NEW YORK – "Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn might take legal action in civil court against the hotel maid who accused him of sexually assaulting her in a now-dismissed criminal case and in her ongoing civil suit, one of his lawyers said Tuesday.
Strauss-Kahn, a former French presidential candidate, could file his own claims to counter housekeeper Nafissatou Diallo's lawsuit, "and that's certainly a consideration," lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Because she did lie, and he has suffered enormous damages as a result of those lies."
A court Tuesday dismissed the attempted-rape and other charges against Strauss-Kahn, who resigned his IMF post, spent five days in jail and then spent about six weeks on high-priced house arrest before being freed from it July 1. The dismissal came after prosecutors said they couldn't pursue the case because of doubts about Diallo's credibility and a lack of other evidence to prove a forced sexual encounter.
Diallo wasn't truthful with prosecutors about several aspects of her life and changed her account of what she did right after when she claims she was attacked, prosecutors said.
Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have long said the encounter at a luxurious Manhattan hotel, though brief, was consensual. But while Diallo's account of it has been recounted in interviews, in her lawsuit and in the now-defunct prosecution, the married Strauss-Kahn doesn't want to detail his version of what happened, Brafman said.
"What happened in that room, so long as we have now confirmed that it wasn't criminal, is really not something that needs to be discussed publicly," Brafman said in the AP interview. "You can engage in behavior that you're not proud of, and maybe some people might consider it inappropriate — it doesn't mean that you committed a crime. And it's not something that you may want to discuss, at the end of the day."
Diallo's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, didn't immediately respond to an email inquiry about the possibility of Strauss-Kahn filing his own claims in civil court. Thompson has said it's "utter nonsense" to say the encounter was consensual. Earlier Tuesday, he blasted the dismissal of the case, saying prosecutors "would not allow a woman to have her day in court."
Diallo says Strauss-Kahn chased her down in his hotel suite on May 14, grabbed her crotch, propelled her to the ground and forced her to perform oral sex. His semen was found on her uniform, and a gynecological exam found a mark that her lawyer holds up as evidence of an attack but prosecutors say could have resulted from a number of other things.
From the start, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers considered her account implausible, partly because neither she nor Strauss-Kahn had bruises reflecting a forceful attack, Brafman said.
The Associated Press does not usually name people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, as Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea, has done."
Given that the criminal investigation was dropped, amid questions concerning Ms. Diallo's credibility, Mr. Strauss-Kahn has every right to file suit against her. No one has a right to sexually assault another person. However, no one has a right to file false claims against anyone else either. If either occurs, then that person (s) should be held accountable, either in criminal or civil court.
One of the keystones of forensic science is DNA testing. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material present in every cell. Each individual has a Unique DNA Profile. There are even a few differences between the DNA of identical twins.
A British scientist, Sir Alec Jeffreys, developed DNA profiling in the 1980s. DNA for profiling can be extracted from samples of human cells found at a Crime Scene, including blood, semen, skin, saliva, mucus, perspiration and the roots of hair, and Profiling can even be carried out on old and dried out samples.
The case of Colin Pitchfork was the first murder conviction based on DNA profiling evidence (there was a previous rape conviction based on this type of evidence).
In 1986, another 15-year-old schoolgirl, Dawn Ashworth, was similarly sexually assaulted and strangled in the nearby village of Enderby, and semen samples showed the same blood type.
Richard Buckland, a local 17-year-old with learning disabilities who worked at Carlton Hayes psychiatric hospital, had been spotted near Dawn Ashworth’s murder scene and knew unreleased details about the body. In 1986, he confessed to Dawn Ashworth’s murder but not Lynda Mann’s.
Using Sir Alec Jeffreys’ new technique, scientists compared the semen samples with a blood sample from Richard Buckland. This proved that both girls were murdered by the same man, and also proved that this man was not Richard Buckland – the first person to be exonerated using DNA. . . Read More
PHILADELPHIA – "A monsignor who is the only U.S. church official ever charged with transferring pedophile priests to unsuspecting parishes will be tried alongside four priests accused of rape, a judge ruled Friday.
Common Pleas Judge Lillian Ransom denied most of the pretrial requests made by Monsignor William Lynn, two current priests, a former priest and a former Catholic schoolteacher. The men wanted their cases to be tried separately and asked for many of the charges against them to be dismissed.
