Tag Archives: #JohnEHamilton

Comment from DR1 (Danish television) re NBC’s exchange student documentary

Foreign Exchange Students Sexually Abused In Program Overseen by State Department

Dear NBC / Rock Center,

We here at National Danish TV just found out, that you have produced the same story as we did, about exchange students being victims of sexual abuse in American host families. We broadcast our documentary tonight. Our stories might interest you. We asked CIEST what they intended to do about it (see below). This is already a huge story here in Denmark, and tonight after our broadcast the minister concerned will go on the news demanding that action is taken in the exchange student travel organizations to prevent these cases.

Here is our mail to CSIET:

To CIEST,

We would like to draw your attention to the following:

We are broadcasting a documentary (20th of March on National Danish TV) about Danish exchange-students, who were sexually abused during stay with American host families. We have three cases:

1) The case of 16 year old Nicklas Rassing, who was abused by David Goodhead, Riverside, California, sentencing details from May 2003: 5 month in jail, $ 1500 fine.

2) The Case of 17 year old xxx (name known to us), who was abused by Robert Medley, Henderson County, North Carolina, sentencing details from August 2nd 2005: Sexual Battery, class A1 misdemeanor.

3) The case of 16 year old xxx (name known to us), who was abused by John Hamilton, Fairfax County, Virginia, sentencing details from June 2011: 55 years in jail (5 of which had to do with the Danish case).

This raises some questions about the approval of AISE by CSIET, because AISE in all three cases found the host families:

– Were these cases of sexual abuse reported to CSIET by AISE? And if so, what consequence did it have?

– We understand, that AISE were blacklisted by CSIET in 2003 because of the Rassing-case. How come the two next cases did not get AISE blacklisted the following years?

– Have CSIET received or noticed other cases regarding AISE and sexual abuse of exchange students?

The two missing names can be provided, but AISE has had a mail correspondence with us about the cases, so there is no dispute about identifying the students.

We look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Michael Klint

Journalist / producer
National Danish Broadcast Corporation

Documentary, DR, DR Byen
Emil Holms Kanal 20, opg.1.3
DK-0999 Copenhagen C

Denmark

Mail: mikl@dr.dk
Phone: +45 3520 3040

Phone, desk: +45 3520 2958

Mob: +45 5191 2220

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2003 Apr 26: Local student exchange group reprimanded

2013 Mar 19: John E. Hamilton v. Commonwealth of Virginia

2013 Mar 19: Hamilton appeals sentence

COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA

Present:   Judges Beales, Alston and Senior Judge Willis
Argued by teleconference

JOHN E. HAMILTON                                                       OPINION BY
v.     Record No. 1922-11-4                      JUDGE ROSSIE D. ALSTON, JR.
MARCH 19, 2013
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF FAIRFAX COUNTY

Brett A. Kassabian, Judge

Karin Kissiah (Kissiah & Schaefer, PLLC, on briefs), for appellant.

Katherine Quinlan Adelfio, Assistant Attorney General (Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II, Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.

        John E. Hamilton (“defendant”) appeals the trial court’s denial of his motion for a new sentencing.  On appeal, defendant contends that the trial court did not properly follow the procedures in Code § 9.1-902(H) and, accordingly, his case should be remanded for compliance with Code § 9.1-902(H).1  Because we find that the trial court substantially complied with Code § 9.1-902(H), we affirm the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion for a new sentencing.

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1 Code § 9.1-902(H) states:
Prior to entering judgment of conviction of an offense for which registration is required if the victim of the offense was a minor, physically helpless, or mentally incapacitated, the court shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the victim of the offense was a minor, physically helpless or mentally incapacitated, as defined in [Code] § 18.2-67.10, and shall also determine the age of the victim at the time of the offense if it determines the victim to be a minor.  Upon such a determination the court shall advise the defendant of its determination and of the defendant’s right to withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.  If the defendant chooses to withdraw his plea of guilty or of nolo contendere, his case shall be heard by another judge, unless the parties agree otherwise.

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BACKGROUND

           On appeal from the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion for a new sentencing, this Court views the evidence “in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, and accord[s] the Commonwealth the benefit of all inferences fairly deducible from the evidence.”  Glenn v. Commonwealth, 275 Va. 123, 130, 654 S.E.2d 910, 913 (2008) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted).

So viewed, the evidence indicated that defendant was indicted on five separate felony charges, consisting of two counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of indecent liberties, and one count of crimes against nature.  During a hearing in the trial court on March 29, 2011, defendant entered a plea of guilty to each of the five felony charges.  During the hearing, the trial court read the indictments, which stated the ages of each of the victims in the separate indictments, to defendant.  Defendant pleaded guilty to each of the charges.  Thereafter, the trial court considered the plea of guilty forms that defendant signed.  Defendant’s counsel informed the trial court that prior to the hearing defendant had reviewed with counsel a form identical to those presented to the trial court except for item 11 of the plea form; the paragraph informing defendant of the requirement that he register as a sex offender based on his conviction for each charge.  The trial court addressed defendant on this point and asked defendant if he had been given a chance to read “that particular identical aspect of each one of these forms,” to which defendant responded, “[Y]es.”  The trial court then asked defendant if he still intended to enter pleas of guilty to each of the five felonies, and defendant responded affirmatively.

