Investigators proceeded with their plan, sending the “mother figure” to fetch the girl and tell her there was a family emergency. Covarrubias saw the girl leave and became frantic.

“As soon as she gets pulled out he starts texting her again,” said one of the retired officers. “He started texting stuff like ‘I’m not going to jail’ and ‘I’d rather kill myself’ and that type of stuff.”

Soon the girl called Covarrubias’ cell phone and, though he knew she was part of an investigation, he acknowledged their sexual relationship, the former officers said. After hanging up he sent a text saying that he hoped the call wasn’t set up by the department.

Sometime around 1 a.m., two sergeants — one of them the officer’s cousin — arrived to take Covarrubias into custody.

Covarrubias backed up and, according to police, tried to draw his gun as the sergeants wrestled him to the ground. Police at the scene told the retired officers that Covarrubias fired four times, but not at anything or anyone.

Then, he pointed his pistol at his best man, Officer Matt Kline, the retired officers said. Kline fired his weapon, fatally wounding his friend.

The department denied Covarrubias a police funeral, said his father, who then opted not to bury his son in the uniform he loved.

“What happened to the brotherhood?” the father asked. “This is all stewing inside of me. I should have my son here, not be planning his funeral.”

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20 Year Veteran Newport News Virginia Police Officer Carolyn Harris Arrested For Sex With A 2 Year Old Girl

March 6, 2011

NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA – A woman in a position of trust in the community now faces serious charges. Carolyn Harris, 44, a Newport News Police officer of more than 20 years, was arrested Monday.

She’s charged with two felonies, aggravated sexual battery, and indecent liberties with a child by a custodian.

According to police, the victim, a two-year-old girl, is related to Harris and was visiting her when the assault took place.

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Hero Sued, Then Beat The Shit Out Of Priest Who Molested Him And His Brother

October 30, 2010

CALIFORNIA – In an interview with the Mercury News eight years a, William Lynch said that he was so angry at the priest he had sued for molesting him as a child that “I could kill him with my bare hands.”

Lynch surrendered today to Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies who suspect him of tracking the Rev. Jerold Lindner to the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos in May and pummeling the 65-year-old retired cleric so badly that he ended up in the hospital.

Lynch, 44, of San Francisco, was booked on suspicion of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, a felony, and was given a bail of $25,000. There is no scheduled arraignment.

The retired priest’s condition after the attack was unclear today and he could not be reached for comment.

The vigilante attack on Lindner reportedly happened May 10, when Lynch called the Jesuit retirement home, identifying himself as “Eric.” He pretending to have a “death notification” for the elderly priest, officials said.

The person who answered the phone confirmed Linder was there.

Lynch then showed up and confronted the priest.

“Do you remember me?” he reportedly said.

The priest said he didn’t.

Then, Lynch allegedly said “You abused me and my brother.”

And then he attacked, sheriff’s officials said, beating Lindner with his fists so badly that he left Lidner’s body covered with bruises.

After Lynch fled, police were called. Lynch was reportedly
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interviewed by deputies on Oct. 18.

Soon afterward, Lynch’s surrender was arranged through his attorney.

Santa Clara County sheriff’s did not have an immediate answer why it took so long to find Lynch, who had sued Lindner for the abuse years ago.

Lynch could not be reached for comment Friday.

But in 2002, Lynch told the Mrecury News that he has suffered decades of psychological trauma and attempted suicide over his abuse.

Lynch accused Lindner of abusing he and his brother when during a church-led, family camping trip in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1975.

He said he and his then-4-year-old brother were sodomized by Lindner, forced to perform sexual acts on each other, and told they would go to hell if they told anyone what happened.

Lindner was removed from active ministry in Los Angeles in 1997 in response to a civil suit filed by Lynch that year. He was reportedly sent to the Jesuit Center in 2002.

Jesuit officials reportedly agreed to a confidential settlement.

A 2002 Los Angeles Times report said Lindner has abused children, including members of his own family, since the 1950s.

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Broke State Of New Hampshire To Release Sex Offenders Who Haven’t Completed Rehabilitation Program Under New Law

September 24, 2010

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Saying they had no other choice under new mandatory parole laws, state Adult Parole Board members yesterday agreed to set free eight inmates nearing their maximum term in jail. Among the paroled were child sex predators who have not completed prison programs aimed at rehabilitating them, according to Department of Corrections records.

