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General Category => In The News => Topic started by: Battle on April 29, 2019, 01:34:57 pm

Post by: Battle on April 29, 2019, 01:34:57 pm
Don't know the story of America?
In the movie, 'Deliver Us From Eva' this line is mentioned that reveals exactly what this country's founding members meant when drafting the document, the U.S. Constitution, during the American Revolution that every elected official must swear an oath to honor, preserve & protect.


Let's call this topic, LIFE, LIBERTY & GETTIN' AWAY WITH SH!T!
The first subject & news story in this thread will be:

Monday, 29th April 2019
No Jail Time For School Bus Driver Who Admitted To Raping 14-year-old Girl
by Andrew Krietz


(WATERTOWN, New York) — A judge handed down 10 years' probation last week to a former New York school bus driver after he admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl.

Shane Piche, 26, will be registered as a Level 1 sex offender, according to the Waterford Daily Times.

The judge reportedly said because he had no prior arrests and there was one victim, the sentence was appropriate.

Level 1 is considered the lowest risk level out of three, and Piche will not be included in online sex offender databases.

He pleaded guilty in February to raping a 14-year-old girl who he met through his job as a bus driver with the city's school district, the newspaper reports.
Piche also was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child after he allegedly gave the girl alcohol.

The Times reports Piche is required to pay $375 in court fees and surcharges, plus a $1,000 special sex offender registration fee.

The 26-year-old will also not be included in online sex offender databases because he is considered a low risk offender.

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Post by: Battle on April 29, 2019, 03:40:51 pm
Monday, 11th March 2019
This Is America!

White Woman Who Killed 3 People Will Not Go To Prison
by NewsOne Staff


Zoe Reardon is another example of the epitome of white privilege.

After killing three people, including a three-month-old baby, she will only be on probation for 36 months.

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Post by: Battle on April 30, 2019, 07:27:05 pm
Tuesday, 30th April 2019
Judge Throws Out Ex-Penn State President's Conviction

by Associated Press


(HARRISBURG, Pa.) — A federal judge has thrown out former Penn State President Graham Spanier's child-endangerment conviction, less than a day before he was due to turn himself in to jail.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick in Scranton, Pennsylvania, issued a decision late Tuesday that gave state prosecutors three months to retry Spanier.

She agreed with Spanier's argument he was improperly charged under a 2007 law for actions that occurred in 2001, when he was responding to a complaint about Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy on campus.

Spanier had been due to report to jail early Wednesday to begin serving a minimum sentence of two months.

The 70-year-old Spanier was forced out as president shortly after Sandusky's 2011 arrest.

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Post by: Battle on May 10, 2019, 01:33:00 pm
Thursday, 8th  November 2018
Just Another Creepy Politician Getting Away w/Sh!t!
by Camila Domonoske


Eric Schneiderman, the former attorney general of New York who resigned after multiple women accused him of physically attacking them, will not face criminal charges over the allegations of abuse.
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas says an experienced team of prosecutors and investigators conducted an "exhaustive review" of the facts and the legal landscape.

Singas, who personally interviewed accusers, says she believes the women. But because of "legal impediments, including statutes of limitations," prosecution isn't possible, she announced in a statement Thursday.

Identifying "a gap in the law," Singas simultaneously proposed legislation that would protect victims of "sexually-motivated violence" in the future. ("wha...---Huh?"

In a story published by The New Yorker in May, four women accused Schneiderman of nonconsensual slapping, hitting and choking, as part of a larger pattern of demeaning and violently abusive behavior.

He also spat on some of the women, belittled them and threatened to kill them, former girlfriends said.

Schneiderman initially denied the allegations and said he merely engaged in "role-playing and other consensual sexual activity."("wha...---Huh?"

But the former attorney general struck a different tone on Thursday.

"I recognize that District Attorney Singas' decision not to prosecute does not mean I have done nothing wrong.

I accept full responsibility for my conduct in my relationships with my accusers, and for the impact it had on them," he said in a statement.

Schneiderman — who had publicly been an outspoken advocate for women, before his fall from grace — said Thursday that he had spent time in rehab and is committed to making amends.

"I apologize for any and all pain that I have caused, and I apologize to the people of the State of New York for disappointing them after they put their trust in me," he wrote.

Michelle Manning Barish, one of the women who spoke on the record to the New Yorker, wrote on Twitter that she feels "completely vindicated by Eric Schneiderman's admission that he engaged in the abuse to which he subjected me and the other women."

But she called for Schneiderman to go beyond words.

"A crucial next step will be for Schneiderman to turn over all campaign contributions — which we understand to be over $8.5 M — to groups that combat sexual violence against women and protect those who are harmed," she wrote.

"I wish him well in his recovery process," she said.

The investigation into Schneiderman's alleged abuse was originally opened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

But, as NPR wrote in May, that was a complicated situation:

"Schneiderman has been investigating Vance for his involvement in the decision not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein in 2015 after it gathered evidence for a case against him."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, seeking to avoid a conflict of interest, reassigned the investigation to Singas, who served as a special prosecutor.

Singas ultimately concluded that state laws, as written, "preclude criminal prosecution" in Schneiderman's case.
Identifying "deficiencies" in the law in cases such as this one, she also proposed the legislative fix. ("wha...---Huh?"
Currently, a slap that does not cause physical injury is not a crime in New York unless the intent is to "alarm, harass or annoy" someone, she wrote.

And bruises or abrasions do not qualify as "physical injury." ("wha...---Huh?"

The prosecutor did not provide specific examples.

But her summary suggests that in a sexual context, repeatedly slapping a person without his or her consent to the point of causing tears, screams of pain and a lingering mark — one of the many types of assaults Schneiderman is accused of committing — is not a crime in New York state.  ("wha...---Huh?"

Singas notes that "sexually-motivated violence ... may leave the victims with deep emotional wounds, even if they do not sustain physical injuries as defined under New York penal law."
Singas' proposed legislation would criminalize nonconsensual slapping, kicking and striking "with the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, and without consent."

The offense would be classified as sexual harassment. ("wha...---Huh?"

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Post by: Battle on May 22, 2019, 04:06:51 pm
Wednesday, 22nd May 2019
Illinois Sex Offender Registry Full Of Bogus Addresses
by CBS Chicago News

Illinois puts the home addresses of more than 31,000 sex offenders on a website so residents can see who lives in their neighborhoods.

CBS 2 found that many of those addresses are bogus.

How could so many slip through the cracks?

In one case, CBS 2’s Megan Hickey found a mother of young children living in a Palatine apartment building, who had no idea she had a registered sex offender as a neighbor.

That person registered with a Chicago address which doesn’t exist.


In addition, he used the 60606 zip code, which is the Willis Tower.

Another sex offender who actually lives on the Northwest Side, only a few hundred feet from an elementary school, also registered with that 60606 zip.

He is convicted of sexually abusing a 16-year old.

Another offender registered at 69 W. Washington St., which is the administrative building for Cook County.

It’s also home to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

A security guard there confirmed there are no residential properties at that address.

“This is all office building. That’s all it is. Nobody lives here. No, that makes no sense at all,” the guard said.

One offender got away with registering a P.O. box.

