Weinstein’s Lawyer To McGowan: “A Bold Lie”

One of Weinstein’s lawyers has called the actress accusing him of rape a liar. Rose McGowan had recently come forward with these rape accusations against Harvey Weinstein, a former producer in Hollywood. His attorney wrote in a recent statement that McGowan is lying and only trying to ruin his name to promote her own new book called “Brave.”

In her book, McGowan says she details all of the allegations against the former producer that she recently made. However, she did say that she doesn’t name him specifically in her new memoir. In the book she notes that the “producer” had forced himself on her during a business meeting they were having during the Sundance Film Festival back in 1997. In exchange for not pursuing legal action, Weinstein and McGowan had reached a settlement in the amount of $100,000. After some time, The New Yorker had obtained a copy of the settlement and released it.

This turned out the be just the beginning of what many are referring to as the “Harvey Weinstein Scandal.” After her accusation, many more women started to come out with their own accusations against the former producer. This eventually sparked the popular movements of “Time’s Up” and “#MeToo.” Aside from the victims themselves coming out, other women started to come out to support those who have had the courage to speak up against the sexual abuse and harassment from Weinstein and other actors and producers as well.

During the Golden Globes recently, many attendees wore black in their support of banding together for anyone who has found themselves being a victim of sexual misconduct. During the Grammy Awards, attendees wore white roses with their outfits to show the same support for the movements.

In the statement from Weinstein’s attorney, he stated that himself and the other lawyers who are representing Harvey are all refraining from publicly criticizing any of the women who are coming out with these allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against Weinstein. This is in spite of the fact that they claim to have a lot of evidence that would fully demonstrate that these claims are all completely false.

The lawyer also states that they have two other witnesses that can corroborate with Weinstein’s position on the false accusations. The statement had been released through a crisis management firm called Sitrick & Company. The statement also includes many photographs of both McGowan and Weinstein looking very cordial with each other during an industry event that took place back in 2005. Late Tuesday evening, McGowan had ultimately decided to call Weinstein out by name. She had originally refused to do so and changed her mind.

Legal Associate Charged With Extortion

Michael Potere used to have it all. He was climbing the ranks as an associate attorney at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. Firm associates can make $200,000 a year or more for their work. The firm has more than 7,000 attorneys in approximately 136 offices around the world. Potere was one of these associates.

Today, Potere walks in the courtroom for a different reason. He pleaded guilty to accessing a computer for an unlawful reason. The plea agreement required Potere to admit violating 18 USC 1030(a)(2)(c), accessing a computer without lawful authorization, in exchange for dismissal of federal extortion charges. Potere faces up to one year in prison, up to five years on probation and a fine of up to $100,000. If he had been convicted on the original charges, he could have spent 20 years in prison.

Potere planned to leave the firm to return to school. He planned to pursue a graduate degree in political science. Potere asked the firm if he could continue to work through the summer until he began his education program. The firm said no. Disgruntled and believing he had been treated unfairly, Potere decided to get his revenge.

The disgruntled associate had a partner’s login credentials because of a discovery project that he worked on in a 2015 case. He used the login to access confidential information that was only available to the partners. He had information about associate attorney reviews, recruitment of new attorneys, billing rates for clients, client lists and more.

Armed with this secret information, Potere tried to extort Dentons law firm. He demanded $210,000 and a piece of artwork to keep the information quiet. The FBI caught Potere using a sting. Representatives from the law firm say they’re pleased with law enforcement’s efforts on the case.

Before arriving at Dentons, Potere worked for the Illinois Attorney General. He also clerked for a federal judge. Potere graduated from Northwestern law school.

Dentons law firm grew to its current size through a series of mergers with law firms throughout the world. In the United States, the firm has its primary office in Washington DC. Major practice areas include banking, antitrust, mergers, securities and taxation. In addition to serving clients, Dentons law also undertakes efforts to further legal practice technology including spearheading the development of Nextlaw Labs, a business entity focused on developing cutting-edge technology for legal practice.

Former Miami Dolphins Coach Loses Bid To Have Lawsuit Reinstated

The appeal of former Miami Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner to reinstate a lawsuit he filed against a law firm for defamation of character was denied by the 11th United States circuit of appeals on Thursday. The lawsuit stems from the firing of Turner by the Dolphins in response to a report the team received regarding bullying by members of the football team from a law firm headed by Paul Weiss.

