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.
MIAMI (Reuters) – "State and federal agents cracked down on Tuesday on South Florida pill mills, dismantling what was described as the nation's largest criminal organization involved in illegally distributing painkillers.
Authorities charged 32 doctors, pain clinic owners and workers with illegally prescribing more than 20 million painkillers and reaping more than $40 million in profits from 2008 to early 2010.
The indictment reflects a "multi-pronged attack on those who contribute to illegal diversion of pharmaceutical drugs from the pill mills of Florida to the streets of communities across the United States," said Mark R. Trouville, special agent in charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The clinics wrote prescriptions for large quantities of oxycodone, which authorities said were used by traffickers and addicts.
People "would often travel great distances, as far as one thousand miles or more, with complaints of alleged intractable pain," the indictment states.
Demand for the prescription drugs has grown to epidemic proportions in Florida and other parts of the United States, where dealers can sell a 30-milligram oxycodone pill on the street for $10 to $30 or more, authorities have said.
Florida leads the nation in diverted prescription drugs, according to the Attorney General's Office. Seven people die in the state each day from drug overdoses.
The indictment says that many in the newly charged group were also involved in the illegal Internet distribution of anabolic steroids, and some engaged in wide-ranging violence, including kidnapping, extortion and other crimes against competitors and people they suspected of disloyalty.
The five-count indictment unsealed on Tuesday includes racketeering, money laundering, and wire and mail fraud conspiracy charges. Thirteen of those charged were doctors ranging in age from 36 to 76 who worked at the pain clinics. . . " Read more
Article Date: 08 Jul 2011 - 1:00 PDT
"Creating a baseline for each youth athlete is a critical part of accurate future concussion assessment, according to researchers presenting their study at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in San Diego. Differences in how females and males scored on a standardized concussion assessment tool were also investigated.
"Our research analyzed whether the new Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-2 (SCAT2) has any variability in data for youth athletes and whether gender makes a difference on the scores," said presenting researcher, Anikar Chhabra, MD, MS of The Orthopaedic Clinic Association in Phoenix, AZ. "Our results showed that otherwise healthy adolescent athletes do display some variability in results so establishing each player's own baseline before the season starts and then comparing it to test results following a concussion leads to more accurate diagnosis and treatment."
Chhabra and his colleagues from A.T. Still University tested 1,134 athletes who were participating on interscholastic athletic teams at 15 different high schools in the Phoenix area, as part of a funded research project by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). There were 872 males and 262 females in the study with an average age of 15. The predominant male and female sports were football and volleyball, accordingly. A brief questionnaire regarding concussion history and the SCAT2 test was given to all participants.
Females scored significantly higher on the SCAT2 total score compared to the males. Athletes with a prior history of concussion also scored significantly lower on the SCAT2.
"This data provides the first insight into how the SCAT2 scores can be used and interpreted as a sideline concussion tool and as an initial baseline analysis. With concussions accounting for approximately nine percent of all high school athletic injuries, accurately utilizing assessments like these to quickly determine an athlete's return-to-play probability is critical to long term athletic and educational performance," said Chhabra. "
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Article Date: 19 Aug 2011 - 1:00 PDT
"Recurring headaches are common during the year following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), regardless of the severity of the TBI, and they tend to occur more often among females and those with a pre-TBI history of headache, according to an article in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free online at the link below.
More than 70% of patients who had suffered a TBI reported having headaches during the first year after their injury. This finding is a result of a multi-center study described by Jeanne Hoffman, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, and a group of colleagues from University of Washington, Craig Hospital (Denver, CO), Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (Dallas), Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond), and Moss Rehab (Philadelphia, PA).
Females and persons with a pre-injury history of headache were significantly more likely to report headache, but there was no statistical link between incidence of post-injury headache and the severity of the TBI."
Sources: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, AlphaGalileo Foundation.
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
By James Vicini James Vicini – Wed Aug 3, 4:13 pm ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – "Authorities said on Wednesday they have dismantled an online bulletin board allegedly used by 600 people around the world to trade graphic images and videos of child sex abuse.
More than 70 people have been charged in connection with the private site, which was called "Dreamboard" and gave members varying access to the material. Board members who molested children themselves getting the most coveted "Super VIP" access to pictures and videos, they said.
"To put it simply, we have charged that these individuals shared a dream -- to create the preeminent online community for the promotion of child sexual exploitation," Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters. "But for the children they victimized, this was nothing short of a nightmare."
U.S. officials called it the largest prosecution of people who participated in an online child exploitation enterprise operated for the purpose of promoting child sexual abuse, disseminating child pornography and evading law enforcement.
The bulletin board, created in 2008, folded in the spring of this year when members became aware of the U.S. government's investigation, Justice Department officials said.
The 600 members of Dreamboard offered to trade images and videos of infants and children 12 and younger, contained in some 27,000 posts, the authorities said.
"The nature of this crime is abhorrent. These are some of the most disturbing images I think you will ever see," Holder said, adding that some victims were in obvious pain and crying.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said digital media recovered from those arrested in the United States included more than 1 million images of child pornography.
