July 23, 2008

Former teacher Daniel Ray Metroka sentenced in molestation case

July 23, 2008

By SONJA BJELLAND, The Press-Enterprise

A former California School for the Deaf Riverside teacher was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to molesting two girls.

Daniel Ray Metroka has been in jail since his arrest on June 30, 2007. On that day, Metroka and his wife were baby-sitting the two girls, 5 and 7 years old.

"There are no words that truly describe the betrayal we feel," stated a letter from their parents read by Deputy District Attorney Kelli Catlett. "Dan stole our children's innocence forever."

In the letter, the parents requested that he identify any other victims who may be deaf and have trouble communicating.

"We want Dan to know we will never live in peace," Catlett read from the letter.

Metroka, 52, had taught at the school since 1997. He also signed as a volunteer interpreter at St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church in Riverside. The school is one of two state-run schools for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

On Friday, Metroka pleaded guilty to four counts of committing a lewd or lascivious act. Chained and in an orange jumpsuit, he signed the "I love you" symbol to his family and friends as he was escorted out of the Riverside Hall of Justice courtroom.

He was facing life in prison but struck a deal for a 20-year sentence, said his defense attorney, Stephen Harmon.

"This is a man who has led a very good life," Harmon said. "But on one evening he made a terrible mistake. I admire him for taking responsibility for that, and he will certainly pay a very high price."


July 21, 2008

Glenn Keeton pleads guilty to lewd and lascivious acts

The Morning Sun, Pittsburg, KS

July 21, 2008

COLUMBUS, KS -- Glenn Keeton pled guilty Monday to one count of lewd and lascivious acts and one count of failure to register, just minutes before his jury trial was set to start.

The possible sentence for the lewd and lascivious charge runs from five months to 17 months, while the failure to register comes with a sentence from 31 months to 136 months.

At Keeton’s sentencing, set for Sept. 16, the judge could decide to run both sentences concurrently.

The decision came as a bit of a surprise, at least to the more than 50 potential jurors who sat waiting in the court room as the attorneys and Cherokee County Judge David Rogers worked in a separate room, prior to jury selection. Those potential jurors, who were asked to report at 8:30 a.m., were getting a bit restless when Rogers came in at 9:15 a.m. to tell them the attorneys were going through preliminary details before starting. He said the hopes were that they could put together a jury by noon.

It didn't take that long to close the trial. At about 10 a.m., Rogers re-entered the room.

"You know the saying 'All dressed up but no place to go?'" Rogers asked the crowd. 'We've just reached a plea deal."

Rogers then told the potential jurors they could leave.

Nola Wright, assistant attorney general, said the situation "was not unusual" in a case like Keeton's. Defense Attorney Gene Barrett declined to comment.

Keeton was set to have two separate trials this summer, one this week for aggravated indecent liberties with a child and lewd and lascivious behavior. The second was set for Aug. 18, where he would have faced four counts of failing to register as a sex offender, Wright said.

Keeton’s charges stemmed from his ownership of Glenn's Ready, Set, Go, a Pittsburg gymnastics facility. He was arrested in June 2007 after officials heard testimony from a 12-year-old Cherokee County female.

Because of the age of the girl, Keeton’s aggravated indecent liberties with a child would have come with a sentencing between 55 months and 247 months.

This is the second time charges have been brought against Keeton for indecent acts involving a child. Keeton was found guilty in a California court in 1993 of one count of lewd and lascivious behavior involving his 10-year-old daughter.

Crawford County Sheriff Sandy Horton said Keeton registered, as required by law, in Crawford County when he established his business, but the state of Kansas did not place him on their public sex offender list because he was not published publicly in California.

California later passed a law making the sex offender list public, but because it was not made retroactive, Keeton stayed off the public list.


July 17, 2008

Christopher Lynn Koppe Faces 111 Child Sex Charges


July 17, 2008

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- A Titusville man accused in the sexual assault of a child is being held on a $3.7 million bond and faces 111 counts of sexual-related offenses.

Christopher Lynn Koppe, 40, was arrested Monday after he consented to a police interview at the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, said Cmdr. Stuart Otto of the Titusville Police Department. During the interview, he admitted to sexually-related contact with the child, Otto told Local 6 News partner Florida Today. Police said Koppe knew the victim.

Koppe is charged with two counts of committing a lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 16 years old, 104 counts of committing sexual act with a child, and five counts of sexual battery of a child under 12 years old. The sexual battery charges carry life prison sentences if convicted.

The girl approached a counselor at a summer camp and told about the abuse, which occurred over a seven-year period, Otto said. It escalated from lewd and lascivious molestation to sexual battery, he said.

Titusville police also conducted a search of Koppe's vehicle last week and collected related forensic evidence that is being analyzed now, Otto said.


July 4, 2008

Travis Prill charged with lewd behavior

By The Chippewa Herald

July 4, 2008

A 41-year-old Bloomer man has been charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and disorderly conduct after he allegedly exposed himself in Irvine Park in May.

According to the complaint: Travis Prill, 1320 17th Ave., Bloomer, was in the park in his truck on the evening of May 18.

A woman and her daughter had seen Prill drive around the park, and later found his truck parked next to their vehicle. When the woman approached her vehicle, she noticed Prill’s passenger side window was open. She said hi and glanced into the truck to find Prill exposing himself.

The women wrote down a description of the truck and reported the incident to Chippewa Falls Police.

Police identified Prill as the owner of the truck. He admitted to being at the park and to exposing himself, however, he said he had exposed himself because he was putting cream on his psoriasis, which was acting up. An officer noted during an interview that Prill did have psoriasis.

The woman said she believes Prill intentionally exposed himself to her.

The police complaint stated Prill has a 1986 conviction for second degree sexual assault of a child, although that cannot be confirmed through online court records.

Prill is scheduled for an initial appearance July 15.


July 2, 2008

Francisco Diaz Gutierrez sentenced to nearly 4 years prison for child molestation


July 2, 2008

Santa Maria, CA (AP) -- A Los Alamos man will be sentenced to nearly four years in prison for molesting two underage sisters, including one who is disabled.

Francisco Diaz Gutierrez pleaded no contest to committing a lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14 in connection with the younger sister, and a count of a lewd or lascivious act on the 15-year-old sister.

The younger girl was 9 years old and her sister suffers from cerebral palsy.

Santa Barbara County Deputy District Attorney Stephen Foley says the 51-year-old Gutierrez will be sentenced Aug. 4 to three years and eight months in prison.