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“Another Nigger fried. No big deal.”
-- April 16, 2011, Statement by New York City Police Officer Michael Daragjati, boasting of his false arrest of another African-American male.
Top News Story!
Posted: 1:44 AM EDT, Sun October 11, 2013 - Updated: 2:16 AM PDT, Sun October 13, 2013
Washington, D.C. -- The Air Force’s two star general in charge of the units responsible for its 450 nuclear missiles has been fired “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment.”
Maj. Gen. Michael Carey (pictured above, center) has been removed from command of the 20th Air Force, according to an Air Force statement. That command is responsible for the three wings that maintain control of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles scattered in missile silos across the northern plains.
Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, made the decision because of what the statement said was a ”loss of trust and confidence.
The statement added that Kowalski made the decision to relieve Carey based on information from an Inspector General investigation into Carey’s behavior during a temporary duty assignment which is the military’s term for business travel. “The allegations are not related to operational readiness or the inspection results of any 20th AF unit, nor do they involve sexual misconduct,” said the statement. Carey has been reassigned to an undetermined job within the Air Force pending the results of the investigation.
“20th AF continues to execute its mission of around-the-clock nuclear deterrence in a safe, secure and effective manner,” Kowalski is quoted as saying in the statement. “It’s unfortunate that I’ve had to relieve an officer who’s had an otherwise distinctive career spanning 35 years of commendable service.”
Brigadier General Les Kodlick, the Air Force’s chief spokesman, said the ongoing Inspector General’s investigation had been triggered by “reports of personal misbehavior” during that temporary duty assignment.
Kodlick would not specifically reveal where the personal misbehavior may have occurred or may have consisted of though he said it did not involve criminal behavior.
Kowalski’s command is responsible for two-thirds of the nation’s nuclear triad, including Air Force nuclear missiles and long-range bombers.
Kodlick explained that personal behavior is important in nuclear commands because “it’s a position of great trust and responsibility.” He added that “the nuclear deterrence mission is one of great focus and discipline. Personal behavior is vital to that, especially from a commander.
Earlier this week President Obama relieved of command the number two officer at U.S. Strategic Command, which among other things oversees the military’s nuclear forces. Vice Admiral James Giardina had earlier been suspended from that command following a criminal probe into his potential use of counterfeit poker chips at an Iowa casino.
Obama became involved because only the president can relieve a three- and four-star officer from his post. Giardina has been reassigned to an undetermined position within the Navy.
The Air Force statement indicated that the move was unrelated to the inspection results of the 20th Air Force.
Earlier this year, two of the three missile wings under Carey’s command received unsatisfactory ratings in regular annual inspections.
In August, the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, failed its third inspection in five years.
In May ,the 91st Missile wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota suspended 19 missile officers for retraining after that unit received an unsatisfactory rating for one aspect of its inspection.
on the Lam!
on the Lam!
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Gilbert Lam, 37, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent appeared in San Francisco Superior Court Tuesday morning on two felony charges of distribution and possession of child pornography. Lam, who worked at San Francisco International Airport, allegedly had more than 80 images of child pornography on devices at his San Francisco home, prosecutors said Tuesday. Lam did not enter a plea during the hearing. Assistant District Attorney Alexis Fasteau said that 83 child porn files were found on various devices in Lam's home and that he participated in peer-to-peer file sharing. She said one video contained 20 prepubescent children and some included infants. She said that that Lam admitted "it was stimulating to him."
Details of the case were released during a hearing on whether Lam's bail should be reduced. Fasteau also said it was "ironic he was in the trusted position of being a Customs and Border Protection officer, making sure people do not come into this country with contraband."
Lam's defense attorney argued that Lam was initially arrested on suspicion of child porn charges in August 2011 but prosecutors declined to prosecute him then. She said he was not a flight risk since he stayed in San Francisco after that arrest, working as an agent at the airport after he was released even though he knew prosecutors could re-file charges against him. Lam was arrested again on March 9, 2013 and remains in custody.
Judge Jerome Benson agreed to reduce his bail from $250,000 to $80,000, agreeing that Lam was not a flight risk. He will return to court again on April 25 to enter a plea to the two charges. U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement about the case following Lam's arrest. "We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty," the statement said.
Posted on: 3:23 PM, Dec 14, 2012 - Updated on: 08:52pm, Dec. 15, 2012
ST. LOUIS, MO (WCJB) - A former Lincoln County detective was sentenced Friday for aggravated sexual abuse and sexual contact with five women. Scott Edwards, 50 (pictured above, center) of Troy, Mo., was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crimes that occurred while he was serving as the victims' drug court tracker. Court documents state Edwards was fired in December 2010 from his position as a drug court tracker in the Lincoln County Drug Court program. In that position Edwards monitored the whereabouts and curfews of participants. Authorities say Edwards used his position of authority to engage in sex acts with the victims without their consent. At least one of the sexual encounters resulted in bodily injury.
All five women were enrolled in the Lincoln County Drug Court program, and the crimes occurred between February 2009 and November 2010. Edwards pleaded guilty in July to two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law including aggravated sexual abuse, one count of deprivation of rights under color of law including kidnapping, and two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law including sexual contact.
Posted on: 4:40 pm, July 10, 2012 - Updated on: 08:52pm, Dec. 15, 2012
ST. LOUIS, MO (WCJB)-- A former Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department detective has pleaded guilty to federal charges of sexually abusing five women. On Tuesday, Scott Edwards, 50, from Troy, MO, pleaded guilty to three felony and two misdemeanor counts. The victims were female participants of a drug court program under Edwards’ supervision. He was a veteran drug court tracker responsible for getting addicts back on their feet until he was fired in December 2010.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Edwards committed sex acts with the five women without their consent. More than one of the victims was injured in the incidents, which happened when Edwards was both on and off duty.
Media sources first exposed allegations against Scott Edwards last November. One of the women Edwards supervised captured audio of one of the reported rapes.
He could get up to life in prison. Sentencing is Oct. 18, 2012.
Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2012, 9:50 AM - Updated: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 7:14 AM PST
(both pictured above, center, Alfredo V. Ruiz (l); and Russel Torralba (r))
San Diego, CA -- The state of California is working to yank licenses issued to San Diego nurses Russel Torralba and Alfredo V. Ruiz, media sources reported.
While dressed in blue nurses uniforms, Torralba and Ruiz fondled one another and touched the hand and face of a helpless female patient, home video shows. In one incident, a nurse places the woman’s hand inside his pants, an attorney said.
The video “appears to show very egregious behavior,” Russ Heimerich, a spokesman for the state Department of Consumer Affairs, told media sources. “I don’t know if we’ve ever had a case that has a video like this. We are working to shut them down,” he said.
The video was one of several shot last year. The patient’s family had installed security cameras in her home to monitor the care provided by private 12-hour shift nurses hired through a company called AMS Home Care Solutions.
“What they saw was horrific. These acts are unfathomable.” said a lawyer for the family, with respect to the nurses’ behavior.
