Showing posts with label Crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crime. Show all posts

August 25, 2016

Man Caught Eating Another man’s Face Was an Above Standard Student

 Austin Harrouff
One will be amazed that in this environment in which unarmed people get shot to death by police, the latest victim was someone who could not hear nor speak to the cop who stopped him for going over the speed limit, he was shot to death for getting out of the car; The police in this case never shot him with a regular gun instead, tried getting him to stop feeding himself while he was attacking someone else. 
Activists are questioning why police were able to subdue Harrouff during his violent attack with non-lethal weapons while many black suspects have been shot in far less threatening situations. 

Update Aug. 17: Michelle Mischon Stevens, one of the victims killed in Harrouff's attack, was the daughter of longtime North Miami Beach Mayor Jeff Mischcon. Read more about both victims here. 

In 2013, Austin Harrouff was starring as a defensive tackle at Suncoast Community High, a Palm Beach County school ranked among Newsweek's ten best in America at least eight times in the past decade. He'd also been taking advanced-placement classes in the school's International Baccalaureate program.

So it's anyone's guess how he ended up in a Martin County garage yesterday, chewing off parts of a stranger's face after killing the man and his wife and stabbing their neighbor.

Late Monday, Martin County Sheriff's deputies say, Harrouff, a 19-year-old Florida State University student, was eating dinner with his parents at a local sports bar when he apparently got angry about something and stormed out. According to the Miami Herald, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told reporters today that Harrouff had been visiting his Tequesta hometown with some of his fraternity brothers from FSU.

But after Harrouff left, possibly angry at the restaurant's slow service, police found him in the midst of a horrifying scene.

In what Snyder called a "completely unprovoked and random attack," Harrouff approached a married couple — identified as Michelle Mishcon, 53, and her husband John Stevens III, 59 — who'd been sitting calmly in their garage with the door lifted open. Harrouff then allegedly stabbed the couple to death with what cops think was a switchblade. When a neighbor tried to intervene and called 911, Harrouff stabbed him too. 

When police arrived, they found Harrouff "grunting and growling" and "making animal noises" over one of the bodies — while also tearing chunks out of the man's face with his teeth.

Cops discharged their stun guns at Harrouff — multiple times — but were unable to pull him from the man. A police dog couldn't stop Harrouff either. Eventually, it took three cops to pull him away. The neighbor, who survived the attack, reportedly underwent surgery today.

But Harrouff's online presence shows that, as recently as 2013, the college student appeared to have everything going for him.

According to Harrouff's page on, Harrouff had been taking advanced-placement classes at the high school and gunning for a football scholarship before graduating in 2015. According to his recruiting profile, Harrouff was 6 feet tall, weighed 200 pounds, and could bench-press 365 pounds as a high-school student.

Harrouff also wrote a personal statement online:

I am enrolled in the IB program at Suncoast Community High School. According to Newsweek, Suncoast was #9 of 2013's America's best high schools.It is a rigorous academic program and I have maintained a 3.35 GPA. I am seeking to attend a pre-med program in college. I would love to play football in college while attaining this goal.
I joined the football team in my freshman year. I mainly played as a defensive tackler. This coming year, i will be playing on both the defensive and offensive line. I have learned to discipline myself on and off the field. I have conditioned my body in a short period of time to be one of the strongest on the team. I paused pressed 365 Ibs by my junior year. Off season, I joined the wrestling team in my sophomore year and I was the most improved player by my junior year. I will be the captain in my senior year. I placed third in the district. I also joined the weightlifting team this past year and made second in the district. I also have a more current hudl video at
I would be a great asset to your football team. I love the competitiveness of the game and I have the drive to improve. Thank you for considering me.

February 27, 2016

The Most Dangerous Places in the US (Interactive map)

Although the world seems like an increasingly dangerous place abroad, with the rise of ISIS and widespread collapse of regimes, violent crime in the U.S. has continued its decline. While the U.S. is getting safer overall, high rates of crime continue to torment sections of the country, impacting people’s life decisions regarding housing, schooling, and travel. FindTheHome looked at the 2014 FBI Uniform Crime Report (latest complete data), visualizing the data and identifying the counties with the highest violent crime rates. Violent crime is defined as offenses that involve force or threat of force. This list contains the top 30 counties in the U.S. with the highest crime rates per 100,000 people. The violent crime rate is the total number of crimes reported to law enforcement agencies within a county per 100,000 people. The data analysts used population estimates from the 2014 American Community Survey. Only counties with a population greater than 1,000 are considered. 

February 23, 2016

Who’s Driving You? Interactive Incident Graph

Jason Dalton, a 45-year old Michigan Uber driver, will appear in court via live video for his arraignment this afternoon. The suspect reportedly shot victims randomly over several hours at different locations and now faces multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Include the following visualizations to highlight “ridesharing” incidents in the U.S. by location and number of incidents by type. 

