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Tuesday, 01 April 2014 03:17

Tunisian police convicted in woman's rape

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Two Tunisian police officers were convicted of raping a young woman and sentenced to seven years in prison in a case that drew widespread protests after the victim was initially accused of immoral behavior. A third officer received a two-year sentence for extorting money from the woman's fiance.
 
The officers came upon the woman, then 27, and her fiance in a car in September 2012. She said two of the men took turns raping her while the third held her fiance back, then forced him to withdraw money from an ATM.
 
An initial decision to charge the woman with violating Tunisia's modesty laws drew widespread protests in Tunisia, where the case was closely watched for signs of how women's rights would fare after the 2011 fall of the secular dictatorship. Those charges were ultimately dropped, and the victim published a book entitled "Guilty of Being Raped," under the same pseudonym she used in the courtroom.
 
But the sentences late Monday of the officers drew criticism from the woman's lawyer, a human rights activist in Tunisia who said they were far too lenient.
 
"It's scandalous," said Radhia Nasraoui. "They denied everything. They even had the nerve to suggest that she was making advances on them."
 
Protesters gathered outside the courtroom on Monday ahead of the verdict.
 
Both the woman's accusation against police and the ensuing public uproar would have been unthinkable under longtime autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted in 2011. Concerns that women would continue to suffer under the new leadership eased with the passage this year of a constitution that guarantees equality between men and women before the law and committed the government to protecting women's rights.
Published in National News

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a man convicted twice of sexually assaulting young boys in Missouri has pleaded guilty to transportation of child pornography.

Forty-year-old Sean Lawrence of Kansas City, Mo. entered the plea Thursday in U.S. District Court in of Delaware.

According to court documents, Lawrence came to the attention of a Wilmington-based Homeland Security Investigations special agent in February. Officials say Lawrence provided the undercover agent with access to his non-public, peer-to-peer network. The agent was able to download child pornography.

Authorities say federal agents in Kansas City arrested Lawrence as he was downloading a video of child pornography in a community college library.

Lawrence was convicted in 1995 and 2005 of sodomizing two young boys. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison at sentencing Jan. 6.

Published in Local News

A St. Louis Ram is back in the news for his off-field actions.

Defensive end Robert Quinn has fulfilled the obligations set forth after being convicted for drunk driving. Quinn had to attend classes and programs to prevent a future DWI. Quinn pleaded guilty to Driving While Under the Influence after being arrested following an accident on the exit ramp of eastbound I-270 and Washington/Elizabeth.

Published in Local News

A St. Charles County man has been found guilty of breaking into an ex-girlfriend's house and beating her dog.

Charles Zidek broke into the woman's home in late 2011. Once inside the house, Zidek attacked her greyhound dog named Vinny. Vinny's injuries were so bad he had to be euthanized.

Zidek was convicted on two felony charges including animal abuse.

 
Published in Local News
Thursday, 16 May 2013 02:29

Kirkwood woman convicted of tax fraud

   ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis County woman has been found guilty of federal charges for illegally claiming more than $3 million in tax refunds.

   A federal jury convicted 69 year old Nancy Cicero of Kirkwood Wednesday on four counts of filing false claims with the IRS. A sentencing date was not set.

   Federal prosecutors say Cicero claimed false refunds for the years 2005 through 2008 on taxes she claimed to have paid on bond income, and falsified documents as part of the scheme.

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cicero is an adherent of a theory claiming that those with knowledge of proper procedures can obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in their name being held in trust by the government. An IRS investigator called the argument "frivolous."

   

 

Published in Local News

   An Imperial, Missouri woman could spend a year in prison for beating her son's alleged heroin dealer with a baseball bat.  

   It took a Jefferson County jury about two hours Tuesday night to find 54 year old Sherrie Gavan guilty of third-degree misdemeanor assault.  

   Gavan admits that in December 2011, she hit Josh Loyd with a bat after seeking him out to tell him to stay away from her son, Clayton.  Her attorney had argued "self-defense," saying Gavan had believed the teen was going to hit her with a brick.  

   Gavan says she just did what any parent would have done, especially a parent who knows what heroin does to their child. "It's like my husband said, there’s two ways out:  you stop or you die," she said.  "And I did not want to bury my son.  I could not bury my son."

   Gavin says even though she could go to prison, she'd do it again, because her son is alive, graduating high school with straight "A's" and getting ready for college.

 

Published in Local News
A former Boy Scout troop volunteer will be sentenced in May after being convicted of a dozen counts of sexual abuse involving a teenage boy.

St. Clair County jurors Thursday convicted 55 year old John Demers after less than two hours of deliberation.

The charges involved a teenager who said Demers had inappropriate contact with him between 2005 and 2011.

Demer's attorney says his client maintains his innocence.
Published in Local News

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