The patient, who was not identified, is aware of herself and her surroundings but unable to call for help, Berman said. The nurses had been hired at a rate of $1,300 a day, media sources reported.
Torralba and Ruiz have been barred from working as in-home health providers, but are still allowed to work in a hospital setting pending the outcome of a hearing this month. Media sources were unable to reach Torralba or Ruiz for comment.
The San Diego District Attorney’s office is reviewing the case for possible criminal charges, media sources reported.
Distilled for Life!
Sycamore, Illinois (WCJB) -- Fifty-five years after Maria Ridulph vanished from a small-town street corner while playing in the snow, a former neighbor was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and killing the brown-eyed second grader. Jack Daniel McCullough, who was 17 and known as John Tessier back in 1957, was finally identified two years ago by Maria's childhood companion as "Johnny," the blond man with the ducktail haircut who offered the girls piggyback rides and carried Maria off into oblivion.
McCullough, who worked as a police officer for a time in Washington state, was convicted of child abduction and murder after a two-week trial in September. He continues to assert his innocence. In court Monday, McCullough claimed he was framed by corrupt police and prosecutors. He pointed at a white box on the defense table which he said contained 4,000 pages of FBI reports from 1957. He said agents interviewed 1,800 people and cleared him. Judge James Hallock previously ruled the documents inadmissible at McCullough's trial. Then, McCullough, his hand still resting on the box, urged the judge: "Your honor, in the name of justice and fairness open the box and view the truth."
After the 90-minute hearing, snowflakes fell on Ridulph's brother, Charles, and sister, Patricia Quinn, as they stood on the courthouse steps and said they were relieved Maria had finally received justice. "This has been a nightmare for our family," Charles Ridulph said. Quinn added that the crime "changed Sycamore. People were afraid."
The case is believed by investigators to be the oldest cold case to go to trial and result in a conviction. McCullough was sentenced under laws that were in effect in 1957. McCullough, now 73, was questioned during the first days of the investigation, but was never considered a suspect because he seemed to have the perfect alibi: He and his parents said he was miles away in Rockford, enlisting in the Air Force and taking a physical. He left Sycamore days after Maria's disappearance and served in the Air Force, and then the Army. He was stationed for a time in Vietnam, and rose to the rank of captain and was awarded the Bronze star for bravery in combat, his lawyer said.
The murder case went cold, but Sycamore never forgot about Maria Ridulph. On the 40th anniversary of her disappearance, a monument was erected outside Sycamore's police station. It says, in part: "This is in memory of Maria Ridulph who on December 3, 1957, was kidnapped while playing near her home. She was found murdered in the spring of 1958. This also is in honor of the great people in our community that reached out in love and compassion."
The disappearance of the 7-year-old with the perfect Sunday school attendance was national news for a while as 1,000 volunteers scoured fields of corn stubble for clues. Maria's remains were found in the spring by a retired couple looking for mushrooms under the melting snow. She was 120 miles from home, in a field near the town of Galena and not far from a river campground where the Tessier family spent vacations.
McCullough's youngest sister, a baby at the time of the crime, contacted an Illinois State Police tip line in 2008 and told investigators that her dying mother had pulled her close in her hospital room years earlier, and, referring to Ridulph's murder, said, "John did it. John did it, and you have to tell someone." Janet Tessier added that her mother was agitated and emotional at the time, and "expressed a great deal of guilt," according to a transcript obtained by media sources.
After state police reopened the case, they interviewed a former girlfriend in Florida and eventually poked holes in McCullough's alibi. A government-issued train ticket fell out of the back of a photograph the woman mailed to police, and an expert authenticated the ticket and said it had not been used.
Kathy Sigman Chapman, who was playing with Maria the night she was abducted, picked that photo of McCullough out of a police lineup in September 2010. Although she had viewed hundreds, if not thousands of photos before, it was the first time she'd been able to identify "Johnny." She testified that she was certain she had identified the right man. The girls had been excited as the first snowflakes of the season fell on the evening of December 3, 1957, Chapman recalled. They asked to go back outside after dinner.
The Tessier family lived around the corner and two blocks down Center Cross Street from Archie Place, where the girls' families lived. Because he was older, Maria and Kathy did not know John Tessier, a high school dropout. "Johnny" asked the girls if they liked dolls and if they'd like to ride in a truck, bus or train. Maria ran home and returned with a favorite doll. Then Chapman left Maria alone with Johnny and went home to fetch her mittens. When she came back, they were both gone. She alerted Maria's brother, Charles. A massive search began, which continued throughout December. Maria's doll was found by a neighbor's garage.
The missing child case drew dozens of FBI agents to this small farming community about 60 miles west of Chicago. FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover demanded daily updates, which were shared with President Dwight Eisenhower.
Posted: April 12, 2012 12:19 p.m. - Updated: April 12, 2012 5:58 p.m. PDT
SYCAMORE, Ill. (WCJB) - A DeKalb County judge Thursday found former cop Jack Daniel McCullough not guilty of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl 50 years ago, the local media reported. "The state has failed to meet their burden," Judge Robbin Stuckert said. Prosecutors had said the assault occurred in 1962, but McCullough was charged only last year after an investigation that also saw him arrested for the long-unsolved 1957 kidnapping and killing of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph (pictured below, right) of Sycamore. McCullough, now 72, is still awaiting trial on those charges.
The alleged victim was not present to hear the verdict, but several of her relatives broke into tears when hearing it. As McCullough was led away one even called out, "Bastard!" McCullough showed no emotion when the verdict was read, but outside the courtroom, his attorney, Public Defender Regina Harris, said, "He's relieved to tears. He's very emotional right now." McCullough's attorney said too much time had elapsed since the alleged 1962 rape in Sycamore, and there was no other evidence to back up the woman's claims. McCullough had faced anywhere from one year behind bars to life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors said the emotional testimony from the women showed McCullough had a propensity for sexually assaulting teenage girls. On Tuesday, a now 64-year-old woman told Stuckert that McCullough raped her in his rental house after she asked for a ride in the flashy red-and-white convertible he was driving, then allowed two of his roommates to assault her. The woman, a retired teacher and hospital chaplain, couldn't bring herself to report the attack for decades because she is related to McCullough, prosecutors said.
In addition, a woman from Washington state — where McCullough was a police officer — testified that he assaulted her in 1982 when she was 15. They brought in a 45-year-old woman who said he raped her in 1982 when she was a 15-year-old runaway. McCullough, then a police officer in a small town in Washington, let the girl and her friend stay at his girlfriend's apartment. One night, she says, he raped her while she slept on the couch. He was arrested and charged with statutory rape in that case but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of illegal communication with the minor. McCullough received a one-year suspended jail term.
McCullough is still awaiting trial on the charges that he murdered Maria Ridulph. The little girl's disappearance 57 years ago captured national attention, with former FBI director J Edgar Hoover and President Dwight Eisenhower demanding updates on the investigation. Police arrested McCullough last year after an unused train ticket was discovered, which destroyed his alibi.
Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2012 - Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 04:15 pm PST
Battle for Okinawa!
TOKYO, JAPAN — Japanese police arrested a U.S. Marine Corps officer on Sunday on suspicion of trespassing on the southern island of Okinawa amid anger over military crimes and demands for stricter regulations for U.S. troops. The incident, the second after the U.S. military had stepped up disciplinary steps last month, immediately triggered harsh reaction from the Okinawa government. Sunday’s arrest was especially inflammatory on Okinawa, where Emperor Akihito was visiting to attend a fisheries event.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is expected to raise the issue during talks Tuesday with President Obama on the sidelines of the summit of Southeast Asian countries in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, a International News Agency reported. “I’m too shocked to say anything. It’s utterly ridiculous and extremely regrettable,” Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima told reporters. “I must lodge a strong protest to both the Japanese and U.S. governments. They must do something more significant.” Japan has lodged a formal protest with the U.S. Embassy and U.S. military over the incident Sunday and demanded that they make sure the U.S. Military curfew imposed in the recent, yet prior incident, is enforced.
Police said 1st Lt. Tomas Chanquet of the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma allegedly sneaked into a room through an unlocked door and slept there until he was spotted by a resident who called police. Lt. Chanquet was apparently drunk when he entered the apartment, Okinawa police official Masahiko Gishi said. Police are investigating if he broke the curfew and was drinking off-base before the alleged trespassing.
An alleged rape by two Navy sailors last month enraged Okinawans and reignited deep-rooted anti-base sentiment on the island, home to more than half the 52,000 U.S. troops in Japan. The case led to a curfew on all troops in Japan, but two weeks later a U.S. airman allegedly assaulted an Okinawan teenager. Sunday’s incident also raises questions over the effectiveness of the curfew and other disciplinary steps.
On Friday, Okinawa’s state assembly adopted a resolution protesting the two earlier cases, demanding tougher regulations and stepped-up efforts to reduce the number of troops and bases on the island. The resolution also called for a review of legal procedures for military suspects and efforts to streamline the U.S. troop presence.
Okinawans have staged massive protests against the deployment in October of Osprey military aircraft despite opposition over safety concerns after two crashes elsewhere. Local opposition to the U.S. bases over noise, safety and crime flared into mass protests after the 1995 rape of a schoolgirl by three American servicemen. The outcry eventually led to an agreement to close the Futenma airfield, but the plan has stalled for more than a decade over where a replacement facility should be located.
Posted: November 2, 2012 - 5:55 AM EDT - Updated: November 6, 2012 - 05:15 pm PST
Tokyo, Japan (WCJB) -- A U.S. airman is under investigation over allegations he broke into a local family's home early Friday and assaulted a teenage boy. According to Okinawa police, the suspect is alleged to have broken into the family's apartment in the village of Yomitan around 1 a.m. Friday. He allegedly hit a 13-year-old boy who was in bed and damaged a television set, before jumping off a third-floor balcony. The boy was left with an injury to his cheek. The airman suffered "possible broken bones and internal injuries" after jumping from the apartment's balcony. He has been admitted to a military hospital on the nearby U.S. Air Force base of Kadena, U.S. military officials said.
American military officials on Okinawa, which lies south of the main Japanese islands, were trying to deal with the fallout from the situation. "It is extremely regrettable when an alleged incident like this occurs," said Col. Brian McDaniel, vice commander of the 18th Wing of the U.S. Air Force, which occupies the Kadena base, the largest American military installation in the Asia-Pacific region. "We are fully cooperating with Okinawan authorities on this investigation to ensure justice is served." Maj. Christopher Anderson, the head of public affairs for the 18th Wing, said he had met with the mayor of Yomitan on Friday. "This isn't how we want our people to conduct themselves," he said of the airman's alleged behavior.
Japanese and U.S authorities declined to disclose details of the airman's identity Friday, other than that he was assigned to Kadena.
The U.S. military responded to the latest incident by re-imposing the same night time curfew on its thousands of troops in the country (an already imposed restriction the airman appears to have disobeyed Friday). The incident is compounding the American military's difficulties on the Japanese island of Okinawa. That case prompted angry protests from Japanese officials and local residents. The case is likely to further deepen resentment among Okinawan residents about the significant U.S. military presence on the island. The situation was already extremely delicate following the arrest last month of two U.S. sailors accused of raping a local woman.
Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba called the incident "outrageous," noting that it took place despite the U.S. military curfew, following the arrest last month of two U.S. sailors accused of raping a local woman. He said the Japanese authorities would lodge a complaint with the United States.
The U.S. ambassador to Japan, John Roos, said he was also appalled by reports of the incident. "Let me be absolutely clear: I am very upset -- it's an understatement to say I'm very upset," he told reporters in Tokyo on Friday, expressing concern about the well-being of the Japanese boy who was allegedly attacked. He stressed that the U.S. military forces in Japan are "undergoing a complete review of the liberty policies and other policies that will minimize, if not eliminate, any such incident in the future."
"It is incredibly unfortunate that the purported actions of a few reflect badly on thousands of young men and women here in Japan, away from their homes, that are here for the defense of Japan," he said.
The issue of violent crimes by U.S. troops in Japan has divided the two countries for decades. It came to a peak in 1995 when a U.S. sailor and two U.S. Marines were convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl. Tens of thousands of Okinawans took to the streets at the time demanding that the United States leave the island. Relations between the U.S. military and the people of Okinawa have also been strained in recent months over the U.S. Marine Corps' deployment of MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to a base on the island. Some Okinawa residents are concerned because the Osprey has had a reputation for crashing.
Posted: October 18, 2012 - Updated: October 22, 2012 - 05:24 pm PDT
Tokyo, Japan -- The arrest of two American sailors on suspicion of raping a woman in Okinawa has reignited tensions over the US Military’s longstanding presence on the southern Japanese island. Although it accounts for just 1 percent of Japan’s total land area, Okinawa hosts about 74 percent of US bases and more than half of its 47,000 troops in Japan. Noise pollution, crimes committed by servicemen, and the constant threat of accidents involving military aircraft are common themes running though local opposition to US bases. The arrests come amid growing resentment toward the US military following the controversial deployment of Osprey transport aircraft in Okinawa earlier this month. The aircraft, which use tilt rotors to take off and land vertically, and cruise like a conventional airplane, have been involved in a series of accidents that local residents say makes them too dangerous to fly in built-up areas.
Japan’s Defense minister, Satoshi Morimoto, called the alleged rape an “extremely egregious and vile incident,” and attributed it to a “failure on how the US military trains its personnel.” John Roos, the US ambassador to Japan, said: "The United States Government is extremely concerned by recent allegations of misconduct by two individual United States service members. We are committed to cooperating fully with the Japanese authorities in their investigation. These allegations, given their seriousness, will continue to command my full personal attention."
Japanese police are questioning the suspects, named as Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker (both pictured above, center) both 23, who were arrested after allegedly raping the unnamed woman as she walked home in the early hours of Tuesday. Mr. Dozierwalker has reportedly admitted to committing the crime, Japanese media said.