Lynn, 60, the lynchpin of the case, is charged with conspiracy and child endangerment for allegedly transferring priests he believed to be pedophiles. Lynn, who served as secretary of clergy from 1992 to 2004 under former Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, is the only U.S. church official ever charged in the sex-abuse scandal for his administrative actions.
The four others are charged in the same criminal case with raping boys in their care. Three of them are accused of raping the same child, starting when he was a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999, according to a scathing grand jury report released in February that faulted the church for knowingly harboring priests who sexually abused children.
The Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 64, and former priest Edward Avery, 68, are accused of raping the boy in the church sacristy. Prosecutors say former sixth-grade teacher Bernard Shero, 48, raped him during a ride home from school. The fourth defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, 48, is accused of raping a 14-year-old boy in 1996.
The judge on Friday dismissed only the conspiracy charges involving Shero, saying prosecutors failed to prove he was in collusion with Avery and Engelhardt. She also rejected the defense attorneys' requests for access to the mental health records of the two accusers, who are now grown men.
Lynn's attorney, Thomas Bergstrom, objected to the judge's refusal to dismiss felony child endangerment charges against his client and his refusal to separate his trial from the others, saying the monsignor had no children under his supervision and therefore cannot be guilty of endangering them. Bergstrom asked the judge for certification to appeal to a higher court, which she denied.
If found guilty of the two charges, Lynn could be sentenced to up to 28 years in prison.
David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a victim advocacy group, praised the judge's actions.
"The Catholic church isn't some loosely-knit hippie commune. It's a rigid, secretive, tightly-knit institution," he said in a written statement. "So when crimes happen, it's disingenuous for church officials to pretend that everyone involved is disconnected from one another. . . " Read More
DENVER – "An Oregon man suspected of raping a 22-year-old woman at Denver International Airport was charged Tuesday with one count of sexual assault.
Noel Bertrand, 26, of Portland, was accused of assaulting the woman just after midnight April 12 on the floor of a concourse. Two airport employees on the tarmac saw the incident through a window and intervened, authorities said.
The woman's family members said they were shocked to hear that Bertrand was only charged with one count. Several messages seeking comment from family lawyer Patrick Ridley were not immediately returned.
The Associated Press does not use the names of people who report being sexually assaulted unless they agree to be identified. The AP also isn't identifying family members to protect the woman's identity.
Bertrand was being held on $50,000 bond and was due in court Thursday, when a public defender could be named to represent him.
He could face a sentence of up to 12 years in prison if convicted, but he would have to qualify for parole to be released and could end up imprisoned for life even after completing his term.
The victim's family members said the woman had missed a flight and decided to spend the night at the airport. A man struck up a conversation at a restaurant, then followed the woman to a spot where he sat next to her and tried to kiss her, according to her family.
Court documents say Bertrand hit the woman in the eye and choked her by her shirt collar as he threw her to the floor and assaulted her. . . " Read More
By Marisa Taylor and Michael Doyle
In fact, the military had begun second-guessing a decade's worth of tests conducted by its one-time star lab analyst, Phillip Mills.
Investigators discovered that Mills had cut corners and even falsified reports in one case. He found DNA where it didn't exist, and failed to find it where it did. His mistakes may have let the guilty go free while the innocent, such as House, were convicted.
"It cost him his family and it cost him his Navy career," House's attorney, John Wells, said in an interview. "It's certainly outrageous and unconscionable; it's the kind of action that makes you want to scream."
But the problem was bigger than just a lone analyst.
While a McClatchy Newspapers investigation revealed that Mills' mistakes undermined hundreds of criminal cases brought against military personnel, it also found that the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory was lax in supervising Mills, slow to re-examine his work and slipshod about informing defendants. Officials appeared intent on containing the scandal that threatened to discredit the military's most important forensics facility, which handles more than 3,000 criminal cases a year.
The military has never publicly acknowledged the extent of Mills' mistakes northe lab's culpability. McClatchy pieced together the untold story by conducting dozens of interviews and reviewing internal investigations, transcripts and other documents. The McClatchy investigation shows: Read More
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, February 27, 2011; 6:27 PM
"Highway drivers from Virginia to Rhode Island on Monday will begin to see electronic billboards with larger-than-life police sketches of an unidentified man who has been attacking women for more than a decade - images that detectives hope will spark the tip they need to catch an elusive predator they call the East Coast Rapist."
