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Showing posts from 2016

Teens Sue Oregon Strip Club

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An underage prostitution ring at an Oregon strip club led to the manager Steven Toth getting sent to prison for 15 years, and now two teenage girls are suing the company for millions of dollars. The defendant Frehoo Inc controls four Oregon strip club. The two teenagers are also suing tooth for prostituting underage girls in the back of the club. According to their lawsuits, S.H. was 13 when she stripped at the club, and A.G. was 15.

Toth, 45 years old, testified in his trial in 2014 that he guarded the door while S.H. had paid sex with clients. He pleaded guilty and testified against the girl's pimp, 30 year old Victor Moreno-Hernandez. Moreno-Hernandez is currently serving a 30 year sentence for sexually abusing drugging, and prostituting the girl.

The Oregon Labor Commissioner filed charges against Frehoo and Stars co-owner Jeff Struhar for alleging illegal sexual harassment of minors. The commissioner said that the club hired the 15 year old girl to dance even after Toth was …

Ruling Says Dogs Are More Than Property

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The Oregon Supreme Court ruled in the case State v. Amanda Newcomb that dogs are more than property under the law. In this case the court found that the dog was more like a child. Previously dogs were more or less considered property because they can be bought and sold, and have few standards to how they are to be treated(abuse and neglect laws). Oregon law and the 4th Amendment profit such things as looking inside a purse without probable cause or a warrant, the court allowed a dog to have his blood drawn without a warrant under certain circumstances. Since the court did this, they granted legal significance to the dog's life meaning his capacity to experience feelings and pain.  State v. Amanda Newcomb started in 2010 when an animal cruelty investigator was called out to look into reports that Newcomb was beating and starving her dog Juno. The investigator found Juno with no fat on his body, eating miscellaneous things in the yard, and trying to vomit. Newcomb told the investiga…

Uber Driver Refuses Blind Man's Service Dog

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A Florida Uber driver was arrested on the Fourth of July for refusing to pick up a group of blind men and their service dogs. Simon Nau has been charged with battery and failing to transport a blind person with a service dog. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Robert Stigile was in town for a National Federation of the Blind Convention and ordered an Uber to make sure that all of his friends and their dogs would fit. Stigile said that when Nau arrived, he told the group that he didn't take dogs. Stigile told the police that he already had the passenger door open and explained the the dogs were service animals. But Nau responded that he didn't care and began to drive away while Stigile, who is 100% blind, was still positioned in the doorway. The doorway hit his side and he began to yell because he was afraid of being dragged away. A valet told the police that he heard shouting as the van was pulling away.

Police said that Nau was laughing when he was arrested and didn't fully un…

Children Sent Into Desert For Punishment

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A homeless couple in California was arrested for sending the woman's three children into the Mojave Desert as punishment without shoes or water. The 7 year old girl, 6 year old boy, and 5 year old boy did not require medical treatment because a resident spotted them near a road and called authorities. It was 94 degrees when the children were found. Deputies found the mother, Mary Bell, and her boyfriend, Gary Cassle,  a short distance up the road near Twentynine Palms. They were in sight of the children, but were obviously not keeping track of them. The pair said that they left the kids to discipline them. San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman estimates that the children had been wandering for approximately 45 minutes. Bachman said that the family had been living out of their car. The children were taken by the Child Support Services department.

The couple were arrested on suspicion of child abuse, and their bail was set at $100,000.

Comments from Allen:

Pokémon Go Used to Rob Unsuspecting Players

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Four teen suspects were arrested for armed robbery on July 10 in Missouri. They have allegedly used the Pokémon Go app to lure unsuspecting victims and trap them in a specific location. The suspects tried to get rid of their handgun, but the officer noticed it as he approached their vehicle. The officer noticed that they had also been suspects in a string of similar robberies in St. Louis and St. Charles counties. All were arrested. The adult suspects were charged with first degree robbery, a felony, and their bonds were set at $100,000 each..

Pokémon Go is a virtual reality game that allows players to catch fictional creatures from the popular Pokémon game from the late 1990's. The group of teens managed the robbery by adding a beacon to a Pokéstop to attract more players. At a certain level of the game, players can meet at landmarks to join teams and battle. The goal is supposed to attract more Pokémon and users, so they can collect items and level up faster.

Some players have b…

Ex Park Official Stole Ancient Indian Remains

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Thomas Munson, former superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa, was sentenced to one year of home detention, 10 weekends in jail, and 100 hours of community service for stealing ancient remains of Native Americans in 1990 and stashing them in his garage for the duration of the time they were in his possession until 2012. He removed bones from more than 40 individuals, and lied about their whereabouts for two decades. The Native Americans were not allowed to rebury their ancestors, which outraged them.