Public broadcaster NHK said seven US servicemen have been arrested in connection with rapes since Okinawa reverted to Japanese control in 1972. The most notorious was the 1995 abduction and rape of a 12-year-old girl by three US servicemen. That case prompted mass demonstrations and forced Washington to agree to gradually reduce its military footprint on the island. Local campaigners say official crime figures underplay the true extent of violence toward women by US servicemen. The organization Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence has documented 139 reported incidents of violence against Okinawan women by members of the US military over the past 40 years, including rape, murder, sexual assault, and common assault.
Posted: April 3, 2012 4:17 PM EDT - Updated: April 4, 2012 10:17 AM PDT
former chief John Timoney. The lawyers' concerns, which have never before been disclosed, provide a frightening backstage look at Florida's highest-profile police force. They stem from a lawsuit filed by a rape victim named Kenia Perez against the city over the actions of her attacker, ex-officer Michael Ragusa, who grew up in Fort Lauderdale. "Both our officers and the City of Miami Beach police officers believed that there were dozens of people that he [raped]," assistant city attorney Henry Hunnefeld told commissioners in a closed-door meeting this past October 13. "Dozens!"
The roots of the rape cases, which the FBI is investigating, date back to before Ragusa (pictured left) was hired — to the day in 2002 when former police chief Raul Martinez installed Willie F. Bell as a background investigator, apparently to get him off the streets, Hunnefeld said. Bell had a dismal internal record as a cop. He'd been disciplined for using excessive force, neglect of duty, improper discharge of a firearm, and theft. He was also arrested for battery, falsifying public records, and official misconduct, but those criminal charges were dropped after Bell agreed to attend an anger management program. "From the time [Bell] was selected," Hunnefeld told commissioners, "bad things happened... He is the most disciplined officer in the history of the city. Twenty-six times he was disciplined by our department."
The year after Bell's hire, Timoney became Miami's police chief. A tough former New York cop, he quickly became infamous for his handling of riots that shook the Magic City during meetings to discuss the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Bell remained at his post while the new chief led a push to recruit officers. As Timoney wrote in his 2003 "Blueprint for the Future" report, the focus was "not on how to improve the quality of the men and women on the MPD, but the urgent need to increase their quantity." In the '80s and '90s, bad hires had led to scandal and embarrassment. Between 1990 and 2001, Miami paid nearly $18 million to resolve more than 110 federal and state lawsuits alleging brutality, misconduct, or unnecessary death caused by city police. And in 2001, more than a dozen officers were indicted for conspiring to cover up police shootings by planting evidence. Nine were later convicted.
Timoney pledged to restore the public's trust. Then, in the early morning of March 19, 2007, 31-year-old Kenia Perez stepped off a county bus in Miami Beach on her way home from a ten-hour shift at a South Beach restaurant where she waited tables six days a week to support herself and her 5-year-old son. Ragusa was there. He lived in Miami Beach and was driving his take-home patrol car in uniform. He called Perez over, forced her inside, drove a few blocks away, and raped her. He was arrested the next day. The attack left lasting psychological scars on Perez, who no longer lives in the United States. She was afraid to be alone and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, the transcript says. Her name has never before been revealed, but her attorney, Barbara Heyer, said she wanted it known. Ragusa pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges of rape and attempted rape for attacks on three women in Miami Beach — including Perez. He has served nearly five years of his ten-year prison sentence.
In his presentation to the commission, Hunnefeld described Bell as uniquely unqualified for the important job of checking out recruits for a troubled police agency with a decades-old "reputation of having bad cops who do bad things." Miami police spokesman Major Delrish Moss said he was unaware of the city attorney's statements to commissioners that Ragusa is believed to have had dozens of other victims. "If there were dozens of cases, and I have never heard anyone allege this, the Miami Beach PD or the State Attorney's Office would be investigating rather than us. We were only the hiring and later firing agency with regard to [Ragusa's] employment," he said.
Perez filed her lawsuit against the city in 2010. Among other things, it alleged Timoney failed to institute any meaningful change. It also contended that, under the Dublin-born chief, the city failed to weed out officers like Ragusa with "dangerous propensities" that made them unfit for duty. The transcript discloses city attorneys believed that under Timoney, pressure was put on the department's psychologist to qualify recruits such as Ragusa who should not have been hired. Another problem was Officer Bell. According to the city's attorneys, he gave a green light to hire Ragusa in 2004 despite admissions on an employment application of numerous incidents of illegal sexual activity and dishonesty.
Bell, a 26-year officer who retired in 2006, is now 55 years old. In an interview, he acknowledged his lengthy discipline record. He said drug dealers lodged most of those complaints in attempts to discredit him when he worked the streets in Liberty City and Overtown. "I'm a scapegoat. I didn't hire a rapist. The guy became what he did," Bell said. "Things were kept hush-hush, and it was 'blame Willie Bell.'" He also confirmed he had approved Ragusa's hiring, adding he did so because "there was nothing negative in his background." Bell approved Ragusa even though he had been rejected by numerous other police agencies, including the Broward Sheriff's Office, Miami-Dade, North Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Cooper City, Hunnefeld said. His acknowledgment of past improprieties also should have been caught. "I have never put sexual assaults on my applications," Hunnefeld told commissioners. "However, Michael Ragusa did. How that slips through the fingers of the investigator, I am not sure."
Timoney, who resigned in 2009, is working as a police consultant in Bahrain. He did not respond to emailed requests for comment. However, the ex-chief was deposed in the case in March 2011. Attorney Heyer asked if he was satisfied that the department's hiring process, including background checks, was being done appropriately after he became chief. "Yes," Timoney said. Yet according to the transcript, psychologist Dr. Mark Axelberd, who was hired by the city to evaluate applicants, found Ragusa to have "a problem with impulse control" and classified him borderline. Axelberd had warned that "this is not somebody you'd want to hire," Hunnefeld said.
Ragusa went on to do plenty of damage in a three-year career as a Miami police officer. In addition to the rapes, he was involved in numerous allegations of excessive force. "I have so far defended four lawsuits about Ragusa and his excessive force," Hunnefeld said. All of that information would have made defending the lawsuit impossible. "We're cooked," city attorney Julie Bru said as she presented a recommendation for settlement. "A case with this set of facts is something that a jury could do very bad things with," Hunnefeld added. Besides the $550,000 for Perez, the city also paid $62,500 to settle a damage suit filed by another of Ragusa's rape victims. That woman received much less after the city "uncovered that she had been a prostitute and that she had actually done some other things that were difficult."
Media sources reported in November (2011) that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible civil rights violations in the deaths of seven black men shot by city officers between July 2010 and February 2011.
"I'm just doing my job."Posted: 04/03/2012 11:37:23 AM PDT - Updated: 04/04/2012 12:31:27 PM PDT
-- former Seaside police Officer Salvador Reynaga Jr. outside the courthouse, after his acquittal on sex assault charges.