           Following the plea colloquy, the Commonwealth proffered the facts of the case.  These facts indicated that defendant sexually abused multiple boys while holding a position as a baseball coach and as a host to a foreign exchange student.  The investigation of the charges against defendant began in 2009 when K.E. reported to the Fairfax County Police Department

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that defendant sexually molested him when he was twelve years old.  A detective followed up on this report by going to defendant’s residence where F.G., a sixteen-year-old foreign exchange
student, answered the door.  Later in the investigation, F.G. reported that defendant massaged him “which ended in fellatio and anal intercourse.”

          The Commonwealth also proffered that as part of its investigation, the Fairfax County Police Department issued a press release seeking additional information from individuals who may have had contact with defendant.  Following this press release, additional witnesses came forward.  J.C. reported that defendant exposed himself to and performed sexual acts on him when J.C. was between ten and thirteen years old.  T.T. and P.V. reported similar conduct involving defendant had occurred when they were minors.
Following the Commonwealth’s proffer, the trial court accepted defendant’s plea of guilty, noting it did so based on defendant’s pleas and the proffered evidence.  On June 24, 2011, the trial court sentenced defendant to a total of fifty-five years’ imprisonment for the five felony offenses.

          On July 14, 2011, defendant filed a motion for a new sentencing hearing.  Defendant claimed that the provisions of Code § 9.1-902(H) applied to each of his convictions and were not followed at the sentencing hearing and that the sentence was thus voidable.

          On August 26, 2011, the trial court held a hearing on defendant’s motion for a new sentencing.  The trial court first concluded that Code § 9.1-902(H) applied only to defendant’s conviction for crimes against nature in violation of Code § 18.2-361(A).  The trial court then denied defendant’s request for a new sentencing.  In doing so, the trial court noted that the true purpose of Code § 9.1-902(H) “is to put the defendant on notice at the time of his plea and conviction that this conviction mandates or requires registration.”

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The trial court found that the defendant’s plea satisfied the purpose of Code § 9.1-902(H) because he was repeatedly notified by the trial court of the registration requirement and he signed a written plea form that stated, “I understand that this conviction is for an offense for which registration is required.”  Further, according to the trial court, the evidence proffered by the Commonwealth demonstrated that the victim in the felony offense pertaining to the violation of Code § 18.2-361(A), F.G., was sixteen.  The trial court concluded that the lack of a specific determination of the minor status of the victim and notification of the right to withdraw the plea was harmless error.2

This appeal followed.

2 The trial court identified two rationales for denying defendant’s request for a new sentencing hearing.  Initially, the trial court concluded that the remedial purpose of Code § 9.1-902(H) was satisfied because defendant pleaded guilty with the knowledge that his felony convictions would require him to register as a sexual offender.  Notwithstanding that reasoning, the trial court also concluded that even if it inadvertently violated Code § 9.1-902(H), such error was harmless in the context of this case.  
         Upon our review, we find that both rationales possess some foothold in our case law.  See J.B. v. Brunty, 21 Va. App. 300, 305, 464 S.E.2d 166, 169 (1995) (“Thus, we find the harmless error analysis employed in Jamborsky [v. Baskins, 247 Va. 506, 442 S.E.2d 636 (1994)], in finding none of the defendant’s rights was infringed as a result of the delay in the circuit court’s assumption of jurisdiction over the charges is applicable here.”); see also Weathers v. Commonwealth, 262 Va. 803, 805-06, 553 S.E.2d 729, 730 (2001) (providing that substantial compliance with the notice provisions of Code § 19.2-295.1 is sufficient absent any prejudice demonstrated by the defendant).  However, we find the substantial compliance rationale better suited to address the issue raised in this case.  While public officials should endeavor to strenuously comply with procedural statutes, it has long been the rule that “[a] statute directing the mode of proceedings by public officers is to be deemed directory, and precise compliance is not to be deemed essential to the validity of the proceedings . . . .”  Jamborsky, 247 Va. at 511, 442 S.E.2d at 638 (quoting Commonwealth v. Rafferty, 241 Va. 319, 324, 402 S.E.2d 17, 20 (1991)).  Accordingly, because we find that the trial court accomplished the purpose of Code § 9.1-902(H), though not in the precise manner detailed in the relevant statute, we find no initial error by the trial court from which to conduct a harmless error analysis.  Moreover, because precise compliance with a procedural statute is not required, to warrant reversal a defendant must affirmatively show that the trial court’s failure to precisely comply with the statute resulted in some harm or prejudice.  See Marrison v. Fairfax Cnty. Dep’t of Family Servs., 59 Va. App. 61, 68-69, 717 S.E.2d 146, 150 (2011) (“[T]he failure to follow a procedural requirement will not prevent a court from exercising its subject matter jurisdiction unless a party can show ‘some harm or prejudice caused by the failure’ to follow the procedural requirement.” (quoting Carter v. Ancel, 28 Va. App. 76, 79, 502 S.E.2d 149, 151 (1998))).  Thus, eschewing a harmless error

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ANALYSIS

          “This appeal presents a matter of statutory interpretation and is subject to de novo review by this Court.”  Commonwealth v. Barker, 275 Va. 529, 536, 659 S.E.2d 502, 504 (2008) (citing Wright v. Commonwealth, 275 Va. 77, 80-81, 655 S.E.2d 7, 9 (2008)).