In their decision, the court surmised that sections of the report that were said to be of a defamatory nature by Weiss were protected because they were opinion based statements. The court additionally determined that Turner had not adequately proven that the law firm had acted against him with malicious intent.

The report was commissioned by the National Football League after Jonathan Martin, a former Dolphin offensive lineman left the team without warning early in the 2013 football season and entered a mental hospital. Martin alleges that relentless taunting from teammates was the reason behind his sudden departure.

A law partner of Weiss, Theodore Wells, led the investigation into the events was made a defendant in Turner’s lawsuit. The conclusion that was drawn from the 144- page report produced by the firm was that both Miami Dolphin coaches and players were enablers of a culture of bullying that was present at team facilities.

Turner was particularly concerned with four passages in the firm’s report that he considered to be of a defamatory nature. In one section, it was reported that one Dolphins player was subjected to homophobic slurs despite the absence of a belief that the player was gay. Turner was reported to take part in the joking and once gave out gag gifts of female blow-up dolls to all members of the offensive line except for the lineman in question. This lineman was given a male doll.

The appeal court concurred with the original trial court however in determining that statements reported regarding the doll incidents were not defamatory. Statements regarding this incident as well as the assertions made by the firm pertaining to this incident were not believed to be sufficient to support a claim of defamation.

The court of appeals also took a close look at another section of the report. This section detailed texts sent by Turner to Martin after the lineman left the team. Turner asked Martin to make statements in defense of a teammate who was being accused in the media of being the bullying ringleader. When Martin would not do so Turner expressed his displeasure.

Federal Judge Unseals Court Documents in Las Vegas Shooting

A federal judge has unsealed hundreds of court documents pertaining to the October mass shooting in Las Vegas. The documents, when viewed in their entirety, present a fuller picture of the crimes committed by gunman Stephen Paddock. The investigation helps to shed some light on what led Paddock to commit the worst mass killing in modern history.
Federal Judge Releases Documents in Response to Lawsuit
A lawsuit filed by a number of news services, including CNN, requested that the documents be unsealed. In response to the motion, the court unsealed the documents, which included a large quantity of search warrants that had been executed by the FBI, during their investigation. Additionally, the documents share the thoughts of investigators, as the investigation progressed.
Although the unsealed court documents do provide information about the investigation into Stephen Paddock, they do not provide details about the day to day progress of the investigation. Neither the FBI nor the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department would respond to requests for comments about the documents.
Court Documents Detail Mysterious Email Exchanges
Included in the documents are notes on a mysterious email discussion that took place prior to the October shooting. For the previous two months, the emails seemed to discuss the plans for the shooting, which took place at a Las Vegas music festival in October. The attack claimed 58 lives, injuring hundreds more.
“Try an ar before u buy. We have huge selection. Located in the las vegas area,” read one email that was believed to have been sent to an email account maintained by Paddock.
Later emails tried to sell additional optics and ammunition for the weapons.
“For a thrill try out bumpfire ar’s with 100 round magazine,” read a subsequent email.
While this seems to indicate someone was trying to sell weapons to Stephen Paddock that were later used in the mass shooting, investigators also believed the emails may both have been maintained by Mr. Paddock. According to the documents, the FBI was still looking into the possibility of a second person of interest. Public records reviewed by CNN reveal that the email account used by the sender was registered to a Steve P.
Other documents cover questioning of Marilou Danely, Paddock’s girlfriend. She told the FBI investigators that she knew her fingerprints would be found on the ammunition, but added she wasn’t aware of Stephen’s plans for the killing spree. She went on to explain that she often loaded the magazines for Paddock. The FBI agent responsible for questioning Danely made a note clearing her of suspicion, saying that he believed she was unaware of Stephen’s plans.
While the investigation sought to look into social media accounts for both Paddock and Danely, no motive has yet been shared.
“The investigation has also revealed that Paddock may have been treated for yet unidentified medical conditions,” added an investigator in one other affidavit.

Tad Cummins Challenges Police Confession

The teacher who is in jail for kidnapping and brainwashing a student wants the court to throw out the confession he made to the police. He says the police coerced the confession. Cummins awaits trial on charges related to taking the student out of state and hiding her from her family and police.