Another offender lives on Hatred Street in Evanston–which is not a real street.

So how are these addresses making the cut?

The Attorney General’s office referred inquiries to Illinois State Police.

Illinois State Police acknowledged they maintain the database, but said the list is only as good as the data entered by local law enforcement, the county sheriff, or the Illinois Department of Corrections.

ISP goes as far as putting a disclaimer on its website warning that “ISP makes no representation, express or implied, that the information contained on the registry is accurate.”

Laura Rogers is director of the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) Office, within the U.S. Department of Justice.

“A P.O. box would never be an acceptable address for a sex offender,” said Rogers, who added that Illinois hasn’t fully implemented federal guidelines for sex offender notification and registration.

That’s why the state has received a funding penalty every year since July 2011.

Some of the solutions to verifying addresses are pretty simple.

“We have so many great technological features these days. There’s no reason why you can’t just Google that house address to see that it’s a house address versus a post office box,” Rogers added.

One of the 17 states that does follow the federal guidelines is Ohio.

That state’s attorney general, Dave Yost, had a few critiques for Illinois.

“Illinois lacks a way to be able to consistently be able to notify people by email, or to update people if interested,” Yost said.

He said notification and address verification have been priorities for the Buckeye State.

They send postcards to verify that addresses are real.

“It’s not hard to send out a batch of postcards and see what comes back,” Yost said.

“This stuff is not hard to do. It’s not especially expensive. I would just urge people to buckle down and get it done.”

Meanwhile, residents are asking who else could be lying about where they live.

“It’s scary, you know? We have to take precautions,” the mom from Palatine said.

Scariest of all: no one seems to know who’s accountable for all these wrong addresses.

Representatives with the Illinois Sex Offender Registry Team through the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the Illinois State Police refused to comment for this story.

A spokesperson for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office says addresses in their jurisdiction — unincorporated Cook County and the Village of Ford Heights — are physically checked to make sure offenders are in compliance.

Registered sex offenders also come to the Sheriff’s Police Department annually on Halloween to update their information.

A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Corrections also said if the offender has been discharged from IDOC custody, it is the responsibility of local law enforcement to verify the address.

The Parole Office verifies the addresses for those on supervision.

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Post by: Battle on May 28, 2019, 03:38:17 pm

Post by: Battle on June 15, 2019, 07:54:42 am
Saturday, 15th June 2019
The Face of White Privilege
by David Mack


(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — The last thing Lauren remembered thinking was that she was going to die.

The man who’d offered her a lift a few minutes before at a busy Anchorage gas station was suddenly on top of her, his hands around her throat.

“I just remember trying to say something and I couldn’t get it out,” she recalled through tears. “I was trying to breathe and I couldn’t take one breath.”
She thought of her family. She thought of her mom, who was living up at one of the Alaska Native villages farther north. She thought of her brothers and sisters, of her little niece and nephews. She would never get to see any of them again.

“Right before I blacked out,” she said, “I just remember thinking, This is it.”

When Lauren woke up, he was zipping up his pants. The man who just moments ago had told her he was going to kill her was asking if she needed something to wipe her face.

“I was confused,” she said, “and when I stand up and I look in the reflection in the car, I see that he came all over my face.”

The man wasn’t really going to kill her, he tried to explain; he just needed her to think he was in order to fulfill his sexual fantasy. He let her grab her backpack from his truck and then he drove away, leaving her shell-shocked and alone in the lunchtime summer sun.

“I remember being just so shocked that he was brave enough to do this in the middle of the day. He was on his way to work,” Lauren said.

“The look in his eyes,” she recalled. “No soul. No nothing.”

The Aug. 8, 2017, attack on Lauren, whom BuzzFeed News agreed to identify with only her first name, horrified Alaskans when it made the local news. But the more shocking part — the part that would cause a political and legal firestorm — would come more than 12 months later.

Lauren’s attacker, a 33-year-old married father named Justin Schneider, has admitted that he had forced himself on Lauren. He admitted that he did it to satisfy his sexual desires. He admitted that he masturbated onto her.

He admitted that he ejaculated on her face. But he was not charged with sexual assault. As a first-time offender, he accepted a deal to plead guilty to just a single count of second-degree assault, and he walked out of the courtroom a free man. “I would just like to emphasize how grateful I am for this process,” Schneider, who declined to speak with BuzzFeed News, told the court. He’d been working on himself, he said. “I’m very eager to continue that journey.”

The case soon became a viral sensation as media and celebrities railed online against the injustice of Schneider’s light sentence.

In one meme shared 47,000 times on Facebook, he was called “the face of white privilege” who had a sexual assault charge “dropped.”

But the reality was much more complicated. The prosecutors didn’t drop the sexual assault charge. They never brought one in the first place — because, they said, the law would not allow them to.

In Alaska, sexual assault has a very narrow definition:

It has to involve either “knowingly touching, directly or through clothing, the victim’s genitals, anus, or female breast,”  or knowingly causing the victim to touch either the defendant’s, or the victim’s own, genitals. So because Schneider touched only his own genitals but didn’t touch Lauren’s or force her to touch his, his actions didn’t qualify as sexual assault.

“While the facts of this case were particularly disturbing, Mr. Schneider’s offensive physical contact with bodily fluid such as semen is not categorized as a sex crime under Alaska law,” said John Skidmore, then director of the Criminal Division at the Alaska Department of Law, in a subsequent review of the case.

In the aftermath of Lauren’s case, Alaska lawmakers last month voted to close what has been dubbed the “Schneider loophole.”

But out of 54 US states and territories, 44 of these jurisdictions, including Alaska, do not have a legislated definition of sexual contact that explicitly mentions contact with semen, according to research by BuzzFeed News and AEquitas, a DC-based nonprofit group of former specialized prosecutors who focus on issues of gender-based violence and human trafficking.

In Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Texas, to name just a few, Schneider might still slip through the same loophole.

Jennifer Long, who runs AEquitas, said unwanted contact with ejaculate is a “humiliating” and “egregious” form of sexual assault.

“There is a past and in some ways present tendency to minimize contact or penetration that doesn’t meet the most stereotypical elements of assault: gunpoint, violence, penetration, ejaculation, injuries everywhere,” she said. “But that’s not necessary in order to be a crime of sexual violence.

“Just because a penis or vagina hasn’t physically touched someone but ejaculate has, it doesn’t lessen the crime or its impact on the victim,” she said.

Schneider’s crime had a profound impact on Lauren. In the months after her brutal assault, and then again amid the media circus sparked by his sentencing, she chose to remain silent. But last month, Lauren made the decision to sit down with BuzzFeed News.

“Now that I’ve had time to process it all,” she said, “I’ve felt it is time for people to hear my side of the story.”

Lauren is now 27 years old. A wave of long, dark hair sweeps down the side of the gray zip-up hoodie she’s wearing when we meet in a windowless room at her lawyers’ office in downtown Anchorage. She occasionally pulls the sleeves of her sweater over her hands to fiddle with the cuffs as she talks. She’s carrying a cracked iPhone and a plastic bag full of junk food:

Reese’s Pieces and two bottles of a yellow energy drink. She radiates exhaustion.