Monterey, CA -- In an overwhelming courtroom victory, former Seaside police Officer Salvador Reynaga Jr. was acquitted of all charges that he sexually abused six women while in uniform and on the job. Before an otherwise silent courtroom Monday, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Julie Culver's clerk read "not guilty" verdicts for each of 33 counts that together comprised a litany of allegations by women who said Reynaga, 32, groped and assaulted them while on duty in 2010 and 2011. "I'm just doing my job," a visibly relieved Reynaga said outside the courthouse, agreeing with his wife that they're ready to "get past this nightmare."
After deliberating more than two days, the dismissed jurors rushed from the courtroom around 5 p.m., declining to speak to reporters. "They got it right," said one of Reynaga's two Sacramento-based attorneys. "They took the time to analyze the case. There just wasn't anything there." Reynaga's other attorney had challenged the credibility of the six women, all referred to in court as "Jane Does." Ortiz said in earlier hearings that "these various Does are making these allegations up." He said Jane Doe 1 had made false accusations against a number of people, alleging murder attempts, rape and molestation. According to testimony, the women were all said to be involved with drug use, drug sales or gang activity.
Reynaga (Pictured left) was arrested March 1, 2011, after Jane Doe 1 made her complaint. More women came forward after the arrest, and at one point Reynaga faced 39 criminal counts, including sexual battery, assault by a public officer and child molestation charges because Jane Doe 6 was a teenager. If he had been convicted, he would have faced decades in prison and had to register as a sex offender for life.
Prosecutor Michael Breeden argued that two of the women were assaulted after Reynaga responded to 911 calls and said Reynaga told one of them he knew her boyfriend was on parole and could cause trouble for him if she didn't cooperate with his advances. Reynaga took the stand in his own defense, and although he admitted he at first lied to investigators about meeting with one of the women, a confidential informant, he insisted he did nothing wrong. Presenting a calm front to jurors, he said he didn't initially tell investigators about the meeting because he was afraid his supervisor would be unhappy with him for disregarding advice not to meet with potential informants alone. "I should have listened to him," Reynaga acknowledged on the witness stand.
Reynaga is a former Marine and Iraq War veteran who was named Seaside Police Officer of the Year in 2008. Numerous fellow officers testified during the weeklong trial that Reynaga, who served four years on the force, was an honest and diligent policeman. "I trust him with my life," one officer said.
Whether those accolades and his sweeping acquittals will win Reynaga back his job remains to be seen. He was fired last year after his arrest following an internal investigation by the Seaside Police Department. Union representatives for Seaside officers could not be reached, but Dan Mitchell, president of the Monterey County Sheriffs Deputies Association, said police agencies generally use a lighter standard than courts in their investigations of officers. "The burden of proof for an internal investigation is a preponderance of evidence," he said, "not beyond a reasonable doubt." Having been acquitted under the tougher of the two standards should help Reynaga make his case with his former employers, Mitchell said. As for his plans, Reynaga declined to say, only commenting that he was "glad it's over."
"Shut the fuck up or I'll shoot you."Posted: April 3, 2012 4:17 PM EDT - Updated: April 4, 2012 10:17 AM PDT
-- Convicted sex offender and NYPD Officer, Michael Pena raping, at gunpoint, a schoolteacher in the courtyard of an Inwood apartment building in New York City.
Surveillance video of NYPD Officer Michael Pena following a woman down the street (via New York media sources).
New York -- After a jury's indecision led to a mistrial on rape charges, the father of the victim is speaking out. The upset parent, who lives out of state, told media sources, "When things like this happen, it just makes you think twice" about moving to NYC. Last August, police officer Michael Pena was arrested for allegedly raping, at gunpoint, a schoolteacher in the courtyard of an Inwood apartment building. Residents of the building, roused by the noise, called the police. During the trial last month, Pena's lawyer admitted, "He did in fact assault her," but tried to insist, "This was a terrible crime, an unforgivable crime, but it does not rise to the level of the [rape] charges."
In spite of testimony from residents and the victim herself, who said that Pena told her, "Shut the fuck up or I'll shoot you," the jury was only able to find Pena guilty on sexual assault charges, but not rape. It's believed that some jurors, including former Governor Spitzer buddy Lloyd Constantine (who is a lawyer), sabotaged the deliberations by allegedly focusing on seemingly inconsequential things, like why the victim couldn't remember the color of the car near where she was raped and dismissing one witness's testimony because he uses a skateboard.
The victim's father told media sources, "She’s very upset and she just needs her time right now,” he said. “I don’t think she’s ready to talk to anyone. You know, it’s not over yet," and added, "I’m an ex-cop, you know. They’re the people you’re supposed to be able to trust — but I guess it’s not like that anymore." No, it's not, sadly.
The Manhattan DA's office is deciding whether to re-try Pena.
"The DA is arresting cops, indicting cops. They're trying to make an example out of me."
-- Accused Rapist and NYPD Officer, Michael Pena in an interview with the New York Daily News, Sunday, August 21, 2011, from a glass-enclosed pen in the visiting room at Rikers Island Jail. Mr. Pena claimed the DA was 'indicting cops' as a result of the May 2011, acquittal of NYPD officers Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno on charges they raped a drunk woman in her East Village apartment, despite evidence they entered her apartment four times in one night.
Posted: Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 - 02:17 PM PDT - Updated: Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 - 02:41 PM PDT
NEW YORK (WCJB) — An off-duty police officer was convicted Tuesday of grabbing a schoolteacher off a street and sexually assaulting her, and jurors have been told to keep deliberating on some unresolved counts, including rape. The jurors found Michael Pena guilty Tuesday of criminal sex act and some counts of predatory sexual assault. The latter charge carries the potential for life in prison. The defense said Pena acknowledges attacking the woman but never had intercourse with her.
The woman testified that Pena grabbed her off the street, forced her into an Upper Manhattan apartment building courtyard and raped her at gunpoint last August. She was on her way to her first day of work at a teaching job. The victim gasped tearfully when the partial verdict was read. The defendant's relatives sat tensely, but he displayed no visible reaction. Pena, an officer for three years, has been suspended since his arrest.
"I understand there has been some discord that has developed in the course of your deliberations," state Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers told the jurors when the partial verdict was accepted. "That's natural in any difficult situation where difficult decisions must be made. Please, be respectful of one another." Jurors had told the judge in a note late Tuesday morning that they remained stuck on the rape charges, and deliberations were becoming very contentious, the defense lawyer for Pena said. "Nobody is shifting ground here. It's becoming personal," he said. "There's just a lot of bitterness going on."
During the closed-door discussions, one juror had criticized the investigation and mentioned to the panel that he knew Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., prompting another juror to complain to the court, Pena's attorney said. It soon emerged that besides being socially acquainted with Vance, the first juror is a law partner of one of Vance's election opponents from 2009 — none of which was disclosed during jury selection, the attorney said. The juror was questioned at the judge's bench, out of clear earshot of an audience packed with reporters, Pena's relatives and the woman's supporters. The man said he hadn't mentioned knowing Vance or the opponent during jury selection because he felt none of the questions asked that, and because he didn't want to be seen as trying to shirk jury duty, Pena's attorney said. Regardless, the juror said he'd been impartial during deliberations, according to the attorney. "He says he's neutral, and I'm willing to accept that," he said.