February 4, 2016

Mugger of Armless Teen in Staten Island-Gets Caught

Vincent Popalardo, 20

A Staten Island grand jury has indicted the creep accused of robbing an armless teen of his cellphone.

Vincent Popalardo, 20, was charged with robbery as a hate crime and assault as a hate crime in the Nov. 30 robbery of 18-year-old Carlos Simon outside a Stop & Shop on Forest Ave.

 Carlos Polardo,18

“This defendant targeted the victim because of his disability, which shows that these actions were in fact hate crimes under the state’s statute,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon.

“All crimes are unacceptable, but those committed against an individual because of his or her disability are particularly despicable.”

Popalardo was arrested Jan. 6 in Erie, Pa. He was arraigned Wednesday in Richmond County State Supreme Court. His bail was increased from $50,000 bond to $100,000.

Two juveniles were also charged in the robbery. That case is being handled in family court.

Simon told the Daily News in December he was meeting a friend outside a nearby Dunkin' Donuts and had just placed his phone — which he holds with his shoulders and dials with his nose — on a hip-level window ledge when he was held up.

"Three kids came up to me asking me for money," he said. "I told them no, and they got offended, and one of them threatened to go into my pockets."

That's when a fourth suspect ran up, snatched the phone off the ledge, and fled. Simon chased the creep, realizing too late that he had run onto an isolated side street.

"There was no cameras or nothing there, so I was like, 'Oh, I know what's going to happen right now.' "

The three teens who originally confronted him surrounded him, pushed him around, and tried to get into his pockets, and he yelled and struggled until a passerby took notice. He then ran back to the shopping center.

"I guess they just saw me as an easy target," he said.

As for his disability, he said, "I don't like to look at myself as a disabled person. I just like to look at myself like a normal guy, as normal as I possibly can be.”

NYDaily News

May 13, 2015

Mandingo with HIV, Denial and Prosecution

 Everyone was dying to have sex with Johnson(mandingo).
Black or white who doesn’t like sex with a youth with a sculptured man’s body
“I am more into white guys, but I like black guys,” the student told BuzzFeed. He connected with Tiger because he was “gorgeous, he had great legs, and he was well-endowed.”
The student at Lindenwood University in the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles quickly recognized that in real life, Tiger Mandingo was also a student at his school: Michael Johnson, a recent transfer student on Lindenwood’s wrestling team. They hooked up later that month in Johnson’s dorm room, where, the student said, Johnson told him he was “clean.” He gave Johnson a blow job.
Johnson invited him to go out sometime, but the student got busy and “didn’t have time for that.” They didn’t hook up again until early October.

This time, they had anal sex without a condom. “I let him come in me,” the student said. He wanted bareback sex, he said, because Johnson was “huge,” “only my third black guy,” and — as he said Johnson told him yet again — “clean.”
The student said he has barebacked with multiple “friends and ex-boyfriends,” situations in which “we trusted each other. I mean, I don’t just let anybody do it.” Yet he also said he had bareback sex “with people I barely knew.” In those cases, he said, “I knew they were clean,” sometimes just “by looking at them.”

The student’s nonchalance changed when he described a call he got from Johnson a few days after their second hookup: “He calls me and he said, ‘I found out I have a disease.’ And I asked, ‘Is there a cure?’ and he said, ‘I don’t know.’ And I was like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ I got pissed. I had asked him several times, and he’d said he was clean, and I trusted him! And I got mad at him, and then he got mad at me for getting mad, and then he said, ‘I gotta go.’”

That same day, Oct. 10, Johnson was pulled out of his class and led away in handcuffs by the St. Charles police. He was later charged with one count of “recklessly infecting another with HIV” and four counts of “attempting to recklessly infect another with HIV,” felonies in the state of Missouri.
Johnson has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, public defender Heather Donovan, allowed BuzzFeed to interview Johnson in jail with her present, under the condition that he not answer questions about his case. Asked later to respond to a detailed list of points raised in this article, including whether Johnson always disclosed his HIV status or ever had intercourse without a condom after learning he had HIV, Donovan wrote that “neither Michael and I feel comfortable answering [BuzzFeed’s questions] at this time since his case is still pending.”

News of Johnson’s arrest, coupled with reports of more than 30 videotaped sexual encounters on Johnson’s laptop, rocked St. Charles and lit up local broadcasts and international headlines. It’s been erroneously reported that Johnson has also been charged for making the tapes, but he hasn’t. The videos, like the sex acts themselves, might have been consensual. Julie Vomund, spokeswoman for St. Charles Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar, wrote to BuzzFeed that the “St. Charles County Cyber Crime Unit is still working to fully review the videos to identify the people involved and at this time we have not determined if those on the video gave their consent to be filmed… there is still the possibility in the future to amend charges with additional counts.”