"The billboards are the latest effort by law enforcement to identify the man who has sexually assaulted at least 12 women since the late 1990s. His last known rape was in Prince William County on Halloween in 2009, a brazen attack on three teenage girls headed home from a night of trick-or-treating. DNA evidence links the rapes."
"Detectives in four states and FBI agents have been searching for the rapist, but they have not been able to name him. They say he is black and about 6 feet tall, and once had a badly chipped tooth. He often wore a ski mask or hat during attacks. He has used a knife, gun, screwdriver and broken bottle to overpower victims."
"During the past year, detectives have closely focused on and ruled out more than two dozen men who fit the rapist's description and who have connections to the locations where incidents have occurred since 1997: Prince George's, Fairfax and Prince William counties, Leesburg, New Haven, Conn., and Cranston, R.I. . . " Read More
Main Category: Women's Health / Gynecology
Article Date: 16 Feb 2011 - 0:00 PST
"For many women in violent relationships, leaving is not an option. Yet a woman's arsenal of defenses for resisting violence critically depends on her position within the family and community, according to new research from Concordia University published in the journal Review of Radical Political Economics.
"Women's resistance is often conceptualized only as exit, which is problematic," says study author Stephanie Paterson, a professor in the Concordia University Department of Political Science and member of the Centre for Research in Human Development.
"We know that violence increases upon separation. Focusing on exit obscures the experiences of women who are unwilling and/or unable to leave," says Paterson, who is also a fellow at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Canada's pioneering college in the field of women's studies.
Paterson's study found that, contrary to popular theory, wealth is not a guaranteed escape from an abusive relationship. It's just one of many factors that can help a woman resist violence. Those factors can be tangible, such as access to a caring personal network. They can be intangible, such as her partner's perception of her resources, and his perception of her role within the family. If a partner perceives a woman as being in a strong position to resist, he's more likely to reconsider being violent towards her."
How battered women can push back . . . Read More
Below is an interesting article on synthetic DNA which can be used to locate stolen articles. While I certainly can see its positive uses for major stolen items, I question the extra burden, and costs, for uses in places like pawn shops. I seriously question how many pawn shops would utilize this. And what's next, hitting the yard sales? I also question if this wouldn't be opening a can of worms in court:
By John Roach
Thieves may be finding it more difficult to pawn off stolen goods, thanks to new technologies that can put invisible marks on everything from copper wire to flat-screen TVs. Two British companies at the forefront of the technology, Selectamark Security Systems and SmartWater Technology, were recently profiled by PhysOrg.com and The Economist.
The companies liken the technology to uniquely identifiable synthetic DNA that is permanently attached to goods. The microscopic markings can help scrap dealers, pawn shops and cops determine if the loot under consideration is stolen — and, if so, from where.
Microdots and adhesive
SelectaMark's technology is called SelectaDNA. It's a nearly impossible-to-remove transparent adhesive embedded with nickel alloy or polyester microdots (see image above) that contain a unique code and phone number. The information glows in ultraviolet light and can be read under a microscope.
Each batch of adhesive also has a unique marking. The code is stored along with customer details in a database. That way, even a tiny bit of adhesive can be used to identify the rightful owner of the object. A "home kit" costs about $80 (50 British pounds) . . " Read More
"A former policeman has been branded 'every parent's worst nightmare' after committing a string of sex offences against children.
Daniel Lishman has been jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 11 years before being considered for parole.
He used jobs as a mobile dog-groomer and a TV licensing officer to help him carry out at least eight offences and also posed as a policeman to indecently assault two young girls, Coventry Crown Court heard."
Cuffed: Daniel Lishman is believed to have committed his first crime while working as an officer for Northamptonshire Police
" The 37-year-old, of Thorpe Street, Raunds, Northamptonshire, was convicted at previous hearings of 26 counts and asked for four others to be considered.
The charges, including one of rape and 12 of sexual assault, related to a total of 13 victims, including three with disabilities or learning difficulties, as well as hundreds of indecent images of children.
