I have a backlog of stories that need posting so some of posts in the near future will be done in what I like to call ‘lightning round’ style. This will be one of them.
29-year-old high school teacher June Kendall, is accused of having sex with two 17-year-old male students from the school. The subject was allegedly broached over the photo sharing app Snapchat, which was said to have included Kendall sharing explicit photos of herself. She reportedly had sex with the two students, albeit separately, at the school during school hours.
Another case of a teacher using Snapchat to prey on students. This time it’s a 31-year-old dance teacher from a Chicago prep school. Angel Pagan is said to have allegedly taken pictures of his junk and sent it to some of his male students over Snapchat. That doesn’t even begin to cover how creepy this guy allegedly is.
According to prosecutors, Pagan taught the first victim, a 16-year-old boy, in one of his dance classes. In early December 2015, Pagan allegedly walked in on the boy as he showered, fully nude, in a school locker room, and began to make comments about the teen’s genitalia.
Pagan also groped the boy several times, claiming he was performing a “cup check,” prosecutors said. In late December and early January, the boy received Snapchat photos of Pagan’s penis. The teen took a screenshot of one of the images and turned it over to police, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors also say Pagan fondled two students, exposing himself to one of them in the school’s locker room after showering. He also allegedly sent pictures of his genitals to the students with captions that said “fresh and clean” and “shower time.”
When Angel Pagan sent pictures of his uncircumcised penis to a member of the dance team on the social media app, he added the hashtag “teamskin,” Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.
Again what is it with teachers using Snapchat to get in trouble with students. Just because someone is a teacher doesn’t mean they’re smart enough to know that pictures from Snapchat don’t always disappear.
Before we get into the crime itself I have to chide the Chicago Sun-Times for using the terms ‘sexual assault’ and ‘having sex’ when what allegedly happened was clearly rape. In my opinion to not call the crime what it really is lessens the impact of what really happened. Tell me if this sounds like ‘having sex’ to anyone…
Both men sexually assaulted her repeatedly and the other man—who has not yet been charged—took her cell phone and keys, prosecutors allege.
Grant continued having sex with the woman while the other man went to ransack her car, but Grant stopped and ran when he heard a noise, prosecutors said.
Not sex, rape. I can’t even imagine the horror that the victim had to endure not knowing if she was going to live or die while repeatedly being violated.
Secondly I want to address the Backpage issue with this crime. A number of sex workers who claim they’re ‘consenting adults’ say that websites like Backpage make it safer for them. Again in my opinion it does not, as has been shown here it only delivers victims to where potential rapists want them. Am I saying that the victim deserved what she got? Not at all and only the most ardent supporters of the consenting adult myth would ever believe that. However by telling yourself that Backpage makes it safer for prostitutes then you’re just fooling yourself.
29-year-old Roy Akins of Chicago is accused of raping a prostitute that he ordered through Backpage. According to the Chicago Sun-Times Akins didn’t have the money to pay her so when the woman showed up to his house he brandished a gun and raped her instead. Akins even allegedly had the audacity to text his victim ‘apologizing’ for the rape.
First off I want to commend the Chicago police for taking the victim seriously and apprehending her alleged rapist. However I would like to ask how could Backpage possibly make prostitution any safer when it is basically delivering victims to the homes of potential rapists and killers?
Police in Des Plaines, Illinois, have arrested 50-year-old Farhad Tanzifn for allegedly raping a woman he met through craigslist. Police say that Tanzifn placed an on craigslist looking for a roommate and agreed to give the room to a 45-year-old woman. When the woman returned with her belongings Tanzifn allegedly raped her at knife point.
It doesn’t matter which section of craigslist you may use, the odds are there’s some kind of criminal lurking on the other side of the ad and as much as I hate to say it, those odds greatly increase if you’re a woman. That may sound insensitive but unfortunately that’s the way it is on craigslist these days.
Back in 2011 Timothy Smith of Woodstock, Illinois, shot and killed 48-year-old Kurt Milliman in Smith’s home. Smith was prostituting his then wife, Kimberly Smith, on craigslist. Supposedly Milliman got to rough with Kimberly Smith and Timothy Smith emerged from hiding and shot Milliman.
More than likely to hide their criminal activities the Smiths concocted a home invasion story where they claimed that Milliman was killed in self-defense after tampering with evidence to try to make the scene look like am attempted burglary.
In 2013 Timothy Smith was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to 50 years behind bars. This past Tuesday Smith was granted a new trial on the grounds that the judge at his trial did not allow an involuntary manslaughter charge to be considered by the jury. Smith’s attorney claims that his client meant to scare Milliman and not kill him. I don’t buy it but it is what it is.
As I said before no one in this story was clean but I can see the grounds for involuntary manslaughter as Smith did not allow Milliman into his home with the ‘sole purpose of killing him. Then again, it was a killing in the commission of another crime so I can see the murder charge as well.
