Federal Court Overturns Drug Patent Verdict

On Wednesday, a U.S. federal judge overturned a verdict previously handed down by a jury, which required Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. to pay British drug company GlaxoSmithKline PLC. in excess of $235 million because of patent infringement relating to a blood pressure drug called Coreg.

Leonard Stark, who is a U.S. district judge in Wilmington, Delaware, stated that the facts in the case did not support the jury’s verdict. In June of last year, the jury determined that Teva — which sells a generic version of Coreg — led to doctors infringing the patent of GlaxoSmithKline. According to The Telegraph, the jury subsequently awarded GlaxoSmithKline $234.1 million, to make up for the loss of profits. It further gave the company another $1.4 million for royalty payments owed them, and it rejected the argument that Teva had made that GlaxoSmithKline’s patent was invalid. Judge Stark did not overturn that part of the decision.

In response to the ruling, GlaxoSmithKline issued a statement that expressed disappointment with Judge Stark’s decision. They further said that they were exploring their options as it relates to the case.

Teva did not issue a comment about the ruling.

In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved carvedilol, which is a generic version of Coreg that Teva manufactures. But GlaxoSmithKline argued that Teva’s FDA application did not include using the drug for the treatment of chronic heart failure, which they insist was under patent. They further argued that, starting in 2011, Teva began marketing carvedilol specifically as a treatment for chronic heart failure.

But Judge Stark did not agree with the company’s argument. He said that the evidence presented in the case did not show that Teva’s actions directly led to doctors infringing GlaxoSmithKline’s patent. He said that there could have been other factors that led doctors to infringe GlaxoSmithKline’s patent. He then concluded by saying that — if GlaxoSmithKline could not prove causation — the ruling of the jury could not stand.

The case was filed under GlaxoSmithKline LLC. et al v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, No. 14-cv-00878.

Texas Governor Grants Clemency For Man Who Killed Family

Convicted murderer Bart Whitaker was only 40 minutes away from execution. That’s when Texas Governor Greg Abbott stepped in and canceled it. Instead, Whitaker will spend the rest of his life in prison.

The grant of clemency comes at the request of Whitaker’s father. The man is the only person who survived Whitaker’s planned attack on his family. Whitaker murdered both his mother and his brother in the attack. The attack came in the family home.

Whitaker killed his mother and brother in an effort to hide the secret that he wasn’t graduating from college as he claimed. Instead of going to school, he had been hanging around a house that his parents were paying for. He spent most of his days playing video games. He told his family that he was graduating from school, and the family went out to dinner to celebrate.

During dinner, Whitaker had a friend go and wait in the house. When the family arrived home, the friend attacked. To make it look like an accident, the friend shot Whitaker in the arm.

Whitaker’s denials unraveled when he traveled to Mexico under a false identity. There, he met a girlfriend. The girlfriend had a fight with her parents. To her amazement, Whitaker suggested that she murder her parents.

Despite Whitaker’s death sentence, his father begged anyone who would listen not to proceed with the execution. His father said that he still loved his son and would miss him if he were executed. His father said that he was a victim of the crime, too, and his words should have weight.

The state’s attorney wasn’t moved by the father’s pleas. He said that it was his job to represent the people of the State of Texas as a whole. He said that he doesn’t represent victims specifically.

Whitaker’s father took his case to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. After reviewing the entire case, they recommended granting clemency. The governor finally made his decision 40 minutes before the execution was to take place. Preparations had already begun for the execution.

Whitaker’s father says that Whitaker has made the most of his time in prison. He’s had 11 years to think about his crimes. He believes that his son has a mental illness. Whitaker has reportedly learned Spanish. He hopes that Whitaker continues to grow and learn while he’s in prison. Whitaker’s father says that forgiving his son has helped him find healing.


City Mayor Convicted For Abusing His Position

A Pennsylvania mayor has been convicted of 47 different charges that relate to abusing his public position. The federal conviction includes charges of bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and trying to extort campaign donations. Ed Pawlowski was the mayor of Allentown, Pennsylvania. He used his position to try and get law firms to make donations to his campaigns. In exchange, he promised them legal business from the city. He also sought donations from tech, engineering and construction companies in exchange for promises of city tax dollars.

