Attorney General Biden Takes Another Step in the Fight Against Child Predators

Wilmington, DE – In order to give prosecutors the power to put child predators away for longer
periods of time, Attorney General Beau Biden announced that the Delaware Department of Justice
has drafted legislation to strengthen penalties for sexual offenses against children. The legislation,
introduced as House Bill 421 by Representative Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth), increases the
penalties against those convicted of unlawful sexual contact and those found guilty of the
distribution of child pornography. The Bill also takes into account the new ways pornographers use
technology to victimize children by broadening the scope of the law to include all modes of dealing
in illegal images, electronic or otherwise.
“Those who make sexual contact with children are predators – that’s clear,” Attorney General Biden
stated, “but possessors of child pornography are also predators. Children are victimized not only
when pornographic pictures of them are taken, but every time those pictures are viewed. That’s
why we’re calling for tougher penalties for criminals who victimize children in any way.”
House Bill 42l recognizes the severity of child sexual abuse by:
• Increasing the penalties for unlawful sexual contact with children
• Toughening the penalties for possessing and distributing child pornography
• Establishing a mandatory prison sentence for distributing child pornography
• Broadening the law to account for all forms of child pornography, including the use of new
electronic devices, such as camera phones and iPods
“I am proud to stand with Representative Pete Schwartzkopf in securing the most powerful tools for
law enforcement in the fight to keep kids safe,” Attorney General Biden stated. “We can never
cease to be vigilant when it comes to protecting children from predators.”
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Wilmington, DE – Today Attorney General Beau Biden announced that Delaware consumers and the
State will receive at least $165,000 following an investigation involving consumer protection claims
against Express Scripts Inc., a nationwide pharmacy benefits management company. As a result of the
investigation, Express Scripts will make considerable changes to its business practices and pay $9.3
million to 28 states and the District of Columbia and $200,000 to patients who incurred expenses related
to certain switches between cholesterol-controlling drugs.
“Today, we’re holding the pharmaceutical industry accountable for deceptive and illegal trade
practices that have cost Delawareans money,” Attorney General Biden stated. “The Delaware
Department of Justice will do everything within its power to ensure fair competition and lower prices for
Delaware will receive $100,000 which will be used to provide prescription medications to lowincome,
disabled and elderly residents, promote lower drug costs, and educate consumers about cost
differences among medications. In addition, Express Scripts will pay $65,000 to the Delaware
Consumer Protection Fund to reimburse the State for costs associated with its investigation.
The Delaware Department of Justice alleges that Express Scripts engaged in deceptive business
practices. In particular, Express Scripts may have overstated the cost benefits of switching to certain
preferred medicines. Moreover, Express Scripts did not clearly disclose that rebates accrued from drug
switches would be earned by Express Scripts.
Express Scripts is required under the agreement to make several changes, including:
• not encouraging drug switches that cost more, have only minimal savings, are for drugs not
subject to market competition, or are away from drugs whose patents are about to expire
• not switching the medication of the same patient twice in a two-year period
• disclosing Express Scripts’ financial incentives for drug switches, including rebates paid to
Express Scripts by drug companies, the promotional support provided by drug manufacturers,
and the actual cost savings of drug switches
Express Scripts and other pharmacy benefits management companies enter into contracts with
employer health plans to process prescription drug claims, negotiate volume discounts with drug
companies and retail pharmacies, and dispense drugs through mail order pharmacies.
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Delaware Department of Justice’s Public Statement Regarding the Conclusion of the Department’s Investigation of the Delaware Psychiatric Center

Delaware Attorney General Joseph R. Biden, III, announced today (June 12th, 2013) that the Delaware Department of Justice (DDOJ) has concluded its ten-month investigation of allegations of patient abuse at the Delaware Psychiatric Center (“DPC”). The DDOJ investigation concluded that there were systemic violations of Delaware’s Mental Health Patients’ Bill of Rights, 16 Del. C. §§ 5161 & 5162. Such violations included, but were not limited to, DPC’s failure (1) to prevent physical and emotional abuse of patients by employees and other patients; (2) to prevent mistreatment of patients through inappropriate use of medications, isolation, and physical and chemical restraints; (3) to prevent neglect of patients through lack of attention to their physical needs including safety concerns; (4) to prevent the use of unjustifiable force against patients; (5) to provide to each DPC patient care and treatment suited to the patient’s needs, skillfully, safely and humanely administered with full respect for the patient’s dignity and personal integrity in a setting and under conditions that restrict the patient’s personal liberty only to the extent required by the patient’s treatment needs, applicable law and judicial orders; and (6) to provide each patient with an outcome-oriented, individualized, written treatment plan, treatment based on such plan, periodic review or revision of the plan consistent with treatment progress, and a description of treatment and other support services needed upon discharge.

