Federal prosecutors in Virginia have charged four white supremacists from California with conspiracy and inciting rioting at the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August of 2017. Last year’s protest left activist Heather Heyer dead after white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. plowed his car into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters.
Benjamin Daley, Thomas Gillen, Michael Miselis and Cole White are all members of a militant white supremacist group from California known as the Rise Above Movement, which espouses anti-Semitic views and meets regularly in public parks to train in boxing and other fighting techniques, according to an affidavit written by an FBI agent. According to The Anti-Defamation League, the Rise Above Movement members believe they are fighting against a “modern world” corrupted by the “destructive cultural influences” of liberals, Jews, Muslims and non-white immigrants. Members refer to themselves as the mixed martial arts club of the “alt-right” fringe movement, a loose mix of neo-Nazis, white nationalists and other far-right extremists.
U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen said each defendant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted on the two counts they each face: traveling to incite riots and conspiracy to riot. The affidavit alleges the four men were “among the most violent individuals present in Charlottesville” in August of last year during a torch-lit march on the University of Virginia campus and a larger rally in downtown the following day. It says photos and video footage shows they attacked counter-protesters, “which in some cases resulted in serious injuries.” The men have also taken part in “acts of violence” at political rallies in Huntington Beach and Berkeley, California, and other places, the affidavit alleges.
Cullen said that the men also engaged in acts of violence in their home state of California at a series of political rallies, dubbing them “serial rioters.” At a news briefing, Cullen said “This is a group that essentially subscribes to an anti-Semitic, racist ideology, and then organizes, trains, and deploys to various political rallies, not only to espouse this particular ideology but also to engage in acts of violence against folks who are taking a contrary point of view.”
A Los Angeles judge denied bail for Michael Miselis, finding that he posed a risk to the community. Miselis’ attorney argued for his release, detailing how his client got his master’s at UCLA and worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman for five years before being dismissed after his connection to Charlottesville became public. Prosecutor David Ryan argued against bail for Miselis, saying agents found smoke bombs, flares, and thousands of rounds of ammunition, mostly for assault weapons, in his home, where he had a wall hanging that said “88,” a common abbreviation for “Heil Hitler.” Ryan also said said Miselis, Daley and other members of their group also traveled to Germany and the Ukraine earlier this year and met with members of well-known violent white supremacy groups.
Cullen said investigators sifted through “an incredible volume” of video and still photographs to review the movements of the four men and determine whether they could claim they were only defending themselves after being attacked by others at the rally. He said prosecutors believe there was “no provocation” for them to engage in violence that day. The four men, he said, made their way to the rally with their hands taped, “ready to do street battle.” Then they engaged in punching, kicking, head-butting and pushing, assaulting an African-American man, two women and a minister who was wearing a clerical collar, Cullen said. Cullen also said a significant aspect of the case was that the four men had “extensive and robust” social media profiles and used social media to further their purposes.
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1 week ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Dallas Officer Amber Guyger Fired
Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger, who fatally shot 26-year-old Botham Jean in his Cedars apartment, was fired just days after Police Chief U. Renee Hall said doing so would compromise the criminal investigation. A news release stated that Hall fired Guyger after an internal investigation found the officer had engaged in “adverse conduct” when she was charged with manslaughter three days after the shooting.
Guyger shot Jean, her upstairs neighbor, the night of Sept. 6. Jean, an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, lived on the fourth floor in apartment 1478 of the South Side Flats. Guyger, an officer for four years, was his immediate downstairs neighbor. After entering his apartment that she mistook for her own. She entered the dark apartment after a long shift and believed Jean, who was unarmed, was a burglar.
After she shot him, Guyger called 911 in tears, “I thought it was my apartment,” she said repeatedly and apologized to Jean, “I’m so sorry.” Police arrived within four minutes of her call, and paramedics rushed Jean to Baylor University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Guyger was charged with manslaughter three days after the shooting and has been on administrative leave since the shooting. She’s currently free on a $300,000 bond while she awaits trial.
There was widespread calls for action and protests demanding that Guyger be terminated. Chief Hall said that she couldn’t fire Guyger before an internal investigation was completed because of federal, state and local laws but she didn’t specify to which laws she was referring. Hall released a statement saying she didn’t want to risk interfering with a criminal investigation by making a decision about Guyger’s employment.
The Dallas Police Department turned over the investigation to the Texas Rangers shortly after the shooting. The Dallas County District Attorney’s office is also conducting its own investigation. Those investigations aren’t complete, but Hall said police were notified that a “critical portion” of the criminal investigation — the part that could have been compromised by an internal investigation — had been concluded over the weekend.