Lindenwood University urged anyone who’d had “intimate contact” with Johnson to get tested for HIV, and many did. The student Johnson had sex with went to St. Louis Effort for AIDS for an HIV test, which came back negative, as did subsequent tests. He didn’t press charges himself. Still, he said, “he infected someone with HIV. Without medication, that person could get AIDS, so he’s slowly killing someone. It’s a form of murder, in a sense. I hate to say it, since he’s a nice guy.”
With few exceptions, judgments around the internet concurred: Johnson was a predatory “monster” who was intentionally “spreading HIV/AIDS.” A typical comment on Instagram proclaimed him the “Worst type of homosexual: a strong one with HIV.” Overtly racist blogs, like, labeled him an “HIV Positive Buck.”

The only question more important than how Johnson became both a media flashpoint and morality tale is why. The nasty racial tone the story took is not surprising, given Johnson’s charged nickname, his white sex partners, and research in Tennessee that shows the law punishes black men more often (and more severely) for HIV-related sex crimes than it does white men.
Clearly, failing to tell one’s sexual partners that one has HIV is irresponsible and unethical. But even if that’s what Johnson did, he is hardly the only one keeping such information to himself. A 2004 article published in the medical journal Topics in HIV Medicine reviewed 15 studies on disclosure conducted over a dozen years in the United States. It found a wild variation in how often HIV-positive people disclose their status to partners, ranging from as much as 89% of the time to as little as 42%. A 2012 study published by AIDS Care found that 69% of HIV-positive gay men disclose their status to their sexual partners.

Then, too, many people with HIV simply don’t know they have the virus. In 2011, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among young gay and bisexual men aged 18 to 24 who were infected with HIV, less than half knew that they had it. Johnson’s partners also carry responsibility, because relying on someone to say they are “clean” is a foolhardy strategy to avoid contracting the virus.

This is a message that a college — a place full of young and sexually experimenting students — needs to drive home, repeatedly. Yet, while Lindenwood University facilitated HIV testing, it conducted little education on how to avoid getting the AIDS virus in the first place.
Indeed, the community around Johnson — his sexual partners, many of his fellow students, and his university — turned a blind eye to HIV until it had the perfect scapegoat: a gay, hypersexual, black wrestler with learning disabilities who went by the nickname Tiger Mandingo.
But up until his status became known in a very dramatic way, Johnson’s body had been quite popular, for a myriad of uses, in that very community. As Carolyn Guild, the prevention director of St. Louis Effort for AIDS, put it, “Everyone wanted a piece of him, until he had HIV.”

In a small visitation room at the St. Charles County Department of Corrections, Johnson walked in wearing an orange jumpsuit but no handcuffs. He had a broad smile and an easy, gregarious manner. In person, he didn’t seem like the predator portrayed in the news.
But after seeing his own mugshot in the media, even Johnson admitted, “If I didn’t know that person, I knew I would be very shocked and scared.”
His mother, Tracy Johnson, told BuzzFeed, “This is not what his childhood friends, his brothers — the people who had a hand in raising him — wanted for him.”
Johnson was born in 1991 in Indianapolis. He is the youngest of his single mother’s five sons. He didn’t know his father. Both Johnson and his mother said that he has dyslexia and was enrolled in special education.

Johnson knew from a young age that his best shot for success was via his athletic body. While he flirted with other sports, he liked wrestling partially, he said, because unlike “a team sport, you can’t point the finger at another person … you can only point the finger at yourself.”
Sports was also an arena where his learning disabilities wouldn’t matter. By high school, Johnson dreamed of parlaying his successful wrestling career not just into a ticket to college, but to the Olympics and professional wrestling.

“I always identified as gay,” Johnson said, but “my mom wasn’t ready,” and she urged him to stay in the closet. (Johnson’s mother stressed to BuzzFeed that she was “afraid for him” if he were to tell people he was gay when he was “too young.”) Johnson added that his Christian “faith made me want to fight to be straight.”
And Johnson said he “wasn’t sure whether I would be accepted in the wrestling community” if he came out, given all the grinding and pinning of sweaty teen boys eager to prove their masculinity.
That’s because prosecutors have in their possession what they consider a smoking gun: On Jan. 7, 2013, Johnson signed a form like this one from the state of Missouri, acknowledging that he had been diagnosed with HIV. From this date forward, any time he had sex with someone without disclosing his HIV status, he would have been committing a felony.

But his mother, Tracy Johnson, said, “No one told him, ‘Before you sign this legal document, you need to get counsel. This is a legal document, and if you go against this legal document, you can be incarcerated,’ and be given years in the penitentiary if he is dishonest about his medical situation.”
Johnson’s defense could well come down to a case of “he said, he said,” as his mother put it, with “Tiger Mandingo” on trial against a bunch of white college students as to whether he said he was positive before they had sex. Johnson’s attorney wouldn’t comment on this, but his mother said he told her, “‘Mama, I told people I was HIV [positive] … and they wanted me anyway, because of who I am.’ So in a way he feels kind of used.”