Cummins claims that the police improperly worked with his now-estranged wife to get Cummins to admit that he had sex with his student. He says it was unfair for law enforcement to work with his wife. Cummins also claims that law enforcement said if he didn’t confess, they’d make sure he received a harsher sentence.

The attorney representing Cummins says that the police violated his constitutional rights. He says it’s among the worst cases of police misconduct that he’s ever witnessed in thirty years of criminal law practice. The attorney calls the case “one of the most aggravated cases of the trampling of constitutional rights” that he’s ever reviewed.

The U.S. Constitution says that the police can’t force people to testify or otherwise incriminate themselves. When the police violate a person’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, the statements that the person makes aren’t admissible against them in court. A person can lawfully refuse to answer questions from the police. If a person is in custody, the police can’t interrogate them without reading them their Miranda Rights. If the person asks for a lawyer, law enforcement must stop the interrogation.

Cummins’ victim was only 15 years old. Cummins told his wife that he was leaving for a while, but he did not tell his wife that he was leaving with the teen. The kidnapping prompted a nationwide search. Police found the pair in a remote cabin in California after more than five weeks on the run.

Cummins faces federal charges because he allegedly transported a minor across state lines. Federal officials say that he transported the minor with the intent to engage in illegal sexual conduct with the minor child. Cummins faces a long prison sentence if he’s convicted.

Cummins’ wife worked with the police to talk with Cummins. She says the police helped her arrange the conversations. Police say working with friends and family is a common law enforcement tactic.

If the police threatened Cummins with rape charges if he didn’t admit to consensual sex, Cummins’ statements may be considered involuntary. It’s okay for police to use trickery, but promises and threats violate the constitutional rights of the accused. Future court dates are pending in the case.

Convicted Sex Offender Teacher Exhausts Appeal Rights

Abigail Simon wasn’t thinking about prison time when she began having sex with her 15-year-old student. The Grand Rapids Catholic Central school system hired Simon to tutor struggling athletes. Instead, she had sex with one. A jury convicted her. Recently, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected her final appeal.

Rather than accept a plea agreement that would have kept her in county jail, Simon claimed that she was the victim. She claimed that the 15-year-old scared her and slapped her. It wasn’t consensual, she said. Simon claimed that the only reason she kept communicating with the boy was that she was the victim of abuse on a prior occasion and she feared for her safety.

Simon’s maximum sentence is 25 years in prison. The jury found her guilty of having sex with the child as well as with accosting a child for immoral purposes. Despite Simon testifying at trial, the jury didn’t believe her account. The jury looked at text messages between the pair that included a photo of Simon in lingerie. Simon also violated a police order not to have contact with the child.

Because of Simon’s status as a sex offender, she’ll have lifetime monitoring once she’s released from prison. She says that a lifetime punishment is unfair. Prosecutors say that the sentence is appropriate given the allegations of the offense. The Court of Appeals agrees with the prosecutor. They say that lifetime monitoring doesn’t unduly restrict Simon’s ability to work or travel.

Simon’s family cried out in court as the jury read its verdict. The jury found Simon guilty on several counts and not guilty on one count. Simon appeared upset even before the jury read its verdict. Michigan’s criminal sexual conduct laws apply equally to both men and women.

The Michigan Supreme Court is the highest court in the State of Michigan. The refusal to hear Simon’s appeal exhausts Simon’s appeal rights. She may still ask for relief on other grounds such as newly discovered evidence. However, for now, it’s a prison cell for Simon.

At her sentencing, Simon said that she regretted not accepting the plea offer that would have kept her in only the county jail. She appeared unsteady on her feet. All she wanted was to crawl into her mother’s bed and stay there, she said. She also said that she would miss out on her sister’s wedding because of the conviction. Simon’s father is an attorney. Both of her parents are graduates of Notre Dame.

 

 

Olympian Sues USA Gymnastics Over Alleged Coverup

Famed Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney has filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics, accusing the organization of trying to cover up abuses perpetrated by former team doctor Larry Nassar.

Earlier this month, Dr. Nassar pleaded guilty to charges of criminal sexual conduct and child pornography, and he was sentenced to 60 years in prison. Many gymnasts, including Gold Medal winners Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, accused the doctor of sexually assaulting them under the pretext of providing medical care. USA Gymnastics, which is the governing body for American gymnastics, fired the man in 2015, but he continued to allegedly abuse patients at his Michigan State University practice until his arrest.

