Showing posts with label Sex Crimes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sex Crimes. Show all posts

September 4, 2018

Chinese Billionaire Arrested In Minneapolis of Sexual Misconduct. Liu Qiangdong of JD.com




This 2018 photo provided by the Hennepin County Sheriffs Office shows Chinese billionaire Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, who was arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of criminal sex
This 2018 photo provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office shows Chinese billionaire Liu Qiangdong,
 also known as Richard Liu,
           

Chinese billionaire Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, was arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct, jail records show.

Liu, 45, was arrested late Friday night and released Saturday afternoon pending possible criminal charges, Hennepin County Jail records show. The jail records don't provide details of the alleged incident.

Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said Sunday that he couldn't provide any details because the investigation is considered active. He declined to say where in Minneapolis Liu was arrested or what Liu was accused of doing.

Minnesota law defines five degrees of criminal sexual misconduct, ranging from a gross misdemeanor to felonies, covering a broad array of conduct ranging from nonconsensual touching to violent assaults with injuries. The jail records for Liu don't indicate a degree.

JD.com, the main rival to Alibaba Group, said in a statement posted Sunday on the Chinese social media site Weibo that Liu was falsely accused while in the U.S. on a business trip, but that police investigators found no misconduct and that he would continue his journey as planned.

"We will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumors," the company said.

Liu recently tried to distance himself from a sexual assault allegations against a guest at a 2015 party at Liu's penthouse in Australia. Liu was not charged or accused of wrongdoing, but Australian media reported he tried unsuccessfully to get a court to prevent the release of his name in that case. The guest was convicted.

In June, Google said it would invest $550 million in JD.com. The investment reflected an effort by the U.S. tech company to expand its reach into Asian e-commerce.

JD.com is China's second-largest e-commerce company after Alibaba. Among its other investors is Chinese internet gaming and social media giant Tencent Holdings, the developer of the WeChat messenger app and a major rival of Alibaba, and U.S. retailer Walmart Inc.

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Associated Press reporters Gillian Wong in Beijing and Josh Boak in Baltimore contributed to this story

December 8, 2017

Police Release Video of GOP Oklahoma Senator Caught With Teen Boy in Motel

A The police department in Oklahoma released body camera footage Monday of former State Senator Ralph Shortey caught in a hotel room with an underage boy, days after he pleaded guilty to child prostitution and pornography charges.

The Moore Police Department released the footage of the encounter that occurred early on March 9 at a Super 8 Motel in Moore, Okla., FOX59 reported.
The footage showed police knocking on the door of a room occupied by Shortey — a Republican — and the underage male. Police said they went to the room after receiving a welfare check call placed by the teen boy’s father.
“So, what are they saying?” one of the officers asked the other.
“Well, drug-related, maybe,” an officer replied. “Maybe was coming here to buy some weed. Either here for narcotics, or prostitution for narcotics.”
“Like the kid’s prostituting himself out?” the other officer asked.
The officers said they smelled marijuana and later discovered a small amount of it in the room along with condoms and lotion found in a backpack that belonged to Shortey, FOX25 News reported.
“Hey, it’s Moore Police Department, man. We just need to check on your welfare, make sure you’re OK. We’re not going away,” the officers were heard saying.
Later the officers were heard talking to someone inside and telling the person to hurry up and get dressed.
The video cuts when the teenager appeared and then picks back up to the officers speaking to Shortey, who was hiding behind the door.
“Come out,” an officer ordered Shortey. “Now, you’re getting me worried, show me your hands.”
Shortey appeared and was wearing a shirt with a reference to the Bible verse from Ephesians 5:22, which called for women to “submit to their husbands,” FOX25 News reported.
The officers told Shortey he was with a 17-year-old male but the former state senator replied, “Can you show me that he’s only 17?”
“I can’t,” an officer replied. “But I can convince you that he is. I can put you in handcuffs and throw you in the back of the car.”
The officers asked what Shortey was doing in the room with the teenager and he said they were having a conversation.
The former state senator was eventually arrested. Police accused Shortey of hiring the 17-year-old for sex.
A police report indicated a search of the teen’s tablet computer uncovered a series of sexually explicit exchanges in which Shortey referred to him as “baby boy” and offered him cash in exchange for “sexual stuff.”
The FBI became involved in the case following Shortey’s arrest and searched his Oklahoma City home.
The married father of four resigned in March after he was arrested on state charges of engaging in child prostitution and transporting a minor for prostitution.
Last Thursday, Shortey pleaded guilty to the charges in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping three child pornography charges against him. He faces between 10 years and life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for child sex trafficking. The judge did not set a sentencing date.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


