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Eleven years ago, Kelly Lumadue, then 21, had sex with a 5-year-old boy. There's no disputing it. It was captured on videotape. But should she spend the rest of her life in prison?e who commit this type of crime, he said. What the case points out, Slobogin said, is the weakness of mandatory sentences.
In June, a Seminole County jury watched those tapes and convicted her of two counts of capital sexual battery. Before she could be sentenced -- and the only sentence allowed by Florida law is life without the possibility of parole -- a judge ordered a new trial.
The boy, now age 16, was not a witness at her trial. He does not remember what happened. That is significant, wrote Circuit Judge Clayton Simmons, who presided over her trial, then ordered a new one.
"The fact that the defendant faces a Draconian punishment for a crime where the victim is alive and apparently living a normal life some eleven years after the criminal act, when criminals who have killed people are released from prison almost daily, makes it even more imperative that the defendant receive a fair and impartial trial . . . ," he wrote.
Under Florida law, however, the damage to the child is irrelevant, said Christopher Slobogin, a professor at the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida. The defendant either committed the crime or she didn't. The Florida Legislature meant to be very tough on thos
In a controversial new book [The Female Brain], this psychiatrist [Louann Brizendine] argues that differences between men and women start with their brains.*brackets are mine
Hyde, a psychology and women's studies professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who conducted the meta-analysis of men and women last year, says she's disgusted by scientists, writers and publishers who exploit trivial differences between the genders. Books like this "are bad for my blood pressure," she says. Dr. Nancy C. Andreasen, a psychiatrist and neuroimaging expert at the University of Iowa's medical school, says nurture plays such a huge role in human behavior that focusing on biology is next to meaningless. "Whatever measurable differences exist in the brain," says Andreasen, "are used to oppress and suppress women."
Cops charge mom of boy left at Tastefull article
July 9, 2006
FROM STNG WIRE REPORTS
The mother of a 6-year-old boy abandoned at the Taste of Chicago was charged Sunday with felony child abandonment, police said.
Marie Campbell, 29, of Olympia Fields, was charged with one count of felony child abandonment, according to a Chicago Police Department release.
LOKHANDWALA SHAME : Gajarias' daughter charged with murder; police say she hit maid.
Express News Service
Mumbai, June 29: A WEEK after she was found dead in an apartment in Andheri's upmarket Lokhandwala Complex area, the Oshiwara police on Thursday said the 10-year-old domestic help was smothered to death by Roma Bhatia, her employer's daughter, after she was caught using Bhatia's mother's cosmetics.
The police also clarified that the domestic help had not been raped and that Bhatia had inflicted the injuries--she allegedly assaulted her private parts with an aluminium rod and later smothered her--to make the young girl confess to her 'crime'.
While Bhatia, who was arrested on Tuesday, has now been booked for criminal conspiracy and murder, her brother Rajendra Gajaria--the marine engineer was the main suspect initially--father Vinod and mother Madhu have been booked for abetment and destruction of evidence.
The Gajarias, who were arrested on June 23, had claimed the girl committed suicide by hanging herself when they weren't home.
Confirming that Bhatia was the prime accused, Additional Commissioner of Police (Western Region) Bipin Bihari clarified that the police suspected the girl had been sodomised or raped because of the nature of her injuries.
''But an examination of the injuries and the scene of the crime confirmed they were inflicted by an artificial object. We conducted further investigations, which revealed it was Bhatia who killed her,'' he said.
According to the police, last Thursday, after the Gajarias left for Chembur at about 3 pm, Bhatia--she lives two floors above the Gajarias--dropped in and saw the victim using some cosmetics.
When the girl started screaming after Bhatia allegedly stripped and assaulted her, the police said that Bhatia smothered her, leading to her death, then left the flat, locked the door and returned to her apartment.
According to the police, past midnight, when the Gajarias returned, Bhatia told Madhu about the incident, following which the Gajarias tried to pass the girl's death off as a suicide and hanged her body.
After the post-mortem revealed that she had been killed between 3.30 pm and 6 pm and the police learnt that it was Bhatia who had last been with the victim, they arrested her.
According to the police, injuries on the girl's body had led them to discard the suicide theory and Bhatia's arrest on Tuesday and subsequent questioning only confirmed their suspicions.
An Arlington Heights father will appear in court today to fight what he says is a plan to "mutilate" his 8-year-old son by circumcising him.
The boy's mother argues that without circumcision his recurring infections will only get worse.
The divorced couple is embroiled in a bitter fight that will see national experts flying in to testify before a Cook County judge. Their battle reflects a national debate on circumcision -- a procedure that has dropped in popularity in the United States over the last 25 years.