Maroney’s suit asserts that USA Gymnastics attempted to silence her abuse claims against the doctor by having her sign a nondisclosure agreement. This, the suit states, came after more than 100 athletes had come forward with stories of abuse. The suit also claims that the organization failed to protect her and other athletes.

Her complaint states that the monetary settlement between her and the organization contained a confidentiality clause so that they could continue to conceal the doctor’s crimes. She further insists that she only agreed to settle the claim in order to pay for “lifesaving” psychological treatment and care for the alleged abuse. According to the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, Marroney received $1.25 million as part of the settlement.

The purpose of Maroney’s lawsuit is to nullify the settlement agreement, on the grounds that it violated California law. In addition to USA Gymnastics, the suit names as defendants Dr. Nassar, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University, which employed Nassar for more than 20 years.

Two months ago on social media, Maroney posted details of her alleged abuse at the hands of Dr. Nassar. She stated that, under the guise of “medically necessary treatment,” the doctor abused her from the age of 13 right on through to the 2012 Summer Olypmics in London. She further stated that Nassar abused her even during competitions.

Back then, USA Gymnastics applauded her decision to come forward, calling it courageous, and it expressed outrage at the actions of Dr. Nassar. Though the organization has so far not commented about Maroney’s latest allegations.

A United States Prosecutor Makes an Apology for Discussing the Justine Damond Investigation publicly

After reporting the possibility of a crime, Damond from Australia was shot dead by a police officer near her home in Minnesota. The prosecutor from the Minnesota police departments who criticized the investigating agents for the Australian woman publicly has made an apology for discussing the work of the agency in the public domain. Justine Damond, an Australian woman, was fatally shot by police in cold blood after reporting a possible crime. Mike Freeman, a Hennepin County attorney, on Monday, issued both videotaped and written statements in which he made an apology to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The bureau was tasked with investigating the shooting of the Australian woman that took place in July.

Freeman noted that he did not realize that he was being recorded criticized the investigators who were charged with bringing the matter into conclusion. He said that whatever comments he made regarding the investigators under whatever circumstances were ill-advised and that he was very sorry about the whole issue. While at a union holiday reception last week, Freeman was questioned about a charging decision against the officer who committed the murder, by the name Mohamed Noor. As he expressed lots of frustration, Freeman noted that at the time, no compelling evidence could be sustainable in a court of law to charge the officer with murder. He said that the investigators had failed to do their job and that it was not his fault.

Freeman also made suggestions that the fact that Noor had refused to talk to investigators had put the prosecution between a rock and a hard place. Just last week, Freeman said that he could not yet prove beyond any reasonable doubt that before the police officer fired his gun at the woman, his life was in danger. He also said he could not state definitively on whether the officer thought that he was going to be harmed or even killed before he shot at Damond.

However, Freeman refused to comment on whether he still thought that his previous statement s were misguided and inaccurate or he always harbored the thought that the investigators had failed at doing what they were paid to do. On Monday, Freeman said that although the investigators were following every lead and working day and night trying to gather evidence that could hold in a court of law, police cases were complicated and needed the thorough investigations. However, Freeman said that he had a duty and responsibility to tell his constituents about how he carried out his job.

Harvey Weinstein Comes Under Heat Again For Sexual Assault

Harvey Weinstein has been severally featured in the news, not for his landmark achievements but for allegations of despicable acts while working in Hollywood. Many actresses have publicly accused him of sexual assault, allegations that he has blatantly denied. On Monday, a British actress filed a suit against Harvey Weinstein accusing him of sex trafficking. The actress claims that Weinstein invited her to his hotel room and assaulted her sexually.

Kadian Noble filed the lawsuit at the New York District Court accusing Weinstein of going against the federal sex trafficking laws. She claims the incident occurred in France on February 2014. Noble alleges that Weinstein coerced Kadian to perform sexual favors upon the promise of securing a role for her in a film.

Holly Baird, Weinstein’s spokeswoman claimed in an email that Mr. Weinstein has denied any allegations of sexual assault. According to Weinstein, none of the women who have accused him of non-consensual sex retaliated against his advances.
Noble also sued Weinstein’s brother, Bob, and the Weinstein Company, alleging that they knew about Harvey Weinstein’s conduct. Despite these strong allegations, none of the officials from the Weinstein Company could be reached to comment.