July 6, 2017

Sex Abuse Cover Up "Take it Like a Man"


Just a note to dispel a few myths: Men that violate other men see themselves straight and are usually Homophobic (unreasonable fear of being gay). The main factor in any kind of rape is not sex but power. These men get off on power and dominance of another man. Usually, they would have no problem with doing the same to a woman. Adam


Tony as a cadet
Image captionTony's parents were pressured not to approach the police by Sea Cadet officers

BBC Panorama has uncovered evidence of repeated cover-ups of historical sex abuse in Britain's cadet forces.
Victims have spoken for the first time of senior cadet leaders covering up complaints, and pressurising families against going to the police. 
Overseen by the Ministry of Defence, the cadets is one of the UK's largest youth bodies with 130,000 members.
The MoD has paid more than £2m to cadet abuse victims, and says it has "robust procedures in place to protect cadets".
According to Freedom of Information requests, in the last five years 363 sexual abuse allegations - both historical and current - have been made across the UK for the Army, Air and Sea Cadets. 
  • Cadet abuse 'hidden in full sight'
Some 282 cases have been referred to the police and 99 volunteers have been dismissed. 
Panorama's seven-month investigation focused chiefly on uncovering a pattern of historical abuse - conducted by a number of different cadet leaders - in Glasgow, Birmingham and Hertfordshire.

'Take it like a man' Martin was 12 when he was "systematically abused and raped repeatedly over many years" by his commanding officer Brian Leonard, at Tennal Grange cadet base in Birmingham.

He told Panorama: "You are trained to follow orders and you are trained to respect the officers and do as they tell you. 
"That includes having to lie on the floor on a dirty blanket and just lie there and... take it like a man."
Panorama has spoken to 10 men who were abused by Leonard in the 1980s.


Brian Leonard
Image captionMartin's Commanding Officer Brian Leonard (right) died in 1996, having never faced justice.

Martin says: "The thing was it was so blatantly obvious, it was almost as if it was hidden in full sight."
A girlfriend of one of the victims (who has chosen to remain anonymous) threatened to report Leonard to the police in 1987, but cadet officers pressured her to keep quiet.
The sergeant said he would take a statement from her, but warned her not to approach the police. No investigation into Leonard was ever carried out.
Leonard died in 1996, having never faced justice.

Parents pressured 



Tony (still)
Image captionTony's attacker was not suspended, he was promoted and moved to another division

Tony was 14 when he joined Cheshunt Sea Cadets, in Hertfordshire, in 1979. 
He said he woke to find his commanding officer Alan Waters at his bedside while he was on a weekend trip away.
Tony told Panorama: "I looked down and I was exposed… There was no doubt in my mind that he was touching me, no doubt in my mind whatsoever." 
Terrified of returning, he told his parents - whose complaints were met with a home visit from two Sea Cadet officers, in full uniform. 
Tony's parents were dissuaded from approaching the police by the officers and in return for not taking matters further, they were promised that Waters would be moved from looking after children. 