A.  Applicability of Code § 9.1-902(H) to Defendant’s Convictions Code § 9.1-902(H) states in pertinent part that,

[p]rior to entering judgment of conviction of an offense for which registration is required if the victim of the offense was a minor . . . the court shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the victim of the offense was a minor . . . as defined in [Code] § 18.2-67.10, and shall also determine the age of the victim at the time of the offense if it determines the victim to be a minor.  Upon such a determination the court shall advise the defendant of its determination and of the defendant’s right to withdraw a plea of guilty . . . .  If the defendant chooses to withdraw his plea of guilty . . . his case shall be heard by another judge, unless the parties agree otherwise.

         On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred with respect to each of his five convictions in failing to find by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant’s victims were minors and in failing to advise defendant of his right to withdraw his pleas of guilty. We disagree.

          When interpreting statutes, courts “ascertain and give effect to the intention of the legislature.”  That intent is usually self-evident from the words used in the statute.  Consequently, courts apply the plain language of a statute unless the terms are ambiguous, or applying the plain language would lead to an absurd result.


analysis for consideration of whether the trial court substantially complied with the challenged statute preserves defendant’s burden on appeal.  See DePriest v. Commonwealth, 4 Va. App. 577, 583, 359 S.E.2d 540, 543 (1987) (finding that the burden is on appellant to show that the trial court erred); cf. Montgomery v. Commonwealth, 56 Va. App. 695, 702, 696 S.E.2d 261, 264 (2010) (“[T]he principle is well established that the Commonwealth bears the burden of proving the error was harmless.”).  Accordingly, we focus the analysis herein on whether the trial court substantially complied with Code § 9.1-902(H).

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Barker, 275 Va. at 536, 659 S.E.2d at 504 (quoting Boynton v. Kilgore, 271 Va. 220, 227, 623 S.E.2d 922, 925 (2006) (citations omitted)).

Defendant asserts that the procedure detailed in Code § 9.1-902(H) applies seriatim to each of his five felony convictions because Code § 9.1-902(H) applies to “all charges where the victim was a minor.”  However, the plain language of the statute demonstrates that subsection H is not implicated by every offense where a minor is involved. Code § 9.1-902(A) identifies the offenses for which registration as a sex offender is required and includes, inter alia, criminal homicide, murder, a sexually violent offense, and any offense listed in subsection B of Code § 9.1-902.  The majority of these offenses requires registration automatically, regardless of any finding concerning the victim’s age, physical status, or mental capacity.  See Code § 9.1-902(B)(1) and 9.1-902(E).  Code § 9.1-902(B)(2), however, identifies a subset of offenses that require registration only “[w]here the victim [was] a minor or
[was] physically helpless or mentally incapacitated” and certain crimes are attempted or committed, including violations of Code § 18.2-361.  Code § 9.1-902(H) addresses the offenses identified in subsection (B)(2), i.e., the offenses that require registration because the victim was a minor.  Code § 9.1-902(H) (detailing the procedure a trial court shall conduct “[p]rior to entering judgment of conviction of an offense for which registration is required if the victim of the offense was a minor, physically helpless, or mentally incapacitated” (emphasis added)).

Here, defendant’s conviction for crimes against nature in violation of Code § 18.2-361 is the only offense for which registration is required under subsection (B)(2) of Code § 9.1-902.
Accordingly, defendant’s conviction for crimes against nature is the only offense that implicates Code § 9.1-902(H), and the only offense for which the trial court was required to “determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the victim of the offense was a minor,” and upon such a determination, “advise the defendant of its determination and of the defendant’s right to

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withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.”  Code § 9.1-902(H).  For the foregoing reasons, we limit our consideration of whether the trial court erred in failing to follow the procedures detailed in Code § 9.1-902(H) to defendant’s conviction for crimes against nature.

B.  Alleged Violation of Code § 9.1-902(H)

          Defendant asserts that he was harmed by the trial court’s failure to comply with Code § 9.1-902(H) because he was unaware of his right to withdraw his guilty plea.  Defendant alleges that error denied him a substantive right, the right to withdraw a guilty plea created by Code § 9.1-902(H), and constitutes a structural error that is not subject to harmless error analysis.

         Assuming arguendo that Code § 9.1-902(H) grants defendant a substantive right to withdraw his guilty plea, we nevertheless hold that Code § 9.1-902(H)’s requirement that the trial court determine that the victim was a minor and advise the defendant of his right to
withdraw his guilty plea is procedural in nature.3

         As the Virginia Supreme Court has previously held, “[t]he use of ‘shall,’ in a statute requiring action by a public official, is directory and not mandatory unless the statute manifests a contrary intent.”  Jamborsky v. Baskins, 247 Va. 506, 511, 442 S.E.2d 636, 638 (1994).  To determine whether a statute expresses a contrary intent, this Court must determine whether the statute contains “prohibitory or limiting language.”  Id.  Absent such language, “the failure to

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3 A trial court’s failure to comply with a statute may, at times, touch upon a defendant’s substantive right.  But, mere contact, standing alone, does not render a statute mandatory and jurisdictional.  See Lebedun v. Commonwealth, 27 Va. App. 697, 718, 501 S.E.2d 427, 437 (1998) (finding no error where “[t]he Commonwealth’s failure to strictly comply with the procedural requirements of [the challenged statute] violated no substantive right and did not prejudice [the defendant] . . .”); Howerton v. Commonwealth, 36 Va. App. 205, 211, 548 S.E.2d 914, 916-17 (2001) (“We have held that compliance with [the challenged statute] relating to procedures for instituting proceedings against juveniles is mandatory and jurisdictional.  The failure to strictly follow the notice procedures contained in the Code deny the defendant a substantive right.”); Caccioppo v. Commonwealth, 20 Va. App. 534, 537, 458 S.E.2d 592, 594 (1995) (“Such provisions are ‘procedural in nature’ and ‘precise compliance is not to be deemed essential to the validity of the proceedings,’ absent infringement of a substantive right.” (quoting Jamborsky, 247 Va. at 511, 442 S.E.2d at 638).