Kadian wants unspecified damages for her claim against Weinstein. The statute of limitation for sex trafficking law suits is 10 years. This means that Kadian’s lawsuit is still valid since the alleged act occurred three years ago.

Weinstein’s Is Disowned For Sexual Assault Allegations

Over 50 women have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault during his Hollywood career which is over three decades old. As a result of these allegations, Weinstein was permanently dismissed from the Weinstein Company. This is despite being the one who co-founded the company with his brother in 2005. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has also expelled Weinstein in an effort to distance itself from his careless and despicable conduct. The Directors Guild of America also confirmed Weinstein’s resignation from the institution.

Law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, New York, and London are investigating the series of sexual assault claims against Weinstein, and are yet to give a comprehensive report on the same.

Corruption Uncovered in Manhattan’s DA Office: Steven Canady’s Wrongful Prosecution

Imagine running your own company and you’re going about your day conducting business as usual and then you get the news that you’re being arrested for crimes that you yourself are a victim of and had reported to authorities several years earlier. While this seems extreme, wrongful convictions happen more often than you think – here’s Steven Canady’s terrifying story.

The District Attorney of Manhattan, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., is no stranger to recent news coverage. His decisions not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein on sexual assault charges nor members of President Trump’s family on fraud charges has sparked concern.

On the surface, it appears that Vance is influenced by campaign donations. Why? Take the baffling case of Steven Canady of Alliance Warburg Capital.

Vance elected to prosecute Canady over a simple civil dispute which arose between Canady and a disgruntled fashion designer. After Canady advised the designer in January 2014 to withdraw from the Mercedes Benz “Winter Fashion Week” to focus on closing a complicated round of financing for the fashion designer’s operations, the fashion designer called Canady a “dumb ni**er”. Next, one of Vance’s campaign donors close to the fashion designer approached Mr. Vance requesting Canady be “taught a lesson.” Three days after the racially charged incident, the Manhattan DA’s office launched an investigation against Canady, which lasted for one year.

Despite the lack of any criminal activity found by the DA’s office on Canady during the investigation, Steven Canady was arrested on grand larceny indictment charges in January 2015.

This is where the abuse of power gets really perplexing.

In a hard-to-believe twist of events, Vance charged Canady with taking millions of dollars that Canady himself reported as stolen to Vance’s DA office years earlier.

In August 2010  Canady reported to Vance’s office that $2.4 million was stolen from his firm, Alliance Warburg. Canady claimed it was stolen by a company engaged to provide financing for its client base and some of its targeted acquisitions while waiting for its financial commitments from institutional investors to materialize. Although Canady clearly demonstrated that the firm had been defrauded – he provided Vance’s DA office with over 1,000 pages of evidence, which included the wire transfer confirmation of funds to the third party and a written demand for the return of the monies – Vance’s office chose not to prosecute for reasons that the matter was a “civil dispute between two parties.”

Vance’s decision not to prosecute the party reported by Canady may have been tied to Canady’s failure to make a campaign donation to Vance. The decision “not to prosecute” by the Manhattan DA’s office resulted in the evaporation of over $100 Billion USD in “irrevocable commitments” from institutional investors that Alliance Warburg had secured prior to the incident and ultimately led to Mr. Canady being investigated in Georgia on a related matter, which involved the company that defrauded Alliance Warburg.

Canady eventually entered an Alford Plea in that matter, which did not result in a criminal conviction. This was done in part at the advice of Canady’s legal counsel from Patton Boggs due to the law firm becoming insolvent during that period, and as a consequence, could not adequately represent him if he went to trial.

Now, it should be noted that the disposition of the Georgia matter allowed Steven Canady to continue with his career in the financial industry as there was no wrongdoing found on his part. In fact, Canady was steering the firm in its quest to acquire a major global investment bank and asset management firm for $52 Billion and a sale of one of its technology portfolio companies for $25 Billion.

At least he was; until New York City’s top prosecutor ordered his arrest on the indictment charges.

Seven months after Steven Canady’s initial arrest, Cyrus Vance Jr. ordered his re-arrest allowing the fashion designer to be included in the indictment through a “back door” process over advisory services that had been successfully rendered by Alliance Warburg.