Lauren’s lawyer Jim Davis had helped set up the interview, saying he felt she had reached “a more stabilized place” in her recovery and was ready to talk. But on the appointed day, she was extremely fragile and hesitant. “I wish you were here,” she texted her girlfriend. “I’m nervous.”

After a short pep talk, her lawyer introduced her only as Jane — as in Jane Doe, which is the way she’s identified in legal documents. She is guarded at first, but after 15 or so minutes, she decides to lower the gate.

“Hi,” she said. “I’m Lauren.”

Her voice cracking as she sniffed back tears, and while stopping at several moments during the interview to compose herself, she began recounting the worst day of her life.

Lauren spent her first eight or so years in Anchorage, a city of roughly 300,000 people — the largest in Alaska — framed by the icy, muddy waters of the Cook Inlet to the west and, to the east, by a ring of glorious, snowcapped mountains that seem to jut up from nowhere.

“I think when a lot of people come to Alaska, they’re just taken aback by how beautiful it is,” she said.

“Especially up in the villages,” the vast, remote areas where she had moved in second grade, “where I’m from, there’s no trees anywhere. It’s just all tundra.”

Moving to her mother’s small Native village had been a big shock for a city kid.

“It was very — almost like a culture shock for me because of how small it was,” she said. “I was used to being able to go to the mall and different high school pools, and at the village there’s one high school and no malls at all.”

Her grandmother lives in one of the Native American reservations down in the Lower 48, as Alaskans like to call the mainland states, along with lots of her cousins.

“They would ask if I lived in an igloo,” she said of the people she met down south, “or if I rode dog sleds to school.”

Drawn back to Alaska’s big city as an adult, Lauren made a home for herself once again in Anchorage, where she still has family.

It was a visit to her uncle that brought her to the Spenard neighborhood on Aug. 8, 2017, but as it turned out, he wasn’t home, so she walked to a nearby gas station. She was cursing her luck, having just missed the bus back across town, when a white Toyota SUV pulled up.

“He says, ‘Hey, what’s your name again?’” Lauren recalled. “And I said, ‘Do we know each other?’ And he says, ‘I’m Dan.’”

The man was tall — over 6 feet 2 inches, she believed — and had a short, scruffy beard in the same reddish color as his hair. He was wearing a long-sleeved red shirt with the sleeves rolled up. His shirt was neatly tucked into his blue jeans. He looked smart, like he was heading to work.

She couldn’t remember if she knew him or not, but he was offering her a lift. She was reluctant at first, but he seemed friendly and she needed to get across town. Plus, she didn’t want to seem ungrateful.

“Against my better judgment,” she said, “I got in.”

Rick Allen, who was Anchorage district attorney at the time of Lauren’s case, said that in Alaska, where distances are long and conditions can be harsh, picking up strangers is no big deal:

“If someone approaches you and says, ‘Hey, can you take me 2 miles down the road?’ and you’re going that way, you just do that stuff.”

The man asked Lauren if they could make a brief stop so he could pick something up from his other car. She agreed, and he pulled onto a short, unpaved side street in a quiet residential area, where tall trees and leafy scrub provided plenty of cover.

He asked Lauren to get out while he loaded the SUV. “When I get to the back of the car, he tackles me down to the ground, and I remember just getting so scared,” she recalled through tears.

“He just totally blindsided me.”
The man told her he’d kill her if she screamed. She promised not to.

“Then he looks at me in my eyes and he says, ‘Let me kill you anyways,’” she recalled, tears streaming down her cheeks. “And then he starts choking me.”

When she regained consciousness, Lauren realized she’d lost her flip-flops in the struggle.

Barefoot and extremely shaken, she moved to the side of the path, suddenly worried he was going to run her over.

But amid the terror, she displayed remarkable composure. When he gave her the cloth to wipe what police later called “a huge splotch of ejaculate,” she was careful not to wipe it all away, so there would be some left for police to test.

She also remembered to ask for her bag, which had her cellphone inside.

Then, as Schneider drove away, “I just remember thinking to myself, Get his license plate, get his license plate.” The moment his car rounded the bend, she reached into her bag, called 911, and blurted out the plate number.

At the hospital, a detective showed Lauren six photos of different men. She had no trouble picking him out.

“I just remember those eyes…those eyes,” she said. “You don’t forget the face of someone who you thought was going to kill you.”

Women in Alaska are in more danger of being murdered by a man than women in any other state.

A 2016 study by the Violence Policy Center found the rate was nearly three times the national average. And one-third of Alaskan adult women have experienced sexual violence, according to a 2015 survey from the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center.

The statistics are even worse for indigenous women like Lauren. Murder is the third leading cause of death among Alaska Native women, according to Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

On some reservations, women are 10 times more likely to be killed than in other counties. Almost half of them have endured rape, physical violence, or stalking, the federal government found in 2012. One in three Native women will be raped in their lifetime.

The problem is not confined to reservations or Alaska Native villages. The Urban Indian Health Institute, a division of the Seattle Indian Health Board, has found records of 31 indigenous women or girls who had gone missing or were murdered in Anchorage between 1975 and 2018. Only Seattle and Albuquerque, two cities with roughly double the population of Anchorage, had more cases.

“In terms of sexual assault and violence against women, unfortunately that’s a problem all over Alaska,” said Allen, the former Anchorage district attorney.

“That’s a problem in rural Alaska, it’s a problem in urban Alaska, and it’s just something that we are all ashamed of and want to try to improve.”

Janel Gagnon, a volunteer with No More Mat-Su, an anti–domestic violence group operating in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley outside of Anchorage, moved to the state three years ago from Portland, Oregon, but was born in California. Before moving north, she had three big fears: cold weather, bears, and moose.

“I’ve come to love the cold, I’ve never seen a bear, and I’ve only seen a handful of moose,” she said. “But do you know what I’m afraid of now? I’m really afraid of the people.

“Those statistics mean you have a lot of perpetrators walking around, and they must be perpetrators we all know,” she said. “Why aren’t we talking about them? Because then we’d have to talk about people that live next door.”

Following his assault on Lauren, Justin Schneider drove himself to his job at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, one of the busiest cargo airports in the world, where he worked as an air traffic controller.

When he finished later that night, he drove the 30 minutes home to Eagle River to be with his wife and two children.

He was arrested the next day.

Lauren felt relief when she heard the news. Part of her had feared he would somehow find her and “finish off the job.”

But she was particularly shocked to learn what her attacker did for a living. “My first thought was this guy’s pretty much in charge of people in the air — this psychopath,” she said.

“Obviously there’s something in his head that gets off on the act of killing, and it just blew my mind that he was in charge of all those lives in the air. It was just insane.”

Just a week after her attack, Lauren testified in front of a grand jury.

Schneider was indicted on three felony charges: kidnapping, along with assault in the second and third degree. The kidnapping charge alone carried a sentence of up to 99 years in prison.

But he also faced a misdemeanor charge for what’s known as first-degree harassment.

This, it turned out, was the only charge prosecutors felt they could bring against him for masturbating and ejaculating on Lauren’s face.

Under Alaska law, a person is guilty of first-degree harassment if they subject another to “offensive physical contact ... with human or animal blood, mucus, saliva, semen, urine, vomitus, or feces.” As written, the law covers the act of being hit with ejaculate, but not of being masturbated on.