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follow a procedural requirement will not prevent a court from exercising its subject matter jurisdiction unless a party can show ‘some harm or prejudice caused by the failure’ to follow the procedural requirement.”  Marrison v. Fairfax Cnty. Dep’t of Family Servs., 59 Va. App. 61, 68-69, 717 S.E.2d 146, 150 (2011) (quoting Carter v. Ancel, 28 Va. App. 76, 79, 502 S.E.2d 149, 151 (1998)).

         In the present case, Code § 9.1-902(H) contains no prohibitory or limiting language that prevents the trial court from convicting and sentencing a defendant without first determining that a victim was a minor and advising the defendant of his right to withdraw his plea of guilty. “Absent such limiting language, the provision at issue is directory and procedural, rather than mandatory and jurisdictional.”  Jamborsky, 247 Va. at 511, 442 S.E.2d at 639.

          Having reached this conclusion, it follows that defendant cannot prevail in this appeal “unless [he] can show ‘some harm or prejudice caused by the failure’” to follow Code § 9.1-902(H).  See Marrison, 59 Va. App. at 68-69, 717 S.E.2d at 150 (quoting Carter, 28 Va. App. at 79, 502 S.E.2d at 151).  Thus, if the trial court substantially complied with the challenged statutory provision, absent attendant harm, defendant cannot prevail.  See Weathers v. Commonwealth, 262 Va. 803, 805-06, 553 S.E.2d 729, 730 (2001).

          After reviewing the record and the evidence in this case, we find that the trial court’s failure to apprise defendant of his right to withdraw his guilty plea did not infringe or deny his right to withdraw his guilty plea.  In reaching this conclusion, we note that, although defendant was aware of Code § 9.1-902(H) and referenced the stat ute in his motion for a new sentencing hearing, defendant did not seek to withdraw his guilty plea either before or after his sentencing event.  Because defendant was aware of his right to withdraw his guilty plea but did not pursue it, we find that the trial court’s failure to apprise defendant of his right to withdraw his guilty plea did not deny or infringe defendant’s substantive right.

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          Additionally, we find that the trial court’s failure to advise defendant of his right to withdraw his plea is not structural error.  See Ray v. Commonwealth, 55 Va. App. 647, 651, 688 S.E.2d 879, 881 (2010) (“Structural error exists only in a very limited class of cases in which the error affects the very framework within which the trial proceeds in a manner that defies analysis by harmless error standards because it undermines the entire adjudicatory framework of a criminal trial.” (citations and internal quotation marks omitted)); see also Campbell v. Campbell, 49 Va. App. 498, 505 n.4, 642 S.E.2d 769, 773 n.4 (2007) (“Generally, structural error is limited to error that deprives a litigant of a constitutional right.”).  Rather, for the reasons stated above, we hold that the requirement to advise defendant of his right to withdraw his guilty plea was procedural and directory.

         Finally, we find that the record demonstrates substantial compliance with the challenged portion of the statute.  See Weathers, 262 Va. at 805, 553 S.E.2d at 730 (providing that substantial compliance with the notice provisions of Code § 19.2-295.1 is sufficient absent any prejudice demonstrated by the defendant).  As we read the plain language of the statute, Code § 9.1-902(H) is designed to ensure that a defendant is aware that pleading guilty to an offense listed in Code § 9.1-902(B)(2) may also, if the victim is a minor, physically helpless, or mentally incapacitated, require the defendant to register as a sex offender.  Because registration is dependent on a factual predicate that is separate from the elements of the offense to which the defendant is pleading, Code § 9.1-902(H) requires the trial court to determine that the victim was a minor and, upon such a finding, to advise the defendant of his right to withdraw his plea of guilty “[p]rior to entering judgment of conviction.”  In application, Code § 9.1-902(H) ensures that the defendant has notice of the registration requirement before his plea is finalized.

        While the trial court did not precisely follow the directions of Code § 9.1-902(H) in this case, defendant was aware prior to pleading guilty that the victim in the case was a minor and

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that conviction of the offense would require him to register as a sexual offender.  The trial court read to defendant the indictment for the crimes against nature charge, which stated that the victim, F.G., was sixteen years old.  The trial court also informed defendant of the registration requirement, and defendant acknowledged this fact during the plea colloquy and in the signed “Plea of Guilty to a Felony” form memorializing his understanding.  Moreover, defendant has not pointed to any prejudice he has suffered by the trial court’s failure to strictly comply with the language of Code § 9.1-902(H).  “Accordingly, we hold that, although the statute means what it says and its directions should be followed, there has been substantial compliance with it in this case,” and defendant’s conviction and sentencing were proper, “there having been no showing of prejudice to [defendant].”  Weathers, 262 Va. at 805-06, 553 S.E.2d at 730.

CONCLUSION

          Assuming without deciding that Code § 9.1-902(H) creates a substantive right to withdraw a guilty plea and the trial court failed to apprise defendant of this right, because we find that the trial court substantially complied with the challenged statute, we affirm defendant’s conviction.