Becoming the mayor of Allentown wasn’t all that Pawlowski aspired to. Instead, he wanted to become the Governor of Pennsylvania or a Senator. He wanted to use his position of Allentown mayor in order to illegally get the money to fund his additional campaigns. Pawloski received acquittals for seven additional charges.

Pawlowski maintained his innocence of the charges throughout the trial. He said that prosecutors couldn’t prove that he gave those companies work because of contributions. He said that the case against him was weak and that the jury shouldn’t believe the witnesses.

In addition to the convictions for Pawlowski, an attorney was tried and convicted of related charges. The jury convicted Scott Allenson of conspiracy and bribery. They say that he tried to get money to the mayor in hopes of getting work for a law firm in exchange.

To secure the convictions, the prosecution team presented audio recordings. The recordings were made in secret. Pawlowski’s campaign manager and another person working for the campaign made the recordings. Authorities say that the recordings were telling and even bizarre at times. The parties involved talked about code words for bribes like the word meatballs.

The law firm that the attorney worked for tried to distance themselves from the lawyer’s actions. They said that he acted on his own to commit the offenses. They say that the law firm doesn’t do anything unethical.

One of Pawlowski’s acquittals was for allegations that he sought a bribe from an attorney. The attorney was allegedly a tax attorney who worked for the city to collect delinquent taxes. Another acquittal involved allegations that Pawlowski sought a bribe from another law firm’s partner.

The verdict forces Pawlowski out of his post as mayor. His ouster ends 12 years in office and ends his ambitions to become a governor or senator. He only began his latest term in January of 2018. In addition, he faces an upcoming sentencing hearing. The maximum sentence is 20 years in prison.

Officers Charged In Lackawanna County Start Legal Proceedings

Over the last month, almost ten correctional officers from Lackawanna County Prison were arrested. These arrests occurred after a number of women testified to investigators and law enforcement officials about being sexually mistreated while inmates at Lackawanna County Prison. A few women who testified to officials are still in prison today. After almost a year-long investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI believed they acquired enough evidence to take the men to trial. Most of the men are still working at the prison while others already quit. Those who currently work at the prison were suspended without pay.

All of the guards charged in this matter are being tried separately. The first hearing was held Friday. James Walsh, age 51, was the first guard to appear before a Lackawanna County Judge. Several women testified against Walsh. One woman described Walsh as a guard who knew how to take advantage of women who made wrong choices in life. With tears in her eyes and almost being unable to speak, another woman talked about how Walsh watched her while on the work-release program. Any mistake the woman made, Walsh would hold it over her head unless she performed sexual acts on him. The woman described this happening on almost 20 different occasions.

James Walsh did not address the court in any way, and there were no objections made by his attorney. There is no indication yet whether James Walsh will take the stand or not. What the public is anticipating is whether or not the guards will testify against each other. Many believe this is why the law enforcement officials working on this case made it mandatory to charge each guard separately. The rest of the guards will have their hearings between the end of March and the end of June.

As James Walsh left the courthouse, family members of the victims were heard screaming profane words at him. Walsh kept the hood from his sweatshirt over his face and did not address those yelling at him.

Judge Wants the Supreme Court to Reverse Her Sentence

What happens when a judge regrets their decision? The U.S. Supreme Court might get a chance to answer that question if they accept the appeal of Bobby Bostic. Bostic is serving 214 years in prison for felony convictions relating to a robbery he committed at age 16.

Judge Evelyn Baker of Missouri heard the case. Baker sentenced Bostic to serve 241 years in prison. Baker said that at the time, she believed that she was doing the right thing. She says now she has regret for giving someone that young a life sentence. She says she hopes the Supreme Court accepts the case and reverses the decision.

Baker says that at the time of the sentencing, she confidently told the teen that he would die in prison. She told Bostic that he made the choice to break the law. She said the life sentence was the fair result of his choice.

Bostic was convicted of armed robbery. He and a friend robbed a group of people. The group was out delivering Christmas presents. There were shots fired during the robbery. Judge Baker said that the defendant wasn’t remorseful. In fact, she called him a fool.