Guyger’s firing was supported by Mayor Mike Rawlings, who called it “the right decision in the interest of justice”. A statement from the mayor read “I have heard the calls for this action from many, including the Jean family, and I agree that this is the right decision in the interest of justice for Botham Jean and the citizens of Dallas. The swift termination of any officer who engages in misconduct that leads to the loss of innocent life is essential if the Dallas Police Department is to gain and maintain the public trust.”
Guyger’s attorney Robert Rogers said in a written statement that Hall “bowed to pressure from anti-police groups and took action before all of the facts had been gathered and due process was afforded.” Rogers said his client is “completely devastated by what happened.” The shooting, he said, was “a tragic mistake and words can never express our sorrow for the pain being suffered by those who knew and loved Botham Jean.”
2 weeks ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Bill Cosby Sentenced
Comedian Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in a state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home 14 years ago. Cosby, 81, will be eligible for parole in three years and could be released from prison and allowed to serve out the rest of his 10-year sentence under supervision in the community.
Judge Steven O’Neill said the evidence that Cosby planned the drugging and sexual assault of his victim was “overwhelming,” based on Cosby’s own words in a civil deposition. In the deposition, provided the year after the alleged assault, as Constand pursued a civil suit against him, Cosby admitted that he procured Quaaludes for women he wanted to have sex. Cosby also admitted that he asked a modeling agent to connect him with young women who were new in town and “financially not doing well. Judge Steven O’Neill ruled that the 2005 testimony could be presented to the jury in his criminal trial.
Months after his depositions, Cosby settled the case with Constand and the accusations quickly faded. In October 2014, a Philadelphia magazine reporter at a Hannibal Buress show uploaded a clip of the comedian calling Bill Cosby a rapist and commenting on his Teflon image. The clip went viral and soon after many accusers stepped forward. More than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault or harassment, stretching back to the 1960’s but Constand’s case was the only one that led to criminal charges against the comedian. During interviews, all of the women gave similar accounts of blacking out after having a drink supplied by Cosby and later waking up during or after a sexual assault. Most said they stayed quiet because they never thought anyone would believe them since Cosby was wealthy and at the height of his career.
On April 26, he was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for the 2004 drugging and sexual assault of Andrea Constand. Each charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison but Judge Steven O’Neill said that the charges had been merged into one because they all stem from the same event. Constand, a 31-year-old Temple women’s basketball official he was mentoring at the time of the assault. She testified in detail at the trial about losing control of her limbs after taking pills given to her by Cosby, who served on Temple’s board of trustees and was the public face of the university. The pills, Constand said, left her unable to stop him from violating her at his suburban Philadelphia estate.
At the sentencing hearing, O’Neill aid, “No one is above the law, and no one should be treated differently or disproportionally.” “This was a serious crime,” O’Neill added. “Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come.” Cosby was also ordered to pay a fine of $25,000 plus the costs of prosecution — a total of $43,611 — as part of the sentence. Cosby’s attorneys have repeatedly said they plan to file an appeal in the criminal case.
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3 weeks ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Mavericks and Owner Mark Cuban Sanctioned Over Handling of Sexual Harassment
The Dallas Mavericks and the basketball team’s owner Mark Cuban were sanctioned by the NBA after an independent investigation substantiated a number of allegations against men within the organization. The findings include improper conduct in the workplace and domestic violence. Mark Cuban publicly apologized and said he will pay $10 million to women’s organizations as part of an agreement with the NBA. Cuban agreed to the $10 million payment as well as staffing and leadership changes.
The sanction came after a months-long investigation into accusations against several employees, including the former team president and chief executive, Terdema Ussery. The investigation arose from an article in Sports Illustrated in February that exposed a workplace filled with problems for female employees. The article said Ussery had engaged in “various acts of inappropriate conduct toward women,” and that Earl Sneed, a former writer for the team’s official website, had faced numerous allegations of domestic violence.
Although Cuban did not face accusations of misconduct, the employees who were mistreated suggested the harassment had gone on for years and that he must have known about it and had done little to prevent it. The investigation included information gathered from more than 200 interviews with current and former Mavericks employees. Ussery was found to have engaged in improper workplace conduct toward 15 female employees, including touching them and making inappropriate comments. Sneed had committed two acts of domestic violence, including one against a co-worker. Cuban was made aware of the episode but did not fire him. Ussery had already resigned from the team in 2015 to take a position with Under Amour. Shortly after the Sports Illustrated article, Sneed announced he would be leaving the team and then deleted his Twitter account.