(The statute, like many similar laws across the country, is primarily designed to protect prison guards from inmates hurling cups of bodily fluids at them from their cells. Some of these statutes explicitly limit the scope of victims to law enforcement officers and emergency responders.)

Essentially, then, Alaska’s law regarded what Schneider did as equivalent to spitting in someone’s face.

Andrew Grannik, the then–assistant district attorney in Anchorage who handled the case, was not willing to speak about it, according to a spokesperson for the Alaska Department of Law. But Grannik’s former boss, Allen, told BuzzFeed News he recalled Grannik coming to him to discuss the case.

“I think I might have even grabbed my statute book and said, ‘Surely that’s a sex offense. I mean, that has to be a sex offense, right?’” said Allen.

“And he says, ‘No, Rick, I’ve looked at it every which way and it’s not a sex offense.’ And I went through the statutes with him and he was right.”
The prosecutors were at a loss.

“I’m a lawyer who’s been doing this kind of work for 20 years,” said Allen, “but I had never been faced with this kind of fact scenario before. None of us had.”

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Post by: Battle on July 03, 2019, 10:08:50 am
Tuesday, 2nd July 2019
Navy SERIAL KILLER Acquitted Of Murder After Witness Claims To Have Killed ISIS Captive
by Bill Chappel


A military jury in San Diego has acquitted Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of all but one count of war crimes in a case that revolved around the killing of a 17-year-old ISIS prisoner who had been wounded and died in U.S. custody.

The jury convicted Gallagher of posing with the body of the dead prisoner.

The jury began deliberating on Monday, nearly two weeks after another SEAL, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, shocked the courtroom by claiming that he, not Gallagher, killed the captive.

Scott had been granted immunity from criminal charges as a lead prosecution witness in the case against Gallagher, who was accused of stabbing the ISIS prisoner in the neck with a knife.

In court, Scott said that he blocked a tube that was helping the wounded prisoner breathe and that he killed the youth as an act of mercy.

Prosecutors said Scott's narrative in court was wildly different from what he said in interviews, and they accused him of trying to protect his former superior from a long prison term.

But Gallagher's defense attorney said that the junior members of his SEAL team resented him and plotted against him, as KPBS reporter Steve Walsh told NPR on Monday.

"Gallagher was jubilant following Scott's testimony, celebrating with his family outside the courtroom," as NPR reported.

"Prosecutors were visibly upset by the turn of events."

The ISIS prisoner died in Syria in May 2017.

Gallagher was also accused of shooting unarmed civilians in Iraq in 2017, including a school-age girl.

Gallagher's wife, Andrea, has been a vocal supporter of her husband, defending him in national media outlets and maintaining a Facebook page.

In an update on Tuesday, she urged, "Please pray for a Not Guilty verdict and the TRUTH to finally set us Free as the jury deliberates again today so this nightmare can end."

The trial has brought several surprising turnabouts.

In late May, the judge in the case ordered Gallagher released from official custody, citing interference by prosecutors who tried to track defense lawyers' emails.

Defense attorneys had sought to have the case dismissed after prosecutors were found to have tracked communications in an attempt to clamp down on leaks to the news media.

Within days of that decision, the judge removed the lead prosecutor, Navy Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak, who admitted to sending a digital tracking device to defense attorneys and a journalist covering the case.

The military jury also had the authority to downgrade some of the charges against Gallagher — for example, it could have reduced a murder charge to attempted murder or aggravated assault, as Walsh reported.

The case also drew the attention of a Twitter Troll, who tweeted in support of Gallagher after Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Matt Gaetz of Florida sent the Twitter Troll-in-Chief a letter on his behalf.

Pushing for Gallagher to be released from custody, the Twitter troll bleeted, "In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal #EddieGallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court."


The acting-president's tweet went out on March 30 2019.

As KPBS's Walsh reported, the message seemed to help Gallagher get moved from the brig to the Naval Medical Center in San Diego.

But he remained in custody until late May 2019.

In their closing arguments, lawyers on both sides of the case told the jury that witnesses had lied in court, The Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors also urged the jury to consider texts that Gallagher sent about the dead prisoner, along with a photo of the corpse.

In one message, he said it was a "great story" and that he "got him with my hunting knife."

Witnesses also said that Gallagher, who was then serving in his eighth deployment, recited his reenlistment oath near the body.

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Post by: Battle on July 03, 2019, 11:59:42 am
Wednesday, 3rd July 2019
judge says teenage rapist deserves leniency because he's __________.
by John Swaine


A judge suggested that a teenage boy accused of raping a drunk girl at a party should be treated leniently because he came from “a good family”, and cast doubt on whether such an attack amounted to rape at all.

Judge James Troiano in New Jersey made the remarks while ruling that the boy, who was identified only as “GMC”, should not face trial as an adult for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl while recording the incident on his mobile phone.

“This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well,” Troiano said.

“He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.” ("How do you know that he didn't cheat on his tests?"

Troiano, 69, also noted that the boy was an Eagle Scout.

Investigators said GMC sent a clip of the alleged rape to seven of his friends, and later sent a text adding:

“When your first time having sex is rape.” ("Huh?!"

Yet Troiano suggested that, in his view, the alleged incident was a sexual assault rather than a rape.

Troiano’s remarks, which he delivered at a family court hearing in July 2018, were highlighted this week in a sharply worded overturning of his decision by an appeals court.

Prosecutors told they would now seek an indictment from a grand jury so they may prosecute GMC as an adult.

Prosecutors had alleged that GMC’s attack had been “sophisticated and predatory” and that he showed “calculated and cruel” behaviour by filming the incident, sharing the footage and then lying about it.

Adult cases are heard by a jury and typically involve harsher punishments for those convicted.

Records of juvenile cases are largely kept secret from the public.

But Troiano refused, pointing to GMC’s background and saying that, in his view, a “traditional case of rape” involved more than one attacker using a weapon to take advantage of a victim in a remote location.

The judge also cast doubt on allegations GMC’s victim was too drunk to understand what was happening, asserting that she “walked hand-in-hand” with GMC to a basement area where the alleged rape took place.

And he dismissed the significance of GMC’s boastful text messages, describing this as “just a 16-year-old kid saying stupid crap to his friends”.


The appeals court panel said Troiano had exceeded his role and “decided the case for himself” rather than properly reviewing the application by prosecutors to try GMC as an adult.

In one drily scathing passage, the appeals court judges said they hoped juveniles would not be made to stand trial as adults if they “do not come from good families and do not have good test scores”.

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Post by: Battle on July 03, 2019, 01:26:21 pm
Wednesday, 3rd July 2019
Navy SERIAL KILLER Demoted by a single Rank For Taking Photo With Corpse Of ISIS Fighter
by Bill Chappell


A military jury has sentenced Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher to a reduction in rank and pay for posing with a dead prisoner's body on the battlefield.

A jury convicted Gallagher of that crime on Tuesday but acquitted him of charges that he murdered the captive ISIS fighter.

The jury also sentenced Gallagher to four months' confinement — the maximum allowed — but he won't serve any additional time because he already spent 201 days confined to the brig while he was awaiting trial.

And he was to receive partial pay for four months.