No word on when the retrial is scheduled to take place.
Clark is described as a white male standing 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 190 pounds. He has light brown shorter hair and a full facial mustache and beard.
Anyone who believes they may have seen Clark or his vehicle, or may have information about his disappearance is asked to call the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 618-692-4433, the investigation line at 618-692-0871, or the anonymous tip line at 618-296-3000.
Please share this and the news story I linked to especially if you live in the area, but please share it even if you don’t.
My prayers go out to Taylor’s friends and family in hopes of a safe return.
UPDATE 5/6/2015:Taylor’s car was found in Hazelwood, Missouri, but so far he has not been found. For what it’s worth it’s about a 40 minute drive from Madison County to Hazelwood according to Google Maps.
In the run up to Super Bowl weekend Cook County (Ill.) Sheriff Tom Dart placed ads on Backpage stating that they will be conducting prostitution stings using Backpage. They were still able to arrest 60 people.
As funny as that is that’s not really why I wanted to talk about this article. Once again we have a choice quote from Backpage’s head legal weasel Liz McDougall that I just couldn’t let go.
In an emailed statement, Liz McDougall, general counsel for Backpage, wrote: “Backpage is a general online classified advertising website with millions of ads for jobs, real estate and items for sale. Ads posted in the ‘adult’ category constitute less than 10% of the site’s overall ad content. Sheriff Dart’s conflicting portrayal of the site content is erroneous.”
Only ten percent? Is that so? Just for a moment let’s taker her at her word. Even if the ‘adult’ ads on Backpage make up 10% of its content that still means that a mere 10% of Backpage ads are responsible for 82% of all online prostitution according to an AIM Group study. In another study done by Arizona State University, they say that the amount of prostitution ads on Backpage make up over 80% of the site’s ads.
I know math can be hard Liz but there’s a big difference between 10 and 80.
I originally posted about the SAVE act proposed by Illinois Senator Mark Kirk here. Backpage has responded to the latest threat through usual means with the typical response.
Let’s hear from Backpage’s legal weasel Liz McDougall…
“The aim of stopping the sex trafficking of minors, indeed the trafficking of any human being, is laudable,” Backpage.com attorney Liz McDougall wrote. “However, identifying and vilifying a single U.S. website (previously craigslist, now Backpage.com) as the cause of the problem and the key to the solution are ill-founded and unproductive.”
So according to Backpage it’s laudable to stop sex trafficking but more importantly it’s profitable so we’re not going to stop. Also vilifying Backpage is not unproductive considering they’re the online leaders of where women and children are trafficked. Unfortunately for right not the law is on Backpage’s side, a badly outdated law called the Communications Decency Act of 1996, but the law nonetheless.
Let’s be realistic here. Backpage makes their money through the purchasing of ads where these women and children are advertised as prostitutes. They’ll make grand gestures that they screen the ads but deep down I think they know where their money is coming from yet Backpage owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin continue to wallow in their prostitution profits while paying Liz McDougall to do tricks for the people.
Unites States Senator Mark Kirk represents the state of Illinois. Along with Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez he is hoping to get legislation passed that would allow the government to take action against Backpage for facilitating sex trafficking. If you’ll notice I didn’t mention his political affiliation because when it comes to sex trafficking sides of the aisle shouldn’t matter.
Senator Kirk had some very poignant things to say about the matter…
“As President Obama has said, it’s time to call human trafficking what it really is – modern day slavery,” Sen. Kirk said. “Illinois was the first state in the nation to ratify the 13th amendment that abolished slavery – it makes sense for Illinois to lead the nation in a bipartisan effort to end human trafficking. We can start by putting an end to sex ads on websites like Backpage.com.”
“Everyone in America should be outraged that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin can make millions by victimizing young women,” Sen. Kirk added. “It’s time to bring Lacey and Larkin to justice.”
Lacey and Larkin are the scumbags that own Backpage.
The proposed legislation is called SAVE which stands for Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation. It would allow the government to shut down advertisements on websites promoting underage sex.
What the article I linked to doesn’t mention is that there are two overwhelming obstacles that this act would need to hurdle. The first of course is the Communications Decency Act of 1996. That act absolves website owners of any wrong doing if their users engage in criminal activity. As I’ve said numerous times before in internet years it might as well have been the Communications Decency Act of 1776. I doubt the drafters of the CDA had the sex trafficking of women and children in mind when the act was first passed. The second obstacle is the First Amendment of the US Constitution which guarantees the right to free press. Excuse me for not being anything even remotely close to a legal scholar but doesn’t the right for the victims of human trafficking to be free outweigh any right Backpage can claim when they’re making money from slavery? If there are any legal experts reading this please feel free to correct me.
I wish Senator Kirk and State Attorney Alvarez all the best with this but unfortunately the success rate for similar legislation has been nil.