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Impersonating someone online will soon be a crime

SACRAMENTO - With the start of the new year, maliciously impersonating someone online - with a phony Facebook page or e-mails apparently sent from their account - isn't just a cruel prank anymore. It's a crime.

Senate Bill 1411, authored by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), becomes law January 1, updating California's 19th century impersonation law to the Internet age.

"A 19th century law is no deterrent for 21st century impersonators," Simitian said.

Online impersonators who assume someone else's identity to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud may be charged with a misdemeanor.

"E-personation," said Simitian, "is the dark side of the social networking revolution. Facebook or MySpace pages, e-mails, texting and comments on Web forums have been used to humiliate or torment people and even put them in danger. Victims have needed a law they can turn to." 

Violent crime up in Sacramento and Stockton

SACRAMENTO, CA- Violent crime in Sacramento and Stockton saw a modest increase in the first six months of 2010.

FBI crime statistics showed the number of violent crimes in Sacramento for the period stood at 2,157 incidents, up by 112 from the first 6 months of 2009.

In Stockton, there were 1,941 violent crimes for the period, compared to 1,864 during the same time in 2009, an increase of 77.

Most other major cities in California saw drops in violent crime. It was not immediately clear why.

"We did see an increase from 2009 and 2010. It was very minimal, and we are very fortunate for that," said Sacramento Police Department spokeswoman Officer Laura Peck.

West Sacramento sexual predator given 3 life terms

WOODLAND, CA - A 21-year-old West Sacramento man convicted of sexual assaulting and kidnapping two women in May of last year received three consecutive life sentences in a Woodland courtroom Friday.

A Yolo County Superior Court jury last month found Theodore Wooten guilty of multiple violent felony charges. According to the Yolo County District Attorney's Office, Wooten pushed his way in a West Sacramento motel on May 1, 2010, and tried to rape a mentally ill woman who often lived on the streets. The victim was savagely beaten with her scalp partially torn from her skull, according to prosecutors.

In the second attack on May 27, 2010, West Sacramento Police Department officers testified to catching Wooten in the act of trying to sexually assault a woman he was accused of forcing off the street and behind a business.

Sacramento couple sentenced in 5-year-old's torture killing

SACRAMENTO, CA - A Sacramento mother and her boyfriend convicted of murdering her 5-year-old son were given long prison sentences Friday.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny sentenced Eduardo Zamora Jr., 32, to 23 years to life in prison and a second life term in the first-degree murder and torture of Braeden James Gardner in June 2009.

Amber Ingram, 26, convicted of second-degree murder, received a 15 years to life sentence for child endangerment for leaving her son with Zamora while she went to work.

According to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, Zamora called 911 on June 17, 2009, from the couple's home to report the boy had stopped breathing. Paramedics took the child to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Hospital officials said the boy had extensive bruising and injuries indicating he had been abused.