It’s not a promising position for a semi-literate, poor defendant represented by a public defender. Johnson’s defense will be all the harder because, while the state has a signed statement from him, he doesn’t have signed statements from any of his sex partners saying they knew he was HIV positive.
This may sound preposterous, but it’s not unheard of in the era of laws that criminalize failing to inform sex partners that one has HIV. Aaron Laxton, a social worker and HIV activist in St. Louis who has the virus himself, said he knows positive people who do make such records. Some will ask their partners to sign a disclosure form like this one before they have sex; others, Laxton said, “will whip out their phone and record video of their partner” giving consent.
Laxton said he personally doesn’t need to take such steps. For one, “my status is well-known,” given that he’s totally open and has made a couple hundred YouTube videos about it. But Laxton bluntly admits that he has has a safeguard Johnson doesn’t.
“I’m white.”

A few words from the Publisher:   When a guy is diagnosed the first thing that happens to him is denial. Acceptance should follow but how long it takes no body knows, is different on every person. On Michael Johnson it didn’t come right away. He asked the guy that gave it to him which is like asking the wind, if he was ok.  Now being diagnosed himself others would asked Michael and he would give them the same answer that was given to him; At least this is what  some of his sex partners say. The silliest thing is asking another guy if he is ok after you drop your pants. It happened to me and the answer was no. I trusted a condom and the word of this ex partner and if you were to ask all those thousand upon thousands that have contracted HIV they would say the same thing. I asked. Who did you asked? A guy that is in shock and in denial about such a private thing? Guys that are hot and are pursued it becomes an extra challenged. Even now that we have so much information and we have chemical ways to stay safe not just rubbers, still guys are asking and they will always get the same answer. To be rejected by a sex partner particularly if we know we are not going to transmit anything because of the information we poses: Prep, Undetectable viral load with adherence to anti retro viral drugs, which we know will keep our partner safe still when the moment comes to tell, is so hard! We expect the answer to be me too or is ok but we know that besides those two answers lays a rejection which can come with  a “take care man” to we have to get together sometime.

I am not about to absorb the HIV person from the responsibility to tell, but how stupid can the other person be? But the danger does not really come from guys that have been tested and have come to know they are HIV.  The danger comes from guys that don’t get tested or get tested once and think that is it for life.  Many guys don’t get tested at all because they know what happens to them in a way of responsibility if they are found positive. Meanwhile while not being tested they can always say and they do,  “I don’t have it.” So a don’t know I have not been tested becomes  a “I don’t have it.” Those are the truths but the worse truth is when the criminal system intervenes because that makes the person who has not been tested someone who will not get tested. Why get tested and have the responsibility to tell or “I will go to jail for the rest of my life. “ To the HIV’r be warn and play it safe and to the one that thinks he is negative asking wont help. Getting informed of how safely you can have sex with anybody is smart and will keep you safe. There are many couples sexually active and one of the partners is HIV. It’s no mystery and is not something that will take anything from your sex lives.

A Felony for HIV Non-disclosure 10-30yrs

 Michael Johnson
Photo credit: The Counter Narrative Project

A former college student and wrestler who was arrested in 2013 for not disclosing his HIV status to his sexual partners will go to trial on Monday, May 11. 