Most U.S. boys get surgery, but percentage dropping
The United States continues to lead the world in circumcisions; 1.12 million American baby boys were circumcised in 2003.
Much of that is attributed to cultural and social norms. But in the last 10 years, the percentage of boys circumcised has been dropping and is at its lowest since at least the 1970s. In 2003, 55.9 percent of male babies were circumcised -- down from a high of 64.7 percent in 1980, the National Center for Health Statistics says.
Part of that is attributed to economics, because some insurance policies don't pay for circumcisions -- especially since the American Academy of Pediatrics said the benefits of circumcision are not significant enough to label it as medically necessary.
Studies have cited a decreased risk of infections, injuries and penile cancer in those who are circumcised. But studies also have shown that circumcised babies have a risk for infection and injury by abrasion to the sensitive skin.
Is it medically necessary?
"My child is healthy and he doesn't want this to happen to him," the father said. "He's completely comfortable. I don't see any reason to do it."
But the boy's mother, who lives in Northbrook, said several doctors have told her that without circumcision earlier infections are likely to continue returning.
"Curing the infection isn't the issue -- it's stopping it from coming back. And the doctors have said the way to do that is by circumcision," said her attorney, Tracy Rizzo. "But now, [the father] has made this more of a political issue and nothing to do with medicine."
The couple -- he's a Polish native, she's Slovak -- married in 1996 and divorced in 2000.
The divorce decree gives the father input on major medical decisions. In February, a judge was asked to intervene and a restraining order was granted, preventing the mother from having the boy circumcised until after today's hearing.
Dr. Antonio Chaviano of Children's Memorial Hospital said fewer U.S. boys are being circumcised at birth, but it's even more rare to see the procedure done on an older boy.
Chaviano was not familiar with the 8-year-old's case, but acknowledged that sometimes circumcision is medically necessary for older boys. But he saw no reason for a boy to undergo the procedure if it wasn't needed. "You're opening a real Pandora's box," he said.
Those on both sides of the issue cite studies showing risks for infections and injuries. In a 1999 study, the American Academy of Pediatrics found no overwhelming evidence to support or oppose circumcision.
Attorneys for the father, Alan Toback and John D'Arco, are working with Georgia attorney David Llewellyn, whose expertise is circumcision cases. "Given [the boy's] age and the absolute lack of any medical necessity, any benefit to the child ... is far outweighed by the detriments," Toback said.
But Rizzo, attorney for the boy's mother, says medicine and proper cleaning instructions have not helped her son -- and the mother insists circumcision is needed.
Rizzo says the father repeatedly misses child-support payments and is opposed to his ex-wife's new marriage -- a claim the father denies.
"She just cares about her child," Rizzo said, "and wants to give him the best medical care necessary."
By Cathy Young | May 1, 2006
THE NOTORIOUS case of alleged rape at Duke University has an explosive mix of elements: gender, race, class, and charges of sexual violence. Three members of the school's lacrosse team, privileged young white men, are accused of sexually assaulting a stripper who is African-American.
The facts of the case remain murky. According to media reports, medical evidence seems to support the woman's claim of sexual assault, but no DNA match to any team members has been found, and two of the accused may have an alibi. The police report suggests that the woman was initially picked up when heavily intoxicated. The other exotic dancer who was on the scene initially disputed the alleged victim's claims but then changed her story somewhat, and apparently made inquiries about profiting from her role in the case.
In the current trial by media, charges of a rush to judgment abound. Women's advocates and many others claim that the alleged victim is being smeared as a slut by a sexist culture which holds that an ''unchaste" woman who is raped must have been ''asking for it." (Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh charmingly referred to charges that lacrosse team members had ''raped some hos.")
Meanwhile, some say that the quick assumption that the players are guilty reflects antimale prejudice. Writes columnist Kathleen Parker, ''Reaction to Duke's sad chapter is but the inevitable full flowering of the antimale seeds planted a generation ago. Thus, we need little prompting to assume that where there's a guy, there's a potential rapist."
By Ted Rowlands
SARASOTA, Florida (CNN) -- When I met Leo, Paul and Tom at a domestic violence shelter here in Sarasota, Florida, it was hard to believe the three men's story: that they were victims of physical abuse at the hands of their female partners.
Leo, who is about 6 feet tall and said he weighed more than 200 pounds at the time of the abuse, said his girlfriend terrorized him while he was recovering from a heart transplant.
"She would throw things, she would absolutely throw things, one time she did grab my throat and was screaming in my face," he said.
Another time, Leo said, she pulled a knife on him, but he suspected she was just trying to scare him.
Tom said his ex-wife would fly off the handle without notice. He said he had to lie when co-workers noticed scratches on his body, saying "my hands were so clawed by her, at work a day later I would be writing something down, and someone would say 'Oh, you must have a mean cat,' I'd say 'Yeah, a mean cat.' What am I supposed to say?"