Alan Waters
Image captionAlan Waters held a title in a naval veterans' organisation until March this year

But Panorama has discovered that he was not dismissed or even suspended - he was, in fact, promoted and moved to a division in North London where he was in charge of 10 Sea Cadet units.
What's more, concerns by other members of the corps after this appointment were dismissed by the very top - the Captain of the Sea Cadets - who said the allegations were "thoroughly investigated" and "not proved". 
Waters was later convicted for separate child abuse offences in India in 2006 and placed on the Sex Offenders Register.
Panorama has found out that despite this, until March 2017 he held a title in a naval veterans' organisation - as honorary secretary of HMS President Retired Officers Association. 

'Stuck in my mind'



Joe
Image captionJoe was plied with alcohol and assaulted at his commanding officer's flat

Joe joined the Glasgow Highlanders Army Cadets in 1988 when he was 11. His Commanding Officer, John Fitzpatrick, would invite cadets to his flat, ply them with alcohol and sit them in front of pornographic films before bedtime.
Joe told Panorama: "I mean real hardcore stuff that I've never seen since I was in that guy's company…
"Images that have stuck in my mind to this day... if anybody had put images like that near my kids, I'd want to kill them."
On four occasions, Joe woke up to find Fitzpatrick sexually assaulting him. 


Fitzpatrick then and now
Image captionFitzpatrick (left in the 1980s, right in 2016) was sentenced to two years in prison last year

Panorama has discovered that before Joe was abused, another cadet instructor - Gordon - had received complaints that Fitzpatrick had sexually assaulted another boy.
There were two young witnesses. Gordon went straight to the police, but instead of being congratulated his boss was furious.
Gordon told Panorama the boy's parents defied pressure from senior cadet figures and told the police.
The case went to trial - but Fitzpatrick was found "not proven". He was welcomed back into the cadets - taking up the position of CO again.
However, last year, Fitzpatrick was charged with lewd and libidinous behaviour against Joe and three other boys. This time the case was proven and he was sentenced to two years in prison.


Allegations of sexual abuse in the cadets

The Birmingham case was one of the first cadet cases taken on by David McClenaghan, a child abuse solicitor from law firm BBK.
He told Panorama: "I have absolutely no doubt that the abuse in the cadets will mirror the other scandals like the Jimmy Savile case, like the abuse in the scouts, like abuse in the Catholic church."
The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) says no sphere of society is immune.
But Napac's chief executive Gabrielle Shaw said the figures obtained by Panorama indicated that people were now more confident about coming forward to report abuse.
She added: "The onus is now on institutions such as the armed forces to deal fully and promptly with reported allegations."
The MoD told Panorama that today all adults who work with children undergo mandatory security and background checks, rigorous disclosure procedures and regular safeguard training. 
A spokesman said: "We encourage anyone who has been a victim or knows someone who has to report it to the police."
The Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC) apologised unreservedly for any hurt in regard to the case of Alan Waters and said what had happened was "not reflective of our organisation today".
The MSSC added: "We now have a zero tolerance protocol and a specialist team to enforce our policies and provide support."
For information and support for anyone affected by sexual abuse (current or historic) - including sources of support for children, young people and concerned parents - please see the listings on BBC Action Line.
Contact BBC Panorama - Do you have a story or information about any abuse/cover up related issue within the cadet forces which you want to share with BBC Panorama?
Please email the team at: cadets@bbc.co.uk
Watch BBC Panorama - Cadet Abuse Cover Up on Tuesday 4th July on BBC One at 22:45 BST, and in Northern Ireland at 23:10 BST and 23:45 BST in Scotland and afterwards on BBC iPlayer.

July 26, 2016

Trump’s Defense of Roger Ailes Where a kiss is not a kiss and a No is a Yes

adamfoxie.blogspot.com
 When a kiss is not a kiss and a no is not a no
 

All those hacked DNC emails showing the joy of backstabbing , the self-absorption of DWS  and the price of sitting next to the president have, alas, distracted us from another shocking/not that shocking revelation, this one from the GOP nominee.  