The investigation also found that Chris Hyde, a longtime senior account executive, had made inappropriate comments toward women, viewed pornography on his workplace computer and made unsolicited sexual advances toward co-workers. Even after Cuban warned Hyde about looking at pornography at the office, Hyde’s inappropriate behavior continued for years.
In a statement, the league announced that the money from Cuban would be donated to a variety of organizations chosen by an advisory council of Mavericks executives, including Cuban, as well as several N.B.A. officials. The inquiry, conducted by independent investigators overseen by the league, also recommended that the Mavericks hire more women, including in leadership positions, and create a formal process for employees to report misconduct. The N.B.A. ordered the Mavericks to file quarterly reports on its progress in those areas, and to begin workplace training for all staff members, including Cuban, 60, who acquired a majority stake of the Mavericks in 2000.
“The findings of the independent investigation are disturbing and heartbreaking,” Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement, “and no employee in the N.B.A., or any workplace for that matter, should be subject to the type of working environment described in the report.”
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4 weeks ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Police Make 2nd Arrest In Killing of Enfield Teen
Enfield, CT Police have made a second arrest in connection with the death of 16-year-old Justin Brady, who was fatally stabbed during a fight with another teen outside an Enfield home late Sunday evening. Police have charged 20-year-old Michael Joseph Cerrato, who lives at the home where Brady was killed, with hindering prosecution in connection with the murder. On September 11th, an 18-year-old Hartford teen identified as Shyheim “Trey” Adams was charged with manslaughter in the first degree and is being held on $1 million bail. The most profound question is why no one called 911 sooner.
Shortly after midnight on September 10th, Enfield Police responded to calls of several teens standing around someone laying on the ground. In one call, a neighbor tells the dispatcher that some of the teens kept going in and out of the house next door. Officers found Brady bleeding from multiple stab wounds, clinging to life in a front yard near 15 Hoover Lane. Brady, who was a junior at Enfield High School, where he played football and basketball, was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Michael Cerrato’s father, the Enfield Assistant Town Attorney, Mark Cerrato, who lives at 15 Hoover Lane where the killing took place, was placed on indefinite paid leave pending the investigation. Mark Cerrato told police he went to bed around 11pm just after telling his son, his son’s girlfriend and a friend he knows as “Trey” to keep the noise down as they were playing video games. In his first interview, Cerrato told police he was awakened shortly after by a knock at the door and a “tall kid was at the door holding 2 phones in his hand saying that his friend needed a doctor and asked Mark if he could bring him.” Cerrato told police he tried to use one of the phones but couldn’t dial because it was locked. In his second interview he told police that he was awakened when he heard the garage door open and saw his son taking his Toyota Rav4. Police searched the home and removed blood stained clothing found in the basement and a knife that was hidden under a mattress in a bedroom.
Police said Brady and Adams had been arguing on social media throughout the day and eventually met outside the Hoover Lane residence to fight. In initial interviews, Michael Cerrato claimed he didn’t see anything and left the house around 11pm. He later admitted that Trey and Brady had been arguing over the phone and thru Snapchat. Trey left the room to take a call and returned saying Brady was on his way over to fight. Cerrato stated that he didn’t believe Trey because he lies a lot and that Justin Brady had previously called him out on it. Cerrato said Brady arrived 15 minutes later and they went outside. Brady and Trey were in the street yelling at each other when Brady hit Trey in the chest. They were wrestling and ended up on the ground. Cerrato says that he heard Brady yell “he’s cutting me” and witnessed his friend stabbing Brady fast from about 10 feet away. Trey took a step back and Justin looked down and was covered in blood, yelling to call 911. Trey ran inside the house and Cerrato followed and saw him washing his hands. Cerrato, who never called 911, says the knife came from inside his home but he did not know Trey had it until the stabbing occurred. Cerrato and his girlfriend left in his father’s SUV and dropped Trey off in Hartford.
Another witness says that after the fight he went into the house through the garage and witnessed Trey and Mike in a room, Trey was changing his pants and Mike kept saying “we gotta get out of here”. The witness went back outside to check on Justin and that Tre, Mike and his girlfriend came out saying to get Justin out of there. After they left the witness started banging on the front door of the home for help after he saw Mike’s father close the garage door. He says Mike’s father came to the door and when he asked for help, Cerrato’s father told him “I don’t know what to tell you.” He says Cerrato’s father started to call 911 but stopped halfway thru. Thirty minutes had elapsed between the time the trio left the scene and officers arrived and found Brady.