Now, Baker says that she realizes her sentence was inappropriate. She says that doctors have learned a lot about brain science since the time of Bostic’s sentence. She says that she thought that Bostic was a lost cause. However, since the sentencing, she says that she has come to understand that young people are still growing, learning and changing. Baker says that a teenager can’t fully appreciate their actions and the consequences of their actions.

Rehabilitation is possible for teenagers like Bostic, Baker says. Baker says that it’s unfair to hold a teenager to adult consequences because teenagers can’t fully appreciate the consequences of their choices especially when a life sentence is on the line. She says rehabilitation should be a possibility because young people are able to learn from their actions and reform their behavior.

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed life sentences for juveniles who aren’t convicted of murder, the decision may not help Bostic. Judge Baker didn’t give Bostic a life sentence. Instead, Baker gave the teen 214 years. Even though the effect is essentially a life sentence, the case may still not qualify for reversal because it isn’t classified as a life sentence. Bostic and Baker both hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case and rule in Bostic’s favor.

Grandmother Attacks Policing and Prosecution for Profit

Ramona Morales is a 79-year-old woman who bought a total of six dilapidated homes in Indio and Coachella, CA. All of the homes were renovated by her and her family with sweat equity, and then they were rented out. Her intention was to leave something for her children and grandchildren.

Prosecution Fees
At one of the Morales properties in Indio, a city code inspector noticed some chickens inside of a small coop in the home’s back yard. That violated a local ordinance, and Morales was warned accordingly. She told her tenant to get rid of the chickens, paid $150 in fines and went about her life. The tenant failed to get rid of the chickens, and Morales was prosecuted in the criminal courts. According to the Desert Sun, Indio and the law firm of Silver & Wright, its prosecutors, now want nearly $6,000 in prosecution fees from Morales. She isn’t the only one that the Indio and Coachella has sought prosecution fees from. A Desert Sun investigation revealed that the two cities have billed other similarly situated individuals $122,000 of prosecution fees.

She Sued Them
Morales is fighting back. California courts have already ruled that it’s against the law for prosecutors to have a financial interest in cases that they might pursue. The Institute for Justice represents Morales. As opposed to Indio, Coachella and Silver & Wright, it’s a not-for-profit public interest law firm that confronts government entities that police for profit. Morales has now filed a class action lawsuit against Indio and Silver & Wright. At this point in time, she’s the only plaintiff, but other individuals are expected to join.

The Institute of Justice is trying to stop enforcement for profit and obtain the return of the fines paid by Morales and others. The Desert Sun reports that in other cases “the disparity between the severity of the crime and the cost of the bill is even more staggering than what happened to Morales.” Ramona Morales is now a convicted criminal.

New York To Sue Weinstein Company Due To Sexual Misconduct Allegations

The attorney general for New York is suing Harvey Weinstein and his company for alleged sexual misconduct and harassment that went on for years. This move could have a negative impact for the studio and all involved. Weinstein is the co-founder of Miramax Studios. He was considered a very influential man before over 70 came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct and harassment. Others who came forward claimed he raped them. He stands by his testimony that he did not have any non-consensual sexual encounters with anyone.

The lawsuit claims that Mr. Weinstein and his company executives had failed multiple times to protect the employees from him. The civil suit also names his brother Bob Weinstein as well. He is the co-founder of the company. The studio had been in talks of selling the company to some investors who were led by the official of former President Obama’s administration. However, the suit is now putting the negotiations of that deal on hold. The suit was filed in part because of the reports claiming that the sale of Weinstein’s studio was imminent.

The state is also seeking an unspecified amount of money for restitution and damages for the harm done to his victims. In a recent statement, Weinstein’s attorney had said that a full investigation into many of these sexual harassment claims would be found to be without merit. Schneiderman said he used a subpoena in order to get around the signed Non-Disclosure Agreements that were signed by both Weinstein and his employees in order to attempt to hide from the scrutiny.

Back in October, the New York Times had first reported on the allegations about Weinstein’s sexual abuse allegations. The confirmation about the allegations have not yet been confirmed by Reuters. Since that time, many more women have come forward with their own allegations against Weinstein and other prominent men in the industries of entertainment, politics and business. Many victims have since come together to form the #MeToo movement using various social media platforms to share their sexual harassment stories in support of one another.