Michael Johnson, 23, is charged with one count of attempting to “recklessly infect another with HIV” and four counts of attempting to “recklessly risk infection of another with HIV,” all felonies in the state of Missouri. Johnson was a student and star wrestler at Lindenwood University when he was arrested in October 2013. He is currently in the St. Charles County Jail and faces life in prison.
Johnson is being represented by St. Charles County public defender Heather Donovan, who declined to comment on the case.
Advocates for those living with HIV are calling into question the Missouri law that Johnson is being charged under – referring to it as an “HIV criminalization law.”
“This is a public health issue – not a criminal issue,” said Andrea Sears, communications consultant for the Center for HIV Law & Policy in New York. “Any sexually-active person living with HIV living in Missouri could be in Johnson’s position – in jail, his life completely derailed if not destroyed.”
Under Missouri law, if individuals with HIV are accused of not disclosing their status to their sexual partners, their only defense is to be able to prove disclosure. Verbal consent is often how people “negotiate sex,” but verbal disclosure is hard to prove, said Erise Williams, president and CEO of Williams and Associates, Inc., a nonprofit community-based organization in St. Louis that addresses minority health disparities and offers HIV screenings and resources.
It is not typical practice anywhere for sexual partners to sign documents or get audio or video recording of disclosure before having sex, he said.
“The burden of proof is on the person with HIV,” Williams said. “We shouldn’t be criminalizing anyone because they have a disease.”
Williams also said the law makes it more difficult for his organization to do their work because criminalizing HIV discourages people from getting tested. As long as individuals don’t know they have HIV, they can’t be prosecuted. But once they get tested, they could end up in jail for having sex – even if they are having protected sex and receiving clinical treatment, which greatly lowers the risk of transmission, he said.
Williams said the law – and stigma that it reinforces in the African-American community – especially hinders their program called Blacks Assisting Blacks Against AIDS.
“It encourages the epidemic,” he said. “HIV criminalization laws ignore the research around how people get infected. They are at odds with public health strategy to address HIV. With the treatment we have now, they can live for a long time. Treatment is prevention. That helps decrease infection rates in communities.”
According to police reports, Johnson tested positive for HIV on January 7, 2013. The initial alleged incident that precipitated his arrest occurred on January 26, 2013 in Johnson’s dorm room.
The incident was reported to police on May 29, 2013. Police first interviewed Johnson on October 7, 2013, and he was arrested three days later.
Johnson was charged with two Class A felonies and four Class B felonies, based on statements by six witnesses, two of whom have tested positive for HIV. At least three of the six complaining witnesses are white and two are African-American. So far Johnson has refused to accept any plea bargain. Bail was set at $100,000 cash.
Under Missouri law, a Class A felony alone is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years or life in prison.
Akil Patterson, a wrestling fan who befriended Johnson, said Johnson is a good person, man of faith and hard worker. He has exchanged letters with Johnson from jail and said it’s clear from their correspondences that Johnson has a learning disability.
This could be critical, because on January 7, 2013, Johnson signed the standard Missouri form that explains to individuals who have tested positive that it is a felony not to disclose their HIV status. 
“If you look in the document, it’s written in legal format,” Patterson said. “I have two degrees, and I don’t understand it.”
Patterson said there are many other sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis, that do not have specific laws surrounding them. He believes lawmakers singled out HIV because it’s associated with homosexuality and people of color. And he fears that Johnson will not get a fair trial in majority-white St. Charles County.
He urged the court to look at the root of the issue.
“Two consulting adults had sex, and that happened,” he said. “If you have unprotected sex, there are consequences.”
By Rebecca Rivas

March 20, 2015

Mom Turns in Son who Groped a Midtown Jogger in NYC

Yesterday, police released a photo of a man wanted for groping a female jogger in Midtown last November. It seems the strategy was effective, because the man was arrested by the end of the day. And he was turned in by his mom!
Police say that 31-year-old Carlous Hamilton groped the 29-year-old runner's buttocks about noon on Sunday, November 23, 2014 at the corner of 5th Avenue and West 37th Street. When she turned around, he squeezed her breast; she tried to fight him off, and he punched her in the face and body, causing a laceration to her left hand.
The suspect fled southbound on Fifth Avenue, but a witness was able to take a photograph of him. According to the News, Hamilton's mother called 911 on Wednesday when she realized her son was the alleged groper. He has been charged with sex abuse and assault.

March 17, 2015

HIV Young Man Convicted for omitting Status to sex Partner

 Thomas Miguel Guerra

San Diego man pleaded no contest Monday to a charge of violating a California health code by failing to tell a sex partner he was HIV positive.
Thomas Miguel Guerra, 30, could face six months in jail and $1,000 fine when sentenced April 13.

Guerra was charged with violating a health code that says "any person afflicted with any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease who willfully exposes himself or herself to another person" is guilty of a misdemeanor.
HIV-infection defendant is ordered to stay off dating websites
City Atty. Jan Goldsmith, whose office brought the charge, said it was the only time the city attorney's office had brought this kind of prosecution in the two decades since the state Legislature adopted the statute.

"The law is designed to protect the public and, in this case, enforce the right of one's partner to know the truth," Goldsmith said.

The plea agreement did not include any recommendation by the city attorney that there be no jail for Guerra.

Guerra entered the plea as trial was set to begin in San Diego County Superior Court.

According to court documents, Guerra told a man that he was HIV negative when the two had unprotected sex during a romance that lasted several months in 2013. Later, the partner found that Guerra was HIV positive and filed a complaint with police.

Twitter: @LATsandiego

December 9, 2014

Shrien Dewani: Revelations of gay sex and liaisons with male hookers helped his case {of Killing Wife}

Shrien Dewani: How revelations of a gay double life and liaisons with male prostitutes helped his case

Shrien Dewani is cleared of arranging the murder of his new bride, Anni, after the judge torpedoes the prosecution case and rules evidence of his gay double life is not admissible   

 Leopold Leisser,right, shopping in Cape Town after giving evidence in the Shrien Dewani trial, right Photo: MIKE BEHR/NOBLE/DRAPER   

The revelation that Shrien Dewani was a secret bisexual, who cavorted with male prostitutes, was intended to be the prosecution’s trump card. 
But when the defence team beat them to the sucker punch, by introducing the evidence as part of Mr Dewani’s own witness statement, it completely undermined the state's case.