On "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Donald Trump stuck up for his old friend Roger Ailes, the ousted (but still well-compensated) head of Fox News, who’s been accused by some two dozen women of trying to pressure them into sex by promising jobs and advancement if they complied and professional consequences if they did not. (Through his famous feminist lawyer, Susan Estrich , he has denied doing any such thing.)  
 
According to The Washington Post, these accusations go all the way back to the '60s — decades before Ailes helped build a network that perseverates on sexual misconduct.   
Yet — and I’m not sure how this jibes with Ivanka Trump’s RNC speech about what a champion of women her dad is — Trump at a minimum doesn’t mind leaving the impression that Ailes might soon be running his presidential campaign.

'A very good person'
“Is he helping you?” MTP moderator Chuck Todd asked Trump. “Is he advising you?”  

“Well, I don’t want to comment,” Trump responded.“But he's been a friend of mine for a long time. And I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them. And even recently. And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him.  

“And now all of a sudden they're saying these horrible things about him. It's very sad. Because he's a very good person. I've always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he's done. So I feel very badly. But a lot of people are thinking he's going to run my campaign.”  

For a candidate who only has to do something to mitigate his historically low standing among women if he wants to win the election, this is bold talk, even from him.  

But it is hardly out of nowhere for a man who, as Fox News’ Megyn Kelly noted at an early GOP debate, has called women he doesn’t like fat pigs … dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” — a man who’s obsessed with looks and youth, has made a creepy comment about his own daughter’s attractiveness, and with cameras rolling, mocked his then-rival Carly Fiorina’s appearance: “Look at that face!”  
 
Another of Trump’s friends, and one he has in common with Bill Clinton, is Jeffrey Epstein , a convicted pedophile. Years before Epstein’s conviction, in 2002, Trump spoke glowingly — and in retrospect, tellingly — about him to New York magazine for a profile that cast Epstein as  “Gatsbyesque” and a “collector of beautiful minds.”  

“I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told the magazine writer. “He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

One reason Trump may feel so bad for his buddy Roger Ailes is that he can relate. Because another thing Donald Trump has in common with Bill Clinton is that they’ve both been accused of, and strenuously denied, committing rape.  

One more thing they have in common: Neither accusation got as much mainstream attention as you’d think such a serious allegation would attract.  

I’ve said for years that we’ve been wrong not to want to know whether the Big Dog was not just a hound dog, but a man credibly accused of violating a campaign volunteer in 1978. The woman involved, Juanita Broaddrick , has also said that Hillary Clinton soon thereafter thanked her for all she’d done for her husband in a way that made Broaddrick think the candidate’s wife was really pressuring her to stay silent.  

To me, Trump’s refrain that Hillary Clinton enabled her husband’s treatment of women is indeed relevant as she campaigns on her record as a global encourager of women and their rights. But it was so long ago, when we knew so much less, my friends tell me.

Those who suspect that a prominent Republican accused of rape would be treated differently have so far been proven wrong, because the lawsuit filed last month by a woman who charges that Trump raped her at a 1994 Epstein party when she was 13 years old has been even more widely ignored.  

That’s at least in part because the anonymous woman has never given an interview, and neither has another woman who reportedly worked for Epstein procuring adolescent girls as party favors and who has filed a sworn statement saying she witnessed the attack.  

It’s also because the woman who filed the suit has gotten financial support from a conservative anti-abortion donor and a former "Jerry Springer" producer who say outright that they’re motivated by hatred of Trump.  

In other words, not enough is on the record to assess the facts of the case, and the people who’ve taken it on don’t inspire confidence. The nominee's first wife, Ivana Trump, also said years ago that he had raped her in a fury as they were divorcing, but she later said she didn't mean the charge literally.  

A third woman, Jill Harth , filed a 1997 lawsuit alleging Trump had sexually assaulted her but made the charges amid a business dispute and soon dropped the suit. She recently renewed her allegations.  