Out of all the charges Gallagher faced, reporter Steve Walsh of member station KPBS said that posing with a prisoner's corpse "is the only charge that cannot be accompanied by a dishonorable discharge."
("Does that mean taking a photo with a corpse is honorable?"
At Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Gallagher accepted responsibility for his actions, Walsh reported from the courtroom.

The prosecutor did not seek any additional confinement for Gallagher, instead asking for "a reduction in rank from E7 down to E6," Walsh said.

In the Navy — which uses rates instead of ranks to determine seniority — that represents a move from a rating of chief petty officer down to petty officer first class.

Although Gallagher avoided a prison sentence, his demotion will affect both his salary and his pension, after his service hits the 20-year mark.

Gallagher, 40, is a 19-year veteran and a Bronze Star recipient.

When the incidents in question occurred in 2017, he was serving his eighth deployment.

Soon afterward, Edward and Andrea Gallagher were seen entering a San Diego courtroom where his sentence would be decided.

The most serious charge in the case centered on a 17-year-old ISIS fighter who had been wounded and died in U.S. custody.

Fellow SEALs testified that Gallagher had stabbed the prisoner in the neck — but one of those witnesses drastically changed his story at trial, shocking the courtroom by saying that was he, not Gallagher, actually killed the prisoner.

pecial Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott told the court that he had blocked the prisoner's breathing tube and killed him as an act of mercy after Gallagher stabbed him.

Gallagher, a sniper and medic, had also been accused of shooting unarmed Iraqi civilians, including an elderly man and a school-age girl in Mosul.

He was acquitted on those charges, as well.

Prosecutors had urged the jury to convict Gallagher based in part on text messages he sent about the dead ISIS fighter, along with a photo of the corpse.

In one message, he said, "Good story behind this. Got him with my hunting knife."

The SEAL's defense team said the photos were a normal part of the dark humor among service members.

And they said junior members of Gallagher's platoon had turned against him because they didn't like his leadership style.

Gallagher's case has exposed rifts in the secretive SEAL community of special operators — a schism that the Navy Times highlighted in April when it laid out some of the details of the accusations against Gallagher.

Drawing on Naval Criminal Investigative Service files and legal records it had obtained, the Navy Times said some of the SEALs in Gallagher's unit wanted to block him from a promotion or a possible Silver Star honor.

The news outlet cited NCIS interviews in which the SEALs reportedly said Gallagher had bragged about killing dozens or even hundreds of people on each of his deployments.

Witnesses have said Gallagher recited his reenlistment oath near the ISIS detainee's body.

According to the Navy Times, a lead petty officer from the platoon told NCIS agents that he viewed the reenlistment ceremony as "the most disgraceful thing he had ever seen."

In another unusual twist in the case, the judge removed the lead prosecutor, Navy Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak, who admitted to sending a digital tracking device to defense attorneys and a Navy Times editor who was covering the case, in an attempt to trace leaks to the media.

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Post by: Battle on July 03, 2019, 05:20:23 pm
Wednesday, 3rd July 2019
Body camera video, testimony reveal new info in crash that killed grandmother & granddaughter
by WBAL (NBC News affiliate)


Police body camera video and testimony is revealing new information regarding a horrific crash that claimed the lives of a woman and her granddaughter.

Callie Schwarzman, 22, is charged with negligent manslaughter and DUI.

She had a motion's hearing Wednesday to suppress evidence.

The judge ultimately decided to allow the defendant's statement to police and blood tests for substance use.

Baltimore County police bodycam video played in circuit court Wednesday revealed numerous statements Schwarzman made to police immediately after the July 23, 2018, crash that killed Deborah Limmer and her 5-year-old granddaughter, Delaney Gaddis.

Schwarzman told officers she had just left her boyfriend's apartment and that she had an appointment at a methadone clinic.

She started taking the medication four days before and missed two days' doses.

In the body camera video, Schwarzman said she tried to make a right turn:

"My power steering went out ... I hit the brakes and the car started sliding. I couldn't turn away from them. I tried to pull to the side."

In several police body camera videos, Schwarzman is seen crying, sometimes uncontrollably, asking about the girl.

She questioned police and paramedics and her mother, who arrived at the scene later.

"How's the kid? I'm fine," Schwarzman said in the video.

She was taken to a hospital to get blood drawn to detect alcohol or drug use.

Officer: "The people you struck were killed."

Schwarzman: "No, both of them? Oh my God. Am I going to jail? I am completely sober. It's an honest accident. Give me a minute. Am I going to jail?"

Officer: "You are not going to jail today."

She then explained to her mother in the back of an ambulance, "I killed a little girl," the body camera video shows.

Court testimony indicates officers and emergency medical technicians believed Schwarzman didn't suffer physical injuries, but medics wanted to take her to the hospital to check her for withdrawal symptoms and provide counseling.

Schwarzman protested, saying on the body camera video, "I don't want to go to the hospital. I want to stay home with my mother."

Schwarzman admitted drug and alcohol use the day before the crash.

Police found wine bottles and heroin paraphernalia in her car.

Her blood-alcohol test read zero.

There was no testimony Wednesday on drug test results.

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Post by: Battle on July 05, 2019, 08:32:08 pm
Friday, 5th July 2019
Life, Liberty & Getting Away With Sh!t. It’s a Familiar Story.

by Julie Bosman


The outlines of the story were infuriating yet familiar:

A young man of privilege was accused of a serious crime, arrested, prosecuted and then treated gently by a judge.

This week, it was a New Jersey teenager identified in court documents only as G.M.C., who prosecutors said raped an intoxicated 16-year-old girl at a party, made a cellphone video of the act and then shared the video with friends, adding:

“When your first time having sex was rape.”

The judge dismissed the young man’s own description of what he did.

Instead, court documents said, the judge wondered if the accuser and her mother had considered the devastating effect on the boy’s life this charge might have.

The boy “comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well,” the judge said, noting that the young man was an Eagle Scout.

“He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college,” Judge James Troiano of Superior Court, sitting in Monmouth County, said last year.

As Judge Troiano’s comments became widely known to the public this week, they were met with outrage and calls for him to be barred from the bench.

But there was also widespread frustration that variations of the same scenario seem to play out on a loop in the nation’s criminal justice system, allowing people with markers of privilege — whether in education, wealth or race — to be given light treatment, probation or short sentences.

As Josie Duffy Rice, a host of a “Justice in America” podcast, wrote on Twitter,

“These stories epitomize the reasons women often choose not to report their sexual assault. In a system like this, with judges like these, in a world that prioritizes men’s potential over women’s lived experiences — why would you?”

Judge Troiano was no rogue judge, experts in criminal justice said, and the sentiments he voiced in court — expressing concern for the future prospects of the accused, while glossing over harm inflicted on the victim — were not particularly extraordinary.

“He is not an appalling outlier,” said Deborah Tuerkheimer, a professor at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law who has studied sexual violence.

“He gave voice to something that is woven into the fabric of our culture. There’s a longstanding tradition of trivializing harm to victims of sexual assault and focusing instead on harm to perpetrators.”

Professor Tuerkheimer calls the phenomenon the “care gap,” in which “there’s a lot of space between the care, the attention, the pull on our heartstrings that we all tend to give to accused men, particularly when they’re privileged,” rather than to the women who are victims of sexual violence.

