A Florida minister used a tree house at his home to sexually abuse a young girl, police said. Deacon Thomas Warren Halsey, 65, was arrested for allegedly sexually battering a girl under the age of 10 on his Leesburg property, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
A top official responsible for protecting 1 World Trade Center tendered his resignation Friday amid a flurry of security flops. David Velazquez, the assistant security director for the Durst Organization, resigned following a meeting with company heads, who apparently urged him to step down, sources said.
Twenty-two-year-old Jordan Linn Graham of Kalispell faces up to life in prison on federal charges of second-degree murder in the death of husband Cody Johnson. A Montana woman who admitted to pushing her husband off a cliff eight days after they were married is due to be sentenced Thursday, even as she attempts to retract her guilty plea to avoid a potential life prison sentence. Defense attorney Michael Donahoe said the issue of intent was settled when Graham pleaded guilty to second-degree murder based on extreme recklessness. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kris McLean argued the court can consider any information about the background, character and conduct of the defendant when setting a sentence. Donahoe said the request for a life sentence shows prosecutors' offer to dismiss the first-degree murder charge was an "empty promise" and a way to avoid a possible verdict of manslaughter, a less serious offense than first- or second-degree murder.
LANSING—Legislation sponsored by Sens. Judy Emmons and Mark C. Jansen to support victims of human trafficking and punish offenders was approved on Thursday by the Michigan Senate. Emmons’ bill, Senate Bill 584, would eliminate the statute of limitations for any human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children offenses. The bill is named the Theresa Flores Act in honor of Theresa Flores, a Michigan native and the author of The Slave Across the Street, her personal story about how she overcame human trafficking. ` “The Michigan Senate is taking a leading role in fighting human trafficking — a crime that devastates the lives of thousands of women and children in our state every year,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “Theresa’s compelling story about being trafficked in Michigan as a young woman is alarming and one of the reasons that I have dedicated myself to doing everything I can to end this modern-day slavery.” Flores joined Emmons in announcing the bill as part of a 19-bill, bipartisan package addressing human trafficking in Michigan, including increasing penalties, training and victim support. “Human trafficking is the second-leading crime in Michigan, and I know this because I was trafficked here over 30 years ago,” said Flores at the announcement. “Thank you to strong leaders like Senator Emmons, who say ‘we refuse to let this happen in our state.’” The Senate also adopted a resolution sponsored by Emmons to designate Jan. 11, 2014 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Michigan. “As the point person in the Senate on human trafficking, I know that while we are approving initiatives for new laws and victim support, the battle against this crime all starts with public awareness,” Emmons said. “Human Trafficking is the world’s fastest-growing criminal industry and it is a problem that requires a comprehensive solution. We need more legal tools, but we also need everyone — from first responders to our neighbors — to understand the problem, how to recognize it and what they can do to stop it.” Under Jansen’s measure, SB 588, a human trafficking victim who is being prosecuted for prostitution would be allowed to introduce evidence of their experience as an affirmative defense, if the crime was committed as a result of having been trafficked. “As a father, it sickens me to think that thousands of girls under the age of 18 are sold into the world of sex trafficking every year in Michigan and that 80 percent of human trafficking victims are sexually exploited,” said Jansen, R-Gaines Township. “My bill recognizes that many times victims are arrested for crimes that were committed as a direct result of human trafficking. Allowing an affirmative defense is about being compassionate for victims, stopping the practice of punishing them for their ordeal and helping them begin the process of overcoming their terrible experience.” A third measure approved by the Senate, SB 591, sponsored by Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, would give victims an opportunity for a hearing where a judge could clear convictions from their record if the offenses were committed as a result of being trafficked. SBs 584, 588 and 591 have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. ### Editor’s Note: Video comments by Emmons are available on the senator’s website at: www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com. Click on “Video” under the Media Center tab.
The FBI seizure and closure of the Silk Road has sparked a proliferation of users migrating to alternate dark web market-places to continue trade of illicit substances. The present editorial seeks to quantify the increase in retailers and explore the implications of this migration.
A man seen loading a gun near student apartments at Georgia's Columbus State University was shot and fatally wounded by campus officers who chased the suspect on foot Sunday, authorities said. No one else was hurt and the campus in western Georgia, about 100 miles southwest of Atlanta, was...
FAIRBANKS – The lone adult suspect in a Fairbanks apartment robbery last week carried an unloaded, “realistic looking” BB gun into the gunfight, according to the charging document filed against him Tuesday.
Nearly one in five American women reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives. Recent clashes about the term rape culture highlight the roles of systems, attitudes, and resources in preventing the crime and undoing the criminal.
Erin Kathleen Queen, a former English teacher at Charles Page High School in Sand Springs, was given three years probation, a $600 fine, and banned from teaching after she took advantage of her 17-year-old student.
The “Craigslist Killer” has a new story — the two who got away. Miranda Barbour, 19, claims she and her newlywed husband planned to slaughter two men who answered her online ads offering female companionship, but the would-be victims were no-shows.
In an odd twist, Jackson blamed his child-support troubles on being fired from a job he'd held for just four days - as an investigator tracking down deadbeat dads for the San Francisco district attorney. Today, Jackson runs the Jackson Consultancy business, according to the federal complaint, and he has been helping raise money for state Sen. Leland Yee's election campaigns since 2011. Jackson last made news in 2009 while working as a representative of Lennar Corp., which some in the black community have accused of exposing children to toxic dust during its development of the Hunters Point Shipyard. Jackson resigned from the school board in 1998, but not before drawing national attention for co-authoring a resolution requiring students to read a certain number of books by nonwhite and transgender authors.
The furor surrounding General Motors' recall of 1.6 million 2003-2007 vehicles is exposing some of the company's long-hidden practices. Last week, Bloomberg News reported that the company's zeal for slashing parts prices in the 1990s resulted in a drive to match the "China Price" -- the rock-bottom cost of components produced [...]