Affirmed.

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2012 Mar 20: Misbrug af udvekslingsstudenter hemmligholdes (Danish)

2011 Jun 27: John E Hamilton, deemed sexual predator

2012 Mar 20: Misbrug av udvekslingsstudenter

I programmet Bag Facaden afsløres det at flere danske udvekslingsstudenter er blevet seksuelt misbrugt, men at deres sager ikke er indberettet til de danske myndigheder.

20. Mar. 2012 kl. 11:54 Opdateret 20. Mar. 2012 kl. 12:34

I aften bringer DR 1 historien om, at danske unge, der er taget til USA for at få en oplevelse for livet, kommer hjem med ar på sjælen. Det sker bl.a. fordi, der findes eksempler på unge, der misbruges seksuelt af deres værtsfamilier.

Det er programmet Bag Facaden, der kommer med afsløringerne. Værten Maria Andersen har været en tur i Go’Morgen P3 for at fortælle om historierne om nogen af de 1000 unge danskere, der hvert år tager et skoleår til udlandet.

“Nogen af de problemer, de fortæller om, er at de ender hos en værtsfamilie, der ikke har ressourcer hverken menneskeligt eller økonomisk til at have de unge. De får måske deres værtsfamilie få dage før de skal af sted, og værtsfamilien er helt uforberedt på, at de kommer. Og så har vi set eksempler på, at de unge er endt i værtsfamilier, hvor de er blevet udsat for seksuelt misbrug”, siger Maria Andersen om afsløringerne i aftenens udsendelse.

Sag endte med fængselsstraf på 55 år

En af sagerne er endt med en fængselsdom på 55 år til en amerikanske mand, der bl.a. har misbrugt en dansk dreng, der skulle have haft en god oplevelse i USA. Bag Facaden havde søgt aktindsigt i sagen herhjemme, men her var der ikke noget at hente, for sagen er aldrig blevet indberettet til de danske myndigheder. Til gengæld møder Maria Andersen den amerikanske efterforsker, der kan fortælle om de grelle eksempler.

Andre eksempler handler om også om seksuelle overgreb, og i et tilfælde er en 16-årig blev bedt om at underskrive en tavshedsklausul, før han og hans forældre kunne få penge tilbage for opholdet. Bag disse ophold står organisationen STS, der ikke længere er er godkendt af de danske myndigheder efter sager, hvor eleverne blev sendt til kriminelle områder i Sydamerika.

Maria Andersen påpeger dog at de fleste jo har et godt ophold, men når det går galt er der en tendens til at skjule sandheden for myndighederne.

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2011 Jun 27: John E Hamilton, deemed sexual predator

2011 Jun 27: Hamilton sentenced for sexual abuse

Registration ID : 33320
Name : HAMILTON, JOHN, E
Sex : Male
Race : White
Age : 43
Height : 6 Feet 03 Inches
Weight : 285 lbs
Hair Color : Brown
Eye Color : Hazel
Palm Print : On File
Finger Print : On File
Violent : Yes
Status : INCARCERATED
Photo Date : June 01, 2012
Print Submit a Tip Map Subscribe for this Offender
 Alias Name(s)
HANSEN, MICHAEL
 Address Information
Home : DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, 6900 ATMORE DRIVE, RICHMOND, VA 23225
Work : NOT EMPLOYED
 Registration Information
Initial Registration : Apr 03, 2011
 Sex Offender Conviction Record
Case Number Sentencing Court Code Section Statute Date of Conviction State Convicted Victim Age
CR09F0001473 FAIRFAX CIRCUIT 18.2-361 CRIMES AGAINST NATURE (SODOMY) Jun 27, 2011 VA Minor
CR09F0001470 FAIRFAX CIRCUIT 18.2-67.3 AGGRAVATED SEXUAL BATTERY Jun 24, 2011 VA Minor
CR09F0001478 FAIRFAX CIRCUIT 18.2-67.3 AGGRAVATED SEXUAL BATTERY Jun 24, 2011 VA Minor
CR09F0001471 FAIRFAX CIRCUIT 18.2-370 TAKING INDECENT LIBERTIES WITH CHILDREN Jun 24, 2011 VA Minor
CR09F0001472 FAIRFAX CIRCUIT 18.2-370 TAKING INDECENT LIBERTIES WITH CHILDREN Mar 29, 2011 VA Minor

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2011 Jan 25: Centreville man in custody after international manhunt

2010 Jan 12: Former youth coach sought in manhunt for molestation charges

2009 Oct 29: Community Questions How Indicted Sex Offender Got Away

2009 Jun 5: Additional Victims Emerge In John Hamilton Sex Offense Case

 

 

2011 Jan 25: Hamilton in custody after international manhunt

by Gregg MacDonald/Staff Writer

An international manhunt for a Centreville man described by U.S. Marshals as one of the most wanted child sex offenders in the country has ended with the man’s extradition to Fairfax County last week.

Former Little League baseball coach and Centreville resident John E. Hamilton, 39, is back in Fairfax County after being arrested last year as he attempted to enter Poland from the Czech Republic. Hamilton was on the G8 Wanted Child Sex Offender list, making him one of the 10 most wanted alleged child sex offenders in the U.S., according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Hamilton was taken into custody by Fairfax County police last week.

He faces charges in Fairfax County stemming from at least five allegations of sexual misconduct between 1992 and 2008.

