Saturday, April 30, 2005

Court Sides With Sexual Predators

The Missouri Supreme Court made a ruling this past week that is insane and truly without rational explanation. Its embarrassing for sure, but much more importantly it puts our children in harms way. What they did is reverse a Missouri law section 566.083.1(1) RSMo 2000 by a 4 to 3 vote. It came about in an appeal hearing for a former St. Louis public school counselor (James Beine) who was convicted of exposing himself on several different occasions to elementary children. Aside from the school exposure crime, Beine has a conviction that was overturned on child pornography. That case had an alleged improper search warrant. Seems like we are scoring about 150% on protection of Child Sexual Predator rights.

Here is the full report out of the case and why the Missouri Supreme Court reversed the ruling from the Missouri Government website


My summary is as follows:

Opinion Summary: In his job as a counselor at the Patrick Henry Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri, James Beine often entered restrooms designated for males to prevent disruptive behavior by students. Three male students under the age of 14 asserted that, in the spring of 2001, Beine exposed himself to them while using a urinal next to them in the restroom near the school's gym. At the time, no restrooms were designated expressly for students only, and adults sometimes used the large public restrooms frequented by the students. Beine was indicted on three counts of sexual misconduct involving a child by indecent exposure, in violation of section 566.083.1(1), RSMo 2000, although a fourth charge involving one of the three boys was added later. Following a trial, the jury found Beine guilty on all four counts and recommended that he be sentenced to four years in prison on each count. The court accepted the jury's recommendation, sentencing Beine to one concurrent and three consecutive terms, for a total of 12 years imprisonment. Beine appeals.

REVERSED AND REMANDED.Court en banc holds: (1) The evidence is insufficient to convict Beine of any of the charges, as the state has failed to point to substantial evidence in support of the essential elements of the offenses charged. To convict Beine of the charges, the state was required to prove that Beine exposed his genitals in a manner that would cause a reasonable adult to believe that such conduct was likely to cause affront or alarm to a child under the age of 14. Here, there is no question that Beine knowingly exposed his genitals to persons under the age of 14, which often is necessary in a men's restroom. There was no direct evidence, however, of how a reasonable adult would react to Beine's behavior. The evidence that, on two occasions, Beine stood at a distance from the urinal while urinating in the presence of the boys reasonably cannot be construed as likely to cause affront or alarm. The state simply has not proved criminal conduct under the applicable statute, and the judgment on all counts must be reversed.

So there is no doubt that Beine exposed himself on several occasions to children under 14 years old, but the Court says the exposure is within a reasonable fashion. Exposure within reasonable fashion?

Mr. Beine admitted to a fellow inmate that he knowingly exposed himself to boys and he admitted to be drawn to these two boys for what ever reason. He also told his fellow inmate that whenever the boys would use the bathroom and no other adults were around, he would go in and expose himself to the boys.

The children testified that Mr. Beine urinated beside them at a distance of three to four feet in an arc! Why would anyone stand back that far from the urinal other than to expose themselves to someone else.

On another occasion Beine turned towards the boys while they were using the sink and exposed himself again to them. If he had enough time to finish, then he had enough time to zip up prior to turning and facing the children.

The Principle Mr. Washington stated that there was no written policy that prohibited adults from using the children's bathroom "but it would not have been considered appropriate for the adult staff members to have used the children's restroom when the children were using them, although adults staff might use these restrooms on occasion if no children were present.

One of the boys C.M. stated that Beine was in the bathroom almost any time that his class used it.

OK, so this guy urinated four feet from the urinal in front of the kids, turned to them and exposed himself, was always in the bathroom when they were there even though the Principle states that was not appropriate, admitted to be drawn to these boys, and planned his presence when they were in the bathroom. Sounds to me that it fits within the intent of the law that any REASONABLE person would determine that this man intentionally exposed himself to these children repeatedly and did in fact cause affront or alarm to a child under age 14.

The only thing that is not reasonable is the ruling by the four judges lead by Chief Justice Ronnie L. White. Remember Ronnie White's failed appointment by Clinton to the US District Court? Sound like a very sound decision given the rulings coming out of the Missouri State Supreme Court these days that he is leading.

Here is what John Ashcroft said about his objection to White being appointed to a life time post as a US District Court:

My opposition to Judge White was well-founded. Studying his judicial records, considering the implications of his decisions and hearing the widespread objections to his appointment from a large body of my constituents, I simply came to the overwhelming conclusion that Judge White should not be given lifetime tenure as a US District Court judge. My legal review revealed the troubling pattern of his willingness to modify settled law in criminal cases. 53 of my colleagues reached the same conclusion.

Here is what the Law Enforcement of America said about the failed White appointment: White

On October 5, 1999, the U.S. Senate voted 45-54 to reject the nomination of Ronnie White to the U.S. District Court in Missouri; this was the first time the Senate had defeated a Clinton -judicial nominee after 320 straight -confirmations.

Democrats accused Republicans of racism for rejecting a black nominee, while Republicans (including many who had not even known the nominee’s race) said his record on issues, including criminal justice, did not justify a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. For instance, as a justice on the Missouri Supreme Court, Ronnie White voted against the death penalty three times more often than his colleagues in the Show Me State.

Interesting don't you think that White got an up or down vote and he got voted down and got voted down rightfully so. The Presidents candidates deserve the same up or down vote.

Bottom line here is that these Activist Judges who were appointed by Democrat Governors have turned the sexual predators loose on our children in an unexplainable ruling. They have abandoned common sense and abandoned protecting the children of Missouri. They are saying it is perfectly ok for a Teacher in Elementary school to expose themselves to children for their own gratification. With story after story of sexual predators abusing and killing children these days, instead of stiffing the law and cracking down on this horrendous crime, the Missouri Supreme Court is enabling it. Not only will Beine be released but in all probabiliy all other preditors convicted under the statute that has been ruled unconsitutional will also be released if they appeal.

I would suggest that you contact your State Rep and State Senator if this is alarming to you and voice your concern. If there ever was a "Good" reason to call them, now is the time.

Also check out the watered down version of the story by the Pravda Post buried on page 8.

Pravda Post

Not exactly the full story is it............................