Yet there is more than enough from the innocent-until-proven-guilty candidate’s own lips — including his victim-blaming defense of Ailes and admiring view of Epstein — to convict him of holding a view of women that is not just politically incorrect but all wrong. He used to defend Bill Clinton, too — and smeared our 42nd president's accusers, too, back in the day.  

Those, including me, who have thought some pro-choice feminists have been too willing to look the other way on piggery by politicians who happen agree with them on abortion rights should now admit that some pro-life feminists come off as similarly craven in supporting Trump because he’s pledged to appoint Scalia-like conservatives to the Supreme Court; this is their issue, but it isn't the only issue.  

And as long as our discussion of the treatment of women never gets beyond forest-for-the-trees arguments over whether the R or D team’s sins are worse, none of the above will change.


May 30, 2016

This Seductive Cop is Looking to Destroy a Man’s Life


Sitting in cars along the edge of the park, four Long Beach police officers waited for the right time to pounce.
The innocuous signal that spurred them to action came when they saw a middle-aged man close his laptop and head toward a public restroom known in the area as a place where men have sex with each other. One of the undercover officers followed him inside.
Within moments, police were leading the man away in handcuffs. His crime: exposing himself to the officer.
The 2014 arrest in Recreation Park marked another successful sting for the city’s vice squad. But the undercover operation, which was sharply criticized recently by a judge, also exemplifies a controversial, age-old police tactic that many of California’s largest law enforcement agencies have quietly abandoned in recent years amid mounting criticism and changing sexual attitudes.
In Los Angeles, Long Beach and other areas where undercover lewd conduct stings endure, police defend them as an important tool for catching people who are violating the law and for deterring others from trying to have sex in parks and other public areas used by families and children.
Gay-rights activists do not condone public sex but have long condemned the busts as a form of entrapment, saying they unfairly single out gay men, with sometimes devastating consequences. The issue has been debated for decades. But in recent years, critics of the stings have gained traction as public attitudes about homosexuality and gay rights have shifted.
Undercover officers, critics contend, often exchange flirtatious signals and make arrests of men who think their advances are welcome, when no one else is nearby to be offended. They say that the stings can ensnare men who hadn't otherwise been seeking sex and that they rarely, if ever, target straight people.
Under state law, people who are convicted of indecent exposure must register as sex offenders and face possible jail time. Some have lost their jobs or committed suicide.
“Nobody is going to defend lewd conduct, but there is a qualitative difference between sexual predators and people who engage in boorish behavior,” said Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang, who is gay and a former special assistant in the Sheriff's Department who worked with its LGBT advisory council. “Criminalizing them isn’t really justice. You just want them to stop.”
Courts also have raised questions about the stings, invalidating a number of prosecutions in various parts of the state. In some cases, judges found no crime had occurred because the undercover officer conveyed sexual interest to the target and no one else was present to be offended by the lewd conduct. Last month, a Los Angeles County judge threw out the charges in one case stemming from Long Beach's 2014 operation, saying police were discriminating against gay men.
Many law enforcement agencies have stopped in response to lawsuits or after political backlash. The Times contacted police officials in San Jose, Anaheim, Glendale, San Francisco, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills and Laguna Beach, among other agencies. Representatives for each said their departments had not used such undercover stings in years.
These officials said they came to view the stings as ineffective or unnecessary after noticing a sharp drop-off in complaints about public sex during an age when men can easily find sexual partners through the Internet and dating apps such as Grindr.
Some cities have found alternative ways to tackle the problem of cruising — the act of searching for anonymous public sex. Departments will now post uniformed officers near cruising hotspots or improve lighting and trim trees and bushes in areas known for public sex.
“Bottom line is, there were much better things that the vice ... bureau should have been engaged in, namely sex trafficking and sexual exploitation,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Merrill Ladenheim, who heads the agency’s human trafficking task force. “We really refocused our efforts on those other crimes where we have a victim.”
LAPD officials say they have made a point of carrying out undercover operations less frequently in recent years. In 2007, the agency revamped its lewd conduct policy to tell officers that stings should be used only “as a last resort.”
But when alternative tactics fail, the department has no choice but to deploy decoy officers, said Capt. Andy Neiman, the LAPD’s chief spokesman. While lewd conduct complaints have dropped dramatically in recent years, Neiman said stings have been used to shut down persistent hotspots for gay cruising and lewd acts 11 times since 2014.