Lishman, who was a serving police constable when his first crime was committed, was arrested in April last year after attacking a 12-year-old girl while pretending to check on a boiler at an address in Southam, Warwickshire.
Judge Peter Carr was told that Lishman, who served with Northamptonshire Police between 1995 and 2002, was linked to a string of other offences after detectives who arrested him found a camera memory card hidden in one of his socks.
The card contained images showing Lishman posing indecently near an eight-year-old girl, who had been 'blindfolded' using a pair of taped-up goggles in the back of his dog-grooming van.
Passing sentence at Coventry Crown Court, Judge Carr told Lishman: 'About ten years or so ago, you began what can only be described as your systematic sexual abuse of your victims, who were in the main very young children.'"
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:22 AM on 25th January 2011
" A mother who gave birth to her daughter in a hospital toilet said staff had ignored her desperate screams for help.
Sharon Willoughby, 40, and her partner Richard Sum said they also rang the emergency alarm but waited in vain for 15 minutes because staff thought 'she wanted a cup of tea'.
Miss Willoughby had gone into the birthing unit at King's Mill Hospital in Nottinghamshire in November last year and was given drugs to induce the birth."
"'Desperate calls': Sharon Willoughby, 40, and her partner Richard Sum, 38, with their ten-week-old daughter Felicity at their home in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire
But she claims she was not internally examined and went to the bathroom because of excruciating pain a few hours later that evening.
She quickly gave birth and Richard had to scoop his daughter Felicity out of the toilet bowl.
They claim they called out for help and pulled the emergency cord but no one came.
Richard then helped Sharon back from the toilet - carrying the child still attached by the cord - before rushing to get help as Sharon was losing blood.
Now the pair are considering legal action after the blunder.
"Sharon believes staff and midwives ignored her when she told them the pain was increasing."
"'We were there for 15 minutes holding the baby, pulling the alarm - but nothing happened'
She said: 'It was very frightening, horrible. I don't know if they were bored with the job but they didn't take any notice.
'They were cold, so it was already not a nice experience at all.
'Felicity was still attached with Richard holding her, it was slow progress.
'We didn't know what was happening, no one was coming. We were later told they thought I was calling for a cup of tea.'"
"Sharon, who has had two other children, needed a blood transfusion because of the amount of blood she lost and was in hospital for three more days.
He said: 'Sharon went to the bathroom and started screaming. I went in and as she crouched down I saw something come out.
'We didn't know what it was but Sharon felt the pain go. Our baby was in the toilet and Sharon looked round and realised she had given birth.
'We were there for 15 minutes holding the baby, pulling the alarm - but nothing happened.'"
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, says it's a travesty
Tuesday January 25,2011
"TENS of thousands of patients with dementia are being forced into care residences long before they need to go, a leading charity has claimed.
Around 50,000 are receiving so little help from council carers, that their loved ones are being forced to put them into a home."
"A report by the Alzheimer’s Society has revealed a shocking picture of the fate of dementia patients, with many left malnourished, in soiled incontinence pads and bedridden because of the poor service provided by private and state-funded home carers."
" One woman reported how staff from a private firm of carers ate her husband’s food and slept instead of helping to clean, change and feed him.
Councils around the country are slashing spending on care for the elderly. Many have already made it harder for families to qualify for home help, leaving children and spouses with no choice but to put their loved one in a home or spend their savings on buying private home help. Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “It is a travesty that so many people with dementia are being forced to struggle without the care and support they need.”'
"There are about 750,000 people in Britain with dementia, half of whom have Alzheimer’s disease. About 500,000 are cared for in the community by their spouse or their children.
But many elderly spouses need help to feed, wash and change the bedclothes of their loved ones as they themselves are too weak.
Local councils often send in home carers to do this, who they employ directly or contract in from private firms. But the quality of service varies wildly. Some carers are almost untrained while others have only a few minutes with each family, and hardly have time to get patients out of bed with no hope of helping to wash or feed them. . . "'
Read more: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/225097/Scandal-of-50-000-dementia-victims-torn-from-familiesScandal-of-50-000-dementia-victims-torn-from-families#ixzz1C3hHDK29
By Melissa Grace
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Friday, January 7th 2011, 2:43 PM
" A youth counselor charged with molesting teen girls under his care should be grilled about a 2001 incident in which he had sex with a 13-year-old in a courthouse bathroom, prosecutors said Friday.