Of those charged in the United States, 43 have been arrested in this country and nine foreign nationals have been arrested overseas, including accused bulletin board administrators located in Canada and France, the officials said.
The board's three other administrators have yet to be identified and authorities were seeking to identify other members and the victims, they said. About one-third of the members were in the United States and the rest were overseas.
Arrests also took place in Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Hungary, Kenya, the Philippines, Qatar and Serbia, among other countries.
"The dismantling of Dreamboard is another stark warning to would-be child predators who think they can trade in child pornography," said John Morton, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which conducted the investigation. . . " 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
Many adverse events can be prevented, providing what a patient safety expert calls "humongous opportunities for improvement."
By Kevin B. O'Reilly, amednews staff. Posted April 18, 2011.
"One-third of hospital patients experience adverse events and about 7% are harmed permanently or die as a result, according to a study that detected patient safety problems at a far higher rate than other methods.
The study, in April's Health Affairs, echoes two reports issued in November 2010 that showed rates of adverse events hovering near 25% among hospitalized Medicare patients nationwide and at 10 North Carolina hospitals.
The findings draw attention to the safety troubles that have lingered in U.S. hospitals in the 12 years since the Institute of Medicine's headline-grabbing report "To Err is Human." The study cited research estimating that up to 98,000 patients die each year due to preventable medical errors.
"This is one of the best studies that now gives us a sense of how much harm is happening to patients in American hospitals," said Robert Wachter, MD, chief of the medical service at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, who was not involved in the research. "There is a tremendous amount of harm befalling patients who are admitted to hospitals and humongous opportunities for improvement."
To judge from a survey released March 31, patients are scared of medical mishaps. Nearly 60% of adults polled by the Consumer Reports National Research Center believe medical errors are common in hospitals, and nearly half said serious harm is common. Nearly 80% of patients said they feared contracting an infection in a hospital, 71% were worried about medication errors and 65% were scared of surgical mistakes. . . " Read More
LOS ANGELES – "The doctor charged in the death of Michael Jackson tried to change his story about his actions involving the pop star, telling his own experts in the upcoming trial a different story than he told police, prosecutors said Monday. Deputy District Attorneys David Walgren and Deborah Brazil filed a motion asking a judge to bar new claims made by defendant Dr. Conrad Murray. They said he apparently made the new assertions in conversation with two doctors who will testify on his behalf in the case. The accounts were revealed in letters from the experts, Dr. Paul White, an anesthesiologist, and Dr. Joseph Haraszti, a psychiatrist and hospital director. Prosecutors believe Murray spoke to the experts after a preliminary hearing in January that focused on his statements to police after Jackson's death in June 2009. The motion quoted Murray as telling the experts he left Jackson's bedroom to make a phone call, even though he initially said he left Jackson to go to the bathroom.
LOS ANGELES – "The doctor charged in the death of Michael Jackson tried to change his story about his actions involving the pop star, telling his own experts in the upcoming trial a different story than he told police, prosecutors said Monday.
Deputy District Attorneys David Walgren and Deborah Brazil filed a motion asking a judge to bar new claims made by defendant Dr. Conrad Murray.
They said he apparently made the new assertions in conversation with two doctors who will testify on his behalf in the case.
The accounts were revealed in letters from the experts, Dr. Paul White, an anesthesiologist, and Dr. Joseph Haraszti, a psychiatrist and hospital director.
Prosecutors believe Murray spoke to the experts after a preliminary hearing in January that focused on his statements to police after Jackson's death in June 2009.
The motion quoted Murray as telling the experts he left Jackson's bedroom to make a phone call, even though he initially said he left Jackson to go to the bathroom.
Experts also said Murray claimed to have experience using propofol — the powerful anesthetic that killed Jackson — as a sedative, even though Murray didn't make such a claim in police interviews. . . " Read More
For a review, check out my initial report/opinion on Michael Jackson's death in archive pages to the left.
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
According to a study published online Monday, bacteria that live on a person's hands could one day accurately identify that individual. This could come in handy to track down a criminal who has worn gloves, removed prints and other personal physical evidence, or touched surfaces such as fabric where a fingerprint wouldn't show up, the researchers said.
The concept, outlined in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, relies upon the fact that human beings leave a trail of bacteria on objects they touch and that the mix of microbes on each person's hand is highly individualized.
"There's a rain forest of bacteria on your skin," said lead author Noah Fierer, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A human hand can contain on average about 100 different species of bacteria, he said, and only about 13 percent of that makeup is shared between any two people.
Fierer and colleagues compared the bacteria found on people's computer mice to a database of bacteria collected from hands of 270 individuals. The bacterial colonies from the computer mice most closely matched that of the owner's hands, the scientists found.
The technique was between 70 percent and 90 percent accurate overall, but this could be sharpened as technology becomes more sophisticated, Fierer said. . . " Read More
Certified Forensics Nurse Examiner and Independent Consultant