Additionally, despite posting bail for a second time, Canady was never released from custody.

While building a case against him, prosecutors threatened his clients with indictments if they did not agree to testify alleging to be victims. When clients insisted they were satisfied with the performance of Mr. Canady and the firm, law enforcement agents were deployed to their homes by Mr. Vance’s troops as a form of intimidation to convince the clients to capitulate.

Possibly the most horrifying detail though, is the violence. Prosecutors purportedly coerced an inmate to cause bodily harm to Canady in the form of a head injury in exchange for a reduction of the inmate’s sentence. This deliberate violent act was carried out in December 2016.

During the pendency of Steven Canady’s trial this year – which lasted for almost two months – Vance’s prosecutors were involved in corruption. The team altered emails and bank records and forged documents. This was done as a sign of their commitment to winning at all costs, even if that meant breaking the law they themselves once swore to uphold. The prosecutors routinely encouraged witnesses to deviate from the truth, committing perjury. Unfortunately, though, this went uncontested because of Vance’s strategic move to keep Canady’s testimony and any evidence exonerating him far away from the courtroom and out of the presence of the jury. This was achieved by violating his constitutional rights by not allowing him to testify or present any evidence or to call any witness on his behalf.

The one witness that was permitted to testify, who was one of Mr. Canady’s former attorneys, was contacted by Mr. Vance’s office and threatened that “her life would be ruined” if she testified on his behalf. The threat met its objective and the witness did not appear in court to testify.

Had the jurors been made aware that;

  • Canady reported the matter that he was being prosecuted for to the Manhattan DA’s office in August 2010;
  • during the period of the alleged crime the firm secured over $100 Billion in “irrevocable” financial commitments from institutional investors including Rock Financial owned by Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers;
  • Canady was a part of a team based in Geneva, Switzerland that managed one of the world’s largest private portfolio of assets after selling his biotechnology company that 
created implantable closed-loop artificial intelligent drug delivery systems;
  • Canady was cleared by the Secret Service and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission four year and seven year investigations respectively for this very matter;
  • Canady negotiated with the former Chairman and CEO of a major global bank who was close to President Obama to spearhead the firm’s acquisition of the global investment bank for $52 Billion USD;the outcome of this trial may have been different. But the jurors did not have an opportunity to hear these justice-changing details. Unfortunately, and unfairly, Steven Canady was not permitted to testify or present any evidence.

What weighs heavily in this odd case is the question: what if? What if Canady made a campaign contribution to Mr. Vance? Could this whole trial have been avoidable altogether?

Instead, Canady sits in a maximum security New York State prison serving an indeterminate sentence of 6 to 18 years pending appeal. To put this in perspective, Samuel Hiller received a sentence of 1 to 3 years after pleading guilty to embezzling $12 Million from special needs students ages 3 to 5 years old.

To add insult to injury, the day after Mr. Canady was sentenced, his attorney, Daniel DeMaria was forced by Cyrus Vance Jr. to submit an unauthorized letter to the court stating that Mr. Canady did not oppose paying for restitution in the case.

The day following the submission of this letter, Vance Jr. had DeMaria’s license to practice law in the state of New York revoked for up to one year as a strategy to delay Mr. Canady’s appeal efforts.

Cyrus Vance Jr.’s actions throughout this case and his calculated efforts to impede a fair trial for Steven Canady again poses the question, “what if Canady had simply made a campaign donation?”

Ongoing Support Efforts for Steven Canady

To show your support to Steven Canady, please visit his Facebook page to call for justice.

If you would like to contribute a donation, please visit the following site:https://www.generosity.com/fundraising/a-wrongful-conviction-justice-for-steven-canady

 

Kate Steinle Death: Undocumented Immigrant Found Not Guilty of Murder

An undocumented Mexican immigrant, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, was found not guilty of murdering Kate Steinle by a jury in San Francisco on Thursday, November 30, 2017.

Garcia Zarate, 45, was accused of deliberately shooting 32-year-old Steinle on July 1, 2015, as she walked with her father along a pier. The prosecution sought to convict him of murder in the first and second degrees, with a substituted charge of involuntary manslaughter.