Other high-profile cases that have attracted media attention in recent years fit a similar pattern and have prompted nationwide calls for sentencing reform.

Brock Turner, a former swimmer at Stanford University, was accused of sexually assaulting a woman after a party and convicted on charges of sexual assault of an unconscious person, sexual assault of an intoxicated person and sexual assault with intent to commit rape.

He was sentenced to six months in jail and three years’ probation in 2016, and was released from jail after three months.

The judge, facing a furious outcry over the sentence, was recalled last year by California voters.

Owen Labrie, once a student at the exclusive St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, was convicted in 2015 of sexually assaulting a classmate during a “senior salute,” a campus ritual in which seniors met younger students for romantic encounters before graduation.

Mr. Labrie, then 18, invited a 15-year-old girl to a rooftop, where she said he raped her.

He was released early from jail for good behavior last month after serving six months.

Then there was Ethan Couch, a Texas teenager who killed four people and severely injured another while driving drunk in June 2016.

Prosecutors sought a 20-year prison sentence, but a psychologist who testified in Mr. Couch’s defense argued that he suffered from “affluenza,” psychological afflictions said to result from growing up with wealth and privilege.

Mr. Couch served a 720-day sentence in a Texas jail, a penalty that one victim’s family said was lenient and influenced by the wealth of Mr. Couch’s family.

In the New Jersey case that drew anger, the judge involved was rebuked by an appeals court for his handling of the accusation of rape, and the case will be moved to a grand jury.

“That the juvenile came from a good family and had good test scores we assume would not condemn the juveniles who do not come from good families and do not have good test scores from withstanding waiver application,” the panel wrote in its decision.

Judge Troiano is retired but occasionally fills vacancies on the bench.

Elizabeth L. Jeglic, a professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said that the case could reflect a common sentiment in criminal sentencing, in which people sympathize with other people who are similar to them.

“Maybe the judge identified with this family or individual,” she said.

“People are subject to biases. Wealth does influence sentencing, as well as race and class. It’s not usually as obvious as it is in these cases.”

Research has shown that African-Americans receive longer sentences than white people, she said, and that judges often rely too heavily on their own intuition when making decisions.

“My take home from this is that this is obviously egregious,” Professor Jeglic said.

“But it’s the perfect timing for it, as we are now having conversations about criminal justice reform, and part of that conversation is sentencing.”

Too many sexual assault cases are clouded by a judge’s consideration of a defendant’s background and upbringing, said Laura Palumbo, a spokeswoman for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, a nonprofit based in Pennsylvania that compiles data on sexual assault.

“There is a common thread here, and that is that the actions of some are not to be put in the same category as others,” Ms. Palumbo said, “or that someone’s behavior is not as serious or harmful because of their perceived character.”
Post by: Battle on July 18, 2019, 10:59:05 am
Wednesday, 17th July 2019
Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Case Dropped in Nantucket
by Gene Maddeus


Nantucket prosecutors have dropped a sexual assault case against actor Kevin Spacey, citing the “unavailability” of the complaining witness.

Spacey had been accused of groping an 18-year-old busboy at the Club Car restaurant in July 2016.

He was charged with indecent sexual assault, and a trial was set to be held in the fall.

However, the case has been teetering on the brink of dismissal since an evidentiary hearing last week, during which the accuser invoked his Fifth Amendment rights.

Spacey’s attorney, Alan Jackson, had sought access to a phone which contained texts from the evening of the alleged incident.

The accuser has said that the phone is missing.

The prosecution had relied on screenshots that were turned over to investigators.

Jackson alleged that the accuser and his mother had manipulated the messages, and asked at the hearing whether the accuser was aware that manipulating evidence is a crime.

After a recess, the accuser’s attorneys said that he would not answer additional questions.

The young man had sued Spacey in civil court last month.

His attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, dropped the suit a week later without giving an explanation.

Garabedian later told local media that the dismissal was not the result of a settlement.

“My client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under difficult circumstances,” Garabedian said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Post by: Battle on July 23, 2019, 07:36:56 pm
Tuesday, 23rd July 2019
Charges dropped against engineer who derailed Amtrak train in Philly in 2015


(PHILADELPHIA) - For a second time, charges have been dropped against the engineer at the helm of the ill-fated Amtrak 188 train in May 2015, which killed eight people and injured dozens more.

Brandon Bostian was charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter and 246 counts of reckless endangerment.

His charges were dropped during a status hearing Tuesday morning.

A trial had been scheduled for September 2019.

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Post by: Battle on September 04, 2019, 11:49:24 am
Wednesday, 4th September 2019

These beautiful words strike a familiar chord in the United States, however, do these poetic words apply to everyone? 

The article below tells a very similar story; Jesse Jackson, Jr. actually went to prison for the exact same crimes the dishonorable aaron schock committed. 

Aren't you shocked?  ???

Charges officially dropped against ex-U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock in unusual deal with feds
by Jason Meisner

Six months after striking a rare deal with prosecutors, former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock on Wednesday was officially cleared of criminal charges alleging he used his campaign funds as a private piggy bank.

Completing what’s known as a deferred prosecution, federal prosecutors in Chicago dropped all charges against Schock after he completed a probationary period where he stayed out of trouble and paid back $68,000 to his congressional campaign funds that he’d used for personal expenses.
Schock, of Peoria, was also required to work out a plan to pay back taxes to the IRS.

The brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly completed a stunning turn of events for Schock and cemented a deal virtually unheard of in a high-profile corruption case.

Schock, who was not required to be in court and indeed did not show, officially has a clean record, meaning he would be free to run for public office again if he chose to do so.

Neither Schock nor his attorneys could immediately be reached.

Once a rising Republican political star, Schock’s fall from grace began with stories of his lavish tastes, including the extravagant remodeling of his Washington office inspired by the British television series “Downton Abbey.”

After he resigned in 2015 amid a federal investigation, Schock was hit with a sweeping criminal indictment in Springfield alleging he used his government and campaign funds to pay for personal luxuries, including private jets, skybox tickets at Soldier Field, and paying for travel to get a haircut.

Schock denied the allegations and his legal team accused the lead prosecutor in Springfield of pursuing the high-profile case to advance his own career.

In a stroke of luck, the case was transferred last year to Chicago because the judge overseeing the matter was accused of having improper contact with the prosecutors’ office in an unrelated case.

In announcing the deferred prosecution deal in March, the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago said it had taken a fresh look at the charges and decided it would be a “fair and just” outcome, especially given that Schock has no criminal record and resigned from public office.
In his six-page agreement with prosecutors, Schock acknowledged he had a “regular practice as a public officeholder” of obtaining event tickets at face value and later selling them for a big profit.

He admitted that through this side practice, he failed to report $42,375 in income to the IRS over his six years in office.

Schock also admitted overbilling the House of Representatives for mileage as he drove around his district for both official and campaign purposes.

As part of the deal, Schock’s campaign committee, Schock for Congress, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of failing to properly report expenses.

Schock first entered public life at 19 when he won a write-in campaign for the Peoria school board.