Complaints often come from people concerned about sex acts in public places, namely libraries and residential streets, where children could stumble upon people engaged in a lewd act, Neiman said. 
“You still have to enforce the law when you get complaints,” he said.
The use of undercover cops to target gay men in Southern California stretches back to the early 20th century, when gay sex was illegal, said Lillian Faderman, a historian and author of “Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians.”
The pioneers were W.H. Warren and B.C. Brown, “vice specialists” who loitered in public restrooms and other areas while carrying out so-called “purity campaigns” aimed at gay men in Long Beach and Los Angeles, Faderman wrote, adding that their methods served as a model for stings throughout Southern California.
The pair had no prior police training but were given police badges in both cities. They were paid for each arrest and offered their services to other major cities, she said.
In 1914, The Times reported on an operation in which the two helped arrest 31 men accused of engaging in gay sex at private clubs in Long Beach. Long Beach’s mayor and police chief awarded Warren and Brown a proclamation that said their work “rid the city of a dangerous class which threatened the morals of the youth of the community.”
Soon after the arrests, one of the men, a prominent banker and church officer, committed suicide by ingesting cyanide. The fear that other men would follow suit led the city to temporarily ban the sale of toxic substances, The Times reported.
In more recent decades, police agencies that employed the stings defended them as an effective way of responding to complaints about areas well-known for public hook-ups. Decoy operations are necessary to make arrests, officials said, because the crime of lewd conduct is a misdemeanor that requires officers to witness the conduct to justify an arrest.
“These are public parks, and public parks attract kids and families,” said Bakersfield Sgt. Gary Carruesco, whose department stopped conducting stings after a judge found the practice to be discriminatory in 2005. “Obviously, they can walk into a bathroom and witness things.”
West Hollywood Councilman John Duran, an attorney who has represented men in cruising cases for 30 years, said a typical client was a “deeply closeted gay or bisexual man who had hidden rendezvous in public places.” Many, he said, had low self-esteem and turned to cruising because they thought they were undeserving of intimacy.
But the LGBT movement, said Duran, who is gay, “has produced new generations of out and proud people who believe they can have healthy sexual encounters.” Growing public support of gay rights and the presence of openly gay officers in police departments has put pressure on agencies to stop using stings, he said.
Recent decoy operations have drawn fierce criticism.
Palm Springs police sparked outrage in 2009 when officers arrested 19 men in an undercover sting in a neighborhood known for gay resorts. Audio recordings of the operation caught a detective and the police chief making derogatory comments about the men who were arrested. The chief later resigned, and the department has not employed the tactic again, a police spokesman said.
In 2012, Manhattan Beach police were blasted for releasing the mugshots of men swept up in a lewd conduct sting. Police said at the time that local lifeguards had found graffiti of graphic sexual images on restroom walls, and holes drilled through stall partitions.
One man sued the city, alleging that he was falsely arrested and that his photograph and name were released to the media. The department stopped using decoys soon afterward, said Sgt. Paul Ford, supervisor of the agency’s detective bureau.
In Long Beach, gay-rights activists said they were troubled — and surprised — to see stings still being deployed in a city with a vibrant LGBT community and an openly gay mayor.
Long Beach police took more than two dozen men into custody during decoy operations from 2012 to 2014, according to Bruce Nickerson, a civil rights attorney.
One of those men was Rory Moroney, who was arrested in the Recreation Park sting in 2014.
On the day he was arrested, Moroney said he was using his laptop in the park to search for jobs. He knew the reputation of the men’s room, but he hadn’t gone there to cruise, he said. Moroney, 50, said he was washing his hands when he saw a man standing in a stall, thumbs hooked over his belt, smiling and nodding. He believed the undercover officer was flirting.
“They were targeting. That’s not right,” Moroney said. “They baited me. They trapped me.”
On April 29, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Halim Dhanidina sided with Moroney and tossed out the charges. The judge noted that the Long Beach police vice unit had conducted a series of stings spanning two years that used only male officers to arrest male suspects seeking sex with other men.
Dhanidina found that the stings were “indicative of animus toward homosexuals.” The judge also ruled that “the presence and tactics of the decoy officers actually caused the crimes to occur.”
 Long Beach police said they conduct decoy operations only in response to public complaints. Cmdr. Paul Lebaron, who oversees the city’s detective division, including the vice unit, said the department exhausts other tactics first before using stings as a last resort. Lebaron, who was not running vice operations when Moroney was arrested, said the agency has conducted only one lewd conduct sting since January 2015.