The defense argued that the gun accidentally went off as Garcia Zarate picked it up after he found it wrapped in a cloth underneath his chair. The bullet ricocheted off the ground, traveled almost 80 feet, and hit Steinle in the back, according to an expert witness.

Both the prosecution and defense agreed that there was no evidence showing Garcia Zarate stole the gun that ultimately killed Steinle. Four days before the killing, the gun was stolen from a parked car of a visiting Bureau of Land Management ranger.

The jury, consisting of six women and six men, acquitted Garcia Zarate of the murder charges. They did find him guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Garcia Zarate was previously sent to federal prison for entering the United States illegally, and he was transferred to a San Francisco jail in 2015 for selling marijuana two decades ago. However, the sheriff’s office dropped the charges a few days later despite a request from federal immigration officials to detain Garcia Zarate in order to deport him. San Francisco officials do not honor federal detainer requests unless the individual, in the past seven years, has committed a violent or serious felony.

The case sparked a heated debate about illegal immigrants in the United States. Garcia Zarate had previously been deported five times and was due for his sixth deportation when Steinle was killed. Thomas D. Homan, Deputy Director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, claimed in a statement, “ICE will work to take custody of Mr. Garcia Zarate and ultimately remove him from this country.”

Defense attorney Francisco Ugarte expressed his sympathy over the loss of Steinle but stated that the ruling exonerated immigrants because the case had nothing to do with his client’s immigration status.

Larry Nassar Pleads Guilty

Larry Nassar entered a plea of guilty to sexual assault in a Michigan courtroom. Looking frail and thin, Nassar admitted to seven counts of first-degree sexual assault. In exchange for his guilty plea, Michigan prosecutors dismissed several other counts against him. Nassar will be sentenced next month.

Nassar’s plea comes after he already pleaded guilty to charges of child pornography in a federal court. He’ll be sentenced on those charges soon. In addition to the child pornography charges, federal attorneys also say that Nassar hid evidence in the case.

The plea comes as even more gymnasts have come out to accuse Nassar of abuse. Olympians Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney all say that Nassar abused them too. Raisman says that USA gymnastics told her not to offer information about the case.

Raisman said that the abuse first began when she was 15 years old and competing in Australia. She says that USA Gymnastics allowed Nassar to enter her hotel room alone under the guise of offering treatment. She says that USA Gymnastics officials encouraged her to seek out Nassar’s treatment. Nassar gained her trust by being sympathetic to the rigors of elite gymnastics training. He also offered her treats and gifts.

In addition to the criminal cases, Nassar faces a barrage of civil lawsuits. Victims have also brought suits against USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. USA Gymnastics backed out of a deal with famed gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi to buy a portion of their property for a training facility in part because victims say that the Karolyis didn’t do enough to prevent the abuse.

Because of the allegations, the U.S. Olympic Committee threatened to withdraw their funding from USA Gymnastics. President Steve Penny resigned. USA Gymnastics officials conducted an internal investigation and initiated a program called Safe Sport which is designed to better help report abusers.

Victims say these efforts aren’t enough. They want the entire board to resign. They say that the entire USA Gymnastics leadership encouraged a culture that prevented women from speaking out. They say they were afraid to speak out because they were afraid of losing their spots on the highly competitive, elite gymnastics team that won gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Raisman said that women in the elite program faced scrutiny for things like eating a piece of pizza after a competition.

Nassar will likely spend years in prison. Dozens of victims will have the opportunity to speak at sentencing. Nassar will also have the opportunity to speak.

Ratko Mladic Convicted Over Massive Killing

Early Wednesday, the war tribunal constituted by the United Nations found the former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic guilty of having perpetrated genocide, war crimes as well as crimes against humanity. He is accused of executing the killing of Bosnian Muslims in the Yugoslavia breakup. The tribunal found out that Mr. Mladic was the one organizing for the campaigns to take out Croats, Muslims as well as all other people who were not Serbs out of their land between the year 1992 and 1995. By driving off the individuals, he would have managed to split the area for the Bosnia Serbs. Like the Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic who was also found guilty of the same charges, Mr. Mladic is said to have called for a campaign that was popularized as ethnic cleansing that resulted in massive deaths in the nation that has a population of 4.5 million people only.