The DA's office had no immediate comment.
Posted: Monday, Mar 26, 2012 - 09:05 AM PDT - Updated:
New York -- Juors in the trial of an off-duty cop accused of drunkenly raping a city school teacher in an upper Manhattan alley will continue deliberating today, Monday, March 26, 2012. The panel, which did not reach a verdict Friday in the case against NYPD officer Michael Pena, asked to see medical and forensic evidence presented during six days of testimony in the case.
Pena's lawyer suggested after court the panel's focus favored Pena's side. "There is no forensic corroboration for rape," said Pena's attorney. The defense has conceded that Pena, 27, attacked the petite 25-year-old brunette at gunpoint in Inwood as she headed to work last Aug. 19, 2011.
While admitting Pena attempted to rape and sodomize the woman, his attorney claims there is no forensic evidence to show he succeeded. That is despite the victim's emotional testimony claiming she was repeatedly violated and from three witnesses who say they saw a sexual encounter.
Posted: Saturday, Mar 17, 2012 - 10:36 AM EDT - Updated: Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 - 02:57 PM PDT
New York -- A schoolteacher who was snatched off a Manhattan street and allegedly violently sexually assaulted by an off-duty NYPD officer says she was afraid for her life during the attack. The woman tearfully recounted the assault on the witness stand Friday, as officer Michael Pena (pictured above, center) stood trial on charges of predatory sexual assault and rape. She said Pena ordered her into a courtyard and threatened to shoot her in the face if she resisted.
Pena's lawyer has admitted to Pena's attacking of the woman, but claimed Pena never managed to have sexual intercourse during the assault. New York law imposes lighter punishments on would-be rapists who fail to complete the act. Pena could get life in prison if convicted on the predatory sexual assault and rape charges. Pena joined the police force in 2008. He has been suspended without pay.
Pena's case is the second rape trial involving NYPD officers in the last year. In May, a jury acquitted Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata of raping a woman, but found them guilty of official misconduct, a misdemeanor.
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 10:08 PM EDT - Updated: Monday, March 19, 2012, 12:58 PM PM PDT
"The only thing I know is my son is innocent. I know my son is a very wonderful man. The truth will come out. I know that 100%. He's not that kind of person."
-- Accused Rapist and NYPD Officer, Michael Pena's father, Persios Pena, insisting his son had been framed on rape charges.
New York -- The trial of an NYPD cop accused of raping a school teacher at gunpoint began Thursday with the stunning admission by the defense that he did assault her — but he didn’t rape her. Officer Michael Pena’s lawyer told a Manhattan Supreme Court jury that the prosecution’s case is “disturbing, horrifying and to a large degree accurate. This was a terrible crime, an unforgivable crime, but it does not rise to the level of the charges,” Pena's defense attorney said. His attorney claimed the cop didn’t penetrate the alleged victim, suggesting he should be spared a life sentence for rape. It was an attempted rape, he said.
Assistant District Attorney Evan Krutoy scoffed at the defense, countering that Pena’s semen was found on the alleged victim and on her underwear. He said the prosecution’s case is bolstered by an eyewitness expected to testify he “sees the defendant penetrating her.”
Pena, 27, on the force for three years, is facing multiple counts of rape, including a first-degree aggravated rape charge that carries a life sentence if he is convicted.
Posted: Monday, 10:05 p.m. EDT, April 2, 2012 | Updated: Tuesday 03:21 p.m. PDT, April 3, 2012
... and Another One!
RIDGEWOOD, QUEENS, NY (WCJB) — Less than a week after a jury could not reach a verdict on a rape charge against a New York police officer, another employee of the NYPD is under arrest and charged with rape and a long list of other charges. It gets worse, the suspect in the latest case works in New York City public schools as a school safety officer. In that position, he is not authorized to have a firearm, but the rape he's charged with was done at gunpoint, according to investigators. "[He] ends up getting in a dispute, beats the crap out of her, knocks her to the ground and rapes her," retired detective supervisor, Wally Zeins said in his assessment of what police sources describe as a brutal rape that took place in School Safety Officer Tommy Johnson's Ridgewood, Queens apartment on Saturday. On Sunday, the alleged victim, Johnson's 35 year-old former girlfriend, filed charges. Around 2:15 Monday morning, Johnson was under arrest, charged with rape, menacing, assault, and illegally possessing two guns in his apartment.
His neighbors, for their part, were visibly stunned to learn the charges against the six-year veteran school safety officer. "He was a nice guy," Rosa Santiago said about Johnson, 28, who lives directly across the hall in small apartment building that houses just two apartments per floor. "He'd just say 'hi' every time I see him. He says, "Hi, how you doing," Santiago said. "If I have something to bring up[stairs], he'd do that." Nobody came to the door of that apartment in the 300 block of Woodward Avenue when media sources knocking Monday. Johnson shares the second floor home with his mother.
It's not clear to which school Officer Johnson is assigned. The NYPD told sources that, as a policy, it does not release information about a suspect's place of employment unless it's directly pertinent to the suspect's arrest. The Department of Education also said that since Johnson is an employee of the NYPD, it cannot release information about where he works, even though he works within the DOE's system. One thing that is clear is that in the two months preceding Johnson's arrest, a series of employees at New York City Public Schools have been arrested for sex crimes. In fact, over the past nine weeks, the seven arrests have come at an average of one every eight-and-a-half days. The situation prompted the Department of Education to review all of its investigations over the last decade, and to fire four employees who had been investigated during that period, but who were not in custody for the infractions with which they were charged. The DOE is in proceedings to fire four additional employees, who have union protected status which allows them to dispute efforts to remove them. "There is some sort of problem within the system," Detective Zeins said. "Especially with the backgrounds [of applicants]. There should be evaluations."
This latest case, however, is the first of this year involving an NYPD employee in the school system. It has at least one experienced sex crimes investigator calling for change, and that call is expected to become a chorus once it's learned at which school Officer Tommy Johnson works. Late Monday afternoon, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hines added more felony charges against Johnson. Hines added burglary, sexual misconduct, criminal trespass and harassment to the previous charges of rape, menacing, assault, and illegal possession of firearms. Officer Tommy Johnson goes before a judge Monday night for his first court appearance. Johnson's arrest comes four days after a judge accepted a jury's partial verdict on sex charges against NYPD officer Michael Pena. The jury could not reach a consensus on rape charges in the case, but convicted Pena, 27, on a variety of other sex crime charges. When Pena is sentenced next month, he could still get life in prison.
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 3:34 pm, Sun. Apr 1, 2012.
Fenton, MI -- Wade Dilley, 37, of Fenton is facing five counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) for alleged offenses involving a victim under the age of 13 in Fenton City and Mundy Township. The two police departments conducted a joint investigation since the complaints involved both jurisdictions. Dilley is a former Linden police officer. Linden Police Chief Scott Sutter, who has been with the department since December 2010, said Dilley, was employed with the Linden Police Department from 2002 to Feb. 24, 2011, when he resigned.