Elected to Congress in 2009 at age 27, he was seen as a darling of the Republican Party and had taken on crucial political fundraising roles when federal investigators began to look into his use of his campaign funds and House allowance to pay personal expenses.
He was charged in a 24-count indictment in November 2016 with wire fraud, mail fraud, theft of government funds, making false statements, filing false reports with federal election officials and filing false tax returns.


A judge later dismissed two of those counts.

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Post by: Battle on September 05, 2019, 05:42:16 am
Thursday, 5th September 2019
DOJ declines charges against FBI agent who shot kidnapping victim from Conroe in botched 2018 rescue
by St. John Barned-Smith


The FBI agent who shot and killed a kidnapping victim he was trying to rescue last year from a Houston house will not face federal charges, Department of Justice officials said this week.

The news follows the Aug. 19 sentencing to life in prison of Nicholas Chase Cunningham, 44, one of the four people charged in the Jan. 24, 2018 kidnapping of Ulises Valladares, who died the following day after being shot by an FBI agent trying to rescue him.

“After a careful and thorough review of all of the available evidence in the matter involving the shooting of Ulises Valladares, on January 25, 2018, in Houston, TX, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas declined to proceed with federal criminal charges against FBI personnel,” wrote Daryl Fields, spokesman for the agency in an email.

“We conducted an approximate 11-month-long, detailed and careful investigation.”

It’s not clear whether the FBI took any internal actions against the agent, but the bureau almost never disciplines its agents after they shoot people.

A 2013 New York Times investigation found that between 1993 to early 2011, every one of the 150 shootings was deemed justified.

Valladares was shot the day after two armed kidnappers burst into his Conroe home, bound his 12-year-old son with duct tape, abducted Ulises, and demanded money they said his brother owed them.

The attackers falsely claimed they were linked to a Mexican drug cartel and demanded a ransom from Valladares’ brother, authorities said at the time.

Investigators later explained they believed that was a scare tactic designed to intimidate Valladares’ brother.

As FBI agents tried to rescue Valladares the next morning from the Trinity Gardens home where he was being held, one of the would-be rescuers shot him.

Authorities later explained that the agent was using his M-4 submachine gun to break a window at the back of the home, and that Valladares — who was bound and gagged inside — grabbed the gun.


Thinking a kidnapper was attempting to wrest the gun from him, the agent fired two shots, killing Valladares, authorities said.

Civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen — who is representing Valladares’ relatives in a lawsuit against the agent who shot him — said Wednesday the slain man’s autopsy contradicts authorities’ initial description of what happened in the rescue.

“The medical examiner found no gunpowder on the wound area, which means it was not a close range shot,” said Kallinen.

“That refutes the concept Valladares had his hands on the weapon, as was earlier reported.”

Kallinen declined a request from the Chronicle to provide a copy of the autopsy.

He criticized the FBI’s secrecy surrounding the case.

“Valladares has not received justice,” he said.

“The agent’s name has never even been revealed, some 590 days after the shooting.”

Both the FBI and the Houston Police Department investigated the shooting.

In the aftermath of Valladares’ death, authorities arrested three people.

Cunningham and Jimmy Tony Sanchez, 40, were charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery.

Sophia Perez Heath, 36, was charged with aggravated kidnapping.

In July, authorities also charged Cunningham’s wife, Delia Gualdina Velasquez, 48, with one count of aggravated kidnapping.

Cunningham was sentenced in August to life in prison on aggravated robbery charges.

The case drew national attention after Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in October that his investigators believed the agent’s claims after the shooting were “not supported” by their findings.

On Wednesday, Acevedo said he stood by his investigators’ findings.

“Our special investigations unit did its job — which was to complete a thorough investigation — and submitted that investigation to prosecutors,” he said.

“Now it’s up to the DA to decide how to proceeed.”

The shooting was the first in Harris County by an FBI agent in 13 years, following a joint FBI and Houston police “MS-13” initiative in 2005 in which agents shot four suspects during an anti-gang raid in northeast Houston, killing two suspects and wounding two others.

Acevedo’s actions in October weren’t the first time local law enforcement clashed with their federal counterparts over the investigation into Valladares’ death.

In April of 2018, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg publicly queried U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick over whether his staff would review the shooting, after confusion and delays over whether his office would exercise its jurisdiction in reviewing the death case.

Patrick’s office subsequently recused itself, and the case was sent to the the neighboring Western District of Texas and the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General.

With the Western District’s decision not to pursue criminal charges, the case now returns to Harris County prosecutors — nearly two years after the shooting — for review and possible state charges.

In an emailed statement, Ogg said that her prosecutors initially deferred to the DOJ on the shooting because he is an FBI agent.

“Now that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has declined to file federal charges, the District Attorney’s Office has an independent obligation to present this matter to a local grand jury to determine if state criminal charges are warranted,” she said.

“Our Civil Rights Division is reviewing the case.”

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Post by: Battle on September 11, 2019, 03:47:15 am
Wednesday, 11th September 2019
Student Jailed On Sex Assault Charge Freed After Judge Deems Him ‘High Achieving’
by Alanna Vagianos


A University of Florida senior jailed on a charge of sexually assaulting a fellow student was released last week after a judge deemed him a “high-achieving student.”

Ian Milaski, a 21-year-old resident hall assistant, was arrested on Aug. 29, after a female student called university police and accused Milaski of forcibly kissing her, pinning her onto his bed and attempting to put his fingers inside her days earlier.

Milaski was jailed on charges of battery and false imprisonment, with bond set at $125,000.

A judge later ordered him released on his own recognizance, agreeing with an emergency defense motion that described Milaski as a “high-achieving student,” according to local outlet WCJB.

The bail-reduction motion said Milaski is “slated to graduated in May 2020″ with a double major, and “personally performed more than 210 hours of community service in the last two years.”

Milaski’s motion also argued that he needed to help his parents prepare for Hurricane Dorian and tend to his double major as a senior about to graduate, according to The Alligator, the UF student newspaper.

The woman, identified only as a UF sophomore, told officers that Milaski called her drunkenly and said he needed water on the night of Aug. 25, according to a police report.

She said she walked Milaski back to his room, but he kept trying to make out with her despite her protests.

After she continued to refuse his advances, he reportedly grabbed her by the wrists and said, “I want to sleep with you.”

When the woman tried to leave Milaski’s room, he grabbed her, picked her off the floor and pinned her on his bed, where he attempted to “finger her” through her underwear, according to the police report, obtained by NBC-2.

The young woman told police she eventually escaped and returned to her dorm room. Later that night, she awoke in her bed and found Milaski trying to lie next to her.

A friend of the woman who had been sleeping in the dorm room woke up from the commotion and yelled at Milaski to leave, according to the report.

Milaski’s bail motion explained the incident as a “misunderstanding among platonic friends fueled by alcohol,” the Alligator reported.

The judge, whose name isn’t mentioned in local news reports about the case, ordered Milaski to have no contact with the victim and banned him from returning to Sarasota and Alachua counties, where the university is located, except for court appointments or events related to school, including classes.

Milaski also was ordered to wear a GPS monitor.

No date has been set for his next court appearance.