 But when the defence team beat them to the sucker punch, by introducing the evidence as part of Mr Dewani’s own witness statement, it completely undermined the state's case.  Prosecutors in South Africa believed revealing details of his double life would demonstrate the all-important motive for why a husband would want to kill his wife on their honeymoon.  But after considering Mr Dewani’s candid admissions about his private life as part of his plea explanation, the judge ruled that much of the evidence was inadmissible or irrelevant.  In a document submitted to the court, Mr Dewani described himself as a “bisexual” and admitted he had slept with male prostitutes.  One of the key witnesses the prosecution had lined up, was a male escort called Leopold Leisser, who went by the name, The German Master.  Charging up to £5,000 for sex sessions, he was due to expose the true extent of the deceit surrounding Mr Dewani’s double life.  Mr Leisser had alleged that Mr Dewani paid £400 a time for liaisons after they met on the homosexual website, Gaydar. 
He was expected to tell the court that the businessman enjoyed racial humiliation and fetish sex sessions, but the judge ruled the evidence was not admissible. 
A quirk in the South African judicial process, had allowed Mr Dewani to address the issue of his “double life”, in a statement to the court before the prosecution were able to lay a glove on him. 
In his statement Mr Dewani explained: “I have had sexual interaction with both males and females. I consider myself to be bisexual. My sexual interactions with males were mostly physical experiences or email chats with people I met online or in clubs, including prostitutes such as Leopold Leisser. 
“My sexual interactions with females were usually during the course of relationships.” 
The prosecution also wanted to introduce emails found on Mr Dewani’s laptop which described how he was in turmoil about whether to come out about his sexuality. 
But Judge Jeanette Traverso ruled that the emails, which had been written in 2009, did not have anything to do with the murder which took place the following year. 
When the state’s star witness, cab driver Zola Tongo, was dismissed by the judge as being “inconsistent” and "making no sense", the collapse of the case was inevitable.

August 6, 2014

Feds tell states they most change HIV criminal laws


Nick Rhoades, a gay man convicted of "criminal transmission of HIV' in Iowa and sentenced to 25 years in prison, despite the virus not being transmitted; talks to activists at the national HIV is not a crime conference held in Grinnell Iowa in June. BTL photo: Todd A. Heywood

The U.S. Department of Justice issued new guidance July 16, calling on states to consider modernizing their HIV-specific criminal laws.
"The guide will assist states to ensure that their policies reflect contemporary understanding of HIV transmission routes and associated benefits of treatment and do not place unnecessary burdens on individuals living with HIV/AIDS," a press release from the DOJ says.
Currently 33 U.S. states and territories criminalize certain behavior for those living with HIV. Most of the laws were adopted in the late '80s and early '90s at the height of the HIV epidemic. Michigan's law was adopted by the state legislature in 1988, and went into effect in 1989.
"While initially well intentioned, these laws often run counter to current scientific evidence about routes of HIV transmission, and may run counter to our best public health practices for prevention and treatment of HIV," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. "The department is committed to using all of the tools available to address the stigma that acts as a barrier to effectively addressing this epidemic."
The laws have come under increasing criticism over the years as evidence has emerged showing the prosecution of people living with HIV may be causing a minority of people at high risk of infection to avoid being tested or discuss their risk behavior with medical professionals. The laws have also been criticized for criminalizing behavior that does not transmit HIV - such as spitting or biting - or prosecutions wherein the behavior did not pose a significant risk of transmission. In very few cases prosecuted in the U.S., has intent to transmit the virus been a factor in the prosecution.
That, the new DOJ guide says, should change.
"The majority of these laws were enacted at a time when far less was known about risk, likelihood, and mode of transmission of the virus and at a time when the quality of life and lifespan of an individual with the virus was vastly different than it is currently," the guide says. "As a result, certain of these laws do not accurately reflect the current science of transmission, do not account for risk reduction behaviors and medical protocols that greatly reduce transmission risk, and do not reflect that, with testing and treatment, HIV may be a manageable medical condition."
The guide goes on to provide recommendations.

