– Cardinal on trial in France’s biggest church sex abuse trial
– Woman sentenced to life as teen in killing wins clemency
– The Battle to Stop Family Separation
– R. Kelly under criminal investigation following Lifetime documentary series; possible victims urged to come forward
Cardinal on trial in France’s biggest church sex abuse trial
NICOLAS VAUX-MONTAGNY Associated Press 7 January 2019
LYON, France (AP) — A Catholic cardinal and five other people went on trial Monday accused of covering up for a pedophile priest who abused Boy Scouts — France’s most important church sex abuse case to date.
The case poses a new challenge to the Vatican, amid growing demands in overwhelmingly Catholic France for a reckoning with decades of sexual abuse by the clergy.
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 68, appeared in a Lyon court Monday along with other senior church officials accused of failing to protect children from alleged abuse by the Rev. Bernard Preynat. The top Vatican official in charge of sex abuse cases, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, is among the accused — but won’t appear in court because the Vatican invoked his diplomatic immunity.
Nine people who said the priest abused them in the 1970s and 1980s brought the case to court, and hope it marks a turning point in efforts to hold the French church hierarchy accountable for hushing up abuse. The victims say top clergy were aware of Preynat’s actions for years, but allowed him to be in contact with children until his 2015 retirement.
Despite nationwide attention on the case, it may fall apart for legal reasons. Prosecutors initially threw out it out for insufficient evidence. Barbarin’s lawyer says his client never obstructed justice because the statute of limitations had passed on the acts in question by the time Barbarin was informed….
Woman sentenced to life as teen in killing wins clemency
A woman who says she was a victim of sex trafficking when she killed a man in 2004 was granted clemency Monday by Tennessee’s governor and will be released from prison
By KIMBERLEE KRUESI
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A woman who says she was a 16-year-old sex trafficking victim when she killed a man in 2004 was granted clemency Monday by Tennessee’s governor and will be released from prison later this year.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown, who had been serving a life sentence but who will be released on parole on Aug. 7 — 15 years from the date she was first arrested.
“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life,” Haslam said in his statement.
Brown, 30, will remain on parole supervision for 10 years on the condition she does not violate any state or federal laws, holds a job, and participates in regular counseling sessions….
Brown was convicted in 2006 of murdering Allen, a Nashville real estate agent. Police said she shot Allen in the back of the head at close range with a gun she brought to rob him after he picked her up at a Sonic Drive-in fast-food restaurant in Nashville to have sex with her.
Brown’s lawyers contended she was a sex trafficking victim who not only feared for her life but also lacked the mental capability to be culpable in the slaying because she was impaired by her mother’s alcohol use while she was in the womb.
According to court documents, Brown ran away from her adoptive family in Nashville in 2004 and began living with a man known as “Cut Throat” in a hotel, who then forced her to become a prostitute. Court documents say the man verbally, physically and sexually assaulted her.
One night, Allen picked up Brown at a Sonic Drive-In and she agreed to engage in sexual activity for $150. Once at his place, Brown eventually got into Allen’s bed. Brown told law enforcement officials she thought he was reaching for a gun, so she shot him with a handgun from her purse.
The Battle to Stop Family Separation
By Lee Gelernt, Deputy Director, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
December 26, 2018
This piece originally appeared at The New York Review of Books.
In March 2017, John Kelly, then Secretary of Homeland Security, said in an interview with CNN that the Trump administration was considering a national policy to separate parents from their children to deter immigrants from crossing the border into the United States. The proposal triggered a backlash because it was so unpalatable, and the administration didn’t move forward with it. But six months later, in December 2017, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported that the administration was again considering the idea. At the same time, advocates who provide services to children in government custody told ACLU lawyers they were seeing children much younger than the teenagers they usually saw entering their facilities. As the stories began to multiply, the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project quickly realized that the administration wasn’t considering the separation of children from their parents—it was already doing it.
For at least six months before then Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the zero-tolerance policy of prosecuting every adult who crossed into the United States without permission, which would result in more than 2,000 children being taken from their parents, the Department of Homeland Security had quietly began taking hundreds of children away from their parents to deter would-be asylum seekers from coming to the United States.
R. Kelly under criminal investigation following Lifetime documentary series; possible victims urged to come forward
By Peter Sblendorio NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Jan 08, 2019
An explosive Lifetime documentary series covering distressing allegations against R. Kelly has reportedly prompted a criminal investigation in Georgia, while prosecutors in Chicago are urging any victims to come forward.
Investigators from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office in Atlanta have tried to touch base with some of the women featured in the six-part series, TMZ reported.
Kelly — who’s faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, which he’s denied — is accused of manipulating women and controlling their lives….
Kelly, 52, has been accused of inappropriate behavior with multiple underage girls in the past, which he has denied. He allegedly married the late singer Aaliyah in 1994, when she was 15.
Kelly was acquitted in a highly publicized child pornography case in 2008 after being accused of appearing in a sex tape with an underage girl years earlier.
Savage’s father Timothy, meanwhile, accused Kelly’s manager Don Russell of threatening him earlier this month, a police report released by Henry County, Ga. cops reveals. The report claims Russell told Savage it “would be best for him and his family” if the Lifetime series did not air, and that Russell threatened to release information damaging to his “reputation, business, and family” if it did.
An arrest warrant for another Kelly manager, James Mason, was issued last year after he allegedly threatened Timothy….