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4 weeks ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Gunmen Kills 3 At Cincinnati Bank
In Cincinnati, a gunman opened fire at a downtown bank, killing three people and injuring two others before he was shot and killed by police. Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said the gunman, who they believe acted alone, fired more than a dozen shots from a legally purchased 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol. Authorities have identified the gunman as Omar Perez, though a motive for the shooting is still under investigation. The gun used in the shooting was recovered at the scene along with multiple magazines and around 200 rounds of ammunition.
Police say Perez, 29, of Northbend, Ohio, has no known connection to the bank and it is unclear how he got to Fountain Square but that he entered multiple businesses before going to the bank. He opened fire in the building’s loading dock before continuing into the lobby area and firing more shots. Officers responded to a 911 call around 9:10 a.m. local time about an “active shooter” at the bank. Multiple officers then “engaged” the suspect, who was fatally shot multiple times.
Five people were shot, some multiple times, including three who died from their injuries. One person died at the scene and two victims died at the hospital. Those killed in the shooting were a grandfather, a father and a son. Richard Newcomer, 64, a father of 3 and grandfather of 8, who was supervising a construction project on the building’s third floor was shot as he entered the building. Luis Calderón, 48, a father to a 13 year old and 16 year old, was also killed as he arrived to work. He had moved to Cincinnati last year to work for the bank and provide a better life for his children. The third victim was identified as Prudhvi Raj Kandepi, 25, a programmer and consultant for Fifth Third who was described by family as someone who would give everything he could to friends and family.
Police have released security footage of the gunman “firing shots at anyone he sees” while inside the lobby of the building. The security footage shows Omar Enrique Santa Perez walking in the lobby with his gun held up and carrying a briefcase containing hundreds of rounds of ammunition over his shoulder. A security officer was seen helping people get to a safe location as the gunman was randomly firing shots at anyone he sees. Perez then turns toward the windows and fires shots at approaching officers. The body camera footage shows officers approaching the gunman and shooting through the glass of the lobby. The officers on the scene engaged the shooter within three and a half minutes of the first 911 call and fired 11 shots, taking out the gunman. Police later found that Perez’s gun had jammed during the four-minute rampage.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley praised the officers for ending the shooting quickly. “You could see in the video … the guy is shooting at the cops, you can see them not being afraid and engaging and ending it.” “If he had gotten on the elevator, gone up to a floor, if he had been there earlier or a little bit longer, many more people would have been killed.”
Fifth Third Bank is headquartered in Cincinnati but has locations across 10 states. The company released a statement via Twitter. “Earlier today, an active shooter entered our headquarters building in downtown Cincinnati. The situation is contained and the shooter is no longer a threat. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone caught up in this terrible event. We continue to work with law enforcement as we ensure the safety of our employees and customers. We are grateful for the support and concerns from our neighbors throughout Cincinnati and the country.”
1 month ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Mollie Tibbetts Father Speaks Out Against Her Death Being Politicized
The father of murdered Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts is demanding politicians and white supremacists stop using his daughter’s death to promote hate against immigrants. In an article for The Des Moines Register, Rob Tibbetts wrote, “Do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist. The act grievously extends the crime that stole Mollie from our family. The person who is accused of taking Mollie’s life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie. Sadly, others have ignored our request, they have instead chosen to callously distort and corrupt Mollie’s tragic death to advance a cause she vehemently opposed.”
Tibbetts doesn’t want to see his daughter used as a “pawn in others’ debate,” he said. “She may not be able to speak for herself, but I can and will. Please leave us out of your debate. Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity. At long last, show some decency. On behalf of my family and Mollie’s memory, I’m imploring you to stop.”
Rob Tibbetts also addressed animosity towards immigrants at his daughter’s funeral when he said “the Hispanic community are Iowans, they have the same values as Iowans. As far as I’m concerned, they’re Iowans with better food.” “To the Hispanic community, my family stands with you and offers its heartfelt apology. That you’ve been beset by the circumstances of Mollie’s death is wrong. We treasure the contribution you bring to the American tapestry in all its color and melody.”
