February 27, 2009

Curtis Allen Rapp sentenced; Man taught at day care center

By LEVI PULKKINEN, Seattle Post Intelligencer

February 27, 2009

For nearly 40 years, admitted child molester and former day care worker Curtis Allen Rapp was safe in the silence of the world's not knowing what he had done.

He was never made to pay for his crimes until Friday, when a judge sent him to prison.

While undergoing psychological assessment in an effort to avoid prison, Rapp, 50, told therapists he'd molested at least 23 children before Seattle police arrested him in March on suspicion of molesting a 9-year-old girl at a Crown Hill child care center where he worked.

Prosecutors formally accused Rapp several days later, filing two counts of first-degree child molestation, according to court documents. The move marked the first time Rapp had been called to account for his alleged attacks since he first molested a child at age 12.

Facing King County Superior Court Judge Susan Craighead on Friday, Rapp and his attorney urged the judge to sentence him to intensive sex offender treatment instead of prison. Rapp had pleaded guilty to the two charges against him and been evaluated by treatment professionals, actions required to be eligible for the deferred sentence he'd requested.

Rapp apologized for the offense, offered to pray for his victim and her family and urged the judge to show leniency for his children's sake.

Craighead was not persuaded.

"I am a person who believes in rehabilitation," she told Rapp from the bench. "But I don't believe I can release you and protect the community."

Following Deputy Prosecutor Shelby Smith's request, Craighead sentenced Rapp to a 5 1/2 -year-minimum prison term. Under that sentence, Rapp will remain confined until a state board deems that he no longer threatens the community.

In the case in question, Rapp was accused of molesting a girl at Small Faces Child Development Center, where he was a teacher from 2000 until his arrest last year. According to police statements, the girl told her parents that Rapp had touched her at least three times at the center; he later admitted as much to police, saying the girl gave him permission to touch her.

Addressing the court, the girl's father argued forcefully against releasing Rapp into treatment.

"The community has put up with this crap for 20 years," he argued. "No one can convince me that any amount of treatment will fix him."

Arguing against Rapp's release, Smith noted that, though he had already admitted to nearly two-dozen assaults on children, evaluators aren't sure whether Rapp divulged the true extent of his crimes.

Rapp admitted molesting boys and girls in Washington and Texas, where he taught for 16 years before moving to Seattle.

Rapp, she said, sought out positions of authority over children.

"When he's in control of kids, he can't control himself," Smith said. "Nobody," she added, "ever said anything until now."

Smith said the King County Prosecutor's Office will pursue additional charges against Rapp should additional victims come forward.


Vernon Gilliland gets 49 years for attack on girl, 12

The Associated Press

Feb. 27, 2009

SALINA, Kan. - A Salina County judge has handed a 49-year prison sentence to a man convicted of sodomizing a 12-year-old girl.

An attorney for Vernon Gilliland argued Thursday that people convicted of felony murder, terrorism or treason spend less than 49 years behind bars. But District Judge Daniel Hebert said "molesting a child is right up there with murder and terrorism and the other things you cited."

The 44-year-old Gilliland previously served prison time for burglary and robbery.

A jury in January convicted Gilliland of aggravated criminal sodomy. Prosecutors said the girl's mother walked in the room and thought she saw him performing oral sex on her daughter in June 2007.

A prosecutor read the court a letter from the girl in which she said she had lost her childhood and that Gilliland's actions had destroyed family relationships.


February 26, 2009

Carlos Llamas pleads not guilty to molestation charges

The Desert Sun, Palm Springs, CA

February 26, 2009

A 53-year-old man accused of repeatedly sexually molesting a 9-year-old relative and her friend in Murrieta pleaded not guilty today.

Carlos Abel Llamas, who is being held without bail because he is considered a flight risk, is charged with two counts of engaging in oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child under 10 and four counts of lewd acts with a child under 14.

Llamas is considered a flight risk because police arrested him about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday at a Temecula hotel, where he was hiding while waiting for a Greyhound to take him to Mexico, said Murrieta police Sgt. Jim Ganley.

Somebody had placed an anonymous call to Child Protective Services, Ganley said.

Llamas is accused of inappropriately touching his relative starting in 2007, when she was 7 years old, and illegally touching the child's 9-year-old friend this year.

Llamas had been living with family members in Murrieta before he was arrested, Ganley said.

"He had a van and the van broke down," which is why he was staying with the family this time, Ganley said.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Judith Clark ordered Llamas back to court March 9 for a felony settlement conference. A preliminary hearing is tentatively set for March 11.


February 25, 2009

Spencer Atwood sentenced to 30 years for child molestation

By Shawn McGrath, Herald Bulletin Staff Writer

February 25, 2009

ANDERSON, IN - An Anderson man was given a 30-year sentence Monday for molesting a teen girl in July.

Spencer C. Atwood, 22, pleaded guilty in January to three counts of child molestation. In an agreement with prosecutors, Madison Superior Court 1 Judge Dennis Carroll sentenced Atwood to 30 years, with 20 years in prison and the remaining 10 suspended. A fourth charge, felony contributing to the delinquency of minor, was dismissed with the agreement.

The most serious charge against Atwood carried a sentencing range of 20 to 50 years in prison.

According to a probable cause affidavit:

A 13-year-old girl told police she spent a night in July at a friend's home in south Anderson, where Atwood also lives with his wife and children.

At about 6:30 a.m. the next day, the girl and Atwood were watching a movie when he began fondling himself and asked the girl to touch him. He told her he wanted to have sex with her, and tried to kiss her.

The girl turned him down, and went to a bathroom to get away from him. Atwood followed the girl, closed the door and performed a sex act on her. Atwood's wife began knocking on the bathroom door and found him inside the room with the girl.

Atwood reportedly admitted to performing the sex act on the girl when questioned by police. He said the act was consensual.

The Herald Bulletin doesn't generally identify the victims of sex crimes.


February 19, 2009

Shawn Phillips charged with molesting 14-year-old girl

Shawn Edward Phillips

Panama City News Herald

February 19, 2009

FOUNTAIN, FL - A man was arrested Wednesday on charges of molesting a 14-year-old girl after authorities recovered an apology note he allegedly wrote to his victim.

Shawn Edward Phillips, 36, of 18104 Park Place, Fountain, was arrested after the Florida Department of Children and Families received information about the molestation, according to a news release from the Bay County Sheriff's Office. During the investigation, a note written by Phillips to the victim was recovered in which he apologized for the activity, the release said.

Phillips was interviewed in reference to this case, and after the interview, he was transported to the Bay County Jail, where he was charged with lewd or lascivious molestation. He went to first appearance Wednesday, and was held on $75,000 bond.