1992 went down in history as the deadliest campaign year where over 45,000 people died. Bodies were found on the streets, in their homes or even in camps. Some other people were killed in a siege in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo that lasted for more than four years. A mass execution was organized for Muslim men and boys. More than 8,000 people were killed. By the end of the war, over 2.6 million people were internally displaced. Many of those who survived refer to Mr. Mladic as the Butcher of Bosnia. While defending his client, Mr. Mladic’s lawyer claimed that his client was only following the orders he received from his political seniors. The prosecutors asked Mr. Mladic to be sentenced for life, a plea that was accepted by Alphonso Orie, the presiding judge.

Mr. Mladic surprised many people when he appeared in court on Wednesday dressed in dark suit and a red tie, as the ruling was put down. He remained sitting for over 45 minutes after the address by the judge. His lawyer asked to be given a five minutes break which was granted. Mladic did not come back for about an hour. The public gallery of The Hague was filled with survivors, mostly widows. The verdict did not come as a surprise to many, given that lots of evidence had been presented in the trial that began in the year 2012. Some sessions were postponed citing the poor health of Mr. Mladic. The suit was extended after more graves mass graves were discovered.

Allegedly Drunk Florida Man Arrested on Riding Lawn Mower

A 56-year-old Florida man was taken into custody on a charge of driving under the influence by Port Saint Lucie Police after driving his Snapper riding lawn mower erratically down U.S. Highway 1 two weeks ago. Riding on the lawn mower with him was a case of Budweiser beer. The arresting officer noted that he clearly smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the man. Upon submitting to breath testing at the station, police confirmed the man’s intoxication. In fact, his blood alcohol content was at least three times more than the amount of Florida’s .08 legal limit.

The Florida man wasn’t the first person who was arrested for driving a lawn mower while intoxicated. In 2015, a 25-year-old Pennsylvania man with three prior drunk driving convictions in the last 10 years was arrested for driving his Cub Cadet riding lawn mower down a highway. He was transporting a case of beer on his lawn mower too. Before that, a 51-year-old Maine man was arrested after making an unsuccessful beer run on a riding mower, the make and model of which was unspecified. A liquor store employee turned the obviously intoxicated man away and called police. He was stopped shortly after that.

The Florida case appears to turn on whether the Snapper riding mower is a motor vehicle under Florida law. That’s an issue for a judge to decide. Florida Statutes section 320.01(1)(a) defines a motor vehicle as an “automobile, motorcycle, truck, trailer, semitrailer, truck tractor, and semitrailer combination, or any other vehicle operated on the roads of this state, used to transport persons or property, and propelled by power other than muscular power.”

About 10 days after the Florida man was arrested, a Florida woman was detained for suspected driving under the influence when riding a horse on a roadway. Whether a horse is a motor vehicle under Florida law might be a question for another judge to decide. With simple dumb luck, the woman might have picked a winner.

Louis CK and Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Whenever the name Louis CK comes to mind, many people are more likely to remember all the controversies surrounding the comedian instead of any of his rib cracking jokes. CK has a long history of sexual misconduct and indecent exposure. It is alleged that CK has on many occasions exposed himself to female comedians he was working with. It is also claimed that on some occasions, he went as far as to masturbate in the presence of his colleagues without their consent.

The authorities in Hollywood have come to the realization that sexual misconduct is a problem that has existed in the industry for a long time. Many celebrities have come under a lot of heat for their involvement in sexual misconduct. This is not only affecting the reputation of Hollywood but it is also tainting the names of the other artists who do not engage in such conduct.

The Law on Indecent Exposure

According to the law, the allegations against CK may subject him to criminal charges. Indecent exposure laws make it a criminal offense to intentionally display one’s genitals, causing others to be offended or alarmed. If a person indecently exposes themselves for sexual gratification, they can be charged with sexual misconduct or sexual assault.

If CK is convicted of sexual misconduct or indecent exposure, he may be facing jail time. Although a first offense for indecent exposure is a misdemeanor, there are aggravating circumstances, like the use of force or threats, which could elevate it to a felony. If convicted of a felony, CK may be incarcerated for a few years and be required to register themselves as a sex offender. Apart from facing criminal charges, CK will have difficulties with his public life. Recently, a movie he had written and financed was cancelled because of these allegations. Additionally, a news broadcasting station cancelled his appearance on a late night broadcast.

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