The sickening details of the encounter were revealed as a judge green-lighted the case of Tony Simmons for trial next week.
Simmons, 47, is charged with the rape of a 15-year-old girl and the sexual abuse of two others in courthouses - but prosecutors say his depravity didn't stop there.
They claim the former Juvenile Justice Department employee preyed on a girl barely in her teens in the Manhattan Family Court building.
"He flirted with her and told her she was pretty and he liked her," Assistant District Attorney Evan Krutoy said.
He took the child into a stall, "kissed her, took out a condom and had sexual intercourse with her," the prosecutor said.
Krutoy said the Dec. 20, 2001, incident cannot be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations.
But he wants to be able to cross-examine Simmons about it if the accused serial sex sicko testifies at trial.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman did not immediately rule on whether he can.
Jury selection begins Tuesday in the case - which almost ended with a no-jail deal last fall.
His plea was revoked after public outrage at the sentence of 10 years probation that he was set to get. . . " Read More
13:06 23 December 2010 by Andy Coghlan
" A gene mutation linked with impulsivity and possible violent outbursts has been discovered in Finnish men convicted of violence and arson.
The mutation, in a gene called HTR2B, prevents production of the serotonin 2B receptor, a key docking point in brain cells for the neurotransmitter serotonin. One consequence could be depletion of serotonin in the nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain involved in providing restraint and foresight into the consequences of actions.
The mutation was three times as common in violent criminals as in the general population. Of 228 Finnish inmates serving sentences for violent crimes who were screened, 17 carried the mutation, compared with only 7 of 295 healthy controls.
Although the mutation appears confined to Finnish people, it could have counterparts in populations elsewhere, with similar negative consequences, say the researchers.
"We would anticipate that over time, a large number of functional variants [of HTR2B] will be identified, with a range of behavioural effects," says David Goldman at the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Maryland, and head of the team that carried out the work.
Impulsivity played a pivotal role in the criminal behaviour of all 17 prisoners carrying the mutation, who were convicted of crimes ranging from murder and attempted murder to arson, battery and assault. "The crimes occurred as disproportionate reactions to minor irritations and were unpremeditated, without potential for financial gain and recurrent," say the researchers in Nature. . . " Read More
11:07 08 December 2010 by Wendy Zukerman
11:07 08 December 2010 by Wendy Zukerman
" An altered gene which causes male embryos to develop female genitalia, has been identified in humans.
One in 4500 babies have gene mutations which mean their testes or ovaries do not develop properly in the womb. This can lead to ambiguous genitalia and a physical appearance which doesn't match their sex chromosomes. For example, "They may appear female even though they have male XY chromosomes," says Sinclair.
Girls with the disorder may not develop breasts, and can have excessive hair and an enlarged clitoris. This spectrum of conditions is known as disorders of sex development (DSD). DSD can lead to emotional stress, infertility and an increased risk of cancer.
Sinclair and Harry Ostrer from New York University, compared the genes of 16 people from two families, who were affected by a particular type of DSD where male XY embryos develop female characteristics, including female genitalia and a feminine appearance. . . " Read More
26 November 2010 by Miriam Frankel
"BLOOD left at a crime scene could be used to estimate the age of a perpetrator, thanks to a new DNA test. The test could narrow down the range of possible suspects.
Manfred Kayser at the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues say their test needs between 5 and 50 nanograms of DNA to predict someone's age to within 20 years. This can normally be retrieved from a small drop of blood.
The researchers took blood samples from 195 individuals whose ages ranged from a few weeks to 80 years. After extracting DNA from the sample, they amplified it using the polymerase chain reaction to generate billions of copies of DNA fragments called sjTRECs, or "signal joint T-cell receptor rearrangement excision circles". These fragments are produced as by-products when the receptors of infection-fighting T-cells rearrange themselves to become more diverse and better at combating foreign agents in the blood by deleting pieces of their DNA. People are known to have fewer sjTRECs as they age.
After the assessing the sjTREC level in each sample and comparing it with the donor's age, Kayser says he can accurately predict what 20-year age bracket, from birth to 80 years, a new blood sample belongs to (Current Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.10.022). . . " Read More
Certified Forensics Nurse Examiner and Independent Consultant