A bombshell report that four women accused Senate candidate Roy Moore of groping, kissing and pursuing them as teens has prompted a fallout as his fellow Republicans gauge how to respond.
The report, published Thursday in the Washington Post, identifies women who claim Moore asked them on dates while while he served as an assistant district attorney in his home state of Alabama in the 1970s and 1980s. Moore, a firebrand and religious conservative, called the report “completely false,” blaming the Democratic Party.
Senate Republicans quickly distanced themselves. John McCain called the allegations “disqualifying.” John Cornyn, a Moore backer, described them as “deeply disturbing.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “must step aside” if the allegations are true.
But the state auditor of Alabama’s home state rushed to Moore’s defense. And he invoked the mother of Jesus, Mary, and her husband, Joseph.
“There is nothing to see here,” Jim Ziegler told the Washington Examiner. “The allegations are that a man in his early 30s dated teenage girls. Even the Washington Post report says that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the girls and never attempted sexual intercourse.”He later added: “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
CHARLOTTESVILLE — A federal court jury decided Friday that a Rolling Stone journalist defamed a former University of Virginia associate dean in a 2014 magazine article about sexual assault on campus that included a debunked account of a fraternity gang rape.
The 10-member jury concluded that the Rolling Stone reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was responsible for defamation, with actual malice, in the case brought by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. administrator who oversaw sexual violence cases at the time of the article’s publication. The jury also found the magazine and its parent company, Wenner Media, responsible for defaming Eramo, who has said her life’s work helping sexual assault victims was devastated as a result of Rolling Stone’s article and its aftermath.
The lawsuit centered on Erdely’s 9,000-word article titled “A Rape on Campus,” which appeared online in late November 2014 and on newsstands in the magazine’s December 2014 issue. Opening with a graphic depiction of a fraternity gang rape, the story caused an immediate sensation at a time of heightened awareness of campus sexual assault, going viral online and reverberating through the U-Va. community.
But within days of the article’s publication, key elements of the account fell apart under scrutiny, including the narrative’s shocking allegation of a fraternity gang rape. The magazine eventually retracted the story in April 2015, and Eramo’s lawsuit came a month later, alleging that the magazine’s portrayal of her as callous and dismissive of rape reports on campus was untrue and unfair.
NEW YORK—Fox News responded to sexual harassment charges levied against the network by former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros Monday by arguing in a court filing that the broadcaster is “not a victim” but rather “an opportunist.”
Tantaros last week filed her lawsuit against the network, former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and other Fox executives.
The charges came in the wake of an earlier suit filed in July by former Fox News broadcaster Gretchen Carlson, who alleged that the 76-year old Ailes decided not to renew her contract after she refused to have sex with him. Carlson also claimed that Ailes ignored her reports of “disparaging treatment in the newsroom.”
Ailes who has denied the charges, stepped down July 22 and left the conservative-leaning network with a $40 million severance package.
In her own suit, Tantaros said that “Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.”
Any serious discussion of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work is bound to touch upon her provocative use of feminine imagery.
The great American painter is celebrated not only for her renditions of Southwestern landscapes and New York skyscrapers, but also for her iconic, colorful flowers. Despite repeated denials by the artist prior to her death 30 years ago, critics have long held that those flowers were overt allusions to female genitalia.
Allison Wint, a substitute teacher at a middle school in Battle Creek, Mich., told the Detroit Free Press that she was hoping to provoke a thoughtful dialogue about historical interpretations of O’Keeffe’s work on Friday when she used the word “vagina” during a discussion with eighth graders.
Now, Wint claims that the verbal reference to female anatomy — a word she freely admits to having used — has cost her a job at Harper Creek Middle School.
“Yes, I did say that word; however, I was saying it in the context of art history,” she told CBS affiliate WWMT. “I wasn’t being vulgar.”
Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert molested at least four boys over multiple decades, federal prosecutors alleged on Friday.
Hastert, the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history, had already pled guilty to using hush money to cover up abuse allegations, but Friday was the first time the government detailed the full nature of some of the charges against him in a filing for the judge overseeing Hastert’s sentencing. The allegations stemmed from Hastert’s time as a high school wrestling coach in Illinois between the 1960s and the 1980s.
Here’s how the Associated Press described one of the allegations:
Prosecutors say in the filing that Hastert’s known sexual acts against Individual A and other accusers consist of “intentional touching of minors’ groin area and genitals or oral sex with a minor.”
According to the document, Individual A told prosecutors the abuse occurred in a motel room on the way home from wrestling camp. Hastert, the only adult on the trip, told the 14-year-old that he would stay in his room while about a dozen other boys stayed in a different room. Individual A said Hastert touched him inappropriately after suggesting he would massage a groin injury the boy had.