William Sorukas, chief of the International Investigations branch of the U.S. Marshals Service, said authorities also might investigate to see if Hamilton is suspected of any criminal behavior overseas.

“Working with Interpol, we were able to tell where he was while he was in Europe,” Sorukas said Monday.

Hamilton was located Aug. 25 on a bus leaving the Czech Republic for Poland, Sorukas said. He allegedly was traveling under an alias when Polish authorities in the border town of Gliwice detained him, after he refused to show identification and provided evasive answers. Polish border authorities pulled him to the side and subsequently found his U.S. passport.

Hamilton was turned over to the provincial police, who contacted Interpol in Warsaw. Interpol contacted the U.S. Marshals Service to provide confirmation of his identity. U.S. Marshals said they confirmed Hamilton’s identity after sending Polish authorities copies of his fingerprints.

In June 2009, Fairfax County police charged Hamilton with aggravated sexual battery and three counts of indecent liberties with a child by a person in a supervisory relationship. He was indicted by a grand jury, released on bond and scheduled to enter a guilty plea in October 2009, but he failed to appear for his hearing.

U.S. Marshals said that after authorities suspected Hamilton had left the U.S., an Interpol notice was issued for Hamilton and sent to every country in Europe.

Hamilton became the subject of an investigation by Fairfax County police in February 2009, when a 24-year-old man came forward with sexual abuse allegations more than a decade after he had been coached by Hamilton.

Police said the man saw Hamilton with a preteen boy at a convenience store in early 2009 and thought it necessary to come forward with his own story. According to the man, who was 12 at the time of the alleged offense, Hamilton engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with him periodically, from March through July 1997. Police arrested Hamilton in May 2009.

Fairfax police said sodomy allegations were then made by two additional victims — now also adults —who came forward. One is now 21 and the other is 30.

Additional charges also were filed by another alleged victim.

\”They have just come forward, one by one,\” police spokesman Don Gotthardt said last year.

One incident allegedly occurred in the parking lot of Carl Sandburg Middle School in Alexandria. Another allegedly took place at Hamilton’s home at that time, in the 6600 block of Wakefield Drive in the Belle View area. Hamilton was a Little League baseball coach for the Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association at the time. Hamilton lived in the Northern Virginia area for decades and held several positions in the athletic community working with children.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Hamilton was a baseball coach at Bishop Ireton High School in 1999. The diocese said it was made aware of Hamilton’s charges by police.

\”We notified the players from that year and we have put a notice in our bulletin,\” said Joelle Santolla, director of communications for the diocese.

“I believe my client was getting ready to turn himself in when he was captured,” said Hamilton’s attorney, Steven Merril, on Monday. “He has told me he feels bad for the kids involved. It has been bothering him and he wants to resolve this.”

Hamilton was arraigned in Fairfax County Circuit Court on Monday and is being held without bond. He is scheduled to go to trial March 29.

gmacdonald@fairfaxtimes.com

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2009 Jun 5: Additional Victims Emerge In John Hamilton Sex Offense Case

2009 Oct 29: Community Questions How Indicted Sex Offender Got Away

2010 Jan 12: Former youth coach sought in manhunt for molestation charges

2010 Jan 12: Hamilton sought in manhunt for molestation charges

Tuesday January 12, 2010

Centreville man, 38, was a former youth baseball coach in Northern Virginia

by Gregg MacDonald | Staff Writer

International law enforcement officials, including Interpol, are conducting a manhunt on at least two continents for a former youth baseball coach who was a fixture in Northern Virginia for nearly 20 years.

John E. Hamilton, 38, of Centreville, was charged last June with molesting children in several incidents going back nearly to the beginning of his coaching career.

“At least nine victims have come forth so far,” said Fairfax County Police spokesman Don Gotthardt on Monday.

An investigation was originally launched late last February, when a 24-year-old man came forward with allegations more than a decade after being coached by Hamilton.

Detectives from the Child Investigations Unit, assisted by the FBI, conducted the investigation that led to Hamilton’s arrest in May.

The man said he saw Hamilton with a young boy at a convenience store in early 2009 and felt it necessary to come forth with his own story. According to the 24-year-old, who was also 12 at the time of the alleged offense, Hamilton engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with him periodically, from March through July of 1997.

Sodomy allegations were then made by two additional victims — now adults –who have also come forward. One is now 20 years old and the other is 29. Additional charges were also filed by another alleged victim. “They have just come forward, one by one,” said Gotthardt.

One incident allegedly occurred in the parking lot of Carl Sandburg Middle School in Alexandria. Another allegedly took place at Hamilton’s home at that time, in the 6600 block of Wakefield Drive in the Belle View area. Hamilton was a Little League baseball coach for the Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association at that time.

In June, Hamilton was charged with aggravated sexual battery and three counts of indecent liberties with a child by a person in a supervisory relationship. He was indicted by a grand jury, released on bond and was scheduled to enter a guilty plea last October, but failed to appear for his hearing. He is now considered a fugitive, and police believe he may have left the country.

“It is believed that he is currently somewhere in Europe,” Gotthardt said Monday.

According to the Web site of the television show “America’s Most Wanted” — which is currently interviewing Fairfax County Police Detective Jeremy Hinson for a show dedicated to Hamilton — the former coach may have had help leaving the U.S.

“Cops say that the mother and son went to Frankfurt, Germany in September 2009; she returned, he did not,” the Web site states.

Gotthardt could not confirm the information and calls made to the show’s executives were not immediately returned.

