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  • Fake sex ad conviction upheld

    Published Friday September 5, 2008
    Fake sex ad conviction upheld
    BY LESLIE REED
    WORLD-HERALD BUREAU

    LINCOLN — The Nebraska Supreme Court today upheld the juvenile court conviction of a Douglas County teen who posted a fake Internet sex ad in the name of a woman with whom his family was quarreling.

    The 30-year-old woman, a married mother of two, complained to police after men starting calling her and coming to her home seeking sexual encounters.

    The boy, who was not quite 15 at the time of the 2006 incident, argued he was coerced into confessing by plainclothes police officers who pulled him out of class at Omaha Central High School to interview him.

    The high court, in a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Michael Heavican, rejected the appeal, even though the teen was interviewed in a "police-dominated atmosphere."

    The two officers who interviewed the boy did not use strong-arm tactics or deceptive strategies, Heavican concluded. The boy was never restrained, and police said he agreed to talk to them after they told him he could leave if he wished.

    The opinion identified the boy and the woman only by their first names and last initials.

    Juvenile Court Judge Douglas Johnson, after finding the boy guilty of criminal impersonation and disturbing the peace, ordered him to apologize to the woman and her family and to avoid contact with them; to attend school and turn in his classwork on time; to obey his parents' rules; and to stay off the Internet, e-mail and other devices that could send or receive electronic messages like those involved in this case.

    In mid-October 2006, the woman began receiving phone calls and visits from men responding to a message posted in her name on Craigslist, an Internet classified advertising site. The posting said the woman was single and wanted sexual encounters with men. It included explicit sexual images and a photograph of her home, and listed her home address and telephone number.

    The woman testified in court that she did not create the posting.

    The high court said the woman had had a dispute with the boy's family earlier in the fall.

    Police Officers Paul Milone and Eric Nordby traced the posting to the Internet address of the boy's family computer. The officers visited his parents at their home.

    His mother told them that she did not really know how to use the computer and that her son used the computer most often. She gave the officers permission to talk to the boy.

    Security guards at Omaha Central pulled the boy out of class at the officers' request. The police spoke with him in the small, windowless office of the uniformed police officer assigned to the school. They spoke with the boy for less than 20 minutes, without informing him of his constitutional rights.

    He initially said he had no knowledge of the posting but confessed after the officers told him the Internet address from the posting belonged to his family's computer. The boy then was allowed to return to class.

    In its opinion, the high court wrestled with whether the boy's age should be taken into consideration in reviewing whether he voluntarily confessed to police. In court, the boy testified that he felt obligated to answer the officers' questions and that he did not feel free to leave the interview.

    Milone, however, testified that he and Nordby told him he could leave at any time. The officers denied the boy's statement that they told him he could be held in juvenile detention for five days if he did not cooperate.

    "The only facts that weigh against a finding that (the boy) voluntarily confessed are that (he) was alone and that he was a minor," Heavican wrote. "But our precedent shows that standing alone, these two facts are insufficient to render a confession involuntary."

    Heavican pointed to a 2000 case where the confession of a 15-year-old murder suspect was ruled voluntary, even though he was interrogated alone by two police officers for nearly two hours beginning at 2:16 a.m.

    The high court also rejected the boy's argument that it was the men visiting the woman's house, and not he, who actually disturbed the woman's peace. "We conclude that (he) could be found guilty of disturbing (her) peace by enabling and encouraging others to harass her directly," Heavican wrote.
    Some people were just dropped on their heads as children more than the rest of us!

  • #2
    At least the parents here did the right thing and let their child talk to the police. Sounds like he needs a foot to the back side though.
    Some people were just dropped on their heads as children more than the rest of us!

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't think kids are getting kicks in the butt often enough anymore, kinda like that 7yr old that took his granny's car and hit several other vehicles and totaled the one he was driving (with his other 7yr old buddy sitting next to him)...boy am I glad I was raised well!
      Detention Deputy (In Process)

      Deputy Sheriff/KS State Trooper (After Detention)

      "Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other off." -Tommy Cooper

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      • #4
        Children aren't being disciplined, but I feel it's a societal problem of overall irresponsibility. Children learn what they see. So if they see a society that seemingly doesn't enforce rules/laws, or that the punishment for those rules and laws is negligble, or breaking of those same rules and laws is glorified, then they will learn that breaking them is ok. I'm not saying that we can control what our children do, but we definitely need to start watching ourselves, as well as revamping the judicial system to emplace a quicker, stiffer penalty for lawbreakers. My two cents .

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        • #5
          That kids got an imagination
          "Friendly Fire, isn't"

          Comment

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