“You are a danger. You are a predator,” board member Mark Furlone said to Robin Woodburn Jr., 34, of Manchester. “I think it is disgusting we have to parole you out.”

Woodburn’s victims were 7 and 13.

Woodburn said he wanted to be released to the Concord area and is looking for a spot in a rooming house.

Senate Bill 500 requires that violent offenders coming before the board be released nine months before their maximum prison sentence is served. The measure allows non-violent offenders to be paroled after they have served 120 percent of their minimum sentence.

The Department of Corrections estimates Senate Bill 500 will save about $7 million over five years and decrease the inmate population by 500 to 600.

Jeff Lyons, spokesman for the department, has said the law ensures that the last nine months of an inmate’s maximum sentence are spent under “intense supervision” in the community.
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Sex offenders (from left) Anthony Blakney, Michael Navarro, Theodore Roosevelt and Robin Woodburn Jr. are among the first inmates to be released under Senate Bill 500.

But board member Alan Coburn, who was serving as chairman yesterday, said he was told by staff that even if a person coming up on mandatory release has no place to live, no job or no treatment set up, he still has to be paroled.

Advocates for Senate Bill 500 have said the bill would reallocate savings from the early release into programs within the community and provide treatment such as counseling for inmates. (See related story.)

They argue that in the past, inmates who “max” out their time go into the community without any plan or support, and that this change ultimately would be safer and give victims more knowledge and control.

Sex offenders Woodburn, Michael Navarro, Anthony Blakney and Theodore Roosevelt are among the first inmates to be released under Senate Bill 500.

►End of inmate program raises questions (4)

Navarro, who was convicted of aggravated felonious sexual assault on a 15-year-old, said he plans to move to Kittery, Maine. He said he plans to seek sex offender treatment once a week in Biddeford, Maine, and go to police station and register in Kittery. He was told he could have no contact with minor females or the victim, no porn and no internet.

“We are going to put you on the strictest supervision that Maine offers,” Coburn said, but noted that the state could reject the plan.

Anthony Blakney, 27, of Manchester, will be released Oct. 28. He has been serving five years for 10 counts of felonious sexual assault on a 15-year-old in 2004. He was kicked out of sex offender treatment for behavioral reasons, and has had 23 disciplinary write-ups in less than three years, according to DOC records.

Yesterday in Berlin, prison staff said he was convicted of carrying a deadly weapon in the prison, a metal shank.

Jeramie M. Johnson Sr., 25, of Laconia, will be released on Nov. 19 to his aunt’s home in Franklin. He was originally convicted on a burglary offense, but while incarcerated was convicted of indecent exposure and lewdness.

He refused sex offender treatment while incarcerated.

“I am here on a burglary and I was never convicted of a sex crime,” he said by video relay from the prison in Berlin.

“Are you willing to do sex offender treatment on the outside?” asked Coburn.

“No,” the inmate said.

“We are going to release you because we have to,” Coburn said. “What we are here to do is to set conditions.”

The board agreed to require Johnson attend a sex offender treatment. He was also ordered to have no contact with children, register as a sex offender in Franklin and have an alcohol evaluation.

John Eckert, executive assistant to the parole board, said yesterday the purpose of parole is to encourage inmates to get it together.

“Now, from an institutional perspective, there is no incentive,” he said.

Also granted mandatory parole yesterday were:

— Mark J. Ouellette, 24, of Laconia who received a two-to-four-year sentence for robbery. He will be eligible for release on Nov. 1. The conditions set yesterday include no contact with Cumberland Farms and the Laconia Spa store, no weapons, and completing a high school graduation equivalency. He said he had no definite plan for where he would stay, but has relatives in Manchester.

— Robert Richardson, 40, of Manchester, originally incarcerated for stalking, is currently serving one to two years for possession of drugs. He said he plans to be released to the Manchester homeless shelter.

— Christopher Moore of Dover, was convicted of unarmed robbery and simple assault. He will be released Oct. 12.

If those who are paroled violate their conditions, they can be returned to the jail for no more than 90 days.

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