Hamilton lived in the Northern Virginia area for decades and held several positions in the athletic community working with children.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Hamilton was a baseball coach at Bishop Ireton High School in 1999. The diocese said it was made aware of Hamilton’s charges by police early last year. “We notified the players from that year and we have put a notice in our bulletin,” said Joelle Santolla, director of communications for the diocese.

The hunt for Hamilton continues and is intensifying. “‘America’s Most Wanted’ has contacted us and Interpol is now involved,” Gotthardt said Monday.

Gotthardt said that as part of his guilty plea agreement, Hamilton was originally not going to be charged with every crime charged against him. “Now, he probably will be,” he said Monday.

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2009 Jun 5: Additional Victims Emerge In John Hamilton Sex Offense Case

2009 Oct 29: Community Questions How Indicted Sex Offender Got Away

2009 Oct 29: How did indicted Hamilton, sex offender, get away?

Gale Curcio By Gale Curcio

Posted on Oct 29,2009

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Parents of John E. Hamilton’s victims came to the Fairfax County Courthouse the first week of October looking for justice and closure. Instead they got another blow when they realized that the former Alexandria Little League coach indicted with sexual crimes against as many as 10 children wasn’t going to show for his plea hearing.

Hamilton, 37, failed to appear for a scheduled court date on Wednesday, Oct. 7. As a result, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest and nationwide extradition has been authorized. Fairfax County police detectives are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Hamilton, who’s believed to be somewhere in Europe.

The parents of Hamilton’s victims, who agreed to speak with Local Kicks only if they were not identified, are now questioning why bail was set so low; why he was not sent back to jail when his bond was revoked, and why his passport wasn’t taken away.

“I never realized how important closure was,” one of the victims’ mothers said. “It’s sad that this man was allowed to leave the country. The bond was set so low – the legal system is discouraging.”

Her son was one of three boys scheduled to appear at Hamilton’s sentencing; it would have been their chance to finally confront him for what he had done. She didn’t know that her son had been victimized until the news came out and her son shared with her what had happened to him.

That same mother also asked, “How could this have happened? Why didn’t they take his passport? I feel like they failed me.”

The investigation into Hamilton’s sexual misconduct began in late February, when a 24-year-old victim of a sexual crime came forward after 12 years. Detectives from the Fairfax County Police Child Investigations Unit, assisted by FBI agents, conducted the investigation that led to the arrest of Hamilton.

According to the affadavit given by the male victim, who was 12 years old at the time of the offense, Hamilton engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with him periodically from March to July 1997. Hamilton was a Little League baseball coach for the Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association at that time.

During the investigation, detectives learned that Hamilton currently had a 16-year-old, foreign exchange student living with him. That student was removed from the home by authorities.

In May, Fairfax County police charged Hamilton with six felonies involving sexual crimes against children. Following his arrest, Hamilton, was initially held without bond. However, he was later released from jail on $32,000 bond.

In June, a grand jury indicted Hamilton and bond was set. It was revoked when he contacted one of his alleged victims, but he was not sent back to jail. Hamilton was scheduled to enter a guilty plea two weeks ago, but he failed to appear.

The victims’ parents are not only asking about what they see as the court’s failure to keep Hamilton from running, but also wonder how he was able to get away with what he did for nearly 20 years.

“He was a regular figure in the sports community, and there were plenty of people who questioned, suspected, wondered and thought something was odd, but when all was said and done, nothing was done about it,” said one aggrieved parent.

Not only did Hamilton coach baseball and Little League for many years, but he was also a coach at West Potomac High School for one season and Bishop Ireton for another season. He was allegedly let go from Bishop Ireton amid allegations of inappropriate actions towards minors, said one of the parents.

One of the mothers, whose two sons played Little League and baseball for years, told Local Kicks: “We got to know him, but he seemed creepy to us – he was always mentoring a kid. He used to invite kids over to spend the night. There were always rumors, but nobody ever confronted him.”

Even 2nd Lt. John Brennan, a Fairfax County police officer for more than two decades, said, “I’d like to say I saw something, but I didn’t.”

Brennan’s son played under Hamilton’s tutelage for one Little League tournament. He added: “We had a great group of kids. I saw nothing.”

Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks <br /> <br />Indicted child sex offender John Hamilton's mother is the owner and operator of Wick's Sport Lettering in Alexandria. His brother works there as well. Police say they suspect that the two may have aided in Hamilton's escape from the country. He was last seen at the Frankfurt International Airport in early September with his mother. Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks

Indicted child sex offender John Hamilton’s mother is the owner and operator of Wick’s Sport Lettering in Alexandria. His brother works there as well. Police say they suspect that the two may have aided in Hamilton’s escape from the country. He was last seen at the Frankfurt International Airport in early September with his mother.

When asked about how Hamilton could escape the clutches of the legal system, Brennan responded: “Once the police department investigates a case, it goes into the legal system. The bond is set by a magistrate; the bond reduction by a judge. Once we’re done with the case, it’s out of our hands. If police had anything to do with bonds, there would be no bad guys on the streets. I tell my guys – just do the right thing. What happens in court happens in court.”

Brennan said that Detective Jeremy Hinson, who worked the case, did as much as he could and by securing Hamilton’s indictment “did great” by all the victims.

“If it weren’t for Hinson, Hamilton never would have gone to a plea deal,” Brennan said. “He is a good cop and digs into his cases. Hinson did everything that he could.”