Tom's wife was arrested and pleaded guilty to assault.
Tom said while sitting in a courtroom during his divorce, he realized he was a victim of abuse.
"I looked up, and I see a poster saying 'Are you a victim of domestic violence?' And I start reading the questions, and tears started coming down. I said, 'damn.' "
Paul, who works for a cement company, said his wife would attack him when he got home from work.
"She'd come running at me like a wild animal, both hands and arms swinging, I think she had her eyes closed half the time," he said.
According to a police report, Paul attacked his wife and threatened to kill her, but he said that is a lie.
"She came running up to me with a knife, and I end up doing six months over it," he said.
CNN's efforts to contact Paul's ex-wife were unsuccessful.
All three men said they were reluctant to call police. Leo said he thinks in the case of a dispute, an officer would believe a woman's story over a man's.
"Whether it happened or not, if she signs that affidavit, you're on your way to jail, you're on your way to jail, no investigation no anything."
All three men have left the women they say abused them.
Mary Thoroman, a detective with the North Port, Florida, Police Department, said she is seeing more male victims of domestic violence than ever before.
"Typically it's the throwing of objects, a lot of scratching, a lot of face scratching, neck scratching, even chest, but objects being thrown is very, very common," she said.
After meeting the three men, I interviewed Darlene Hilker, a woman who admits to assaulting her husband. Hilker said she was arrested after an argument spun out of control, and "I grabbed my husband's genitals, that's what I was arrested for."
Hilker was sentenced to 16 weeks of counseling at the Domestic Abuse Shelter Homes in Englewood, Florida.
The executive director at DASH, Donna LeClerc, said her group is dealing with more and more cases of women abusing their mates, though Department of Justice statistics show spousal abuse arrests nationwide have dropped significantly during the past decade.
"Men have gotten the point that it's not OK to do those things, but somehow it's turned around, and it's OK for women to do those things," LeClerc said.
Hilker said her anger would build and build until she couldn't control it. She also said other woman are feeling the same frustration, and are resorting to violence.
"There's a lot of women with a lot of anger, and they are letting it go," Hilker said. "It's not just husbands beating up wives; women can fly off, too."
WASHINGTON -- Justin Berry, who for five years starred in his own Web cam child pornography business, told a House panel Tuesday that the Justice Department is moving too slowly to round up 1,500 pedophiles whose information he surrendered last year.
"I believed that the government would protect the children being abused. I believed they would act quickly," Berry, now 19, told the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "I was wrong."
Justice Department spokesman Bryan Sierra disputed that, citing a threefold increase in federal prosecutions of child pornography and abuse cases nationally over the past decade. The unit investigating Berry's case, which Sierra could not discuss, has seen its workload increase 450 percent in the last four years.
"One of law enforcement's highest priorities is the protection of innocent children from sexual predators who lurk on the Internet," Sierra said.
The same committee will hear from the Justice Department, among other federal agencies, on Thursday.
Berry's story of a lonely teenager who sought friends on the Internet but instead grew rich attracting pedophiles was reported in December by the New York Times after a six-month investigation. Its author, Kurt Eichenwald, told the Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday that Berry is the first such teenage witness known to turn over such a vast cache of evidence to the government.
But even Berry's catalog of his clients' names, credit card numbers and other details has resulted in only one arrest, he and Eichenwald said.
"From the time that the government was notified of Justin's information to the point where the children in direct danger were saved, more than 50 days passed," Eichenwald told the panel. "Some people identified as perpetrators literally could not get themselves arrested if they tried."
Berry embarked on his sordid journey into the world of pedophelia and drugs when at 13, living in Bakersfield, Calif., he acquired a Web camera as part of a deal with an Internet service provider. A lonely kid of a divorced family without many friends, Berry hoped to use the device to make friends his own age.
Instead, a pedophile sent him an instant message within minutes of Berry's image landing on a Web site called Spotlife.com. More followed; then men worked to earn his trust.
"At 13, I believed these people were my friends," Berry told the panel. "They were kind. They complimented me. They wanted to know about my day."
A few weeks later, he said, "everything changed" when one man proposed to pay Berry $50 to take off his shirt for a few minutes in front of the Web cam. The man helped Berry set up an account with Paypal, an online money payment system.
Last June, Eichenwald approached Berry for a story he was doing on Internet pornography. Berry agreed to help with the story and tell law enforcement what he knew about other children being exploited.
But the Justice Department and other massive federal agencies were slow to respond, Berry and Eichenwald told the panel. Berry said he has feared for his life.
On the Net:
Justice Department: http://www.usdoj.gov