Articles on Sex Crime
Under pressure from the governor and the state's public safety director, Colorado's Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) reversed its controversial November decision to scrap the term "sex offenders" in favor of "adults who commit sexual offenses." The board voted 16-2 last Friday to "table" the language change and refer it back to a subcommittee. It's possible the board will votes again to change terminology, but the tabling means it's not likely to happen anytime soon, reports the Denver Post. Last month, the board voted 10-6 to stop using "sex offenders" in its own principles and policies. The board controls treatment standards for people convicted of sex offenses. Changing the language would not have affected treatment or management policies....Click here to read more »
The Olympic and Paralympic Committee settled for $380 million to be allocated to hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse from former team doctor Larry Nassar, the Associated Press reports . The settlement includes non-monetary reforms to prevent abuse in the future. "We prevailed for one simple reason, the courage and tenacity of the survivors," said John Manly, attorney for some of the victims. "These brave women relived their abuse publicly, in countless media interviews, so that not one more child will be forced to suffer physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in pursuit of their dreams." The deal grew as the USA Gymnastics filed bankruptcy in 2018.
"USA Gymnastics is deeply sorry for the trauma and pain that Survivors...Click here to read more »
Three accusers in the case against Ghislaine Maxwell testified in the first two weeks of her trial while shielding their identities. Two women used the pseudonyms Jane and Kate while a third used her real first name, Carolyn. Three of the defense's witnesses have asked to testify anonymously, reports the New York Times. Maxwell is on trial in Manhattan on charges of sex-trafficking, accused of helping Jeffrey Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse underage girls. The government rested its case against Maxwell on Friday after two weeks of testimony from four accusers. Maxwell's defense claims that potential witnesses might not be willing to testify if they had to use their real names.
"The court's ruling on this...Click here to read more »
A jury found reality TV star Josh Duggar guilty of receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, CNN reports. Duggar was arrested on April 29. He allegedly downloaded material that depicted the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12. Homeland Security agent Gerald Faulkner told a court that pornography picturing children ranging from 18 months to 12 years of age was found on a desktop computer at Duggar's business in Springdale, Ar. Faulkner said in his 11 years as an investigator those images are "in the top five of the worst I have ever had to examine."
Duggar is the oldest son of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, whose large family...Click here to read more »
House and Senate negotiators reached a landmark agreement on Tuesday that would strip military commanders of most of their authority to prosecute sexual assaults and many other criminal cases, a move that Pentagon leaders, lawmakers and presidents have resisted for nearly a generation. The legislation, part of a defense policy bill, comes after nearly two decades of efforts by female lawmakers and survivors' groups, and in spite of fierce last-minute lobbying against the proposal by military lawyers, the New York Times reports. Under the agreement, independent military prosecutors would replace commanders in determining whether those accused of sexual assault, rape, murder, domestic violence and an array of other offenses would be prosecuted. Sexual harassment would be criminalized, but...Click here to read more »
Ten years ago during Craig Apple Sr.'s run for sheriff in Albany County, N.Y., a recording with the potential to cause him to lose the campaign was released. "I know exactly how to manipulate the law and I've gotten pretty good at doing it," Apple, then an undersheriff, was recorded saying to several county investigators. The recording seemed to have little effect on voters and he was elected. In the time since, his tenure and popularity have led him to run unopposed in every election. Apple now finds himself under additional scrutiny. In October, he filed a criminal complaint against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo charging him with a misdemeanor sex crime that is normally associated with accusations of unwanted sexual...Click here to read more »
The U.S. Justice Department opened a civil-rights investigation into former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office after a state report found that he sexually harassed multiple women, reports the Wall Street Journal. T he U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York’s Civil Division sent a letter to state officials before Cuomo left office in August that said they were examining employment policies in Cuomo's office. His executive chamber includes the governor and his or her top aides and advisers. The federal review came after an investigation by New York State Attorney General Letitia James concluded Cuomo inappropriately touched and made comments about 11 women, including current and former employees.
When former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was charged in October with allegedly groping a female aide's breast inside the Executive Mansion, the move was seen as a high-stakes risk. The criminal complaint was centered on a single charge of forcible touching, a misdemeanor typically seen in difficult-to-prosecute cases involving unwanted sexual advances in public places, reports the New York Times. Of the 1,400 cases brought annually in the state where forcible touching is the top charge, nearly four in 10 are dismissed or dropped. Even when the cases advance to court, few result in meaningful jail time.