"First, states may wish to retain criminal liability when a person who knows he/she is HIV positive commits a (non-HIV specific) sex crime where there is a risk of transmission (e.g., rape or other sexual assault). The second circumstance is where the individual knows he/she is HIV positive and the evidence clearly demonstrates that individual's intent was to transmit the virus and that the behavior engaged in had a significant risk of transmission, whether or not transmission actually occurred.
"For states that choose to retain HIV-specific criminal laws or penalty enhancements beyond these two limited circumstances, the best practice would be to reform and modernize them so that they accurately reflect the current science of risk and modes of transmission, the quality of life and life span of individuals who are living with HIV, account for circumstances where the failure to disclose is directly related to intimate partner violence, and ensure they are the desired vehicle to achieve the states' intended purpose in enacting them initially or retaining them in modernized form."
Michigan Reacts
Michigan advocates hailed the guidance.
"The DOJ's recommendations are an important step towards reforming these outdated and problematic laws. As I found in Michigan, many of the criminal cases brought under such laws involve sexual behavior that is not actually blameworthy," says Trevor Hoppe, who graduated this spring with a PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan. His dissertation evaluated criminal prosecutions under Michigan's law in the past two decades. " In Michigan, I could not find a case in which it was clear that the defendant maliciously intended to infect their partners. While defenders of HIV-specific criminal statutes often invoke stories of malicious offenders who wreak havoc by attempting to infect as many innocent, unwitting partners as possible, this narrative does not accurately reflect the cases brought under these laws. The HIV-positive monster in many people's minds is a product of stigma and has no basis in reality."
Hoppe was not alone.
""The U.S. Department of Justice issuing these guidelines makes clear that modernization of criminal HIV laws to reflect the most up to date science and best practices on HIV prevention and treatment is both common sense and mainstream," says Bryan Victor, victim advocate at Equality Michigan.
"Equality Michigan applauds the Justice Department for bringing to light the urgency to update these laws given that the HIV epidemic remains as real a crisis as ever. The verdict is in, and not only are these existing criminal HIV laws an undue burden on people living with HIV, they are counterproductive to the important goal of ending the HIV epidemic."
Michigan Department of Community Health began evaluating Michigan's law in 2012. The process was suspended at the end of November, despite internal drafts of a report showing the state was prepared to advise lawmakers on removing the current law.
Angela Minicuci, spokesperson for MDCH says the state is evaluating the new DOJ guide. “We are exploring the issue to see if it will be picked back up."
By Todd A. Heywood

More on this: 

December 28, 2013

Ohio U.Student Posing as Female on Net to Get Pics and Extort

Student Facing Extortion Charges After Allegedly Using Naked Pictures of Male Student to Blackmail Him Into Gay Sex
Next time some of you is asked by a dude shortly after talking to him, for nude pics, and you go for it,
Know you have been not only warned by this site but also made fun of!

As an Ohio University student is facing charges of sexual battery and extortion for allegedly persuading another male student to send him sexually compromising images of himself by pretending to be a woman in text messages. He then allegedly used the images to blackmail the student into having sex with him by threatening to post them on social media.

Dorian J. Graham, 19, an OU student from Bedford Heights, Ohio, who was living in a residence hall, was indicted Nov. 25 on one count each of sexual battery, attempted sexual battery, extortion and attempted extortion. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in Athens County Common Pleas Court Dec. 4.

According to a bill of particulars, on Sept. 20 Graham texted another student "under a female pseudonym and started a 'texting relationship' with (him)." Graham then allegedly persuaded this student to send a nude photo and/or video of himself to Graham, who was still pretending to be female. Based on the account in the bill of particulars, the imagery the student sent may have been of him engaging in some type of sexual activity.

On Sept. 23 shortly before 5 a.m. Coordinated Universal Time (which would be around midnight in Ohio), Graham allegedly contacted the second student and told him to look at a certain website; when the student did so, he saw the visual material he had sent to Graham, the bill of particulars says. The alleged victim then “begged" Graham to take the material down from the website, telling him that it could "really f--- my whole life up… Can you please take it down."

 Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said Monday that the victim in the case then agreed against his will to engage in sexual activity with Graham on Sept. 23, to avoid having the pictures disseminated online.
"(Graham threatened), 'I'm going to tell everybody about this; I'm going to let everyone see this,'" the prosecutor said. Blackburn said the victim apparently mistakenly believed Graham's false claim that a woman was blackmailing both him and the victim into engaging in the sexual activity and recording it for her viewing enjoyment.
The bill of particulars reflects this claim as well, alleging that Graham “was pretending that he also was being extorted into this sexual activity."

Graham allegedly told the other student that he, Graham, had removed the original imagery from the website, but when the student checked, it was still up. Graham removed the images later, and informed the student of this, the bill of particulars says.
The attempted battery and attempted extortion charges stem from a later date, after the sexual contact took place Sept. 23, the bill of particulars says.

According to the document, however, Graham's second attempt at extortion "started before the first was even completed." In the early morning hours of Sept. 23, it says, shortly before the website images were taken down, Graham allegedly texted the student and told him – apparently in reference to an earlier set of images – "You can do it again the right way during the day so it's not so dark and sketchy and stuff. And if you do it the way we ask, then we will both delete what we have.”