The city prosecutor’s office has not said if it will appeal the judge’s decision. Nickerson said he plans to argue in court that the charges against the 27 other men caught in the stings in 2013 and 2014 should be invalidated.
Mayor Robert Garcia said he hadn’t been aware of the stings and that the city is now reviewing its policies.
“I view Long Beach as a progressive place that believes in justice and dignity for everybody,” Garcia said. “So when I hear that something occurs that could be contrary to that, I’m alarmed.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Long Beach’s morality was in doubt.
So claimed the Los Angeles Times in numerous sensationalist 1914 stories about the arrests of 31 men allegedly tied to two private clubs in the city where gay men were said to cross dress and have sex with each other.
It was a racy scandal, the Times sneered, with details that were “unprintable” — and yet one that the newspaper could not get enough of.
Long Beach police, following the lead of undercover “vice specialists” W.H. Warren and B.C. Brown, arrested the men on so-called social vagrancy charges, collecting steep fines — $5,275 in all — or throwing in jail those who could not pay.
Nov. 19, 1914: Long Beach Recital of Shameless Men.
Nov. 19, 1914: Long Beach Recital of Shameless Men. (Los Angeles Times archive)
The newspaper's account of the "scandal" that enveloped the city offers a window into the virulently homophobic attitudes that prevailed a century ago, when gay sex was illegal and police pioneered the use of undercover stings to identify and prosecute gay people. The stories also underscore the role that The Times and other newspapers played in perpetuating the era's homophobia.
The Times printed the names of the arrested men and mocked its neighboring city over the discovery of underground gay social organizations — the 606 Club and 96 Club. At one point, the newspaper published a story with the dateline, “The Holy City of Long Beach.” 
But amid the sarcasm and public calls for purity, the sweep had devastating effects. One of the arrested men, a prominent Long Beach banker and church officer, killed himself by swallowing cyanide near the beach. In a note to his sister, he said he was innocent but “crazed by reading the paper this morning” in which his name had been published. Long Beach officials temporarily banned the sale of toxic substances afterward, fearful that others might follow suit.
Only one of the men, florist Herbert N. Lowe, fought the charges. His trial, the Times reported, was the talk of the town, with large crowds fighting for seats in the courtroom.
Nov. 15, 1914: Takes His Life Through Shame
Nov. 15, 1914: Takes His Life Through Shame (Los Angeles Times archive)
“Doubting Thomases of Long Beach who refused to believe the existence of a certain class of vice in that city, heard in court yesterday the bald stories of the officers who put in jail thirty-one men on the charge of vagrancy,” the Times wrote of Lowe’s trial, adding that “It was a dramatic and hideous recital, and startled the populace.”
Officers Brown and Warren — reportedly attractive men who had no prior police training but were given badges in Long Beach and Los Angeles to rid the cities of vice – were the star witnesses, saying they got $10 for each captured “social vagrant.”
At one point, according to Times reports on the testimony, Brown rented a cottage from Lowe and arranged for other officers to watch from a peephole and window as he baited Lowe to flirt with him. One evening, Brown lay down on his bed, expecting Lowe to arrive. As officers spied on the room, Lowe tried to become intimate with Brown but was interrupted by a noise: Someone peeking into the room slipped loudly on gravel outside. Several officers then rushed in to arrest Lowe.
But in the end, the jury acquitted Lowe after his attorney said the undercover officers’ hands were “dripping with the blood” of the man who killed himself. The Times’ headline read: “Jury Acquits in Six-O-Six...Stool-pigeons and Police Given No Credence,” referring to the undercover officers.
Dec. 12, 1914: Jury Acquits in Six-O-Six.
Dec. 12, 1914: Jury Acquits in Six-O-Six. (Los Angeles Times archive)
Even in that era, the newspapers were criticized for publishing the names of arrestees, especially after the suicide, by some members of the public and by local officials embarrassed by the arrests.
But the newspapers defended themselves with self-righteous outrage. In November 1914, The Times published an editorial from The Sacramento Bee — titled “An Unprejudiced Observer: Publicity is Needed and Then More Publicity” — saying that despite criticism, newspapers should not suppress “news concerning this most horrible of all filthy crimes.”
Of the man’s death by cyanide, the editorial stated: “His suicide in itself was a confession.”
In 1915, several months after the sting operation, one of the Long Beach vice officers, Warren, and a married woman with whom he was infatuated were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide, The Times reported.
The newspaper described how Warren, who conducted the “now celebrated ‘social vagrant investigations,’” referred to himself as “the master of women.” He shot the victim when she refused his advances and then turned the gun on himself.  
The article mentions that Warren made a good living from arresting so-called social vagrants, sometimes more than $100 a week. Attributed to Warren’s “activity,” the Times said, was the death of a New York City actor he “exposed with a success that resulted in the man’s desperate leap from a window with a trunk strap around his throat.” 
                                                                   LA Times