As a result of this investigation, the DDOJ prosecuted and convicted two members of the DPC staff: Woods Etherington and Anthony Liggians. In addition to holding staff criminally liable and in order to remedy the systemic violations of the Mental Health Patients’ Bill of Rights, the DDOJ and the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services (“DHSS”) have entered into a legally binding “Memorandum of Agreement Between the Delaware Psychiatric Center and the Delaware Department of Justice to Ensure Enforcement of and Compliance with the Mental Health Patients’ Bill of Rights at the Delaware Psychiatric Center” (“Memorandum of Agreement”). The Memorandum of Agreement contains a comprehensive plan of action listing the necessary corrective measures and accomplishment dates that the DPC must meet in order to fully comply with the Delaware Mental Health Patients’ Bill of Rights.

These measures include but are not limited to: (1) submission of a protocol and set of procedures governing the use of its currently deployed system of video-monitoring throughout DPC patient areas as a management and prevention tool for the purpose of ensuring patient safety and quality of care; (2) identification of the categories and definitions of incidents to be reported and investigated; immediate reporting by staff to supervisory personnel, DPC’s director, and State officials of serious incidents; and the prompt reporting by staff of all other unusual incidents, using standardized reporting across all settings; (3) mechanisms to ensure that, when serious credible allegations of abuse, neglect, and/or serious injury occur, staff take immediate and appropriate action to protect the individuals involved, including removing alleged perpetrators from direct contact with individuals pending the investigation’s outcome; (4) adequate training for all staff on recognizing and reporting incidents; (5) notification of all staff when commencing employment and adequate training thereafter of their obligation to report incidents to DPC and State officials; (6) posting in each patient care unit a brief and easily understood statement of how to report incidents; (7) procedures for referring incidents, as appropriate, to law enforcement; (8) mechanisms to ensure that any staff person, individual, family member, or visitor who, in good faith, reports an allegation of abuse or neglects is not subject to retaliatory action by DPC and/or the State, including but not limited to reprimands, discipline, harassment, threats, or censure, except for appropriate counseling, reprimands, or discipline because of an employee’s failure to report an incident in an appropriate or timely manner; and (9) mandatory investigation of the criminal history and other relevant background factors of all staff, whether full-time or part-time, temporary or permanent, or a person who volunteers on a regular basis and performance of drug testing of any person engaged in direct patient care.


The parties have agreed that an independent “Compliance Chair,” the Honorable Vincent A. Bifferato, Sr., former Resident Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, will determine DPC’s compliance with the Memorandum of Agreement. If Judge Bifferato determines that the DPC has failed to comply with the Memorandum of Agreement, the DDOJ will move to enforce the Mental Health Patients’ Bill of Rights in the Court of Chancery for the State of Delaware. DPC administrators fully cooperated with the DDOJ investigation. Moreover, DPC has taken positive steps, such as reducing staff vacancies and hiring a new director, to improve conditions at the facility. Indeed, absolutely no evidence was discovered that DHSS and/or DPC destroyed or shredded any documents relevant to the investigation or the protection of patient rights. All parties agree that violations of the Mental Health Patients’ Bill of Rights must immediately and permanently cease. DPC administration and staff must create and enforce an environment that does not tolerate abuse, mistreatment or neglect of any patient and which provides and fosters a safe and humane hospital setting where the highest quality of therapeutic treatment is available to all patients.
DPC’s decision to enter into this Memorandum of Agreement with the DOJ demonstrates that DPC has committed to ensuring its patients the care and treatment they are entitled to under the law. It also allows us to begin to cure the problems at DPC now rather than engage in a lengthy litigation process.

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Attorney General Biden Takes Action to Protect Children Online

Wilmington, DE – Attorney General Beau Biden today announced that social networking website
Facebook has agreed to implement changes that better protect children. Facebook will make several
design and functionality changes to protect its users from predators and from inappropriate content,
and will educate children, parents, and educators about ways to use its site safely. The agreement
with Facebook was reached by Attorneys General from 49 states and the District of Columbia.
“Predators who would harm our kids take advantage of the popularity of social networking
websites to reach their victims,” Attorney General Biden stated. “This agreement represents
another step in the fight to enhance protections on these sites and keep kids safe online.”
As a result of today’s agreement, Facebook will take several actions, including:
• Provide automatic warning messages when a child is in danger of providing personal
information to an unknown adult
• Restrict the ability of users to change their listed age
• Act aggressively to remove inappropriate content and groups from the site
• Require third party vendors to follow Facebook’s safety and privacy guidelines
• Participate in a task force that is working to develop online age and identity verification
Additionally, Facebook staff will now review a user’s request to change their listed age to
determine whether it is appropriate. Facebook will maintain a list of pornographic websites and
will sever links to such sites. It will also remove individuals and groups for committing pedophilia,
cyberbullying, and other violations of its terms of service.
Facebook will also prominently display safety tips and require users under 18 to affirm that
they have read them when they create Facebook profiles. Today’s agreement follows a similar
agreement that Attorney General Biden and other state Attorneys General reached with social
networking website MySpace in January, 2008.
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