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Post by: Battle on September 11, 2019, 07:49:04 am
Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Judge in Brock Turner Case Hired as High School Tennis Coach
by Gonzalo Rojas, Michael Bott & Kristofer Noceda


The controversial judge in the Brock Turner case is now a high school tennis coach in San Jose, California.

Lynbrook High School officials on Tuesday confirmed Aaron Persky was hired as a tennis coach at the campus for this school year.

Persky was recalled by Santa Clara County voters in 2018 for his handling of the Turner case.

Many people were enraged when Turner, an ex-Stanford University swimmer, was sentenced to six months in jail in 2016 after his conviction for felony sexual assault.

Persky, who imposed the sentence, was recalled by voters in 2018, the first judge to be recalled in California since 1932.


Meanwhile, the woman sexually assaulted by Turner revealed her identity last week by announcing an upcoming memoir,

"Know My Name."

Chanel Miller, known for years only as "Emily Doe," is sharing her story in the memoir set to be released on Sept. 24, 2019

"Late last week, it was brought to our attention that the coach of Lynbrook High School’s Junior Varsity Girls Tennis team, Mr. Michael Persky, was previously in the news in connection with this prior job as a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge.

Mr. Persky is in his first year as an athletic coach in our District.

He applied for the open coaching position over the summer and successfully completed all of the District’s hiring requirements before starting as a coach, including a fingerprint background check.

He was a highly qualified applicant, having attended several tennis coaching clinics for youth and holds a high rating from the United States Tennis Association.

In response to concerns from some members of our community, we held a meeting with the parents of both the JV and Varsity Girls Tennis teams on September 9 to provide parents with background on the situation.

Our focus remains on ensuring that our students have the best possible educational experience - both academically and athletically.

As this is an ongoing personnel matter, we are unable to comment further at this time."

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Post by: Battle on November 26, 2019, 08:49:25 pm
Tuesday, 26th November 2019
U.S. judge partially overturns conviction of opioid maker Insys' founder

by Reuters


(BOSTON, Massachusetts) - A federal judge on Tuesday partially overturned the conviction of Insys Therapeutics Inc's founder and three former executives accused of bribing doctors to prescribe an addictive opioid, but declined to disturb the remainder of the jury's verdict.

U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs in Boston ruled the evidence prosecutors presented at trial did not support finding that John Kapoor and the others intended for doctors to prescribe the drug, Subsys, to patients who did not need it.

She said intent was needed to find that they conspired to violate the Controlled Substances Act and committed honest services fraud, some of the so-called predicate acts that formed the basis of their racketeering conspiracy convictions.

The judge denied Kapoor's request for a new trial on the remaining convictions for mail fraud and wire fraud, saying the "evidence strongly supported his agreement to be a member of the conspiracy."

Burroughs said she only "very reluctantly" was overturning part of the jury's May guilty verdict in the case, and said her ruling should not be taken as condoning the "reprehensible" behavior of Kapoor and his co-defendants.

"Defendants knew the power of Subsys and that addiction was a risk, but nonetheless tried to maximize the number of prescriptions written and the dosage prescribed," she wrote.

A lawyer for Kapoor and a spokeswoman for the prosecution did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Post by: Battle on December 14, 2019, 10:38:45 pm
Sunday, 15th December 2019
Lawmakers want former Kentucky Governor Bevin’s pardons investigated

(FRANKFORT, Kentucky) — Outrage over a spree of pardons by former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin spread to the state capitol Friday as lawmakers called on federal and state prosecutors to investigate the orders, including one for a convicted killer whose family raised campaign money for the governor.

Bevin, who lost to Democrat Andy Beshear last month in a close race, has issued more than 400 pardons since the November 5th election, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office.

The fallout from Bevin’s pardon-granting binge widened as the Republican Senate President called for a federal investigation and Democratic lawmakers called on Attorney General-elect Daniel Cameron to appoint a special prosecutor or a bipartisan team to investigate some of the ex-governor’s pardons.

Cameron takes office next week.

Senate President Robert Stivers condemned Bevin’s actions as “a travesty and perversion of justice” and called on the U.S. attorney in Kentucky to investigate.

“Gov. Bevin’s pardons show what is a shocking lack of judgment and potentially an abuse of our system of justice,” Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey told reporters.

Bevin’s pardons also drew a rebuke Friday from the state’s most powerful Republican, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Honestly, I don’t approve,” McConnell told reporters Friday at the Kentucky Capitol.

“It seems to me it was completely inappropriate.”

Bevin responded to the uproar in a series of tweets Friday evening, saying he reviewed hundreds of pages of court transcripts and thousands of letters.

“The myriad statements and suggestions that financial or political considerations played a part in the decision making process are both highly offensive and entirely false,” he wrote on Twitter.

He said “armchair critics” are not aware of “facts, evidence, lack of evidence, supporting documents, reasons and unique details” of the cases.

Cameron, the incoming Republican state attorney general, did not address the pardons or a potential investigation in a written statement Friday but said he believes

“the pardon power should be used sparingly and only after great deliberation with due regard to public safety.”

McGarvey said special attention should be given to the pardon issued to Patrick Brian Baker, who was sentenced to 19 years on convictions of reckless homicide and other crimes in a fatal 2014 home break-in in Knox County.

Prosecutors say Baker and another man posed as police to gain entry to Donald Mills’ home and Mills was shot in front of his wife.

She tried to drive him to the hospital but he died on arrival.

Mills’ sister, Melinda Mills, said in an interview Friday that she was “highly pissed off” when she learned of Baker’s pardon.

“We all highly suspect that there was money involvement to get his pardon,” she said.

“He (Bevin) got campaign money. He didn’t come for free of charge.”

Baker’s family raised $21,500 at a political fundraiser last year for Bevin and Baker’s brother and sister-in-law also gave $4,000 to Bevin’s campaign on the day of the fundraiser, the Courier Journal reported.

Bevin wrote in the pardoning document that Baker’s “drug addictions” led him to fall in with the wrong people and the evidence against Baker was “sketchy at best.”

But the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld Baker’s conviction a year ago, writing in a unanimous ruling that

“there can be no doubt, on review of the proof as a whole, evidence of Baker’s guilt was overwhelming.”

Baker’s two accomplices remain in prison.

“I don’t see how, based on what we have in front of us, there is any other assumption to draw than two people are sitting in jail because they didn’t have personal favors with the governor,” McGarvey said.

“There is one person who is out who did.”

At Baker’s trial in 2017, the judge declared a mistrial on four counts of wanton endangerment, meaning Baker could potentially be retried on those charges, which are felonies that range from one to five years in prison.

“I will say that we are very aware of that right now,” Melinda Mills said.

The original prosecutor in the case, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Several of Bevin’s pardons were granted to people from wealthy families, State Rep. Chris Harris said.

“That’s something that specifically needs to be looked into,” he said.

“We want to make sure that there’s not this pay-for-play going on with governor pardons.”

Another lawmaker, Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel, said he will introduce a measure next year that seeks to amend the state’s Constitution to strip a governor of pardon powers for the month leading up to an election and for the time between an election and the swearing in of a new governor.

The proposal would have to be ratified by the state’s voters.

“If a governor wants to use the power to commute and pardon, he should be willing to stand in front of the voters and be held accountable for those actions,” McDaniel said in a statement.

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