Before she went missing, Tibbetts’ brother dropped her off at her boyfriend’s house so she could dog-sit. Her family reported her missing the next day after she did not show up for work. The last time anyone saw Tibbetts, 20, was around 7:30 p.m. on July 18th as she was jogging in Brooklyn, a community of 1,500 people in eastern Iowa. According to her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, Tibbetts had sent him a message saying she was heading out for some exercise as part of her typical routine. A massive ground search involving more than 200 people broken up into 37 teams was conducted on July 20 encompassing the farmlands and fields within a five-mile radius of Brooklyn, with helicopters hovering above, according to authorities. Investigators had received more than 1,500 tips and conducted more than 500 interviews in the case.
The investigation led to 24-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera of rural Poweshiek County, an undocumented farmworker from Mexico who has been charged with first-degree murder for her death. Investigators say their search led to Rivera after they acquired surveillance camera footage that showed Mollie running, as well as the travel patterns of a vehicle believed to belong to Rivera. After reviewing the video, they determined that Rivera was one of the last people to see her running.
During the police interview, Rivera said that he had seen Tibbitts before and when he saw her running on July 18th, he began following her. He parked his car and began running alongside and behind her. At some point, Mollie took out her phone and told him “You need to leave me alone. I’m going to call the police” and then she took off running. Rivera told police that he got angry and chased her down but that he blacked out and woke up at an intersection in rural Poweshiek County. He told investigators he realized he had put the woman in the trunk of his car and when he took her out, he saw blood on the side of her head. He then drove to a rural cornfield and left the body in the field, covering it with corn leaves. Investigators said that after the interview, Rivera led investigators to her body.
1 month ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Jacksonville Landing Shooting
In Jacksonville, Florida, authorities say a man opened fire at a restaurant hosting a Madden 19 video game tournament, killing two people and wounding 10 before killing himself. One person was also injured while trying to escape. The shooter has been identified as David Katz, a 24-year-old gamer from Baltimore, Maryland. Katz’s motive in the shooting remains under investigation, police said.
Katz, like many other gamers, was in town for the tournament at GLHF Game Bar at the Jacksonville Landing, a downtown shopping and dining complex. Witnesses said he had been eliminated from the tournament the day before when two other players beat him. Dennis Alston, one of the gamers who beat Katz, said that he tried to shake the shooter’s hand after the game but that Katz refused his hand and stared at him blankly. Alston said that he noticed Katz had returned to the tournament the following day wearing the same clothes.
Katz went by the gaming naming “Bread” and previously won Madden tournaments in 2017. Authorities say Katz walked past patrons in other parts of the restaurant and then opened fire on his fellow competitive gamers before killing himself. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office identified the victims as Eli Clayton, 22, and Taylor Robertson, 28. Both were competitive Madden players, and Robertson had won the Madden Classic. Authorities said Katz had legally purchased two weapons in Baltimore over the past month and one of the weapons had a laser sight that attached to the gun.
Gunshots and piercing screams echoed through the Twitch live stream of the tournament in real time, leaving millions of helpless online viewers shocked before the live stream was cutoff. Shortly after 1:30 p.m., 911 calls started pouring in about a shooting and officers were on the scene within two minutes. About a dozen firefighters with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department were training in the structure just north of the Landing when the gunfire rang out.
They treated the “walking wounded” outside the restaurant, then made their way inside to find flipped tables and broken dishes scattered across the floor. They made their way through the restaurant and found the three deceased in the gaming room: Taylor Robertson, 27, of Ballard, West Virginia; Eli Clayton, 22, of Woodland Hills, California; and the shooter, later identified as David Katz, 24, of Baltimore.
Both Elizabeth and Richard Katz are cooperating with investigators and have told authorities that their son had mental health issues. Katz underwent treatment for psychological and emotional issues during his parents’ divorce and highly contentious custody battle in 2006. He was once placed on an antipsychotic medicine used to treat schizophrenia. The alleged gunman was also placed on two antidepressants.
1 month ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Former Officer Sentenced To 15 Years In Jordan Edwards Shooting
Former Balch Springs, TX police officer Roy Oliver, 38, was found guilty of murder in the shooting of Jordan Edwards, an unarmed teen who was a passenger in a car that had left a party. Oliver was fired by the Balch Springs Police Department just days after the shooting for violating several departmental policies. A Texas jury sentenced Oliver to 15 years in prison and imposed a $10,000 fine for the murder of the 15-year-old honor student. The jury found Oliver not guilty on two counts of aggravated assault.