The three counts of second-degree CSC involving a victim under the age of 13, out of Mundy Township, stemmed from alleged incidents in 2009. First-degree CSC involves penetration while second-degree CSC involves touching. Arrest warrants were authorized on Jan. 20 and Dilley was arraigned in district court on Jan. 25. On Tuesday, March 20, those cases were bound over to Genesee County Circuit Court. If Dilley is found guilty as charged, he faces up to 15 years in prison for each felony. Fenton Police Chief Rick Aro said the statute calls for a minimum of five years on each count. Sentences could be done concurrently.
With the complaints filed with Fenton police, Dilley was initially arraigned on one count of first-degree CSC and one count of second-degree CSC in January, stemming from alleged offenses in April 2011. On Tuesday, March 20, those counts were amended to two counts of second-degree CSC and the cases were bound over to circuit court. Dilley is out on personal bond as he awaits an April 2 arraignment on all charges in circuit court.
Posted on: Friday, March 30, 2012 - Updated: 11:37 pm PDT, March 31, 2012
HOUSTON, TX (WCJB) -- There are new developments in the case of a former deputy accused of inappropriately touching women. A grand jury has indicted that ex-deputy constable on a second charge of inappropriate sexual activity with a person in custody. The indictment was delivered Monday by a Harris County grand jury. The charge is improper sexual contact with a person is custody. Until last September, Christopher Kerr was a Precinct 3 deputy constable. He resigned that month after being accused in August by a woman he had pulled over on a traffic stop on the beltway. She claims he fondled her in the back of his patrol car. But now Kerr is under indictment on similar allegations, but a different complainant. That case allegedly happened in July of last year, a month before the earlier allegation. A woman claims that Kerr took her into custody and fondled her.
The cases involve two women with similar stories. The women in each case allege that while Kerr had them in custody, he touched them inappropriately and against their will. We're hearing for the first time from one of his alleged victims.
One of those women, Monica Marquez, is also suing Kerr (Pictured left) his former boss and Harris County in federal court, claiming her civil rights were violated. Marquez calls the former deputy a predator. "He preyed on me," she said. "I don't know what else to call him besides that. I could probably think of something nicer but it wouldn't be true." Marquez was not surprised to learn that this week Kerr was indicted in her case and for an eerily similar incident alleged to have happened a month before hers. "I was also not shocked at all because I was pretty sure he'd done it before," Marquez said. "Because the way that he did it, it was like it was something that he did on a regular basis."
Marquez told investigators and alleges in her federal lawsuit that former Deputy Constable Christopher Kerr stopped her on the Sam Houston Tollway last August. Then she says that Deputy Kerr handcuffed her and proceeded to grope and fondle her and that Deputy Kerr then placed his hands under her skirt and fondled her. According to the suit:
"Deputy Kerr then told Plaintiff that his penis was erect and that she needed to 'adjust it' or she would go to jail," the suit says.
The plaintiff, 28, is suing Kerr and the county, saying the constable's office "had previously fired Kerr for misconduct" but rehired him.
"Defendant Harris County Texas was aware of the propensities of Kerr to disregard the department's policies and procedures, but rehired and retained him in spite of such knowledge," the suit says.
The suit says no video is available of what Kerr allegedly did. "The traffic stop lasted about 30 minutes, but there is not any video record of it, because video of the incident was erased from the camera in Kerr's patrol car," it says.
Marquez is suing because she says Kerr was allowed to resign instead of being fired, which would have allowed him to seek law enforcement employment elsewhere. The department says he did resign, but only after he was fired.
Precinct 3 Constable Kenneth Jones was asked for a comment Friday. He says he stood by the Department's interview a week ago, in which he said his department followed policy as soon as it learned about the allegations against Kerr. "I hate that it happened," Constable Jones said. "I wish that it hadn't. I don't know the details. I wasn't there. I do know both sides of the story and that's all I have." But Marquez's attorney says what the constable knew, and when he knew it, will come out as their case unfolds. "We should be able to know that the police officers that are out there for our protection are truly going to be out there for our protection," he said.
Kerr faces up to two years in prison for each case.
Friday, March 23, 2012
HOUSTON, TX (WCJB) -- A deputy constable has resigned after being accused of groping a woman during a traffic stop. Harris County Precinct 3 Deputy Constable Christopher Kerr resigned last week. Kerr is currently the subject of an internal affairs investigation. A woman claims Kerr pulled her over for driving without an EZ tag on the Beltway last year. The constable's office says he put her in the squad car after discovering an open traffic warrant. She claims he fondled her.
Posted on: Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 1:01 PM EDT - Updated: 03:24 pm PDT, April 1, 2012
NYPD House Calls!
New York -- A NYPD sergeant surrendered five years of police paperwork to Internal Affairs investigators probing his possible links to the Upper East Side madam. Richard Wall, a 14-year police veteran, was summoned Wednesday after he was spotted numerous times hanging out near Anna Gristina’s purported brothel on E. 78th St. Wall, 35, turned over his NYPD memo books for the last five years — the length of time that the now-jailed Gristina was under investigation by the Manhattan district attorney.
“The sergeant has absolutely no connection whatsoever to this alleged prostitution ring,” said the cop’s lawyer. “He has absolutely no involvement with it. He doesn’t know this alleged madam.” Wall was assigned to the 19th Precinct, located just 11 blocks south of the four-story building where authorities claim Gristina based her illicit $10 million operation. His attorney said it was hardly unusual that a sergeant with Wall’s duties would appear at the building one than once in five years. “He had no idea what this was all about until he read the papers,” the attorney said.
But a resident of the block told media sources that a police officer made frequent visits to the madam’s Upper East Side brothel — initially in uniform, and later in civilian clothes. He often drove a marked NYPD patrol car on his house of prostitution calls. “He’s around here all the time,” said the 62-year-old neighbor, who lives across the street from Gristina’s purported house of pleasure. “He has guys with him, and he’s out here giggling and laughing,” the man said. “... This has been going on a long time. I’m not really surprised.” The neighbor said that he was roughed up by two men and warned to “mind your own f------ business” after approaching the cop on the street. “I saw him walking out here to a police car,” the man recounted. “I went up to him and said, ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ He stands there, looks at me, and walks away.” The menacing threat came a day later, with the two men emphasizing their message with a shove, he claimed.
Other neighbors recounted well-dressed men and attractive women coming in and out of the four-story building. Gristina, a 44-year-old married mother of four from Orange County, has been charged with running a $10 million hooker ring across the last 15 years. She was caught on wiretaps bragging about law enforcement contacts who could offer a heads-up about impending criminal investigations.
The Soccer Mom Madam is behind bars at Riker’s Island, held on $2 million bond. Prosecutors, in asking for a high bail against Gristina, said some of her high-rolling friends did not want her case to go to trial.