Trump is totally unacceptable and overlooks the fact that abortion is legal in the United States as per the decision Roe v. Wade. A woman’s right to abortion is settled law. Fie on these stupid men who keep equivocating and pretending that this right is not legal.
At some point, women will have control of their own bodies. It will be as accepted as women having the right to vote.
Full control of one’s own reproduction is the only way that women will have full economic autonomy. Full control should include access to effective contraception and access to abortion if that is needed.
Donald Trump should be punished for not thinking about what comes out of his mouth. The women of America will probably see to it that he pays….at the voting booth.
Tired of what she considers the government inserting itself into women’s private lives, a Kentucky lawmaker has decided to return the favor.
Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Louisville Democrat, has introduced a bill that would force men who want to use erectile dysfunction drugs to jump through a series of humiliating hoops beforehand, such as visiting a doctor twice and getting notes from their wives.
“I want to protect these men from themselves,” Marzian, who is a nurse, told the Courier-Journal.
“This is about family values,” she added.
Mazian told Fox affiliate WDRB that House Bill 396 would also require that someone seeking Viagra, Cialis, Levitra or Avanafil “make a sworn statement with his hand on a Bible that he will only use a prescription for a drug for erectile dysfunction when having sexual relations with his current spouse.”
“I started thinking, ‘How would this body of men feel if the government was injecting [itself] into their private medical decisions,’ ” she added.
RICHMOND — A House panel on Thursday advanced a bill that would allow any individual, business or organization to discriminate against someone for having sex outside of marriage.
The bill says state agencies cannot punish discrimination against anyone who is in a same-sex marriage, is transgender or has sex outside of wedlock.
The legislation advanced 13 to 7 along party lines in the GOP-controlled committee, except for Del. Joseph R. Yost (R-Giles), who voted no. The provision about sex outside of marriage was added to the bill minutes before lawmakers voted.
It is headed for likely passage by the full House next week; Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has said he would veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A legislative panel has rejected a bill to decriminalize adultery in Virginia.
Media outlets report that the Senate Courts of Justice Committee killed the measure on a voice vote Monday.
State law classifies marital infidelity as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250. Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell of Fairfax County proposed keeping the $250 penalty but making adultery a civil offense.
Surovell said that in the last decade, there have been just eight successful prosecutions for adultery in Virginia. He said only about a dozen states treat adultery as a crime.
Republican Sen. Ryan McDougle of Hanover County said that while there may not be many convictions, the charge can be a useful tool in prosecuting other offenses.
Give me a break. Virginia still really wants in your bedroom (or motel room or neighbor’s bedroom)
It’s been dubbed the “sex-on-the-beach” trial.
A Florida jury on Monday convicted Jose Caballero, 40, and Elissa Alvarez, 20, on charges that they had sex on Bradenton Beach in broad daylight. They face up to 15 years behind bars and will have to register as sex offenders.
Each of them faced two charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, carrying a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, the Bradenton Herald reported.
Defense attorney Ronald Kurpiers told the newspaper that Caballero and Alvarez were “devastated” by the jury’s decision.
Prosecutors — including the elected 12th Circuit State Attorney Ed Brodsky — sought a conviction in the high-profile trial to make it clear that such behavior is not acceptable on the community’s public beaches.
“We’re dealing with basically tourists, that came from Brandon and Riverview and West Virginia, and they’re here on the beaches of Manatee County, our public beaches,” Assistant State Attorney Anthony Dafonseca said, according to the Herald. “So you want to make sure that this isn’t something that just goes by the wayside. And that it is well known to the community, what will be tolerated and what won’t be.”
Oh dear God! Talk about overkill. How about a stiff fine and some community service and that’s it? Don’t we have enough people in prison already? Now, I am not supporting their actions at all. Their behavior was inappropriate at best, and illegal at worst. However, we don’t send people to prison for having sex, as consenting adults. That is just as childish as having sex on the beach in broad daylight.
From the New York Times editorial:
The incidents of sexual assault on children described by American service members who served in Afghanistan are sickening. Boys screaming in the night as Afghan police officers attacked them. Three or four Afghan men found lying on the floor of a room at a military base with children between them, presumably for sex play.
No less offensive is that American soldiers and Marines who wanted to intervene could not. According to an account in The Times by Joseph Goldstein, they were ordered by their superiors to ignore abusive behavior by their Afghan allies and “to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
The Pentagon’s indulgent, even complicit, attitude toward pedophiles among the Afghan militias that it funded and trained is indefensible, at odds with American values and with international laws Washington has taken the lead in promoting.