The Effigy Mounds National Monument sits along the Mississippi River and many tribes consider the site sacred. The monument includes hundreds of burial and ceremonial mounds, most in the shape of animal, which were built by Native Americans around 700- 2,500 years ago. Excavations began in 1950, and scientists found bones and skeleton fragments considered historically significant. In 1990, Munson ordered one of his employees to put the remains in a cardboard box. He late…

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Ex Astronaut

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On June 6th, there was a DUI crash that killed 11 year of Niomi James and 13 year old Jayla Parler and injured two others in Alabama. James Halsell, former NASA space shuttle commander and pilot, has been charged with reckless murder and the families of the children who were killed have filed wrongful death lawsuits in Tuscaloosa County and federal court.

One of the injured passengers, Pernell James, told authorities that he was driving on US 82 when a car driving at a high speed stuck his car from the rear and sent it tumbling across the road. The girls were ejected from the vehicle. Halsell said that he thought he was on Interstate 20/59, and not US 82 during the crash. The officer who arrived on scene said that Halsell appeared very intoxicated and tried to take a vehicle of someone who stopped to offer help. Halsell told the officers that he had had three glasses of wine and stayed at a hotel in Tuscaloosa. They found an empty wine bottle and an empty package of sleeping pills. …

University of Nebraska Accused of Protecting Athlete

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Track star, Melissa Farrington, says that she was forced to leave school after she reported abuse from her athlete boyfriend. She claims that she was harassed and discriminated by the school's athletic department, so she is suing the University of Nebraska- Lincoln for violating the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Farrington said that the athletic department retaliated against her by canceling her scholarship after she reported domestic abuse by her boyfriend. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including domestic violence, in all schools that receive federal money. UNL could lose federal funding if it is found that they violated the law.

Farrington's lawsuit states that an athletic department employee informed the university in March 2015 that she was assaulted by a male student athlete she was dating, then university officials interviewed her, and confirmed the assault. She did not feel protected by the employees of the athletic department, b…

Using Drug Dogs at a Traffic Stop Illegal?

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North Idaho attorney Joanna McFarland argued that using a drug dog at a traffic stop is overreaching and illegal, and that her client should have been released after police officers cleared him of driving under the influence. Lewiston police detained Michael Parkins while waiting for a drug dog to pursue another investigation even though they had no reasonable suspicion that Parkins had any controlled substances on him. When the drug dog arrived to the scene, he alerted police of possible drugs in the car. They found two ounces of methamphetamine in a nylon bag in Parkins' pants.
Comments from Allen:  In jurisdictions all over the country, patrol officers are stopping drivers for one crime as a pretext for searching for drugs.  I see this almost every week in my practice in Idaho.  Why Idaho in particular?  Idaho has not legalized the use of marijuana, while that drug has been decriminalized to one degree or another in nearby Montana, California, Oregon and Washington.  Patrol off…

Led Zeppelin Copyright Infringement Trial

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Spirit, a psychodelic rock band from the 1960's, sued Led Zeppellin for copyright infringement over a song titled "Taurus" that Spirit had released and performed four years before Led Zeppelin released its most famous song with a virtually identical introductory melody line, "Stairway to Heaven."

The introductory line from that song is so famous that the movie "Wayne's World" filmed a brief scene in a music store where Mike Meyers plays that line, only to have an employee stop him and point to the "No Stairway" sign, which is actually hanging in that store.

Today, an eight person jury found there was no copyright infringement by Led Zeppelin.  A finding in favor of the band Spirit would have meant Led Zeppelin would have had to turn over a good portion of the song's past earnings to the estate of the composer of that song for Spirit, as well as future profits.  As Led Zeppelin has earned over $562 million for that one song, a lot wa…

National Parks Vandal

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23 year old Casey Nocket of San Diego painted on natural rock formations at national parks across the West and posted her work on social media. She has plead guilty to seven misdemeanors of defacing government property. Nocket admitted to defacing rocks at Death Valley National Park, Yosemite, Zion, Crater Lake National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. She used Instagram and Tumbr to share her graffiti which lead to outrage by those who saw it. Eastern District US Attorney Phillip Talbert said that Nocket's defacement showed her lack of respect for the law and our shared national treasures.

Nocket was sentenced to probation for two years, where she is banned from all federal lands, and 200 hours of community service including graffiti removal. She is also required to write a letter of apology to the National Park Service. She is going to have another hearing to determine how much she will have to pay for restitution.

Comments from Allen:

This lady probably has no criminal hi…

Mother's Misdemeanor Due to Facebook

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Jeanette Garza Alvarez from New Mexico was convicted of creating a public nuisance by posting a comment about the possibility of a shooting at her son's school. Alvarez was given a 30 day deferred sentence and ordered to pay $29 in court costs after she was convicted of a petty misdemeanor in her trial. Her defense attorney argued that her First Amendment rights were being violated and that he will be appealing the decision to State District Court. He believes that Alvarez didn't do anything wrong.

The criminal complaint said that Alvarez posted on her Facebook page that her son told her that several of his classmates were planning on taking guns to school and have a shootout. Alvarez responded to this complaint saying that the purpose of the post was to gather information, but there were 160 student absences in school the next day, in addition to over 100 phone calls to the school regarding the post.

Tom Burris, superintendent of the Roswell school district, said the post was…