Self-Proclaimed Child Protector Sent To Slammer

Melvin Adams, 70, travelled to Brevard to have sex with a 14 year-old boy.
Melvin Adams Jr, 70, traveled to Brevard to have sex with a 14 year-old boy.  Instead, he met agents with the Brevard County Sheriffs Office.

Guardian Brevard

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A Fort Pierce man will spend nearly two years in jail for driving to Brevard for a sex romp with a minor.  Melvin Adams Jr, 70, was one of eleven men arrested in a 2013 internet sting operation conducted by Brevard County Sheriffs.

Judge Charles Roberts swept aside the defense attorney’s appeal for leniency, and sentenced Adams according to state guidelines.

Speaking at the sentencing hearing Friday, in Viera,  Adams told the judge his life had been devastated by the arrest. He explained that he was playing along with the scheme in order to locate the victim and rescue him.

Adams said, in the past, he worked at a housing facility and often came in contact with youths who were prostituting themselves. On occasion, he would take a personal interest in them, try to find out where they lived, and attempt to help them. He said he drove to Brevard because he was concerned for the well-being of the fourteen year-old who was apparently being trafficked by his older brother:  “…I thought I was trying to keep some kid from getting raped”,  he said.

Prosecutors said Adams was explicit about the sex acts he wanted to perform on the teen, and incriminated himself in several emails, as well as a phone conversation secretly recorded by investigators.  They said Adams repeatedly asked the adult if he was a member of law enforcement.

Brevard Sheriffs arrested Adams during an internet decoy effort called “Operation Sand Spider.  Working with members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, agents placed ads in Craigslist and other social media sites, posing as adults seeking sex with other adults.  While chatting privately with the respondents, the decoy officer would offer sex with a fourteen year-old.  Interested parties were invited to a rental house in Rockledge, where deputies would spring their trap.  The week-long operation was concluded July 25th 2013.

Adams will serve twenty-one months in jail, followed by ten years of probation.  He will be registered as a sex offender for life.  Court Monitors with Protect Our Children were in attendance January 23, at the Moore Justice Center in Viera.

Burchfield Pleads: Former Teacher Placed On Probation, Banned From Classroom

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A former Brevard County teacher was placed on probation for remaining silent after witnessing the alleged abuse of a thirteen year-old girl.  Jason Burchfield, 46, will be supervised by corrections officials for the next five years, after pleading “Guilty” to a single charge of Failing to Report the Abuse of a Child.

Prosecutors agreed to drop five felony counts in exchange for the guilty plea.

Burchfield was arrested by Satellite Beach Police in March 2014.  Investigators said the long-time coach and teacher visited a home, on three occasions in 2013, where a teen was forced to strip naked and consume liquor.

The girl’s mother and stepfather, Teya and Joseph Pallante, were jailed several weeks prior to Burchfield’s arrest.  Both remain free on bond awaiting trial.  Teya Pallante was charged with three counts of Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance and one count of Lewd Exhibition.   Joseph Pallante, a Melbourne-based attorney, faces numerous charges resulting from the teen’s allegations of sexual abuse.

Burchfield was not charged with sex offenses.

The former baseball coach, who resigned his position at Palm Bay High School, must reimburse police for their investigation of the case. He was ordered to pay a fine as well as court costs.  Judge Charles Roberts also barred Burchfield from applying for another teaching certificate.

Roberts withheld adjudication in the case, and agreed to allow Burchfield to relocate to South Carolina. Burchfield may petition the court for early termination of his probation after two and one-half years.

Members of Protect Our Children were on hand for the hearing, January 23, at the Moore Justice Center in Viera.

 

 

 

Titusville Man Sentenced As Predator – Again

Sex Predator, Henry Rink is headed back to prison for twenty years.

Sex Predator, Henry Rink is headed back to prison for twenty years.

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Crimes Committed A Decade Ago Send Predator Back To Prison

A Titusville Predator is on his way to prison for his second time in ten years.  Henry Eugene Rink, 67, was sentenced to serve twenty years in prison for assaulting an eleven year-old girl.

This is Rink’s second tour of Florida’s penal system.  In 2005 he was sentenced to serve six years in prison for lewd molestation of a child under 12.  The child told police Rink forced her to masturbate him on three occasions.  According to the complaint, Rink threatened to beat the girl if she told about the abuse.  He was declared a “Sexual Predator” – the most virulent class of sex offender.

The current charges arose from a 2013 disclosure made by a girl who said she was abused a decade ago, around the time of the first offenses.  The child told police Rink was babysitting her when he removed her pants and performed oral sex on her. In subsequent incidents he digitally penetrated the victim and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

It took nine years for the girl to tell her parents about the abuse.  After being confronted by the child’s father, Rink sent her a Facebook message asking for her forgiveness.  The messages served to affirm Rink’s guilt, and prosecutors were able to get him to plead “No Contest” to three counts of Attempted Sexual Battery on a Child Under 12.

Rink told investigators he had a drug problem at the time he committed the offenses. He also said he sexually abused a ten year-old girl in Indiana, prior to relocating to Florida.

Rink will be age 87 when he is released from prison.  Upon his release, he faces an additional ten years of probation.  He was ordered to wear an ankle monitor for the first two years.  Judge Jack Griesbaum, holding court for the last time prior to his retirement, declared Rink a “Sexual Predator” for the second time.

Volunteers with Protect Our Children’s Court Monitor Team were on hand for the hearing Monday, at the Titusville Historic Courthouse.

 

Henry Rink as he appeared after his arrest in 2004

Henry Rink as he appeared after his arrest in 2004

Messer To Serve Four More Years

James Messer, 27, was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually abusing a child under twelve.  He faced multiple life sentences for the offenses he committed nearly ten years ago.

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A Port St John man avoided multiple life sentences by negotiating a plea deal with Brevard prosecutors.  James Henry Messer, 27, was ordered to serve eight years in prison followed by thirty years on probation, for sex acts he committed on a girl under twelve.

Messer was sentenced December 12th in Titusville. He has been in the Brevard County Jail since April 2011.  With credit for time served, he will spend just over four years in state prison before he is released.

The case against Messer began with a complaint from a female who told police that Messer had assaulted her multiple times between 2005 and 2008.  The victim said the abuse took place at times when she was sleeping overnight at Messer’s home.  She said he fondled her breasts and vagina and forced her to perform fellatio upon him. She reported being digitally penetrated on numerous occasions.  The victim told police she feared Messer would harm her if she did not comply with his demands.

One month after receiving the complaint, agents with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Messer at his residence.  According to the case report, Messer denied the charges and angrily ended the interview. However, after the investigators left, Messer was questioned by several friends about the allegations. He allegedly confessed to abusing the girl, and told them he had sexual contact with a second, underage female.  One of the acquaintances secretly recorded the statements and ultimately convinced Messer to turn himself over to authorities.

Messer was charged with four counts of Sexual Battery on a Child and two counts of Lewd Molestation on a Child Under 12.  Combined penalties for the crimes could have exceeded six life sentences. Prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges, allowing Messer to plead “Guilty” to two counts of Attempted Sexual Battery of a Child.

Assistant State Attorney Meryl Allawas McCormick told Judge Jack Griesbaum that the plea deal was “…in accordance with the wishes of the victim and her family.” She said the victim declined to seek restitution from the perpetrator.  Messer’s attorney told the court his client had diminished mental capacity, and could neither read nor write.

Volunteers with Protect Our Children were present in court Friday, at the Titusville Historic Courthouse.