April 13, 2015

Follow Up: More Details on The Hungarian-Escort made Slaves in NYC Connection


We published the story Saturday but there’s a lot more demand for details, so we are posting more:

Guilty: Andras Janos Vass, 25, has been convicted of human trafficking and racketeering
Guilty: Andras Janos Vass, 25, has been convicted of human trafficking and racketeering
A Hungarian man has been convicted of luring young, gay Eastern European men to the United States for a horrific life of sex slavery.
Andras Janos Vass, 25, was found guilty of human trafficking and racketeering felonies this week after grooming fellow Hungarians online then keeping them captive in New York City and Miami.
Vass brought men to America with the promises of easy work and high wages - then took their travel documents, threatened their families, and made them spend 20 hours a day on sex work, prosecutors said. 
He was found guilty of the offences by a jury in Miami-Dade on Thursday, the Miami Herald reported.
He faces a maximum sentence of 155 years in prison - and will spend at least 21 behind bars.
Three of Vass's victims testified against him at the trial.
Two said they were tempted to the United States after being contacted via Planet Romeo, a free dating site.
According Gay Star News, the men believed they would be employed as legal escorts and make between $3,000 and $5,000 a month.
The victims said they were flown to New York City in 2012 and forced to live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. They were forced to perform sex work at all hours, either in person or live on webcams.
Lure: Prosecutors said at least two of the victims were lured to America via the Planet Romeo gay dating website
Lure: Prosecutors said at least two of the victims were lured to America via the Planet Romeo gay dating website
According to online listings, Vass's company, Never Sleep Inc., was based at an address in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in New York City.
In August 2012, prosecutors said, the Vass and his associates moved the business to Miami.
Vass is accused of running the sex ring with two other men, Gabor Acs and Viktor Berki, who have yet to stand trial.
Victims said that they had their passports taken when they arrived and that Berki, a former policeman, threatened their families in Hungary.
Vass is due to be sentenced on June 2.


 : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ 

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