When Hamilton failed to appear for his hearing, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ian Rodway asked Judge Randy Bellows to issue an expedited bench warrant for Hamilton’s arrest.

Bellows agreed and issued the bench warrant. He also recommended that when Hamilton is found and re-arrested, that he be held without bond. Nationwide extradition was also authorized, but it has now come to light that Hamilton has left the country

A police source told Local Kicks that Rose Hamilton, the owner and operator of Wick’s Sporting Goods located on Route 1 in Alexandria, helped Hamilton to escape.

The global police network, INTERPOL, said in a statement that Rose Hamilton and her son John went to Frankfurt, Germany in September; she returned but apparently he did not. INTERPOL has now joined the worldwide manhunt. Hamilton was last seen on Sept. 8 at the Frankfurt am Main International Airport in Frankfurt, Germany.

While he could be anywhere, the police source said they are focusing on Germany and Denmark. He said they feel that Hamilton could easily blend in Denmark, given his 6’2” frame; it’s also the home country of one of his alleged victims.

The parents of victims expressed outrage that both Hamilton’s mother and his brother allegedly helped Hamilton leave the country. Rose Hamilton is owner and operator of Wick’s Sporting Goods and David Hamilton works there as well. The police said they suspected that each of them gave him $10,000 to flee to Europe.

Ironically, Wicks has supplied custom decorated sports apparel to just about every sports team in the Greater Alexandria area. On Wednesday, approached by a reporter, none of the store clerks or Rose or David Hamilton would speak with Local Kicks, declining comment unless both were present and consented.

On Wednesday, William M. “Bud” Walker, Jr., a Fairfax County Police Spokesman, said that there were no new developments in the case. Walker urged that the public contact them if they have any information about Hamilton’s whereabouts.

“It would go a long way if she would come forward,” said one of the parents, who asked not to be identified. “There should be consequences for what the mother supposedly did. John had no money; he never would have been able to leave the country if his mother hadn’t given it to him.”

Yet another woman said, “We did a lot of business with them; Rose Hamilton seemed normal to me.”

Brennan and others are concerned that the abuse might continue overseas.

“My greatest fear is that John Hamilton is going to set up shop somewhere else,” he said. “This guy’s got to pay for this.”

The mother of one of the victims said, “He will do this again – he can’t help himself. He won’t stop. I want him caught.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637. You may also call Detective J. Hinson at 703-246-7523 or the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131. 

While 10 abuse survivors have come forward, law enforcement officials say they know there are more. The investigation continues and additional charges are possible. America’s Most Wanted plans to film a segment in November; they are asking for anyone who knows of Hamilton or his activities to please call 1-800-CRIME-TV.

(differences added by me)

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2009 Jun 5: Additional Victims Emerge In John Hamilton Sex Offense Case

2009 Jun 5: Additional Victims In Hamilton’s Sex Offense Case

June 5, 2009 | Published in Courts & Crime

On Friday, June 5 shortly after 10 a.m., detectives charged John E. Hamilton with two counts of sodomy in connection with their ongoing investigation. The warrants were obtained and executed on Hamilton who remains incarcerated at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

The new charges stem from allegations made by two additional victims; one is now 19 years old, the other 28. In the case of the 19-year-old, the incidents allegedly occurred from October through December of 2001. The 28-year-old victim alleges that the offenses took place from December 1992 until April of 1993. Both victims lived in the Hollin Hall area at that time. Hamilton acted in a coaching capacity for both of these victims.

Due to the complex and delicate nature of this investigation, additional resources have been allocated.

The most recent charges do not reflect all of the allegations or all of the potential victims in this case. Detectives understand that victims may fear coming forward for various reasons, but want to encourage them to do so in order to bring this investigation to a comprehensive, successful conclusion as soon as possible.

Anyone with information that might help this investigation can use the contact information at the bottom of this news release. Correspondence may also be sent to FCPD-ColdCase@fairfaxcounty.gov

Volunteer Coach Arrested for Sex Offenses

An investigation was launched in late February of this year, when a 24-year-old victim of a sexual crime came forward after 12 years. Detectives from the Child Investigations Unit, assisted by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, conducted the investigation that led to the arrest of John E. Hamilton, 37, of 14120 Gabrielle Way in Centreville, Virginia.

According to the male victim, who was 12 years old at the time of the offense, Hamilton engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with him periodically, from March through July of 1997. One incident occurred in the parking lot of Carl Sandburg Middle School, 8428 Fort Hunt Road. Another took place at Hamilton’s home at that time, in the 6600 block of Wakefield Drive in the Belle View area. Hamilton was a little league baseball coach for the Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association at that time.

During the investigation, detectives learned that Hamilton currently had a 16-year-old, foreign exchange student living with him. That student has been removed from the home by authorities.

Hamilton was arrested at his home on Friday, May 22, shortly before 10 a.m. He was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and was charged with one count of aggravated sexual battery and three counts of taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in custodial or supervisory relationship. He was held without bond.

Hamilton has lived in the Northern Virginia area for many years. During that time, he has held several positions in the athletic community that would have afforded him access to children. Detectives are asking parents who are concerned that Hamilton may have engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with their children or those who may have been a victim themselves, to call police.

The investigation continues and additional charges are possible.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Solvers byphone at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), e-mail at http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org <http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org/>  or text “TIP187″ plus your message to CRIMES/274637. You may also call Detective J. Hinson at 703-246-7893 or the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.