Harvey Weinstein has committed to embracing the investigation. However, he has said many times that he will work endlessly to defend himself against the allegations that have been brought against him. Many on his side feel that he is not without any fault. However, they do not feel that it is right for him to be charged in a criminal manner.


John Geddert May Have Known About Gymnastics Abuse for Years

In 2012, John Geddert had it all. He was the head coach of the USA women’s gymnastics team. The team struck gold at the London Olympics. They won the gold medal in the team competition, the individual all around and the floor exercise. They also won the silver medal on vault and bronze medal on beam.

Today, say the name John Geddert and you’re unlikely to hear accolades of Olympic success. Instead, Geddert is in the hot seat because Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman says that Geddert knew about Nassar’s abuse. Raisman says that Geddert knew about the abuse in 2011, but didn’t do anything to report it or stop it.

Raisman says that she was riding in a vehicle with Geddert and other gymnasts. One of the gymnasts described in detail what Nassar did to her. Raisman said that Geddert didn’t say anything. She says Geddert just stayed silent. Others have accused Geddert of making treatments with the doctor mandatory for his club gymnasts. They say that Geddert fed Nassar his victims with at least some suspicion of what was going on.

USA Gymnastics revoked Geddert’s certification to attend USA-gymnastics sanctioned events. He simply transferred ownership of the gym to his wife. Geddert is also on the receiving end of several civil lawsuits.

Even though the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office has Geddert under investigation, it’s unclear if he’ll face criminal charges for his failure to act. Athletic coaches are not among the individuals identified as mandatory reporters by Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services. Teachers and school social workers must report suspicion of child abuse to Child Protective Services. There’s no such mandate in Michigan for athletic coaches like Geddert.

Even if Geddert doesn’t face criminal charges for his failure to report Nassar’s behavior, he still may not be off the hook. Another person reported that Geddert assaulted her in a parking lot. At one point, he was reportedly urged to attend counseling for anger management by a county prosecutor’s office. There’s no word on whether the statute of limitations has run out or whether the prosecutor could reconsider filing charges against Geddert for the assault allegations.

After the 2012 Olympics, Geddert’s star principal high-tailed it to UCLA. Even though she was ineligible to compete as an NCAA athlete, Jordan Wieber accepted a post as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bruins women’s gymnastics team. Wieber testified at Nassar’s sentencing hearing in Ingham County that she too was a victim of Nassar’s abuse.

Nasser Criminal Case Prompting More Investigations

The recent shocking claims by many former United States gymnastics team Olympians against former trainer Dr. Larry Nassar appears it may be just the tip of the iceberg involving what has been happening over the course of the past decade in collegiate gymnastics. The U.S. Olympic Committee has requested an independent third-party to investigate the claims and determine “why this could have gone on for so long” within a sport that utilizes the acrobatic skills of very young and small-frame female athletes. The number of testimonies and the similarity of the accounts have driven much anger among officials and enthusiasts alike, and now New York Sen. Kirsten Gilliland has requested an official U.S. Department of Justice investigation.

The conviction of Nasser has also triggered the resignation of Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon, which is where Dr. Nasser was employed for many years. If the former university president knew about the activity and failed to act, the university could be liable for extensive legal action as well as criminal charges for complicity if other university employees were aware and assisted in the cover up. With the winter Olympics just around the corner, there will assuredly be more focus on the sexual abuse predicament for the female U.S. Gymnastics Team as the games play out this year.

The victims obviously felt powerless to approach authorities concerning Nasser’s actions during his employment tenure, which also prompts questions concerning those in charge who are responsible for Nassar’s criminal behavior. The fact that the university president was the first to resign from a potential list of other officials who were aware of the issue suggests that more resignations and arrests may be forthcoming, especially if the DOJ does as Gilliland requests.

The NCAA infractions committee has also announced they will conduct an official investigation into the claims, but this too could present problems because there are reports that the NCAA president was told in 2010 that the sex abuse cases were actually happening and the university was avoiding addressing the problem.

It is becoming clear that a Department of Justice investigation coming on the heals of the recent shoe company payoffs for certain college player’s families could put an even larger lens on this problem, including the general manner in which the NCAA operates regarding illegal behavior within the collegiate sports industry. Indeed, if the DOJ steps in, the tip of the iceberg may just be emerging.


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.