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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - September 11, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania INSIDE TODAY SPORTS: Jordan ail but confirms he'll be back Bl BUSINESS: Unwanted CDs returned to sender AS Man's best friends Pets go beyond Copyright 2001 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 newsstand SEXUAL EXPLOITATION Study targets abused children BY CLAUDE R. MAUX The Associated Press WASHINGTON Children who engage in prostitution and the making of pornography are likely to be white, middle-class and famil- iar with the person who got them involved, according to a study released Monday. These young people often were abused at home and fled to the streets, where they exchanged sex for money, food and shelter, according to the report. It was issued by the University of Pennsylvania and the National Association of Social Workers. About children in the United States are victims of com- mercial sexual exploitation, the report estimated. "It's an epidemic that has been off the radar screen and mostly said Richard J. Kstes, a social work professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the study's main author. Equal numbers of boys and girls are involved, but the activities of boys generally receive less atten- tion. Most people who have sex with children are men, 25 percent of whom are married and have chil- dren. Please see A8 BY THE NUMBERS The number at children who are sexually exploited in the United States annually. Of that v SUflflure, ran away from home X. and were thrown out of their homes hy a parent or guardian. The amount of money children who engage in prostitution can earn in a day. 75 The percentage of children who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation who are from raiddle- class backgrounds. 40 The percentage of girls who engaged in prostitution who were sexually abused at home. 30 The percentage of boys who engaged in prostitution who were sexually abused at home. Source: "The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada and A BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW M irro r pli oto by Jason Sipe s Dr. Nick Genovese, director of the pharmacy at Altoona Hospital, counts a prescrip- tion for hypertension medication. National pharmacist shortage begins to take effect locally BY MICHAEL EMERY Staff Writer The shortage of health care workers has moved beyond hospitals, nursing homes and home health-care agencies to phar- macies. Bill Earnest, chief of operations at Kopp Drug in Altoona, attended a meeting of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores in Chicago last month. "The national shortage of pharmacists is for he said. "Our staffing situation locally is OK right now, but we have no surplus. It's a situation where we're fine today, but tomorrow we could be in a bind with a staffing shortage." The supply of licensed pharmacists is strained by sharp increases in demand for pharmacist services, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The study, "The Pharmacist Workforce: A Study of the Supply and Demand for was mandated by Congress in December 1999. Conducted by Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration, the study concluded that the number of unfilled full- and part-time drugstore pharmacist posi- tions rose sharply nationwide from about vacancies in February 1998 to nearly vacancies by February 2000. Please see A5 PROSTITUTION STING Attorney: DA sought quiet case BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer The defense attorney for a woman accused of providing sexu- al favors to two state police troop- ers says prosecutors wanted to keep the case quiet and they offered to dispose of it at the dis- trict justice level to avoid publicity. Ebensburg attorney Stephen Beyer said Monday that he was approached by Blair County Assistant District Attorney Doug Keating during the July 26 prelim- inary hearing for Joung Lonnie Cho, <15, and Keating said, "Let's keep it quiet." Keating wanted to keep the case under wraps because prosecutors knew "something inappropriate was going Beyer said. State police claim the two offi- cers allowed the sex acts to occur after an exchange of money because they wanted to leave Garden Health Spa, 2062 Old Route 220 north, Duncansyille, without revealing their identity. While the officers hoped to bring a corruption charge against the business by tracing their money, only Cho was charged after the investigation. Keating said he never told Beyer he wanted the case kept quiet, but he remembers agreeing to handle the case at the district justice level. Keating and Blair County District Attorney Dave Gorman, who did not personally handle the case, said they wouldn't make an offer to keep the case under wraps bocause there was no way to keep it quiet. "It's a matter of public Gorman said. "The complaint is there." But Beyer said there were good reasons why the prosecution want- ed the case kept quiet. Not only was police behavior in the case inappropriate, but if the case had gone before a jury in open court, the officers would have embarrassed themselves and the state police. Beyer said the officers acted inap- propriately by going through with the sex acts that Cho supposedly offered, and the charges never should have been filed. "They should have reprimanded these officers and dropped the Beyer said. Cho pleaded guilty to one count of prostitution before District Stephen Beyer, lawyer for- defendant Joung Lonnie Cho, said prosecutors wanted to keep the case under wraps because they knew "something inappropriate was going on" with the investigation. Justice Patrick T. Jones. She was fined and released. Beyer said he believed he had an entrapment defense in the case, but his client decided to accept the fine because she wanted to return to Daly City, Calif. "1 don't think this is Beyer said indicating that his client's name has been published and her case well-publicized, but the names of the officers .involved..have not been released and have not been reprimanded. Li Michael Hample of the state police at Hollidaysburg last week refused to disclose the names of the troopers, claiming they are under- cover officers. He said there is no policy forbid- ding what they did, and no disci- plinary action is expected. "I want to emphasize this was not an independent action done by two Hample said. Gorman said that, before police went to the spa, they asked him if they should go through with the. sex acts as part of the investiga- tion. "They came to me in terms of a search warrant. What do they need? We told them they didn't need to consummate the Gorman said. He told police that committing the acts "was not necessary for the investigation." Beyer said Gorman should have put a stop to the case in view of the circumstances. Beyer spoke out Monday because he was upset with another case in which his client faces a long prison term for burglary even though that client cooperated with the prosecution. Please see A4 Blair native's court nomination praised by local, state officials Smith BY PHIL RAY Staff Writer U.S. District Judge D. Brooks Smith's nomination to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is "a great honor to this said Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva, who served with Smith when he was a local com- mon pleas court judge. Kopriva summed up the feelings of many area officials Monday evening as they com- mented on the news that President Bush has sent Smith's name to the U.S. Senate for con- firmation. Smith, chief judge of the U.S. District for western Pennsylvania, received the news while in his chambers in Pittsburgh. The judge wouldn't comment on the nomi- nation, but Smith's silence didn't stop oth- ers from talking proudly of the native son that soon could become a judge just a notch below the U.S. Supreme Court. Please see A4 State court tosses lawsuit over Huntingdon County prison land BY MIA ROHART Staff Writer HUNTINGDON Common- wealth Court has dismissed a request to block the sale of 116 acres to Smithfield Township, clearing the way for officials to decide how to use the prison land near routes 22 and 26. "We're delighted with the out- come of the Commonwealth Court proceeding refusing an injunc- tion against the said Harrlsburg attorney Robert H. Long Jr., representing the state Department of General Services. "And the court's observation that 'this case is an example of how protracted can be the life of a meritless lawsuit' pretty well tells the story of the lack of merit of this Long said. Robert I.ibby, vice president of Greater Fourth Street Associates, said he was disappointed. The company had offered a bid for the land, but it was rejected. "We think the township should seriously consider our offer because they would have mil- lion in profit if they accepted our Libby said. Greater Fourth Street Associ- ates filed the suit, claiming that before the state could sell the land Please see A3 Subscription or home delivery questions: M6-7480 or (800) 287-4480 MS FOUR; Lottery numbers, A2 Mostly sunny, Forecast, A2 The Magazine... 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