In Albany County, where Cuomo was charged, a court disposition was reached in 12 forcible touching cases last year. Three...Click here to read more »
Pennsylvania prosecutors asked the Supreme Court to review a state court ruling that overturned comedian Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction. In 2018, Cosby, 84, was convicted of assaulting and drugging Andrea Constand. He was serving a three-to-10 year prison term when his release was ordered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June , the Wall Street Journal reports. Jennifer Bonjean, Cosby's attorney, said the new filing was meritless because prosecutors did not identify a constitutional question to dispute. Cosby's conviction was one of the most famous during the #MeToo movement that brought sexual assault to the national forefront. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided that his conviction was unfair.
In an earlier...Click here to read more »
A man accused of raping a woman on a Philadelphia commuter train was ordered held for trial, the Associated Press reports . The attack occurred on a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) train on Oct. 13, drawing international attention. Many initially blamed bystanders for not intervening, but officials later said many did not understand what was happening and likely did not realize it was a rape. An off-duty employee of the transportation authority called police, saying, “something wasn’t right.” Defendant Fiston Ngoy's attorney argued that prosecutors did not offer enough evidence to disprove Ngoy's claim that the sexual encounter was consensual. A prosecutor compared the alleged attack to a scene at colleges where a person who passes out is...Click here to read more »
As the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell began, a prosecutor charged that Maxwell and the late Jeffrey Epstein were "partners in crime." Maxwell's attorneys claim she is being turned into a scapegoat for Epstein's poor behavior, reports the Associated P ress . Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz said Maxwell and Epstein enticed children as young as 14 to participate in “so-called massages” where sex abuse was viewed as “casual and normal” after they showered vulnerable victims with money and gifts. The prosecutor sought to show that Maxwell was an accomplice, not merely a puppet. Pomerantz described Maxwell, 59, as a key part of Epstein's scheme that lasted more than a decade. “She was in on...Click here to read more »
The brother of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite charged with helping Jeffrey Epstein exploit underage girls, says her prosecution is "the most over-hyped trial of the century," designed to break a woman targeted by authorities desperate to blame someone for the late financier's crimes. A family member will be in court at all times to show support, Ian Maxwell said ahead of the trial, which is set to begin Monday in a Manhattan federal court. This is "the most over-hyped trial of the century without a doubt," Ian Maxwell told the Associated Press. "This is designed to break her; I can't see any other way to read it. ... And she will not be broken because she believes completely...Click here to read more »
Stephen Alford, a Florida businessman, pled guilty on Monday to his involvement in efforts to extort $25 million from Don Gaetz, the wealthy father of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). The scheme included a pledge to secure a presidential pardon for Gaetz, who is being investigated in a federal sex-trafficking case. Alford, 62, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud. The case included an effort to secure the release of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared in 2007 in Iran, Politico reports . U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Timothy recommended Alford’s guilty plea be accepted. Alford faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. Typically sentences are far below the maximum, but with prior...Click here to read more »
Almost every year for a decade, Shared Hope International has issued a "report card" on state laws designed to protect victims of child sex trafficking. The organization is trying to motivate legislators who don't want bad grades to pass bills that will better protect children who are sold into sex trafficking from being treated as criminals and instead ensure that they are seen as victims. States passed new laws and their grades improved. This month, states were graded on a stricter rubric. Many that had seen their grades go from Cs and Ds to As and Bs saw those grades fall miserably back to Fs. Some 40 states were given F ratings based on the new rubric that focuses...Click here to read more »
In the latest case destined for infamy for the leniency shown a privileged white man charged with a sex crime, a county court judge in New York's Niagara County said jail time "would be inappropriate" for 20-year-old Christopher Belter, who pleaded guilty in 2019 to felony charges including third-degree rape in assaults on four adolescent girls during parties at his parents' home when he was 16 or 17, the Washington Post reports. Judge Matthew J. Murphy III sentenced Belter, whose charges also included attempted first-degree sexual abuse and two misdemeanor sexual abuse charges, to eight years' probation. Belter will have to register as a sex offender. Murphy told Belter in court that the probation sentence would be “like...Click here to read more »
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