During the trial Oliver claimed that he fired at the car after seeing it move toward his partner, Officer Tyler Gross, and thought Gross’s life was in danger. Officer Gross testified that he did not fear for his life and didn’t feel the need to fire his own weapon. Oliver faced up to life in prison on the murder conviction. Prosecutors were pushing for at least 60 years in prison, while defense argued for 20 years or less. Oliver’s mother and wife asked for a lenient prison sentence. His wife, Ingrid Llerena, testified that she’s concerned about their 3-year-old son, who is autistic, and the boy’s future without his father at home.
In April 2017, the police were responding to a call about a house party when they encountered Jordan, his brothers and his friends in their car, attempting to leave. The officers first claimed that the boys were “backing down the street toward officers in an aggressive manner,” before later retracting that statement and acknowledging that the teens had been driving away.
Police body cam video shows Oliver fired his assault rifle into the car carrying the five teenagers as they drove away from the officer, hitting Jordan in the head. One of the car’s passengers says the officer never even ordered the boys to stop driving before opening fire. Edwards, was shot in the head as he was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car, along with his two brothers and two friends.
Jordan’s father Odell, said that his son Vidal, continued driving away so that no one else would be shot. He stopped the car two blocks from the party and called his father while his two friends in the back seat called their parents. “All I could hear was screaming and crying and the boys saying that police had just shot and killed Jordan. Jordan Edwards was a freshman at Mesquite High School and a straight A student with a 4.0 GPA who played quarterback and receiver on the football team. He lived in an upper middle class neighborhood in Balch Springs with his parents, two older brothers and younger sister.
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson described Oliver as a “killer in blue” who violated his oath to protect citizens. Johnson said she wished Oliver’s sentence was much longer, but she respected the jury’s decision and realizes a guilty verdict for an officer is rare in police shootings. Charmaine Edwards said she would have preferred a sentence of 25 to 30 years for the killer of the stepson she raised. “That was my exact thought: They gave a year for his age,” Edwards, said outside a Dallas County courtroom after the sentence was handed down. “He can actually see life again after 15 years, and that’s not enough because Jordan can’t see life again.”
2 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Asia Argento Allegedly Paid Off Sexual Assault Accuser
A New York Times report revealed that Italian actress Asia Argento recently quietly paid former co-star Jimmy Bennett $380,000 after he accused her of sexually assaulting him in 2013, when Bennett was 17 and Argento was 37. The age of consent in the state of California is 18. Argento emerged as a leader in the #MeToo movement after she was one of the first of more than 100 women to accuse disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape and sexual harassment. The Times reports that she paid off Bennett months after she spoke out publicly against Weinstein and that it has seen the legal documents that lay out Bennett’s assault claims and the payments arranged between his lawyers and Argento’s.
Bennett’s lawyers sent a notice of intent to sue Argento to her lawyers in November, claiming that the sexual assault was so traumatic that it affected his mental health and stymied his acting career. In the documents, Bennett claims that he arrived at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey to meet Argento in her hotel room on May 10, 2013, with a family member. Argento asked to be alone with Bennett and the family member left. Bennett claims Argento gave him alcohol and also showed him notes she had made on hotel stationery. She then proceeded to kiss him and perform oral sex before having intercourse with him.
The documents say that Argento then asked to take a number of photos with him. Photos of Argento and Bennett semi-clothed in bed, as well as an Instagram post of their faces taken on that day, were included in the notice of intent to sue. Bennett’s lawyers claim that Argento presenting herself as a victim of sexual assault as well as taking a prominent role in the #MeToo movement triggered memories of his own assault, according to the legal documents.
Argento and Bennett worked together on the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, which Argento also wrote and directed. Bennett, a 7-year-old at the time, played Argento’s son in the movie. The two seemingly kept in touch on Twitter up until August 2012 and Instagram until May 2013, though Bennett’s Twitter account is no longer active. Argento and Bennett referred to each other on social media as mother and son, a reference to their The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things characters, and he claims she was a mentor in the legal documents.
Bennett, now 22, had roles in the Star Trek reboot, Poseidon, Evan Almighty and Firewall. His lawyers claim that the assault affected him emotionally and was detrimental to his career. Since the incident, Bennett only has a few film and TV credits to his name. Bennett’s attorney, Gordon K. Sattro, issued a statement on Monday, saying, “Jimmy is going to take the next 24 hours, or longer, to prepare his response. We ask that you respect our client’s privacy during this time.”
Argento has denied the assault allegation in a statement saying that Bennett tried to extort her and that her then-boyfriend, the late Anthony Bourdain, offered the payoff to make the situation disappear. “I am deeply shocked and hurt having read the news that is absolutely false,” she said, in part. “I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennet.”