Pervasive sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan. It is especially pronounced among armed commanders who control rural regions and hold sway over the population there. The practice is known as bacha bazi, or boy play; powerful Afghan men often surround themselves with young teenagers as a mark of social status.
By instructing American soldiers and Marines not to interfere, even if the incidents occurred on American bases, the Pentagon has chosen — reprehensibly — to sacrifice vulnerable children in order to maintain good relations with the Afghan police and militias it needs to fight the Taliban.
Some American service members who opposed the policy have been disciplined or seen their careers ruined because they fought it. In one case, Dan Quinn, then a Special Forces captain, beat up an Afghan militia commander in 2011 for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. The Army subsequently relieved Captain Quinn of his command, and he has since left the military. Now the Army is trying to retire Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain Quinn in the beating.
Continue at the New York Times.
Where is the press? Where is the Pentagon? The military brass turning a blind eye to this kind of reprehensible child abuse is simply unacceptable on all counts. No human being should be used as a sex slave, especially children. I don’t give a rat’s ass what the customs are.
Seriously, people. Don’t we have anything better to do than sit around and gossip about who is sleeping with whom or who wants to sleep with whom or who wants to just sleep with anyone? It was fun and now it’s time to move on, leaving this perceived hotbed of horniness behind.
Many of us have trawled and trolled through the extensive list of (mostly) men who for whatever reason, went on AshleyMadison.com, a match maker for just about anyone. I saw the names of about 20 local people I knew. I have lived in the area a long time. Some I didn’t care about one way or the other. Other names made me sad because of the leap to judgement that seems to be the human condition when perceived wrong-doing is in question. Some folks weather these things better than others.
People have different reasons for going to sites like that. They probably have different reasons for coming to my blog also. It certainly doesn’t mean that they are having an affair or looking for love in all the wrong places. It could just mean they are curious or bored. We just don’t know. Frankly, unless we are married to one of those people, it isn’t any of our business.
I was able to create an account just this morning with no money involved. I wanted to see how easy it was. Naturally, I didn’t use my real name. I thought about doing an account on someone I didn’t like but then I thought that probably wasn’t decent behavior. Oh and did I forget to include I wasn’t looking for an affair, I just wanted to see how easy it was to create an account.
The people who really end up getting hurt when these things hit the proverbial fan are the spouses and children. They didn’t ask for any of this unwanted attention. How many families have now been opened up to ridicule, prying eyes and yes, blackmail.
A major Disney theme park is removing a likeness of Bill Cosby after this week’s revelation the comedian provided drugs to women with whom he wished to have sex.
I resisted jumping on this bandwagon. People are innocent until proven guilty. Or are they?
Bill Cosby has been like Santa Claus to me, since I was a very young adult. Now we find out that Santa Claus was really a pervert. Cosby allegedly not only was a sexual predator, but he drugged young women in order to accomplish his advances. Over 30 women have gone public with their accusations.
Cosby is a warning to us all. Not all rapists jump out of the bushes at us. Some, like Cosby, are beloved icons and steal into our living rooms via TV and recordings. They lull us into a false sense of security. We trust our sons and daughters with these “trust-worthy” figures because they say the right things. They make us feel safe. Such was the case with Bill Cosby. .
A bill on the desk of Gov. Terry McAuliffe would require Virginia schools to mark the transcripts of students involved in misconduct, in hopes of stopping sexual predators from transferring to unsuspecting schools.
The bill was informally named after Jesse Matthew, the man charged in the death of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Graham was last seen leaving a downtown Charlottesville restaurant with Matthew last September; her remains were discovered a few weeks later.
McAuliffe introduced a similar bill. An earlier version would have required a prominent notation on the transcripts of students who withdraw while under investigation for sex crimes.
The version on the governor’s desk, however, broadened the language to include a transcript notation for any student “who has been suspended for, has been permanently dismissed for, or withdraws from the institution while under investigation for a violation of the institution’s code.”
CHARLOTTESVILLE — A man from the Charlottesville area has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, officials in Albemarle County announced Tuesday.
Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 33, was previously charged with Graham’s abduction after authorities said he was the last person seen with the 18-year-old from Fairfax County before she disappeared from Charlottesville in September. Her body was found in a wooded area about 10 miles from campus weeks later.
Matthew also has been charged with abduction with intent to defile, indicating that police believe he intended to sexually assault Graham. Matthew faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted.
Lunsford said she chose not to seek a capital murder charge, which carries a potential death sentence. Virginia law allows it in homicide cases that allegedly involve an abduction or sexual assault. Lunsford would not discuss her reasoning but said the decision came after consulting with Graham’s family and weighing the impact on the community.
“The charges that the jury will hear are the charges that the prosecutor feels comfortable to bring,” Lunsford said.