Graham then allegedly tried to use the images he had to further blackmail his victim – according to Blackburn, to coerce him into having sex with him again. Graham started this extortion effort “in earnest" in early October, the bill of particulars alleges, texting the student Oct. 2 with the message, "So what if I blackmail you."

Further exchanges allegedly followed, culminating in a message from Graham stating simply, “Instagram and Facebook," and another about 20 minutes later asking, "So do I have to post it?"

The second student allegedly texted Graham around 15 minutes after that, stating that he wasn't interested in sex with another man: "It's not me. I'm clearly not your type; can we just leave it at that?" He also allegedly warned Graham that if he posted the images as threatened, the victim would contact law enforcement.

Graham then allegedly texted back saying, "Well I'd call now if I were you. Instagram is up and Facebook is going up in a minute," and followed up about 38 minutes later saying, "OK so I'm leaving both up." At this point, the document suggests, the victim went to the OU police.

Graham has been released on his own recognizance with a $10,000 bond guaranteed by a bail bondsman.
He has a trial tentatively scheduled for Feb. 25.

October 15, 2013

California Politician’s BoyFriend Under Cemetery Fraud Investigation

The judgement of an influential California politician is being called into question after it has been revealed he took a boyfriend under a fraud investigation on trips to meet foreign dignitaries and even accepted a donation from him.
John Perez, 44, speaker of the California Assembly, dated Hollywood funeral director Tyler Cassity between 2011 and 2012. During that time he was aware of a $600million fraud investigation into Mr Cassity’s family’s companies, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.
Mr Cassity accompanied his high-profile boyfriend on trips to meet British royalty, the Israeli president and other officials. The speaker also accepted a $1,000 donation from Mr Cassity, despite knowing it might have come from ill-gotten funds.
Questionable ethics: John Perez, Speaker of the California State Assembly, was in a relationship with a man accused of taking part in a massive fraud scheme 
Questionable ethics: John Perez, Speaker of the California State Assembly, was in a relationship with a man accused of taking part in a massive fraud scheme

The politician even convinced state bigwigs to donate to Cassity-favored AIDS/LifeCycle, the paper noted. All this, despite a lawsuit filed in 2009 claiming the Cassity family pillaged trust funds and insurance policies of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The scam may be the largest in U.S. funeral industry history, an industry analyst told the paper.
Filed in St Louis, Missouri, the suit accuses National Prearranged Services Inc collapsed as a result of the family’s pilfering, as detailed by the paper.
In 2010, both Mr Cassity’s father and brother pleaded guilty to felony charges related to the scam, but he was not charged despite the lawsuit insisting he was guilty of racketeering and fraud.
Hollywood Forever and Fernwood cemetery, both run by Mr Cassity, 43, are accused in the lawsuit of being run with stolen money. 
Accused fraudster: Tyler Cassity is accused of being part of a $600million fraud scheme
Accused fraudster: Tyler Cassity is accused of being part of a $600million fraud scheme
Despite becoming aware of the lawsuit and fraud investigation after beginning their relationship, Mr Lopez did not ask for details, a spokesperson told the paper, adding that the Speaker decided to let it play out in courts.
 In light of these revelations, Kirk Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, told the Union Times that Mr Pérez displayed ‘colossal bad judgment’ for continuing the relationship.
The suit also alleges over $1million was embezzled to pay off Mr Cassity’s personal credit card bills.
Mr Cassity has fought the lawsuit, but has not responded to any interview requests from the paper. His lawyer also declined to comment.
The ethics expert cited the $1,000 political donation accepted from Mr Cassity by Mr Lopez, and the alleged fraudster’s inclusion among dignitaries, as further proof of his questionable judgement displayed by the politician.
Hattie McDaniel's Grave
Mel Blanc's tombstone
Legendary: 'Gone with the Wind's Hattie McDaniel and Looney Tunes voice legend Mel Blanc are among the Hollywood icons buried at Hollywood Forever
The duo were seen at events including Prince William and wife Kate Middleton and a trip to Israel where they met Israeli President Shimon Peres and other officials, according to the Union Tribune.
Mr Lopez isn’t the only politician to have received donations from the accused thief. Through a SuperPAC he set up, Mr Cassity has donated about $38,000 to Democratic candidates and causes, records cited by the paper show.
Additionally, of the $53,000 in donations raised by Mr Cassity, for AIDS/LifeCycle, more than $33,000 came from lawmakers, lobbyists and Sacramento political contributors with ties to the speaker,’ the paper reported.
Donors included ‘lobbyists, including two former Assembly speakers, Fabian Núñez and Robert Hertzberg,’ according to the paper. 
Another ‘seven have worked for either Pérez’s legislative office or his political operation,’ the paper further revealed.
Mr Lopez has declined comment to the Union Tribune, and could not be reached by MailOnline.
Through a spokesperson, he told the Union TImes he has not seen Mr Cassity for about 18 months.
Daily Mail

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