Posted: March 16, 2012 4:26 pm - Updated: 03/39/2012 3:59 pm PDT
Gotta' Way Wit' It!
PHILADELPHIA, PA -(WCJB) -- A Philadelphia jury found a Philadelphia police officer not guilty Friday of charges that he raped a woman in a patrol car. Keith Corley was also acquitted of sexual assault charges. He was found guilty of indecent exposure and official oppression.
Corley was charged in August, 2011, after a woman in her 30s told police she was sexually assaulted in a patrol car by a police officer. Corley, then 27, was charged after sources said DNA evidence linked him to the crime. Corley is a four-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department assigned to the 18th District.
Posted on: Apr 13, 2012 at 7:46 PM AKDT - Updated: 05:35 pm PDT, May 9, 2012
“Black K-9 Officer!”
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Friday was the day that at least five woman got justice against former APD officer Anthony Rollins. Judge Philip Volland sentenced the 44-year-old to a grand total of 151.5 years, but 87 years actual time. The state, which asked for 203 years behind bars, said that because Alaska leads the nation in sexual assaults a maximum sentence for Rollins was what the community needed to hear. Rollins requested he be sentenced the minimum amount of time possible and that he be detained in a facility that offers treatment, but the state said he was unfixable.
Posted on: Monday, Mar 5, 2012 at 8:20 PM AKDT - Updated: 10:24 pm PDT, April 6, 2012
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - New court documents have been released in the Anthony Rollins case. Last year a jury convicted Rollins, a former Anchorage Police Department officer, of serial rape and sexually assaulting five women while he was on duty. The new documents, filed Friday, show APD may have known about the misconduct years before Rollins was arrested. The documents show in 2001 a rumor of an officer receiving oral sex while on the job circulated around the police department. That officer was later identified as Rollins, but the department later ruled the claim was unfounded.
In 2003 a prostitute said a “black K-9 officer” made sexually vulgar comments to her. Rollins was the only officer fitting that description at the time. That incident sparked an undercover investigation by the APD Internal Affairs Office and the FBI in 2003 and 2004 with an undercover FBI agent acting as a prostitute. The agent says Rollins approached her twice and did not follow APD protocol. She described his demeanor as “flirtatious.”
Documents show in 2005 one officer walked in on what appeared to be Rollins receiving oral sex in his office. In 2007 he’s accused of making sexually vulgar comments to a woman he arrested for driving under the influence. She later reported those comments to the jail nurse. Rollins denied making any comments. In 2008 Rollins is accused of engaging in sex while on duty.
The attorney for five of the women, says the municipality knew about the misconduct, but “kept Rollins on the job, allowed him to run free—in uniform and on unsupervised patrol—while he continued to sexually assault innocent women.” The city’s attorney says that’s not the case. "APD did its very best to investigate those incidents and follow up on them. And I think the evidence will show APD's efforts, while not producing the evidence we needed, nevertheless were diligent tips on their part to find out what was going on,” said Dennis Wheeler. Both sides will have their chance in court to show when APD and the municipality knew about Rollins' misconduct. A civil trial is set for August 2, 2012.
Posted: Feb 24, 2012 at 11:49 PM AKDT - Updated: April 6, 2012 at 09:50 AM PDT
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- It has been more than a year since former Anchorage police officer Anthony Rollins was convicted of serial rape after having sexually assaulted five women while on duty and in uniform. Rollins has yet to be sentenced. The sentencing date has been pushed back six times—from July 8, 2011 of last year to March 2, 2012 of this year. Recently, media sources learned that sentencing was pushed back yet again (to April 13, 2012) “because his attorney is on emergency leave through March 16, 2012 to attend to family matters,” according to a motion Rollins’ attorney, Susan Carney, filed on Thursday.
“Six times—that’s a lot,” said Susan Sullivan, executive director of Victims for Justice. “That sort of thing is very hard on victims. They have a right to express how this crime that was committed against them impacted their lives, the lives of their family. As much as they want to speak, they also are often very anxious about it. So each time a sentencing hearing is scheduled, they prepare, they mentally get themselves ready for making that presentation, for being in the same room as their attacker.”
For Rollins' victims, sentencing is expected to be another emotional day on the stand. During last year’s trial, a 20-year-old woman testified, tearfully, “I really didn't feel like I could do anything” while Rollins raped her “because he has so much power and he could, like, cause problems for me.”
In Juneau, Senator Hollis French is pushing for a bill that would essentially prevent similar delays in the future by urging judges to consider the victims when granting continuance requests. Representative Chris Tuck is pushing for a similar bill on the House side.
Posted: Thursday Apr 12th, 2012 - Updated: Sunday Apr 15th, 2012 11:17 PM PDT
Albemarle County, Va. -- A former County police officer accused of rape has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery of an adult family member. Sean M. Horn, 42, who was most recently a reserve deputy with the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office, was arrested January 5 and charged with an alleged November 2011 rape of an adult family member. Horn accepted a plea agreement Monday, April 9 in Albemarle County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, pleading guilty to the assault and battery charge. According to Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford, Horn received a 12-month sentence, all suspended, along with one-year of supervision, during which Horn is to address issues related to the charge.
"The Commonwealth stands by the allegations contained in the original charge," Lunsford says in an email. "In cases of sexual assault up to and including rape, however, the Commonwealth is guided in large part by the desires of the victim." According to Lunsford, the adult victim was "fully prepared" to move forward with the original charge, but decided to resolve the matter without going to trial. "Her motivations for doing so were many, entirely appropriate, and fully supported by the Commonwealth," says Lunsford. Lunsford also said the victim and the community will be protected with Horn's (pictured left) one-year supervision requirement, and by the fact that the conviction will prevent him from possessing a firearm, and, therefore, obtaining future employment as a law enforcement officer.
Legal analysts suspect there may have been some credibility issues with the victim, but rather than moving forward with the considerable costs of a trial, and spending even more time in jail, Horn decided to cut his losses and accept the lesser charge. "Only a Rockefeller can litigate on principle," says one legal analyst, "and only a Mandela is willing to stay in jail to prove a point."
Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding, who earlier asked the public to reserve judgement on Horn until he had his day in court, confirms that the assault conviction would prevent him from reinstating Horn.
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Movie Intermission! BTK
Description: Dennis Lynn Rader is an American serial killer who murdered ten people in Sedgwick County, between 1974 and 1991. He is known as the BTK killer. "BTK" stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill," which was his infamous signature. All his known crimes occurred in the state of Kansas. He collected items from the scenes of the murders he committed. He also intended to kill others, notably Anna Williams, 63, who in 1979 escaped death by returning home much later than he expected. Rader explained during his confession that he had become obsessed with Williams and was "absolutely livid" when she evaded him. Rader spent hours waiting in her home but became impatient and left when she did not return home from visiting friends. Rader had stalked two women in the 1980s and one in the mid-1990s. They filed restraining orders against him and one moved away. Rader also admitted in his interrogation that he was planning to kill again. He had even set a date, October 2004, and was stalking his intended victim.