|Judge Deborah Batts during the Robert Moffat sentencing 2010|
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Saturday, February 1, 2020
|Jessica Mann testifies about an attack by Harvey Weinstein which took place at the DoubleTree Hotel in Manhattan|
Artwork by Elizabeth Williams ( click on image to see larger)
By Victoria Bekiempis
Jessica Mann testified in a Manhattan courtroom Friday that Harvey Weinstein engaged in forced oral sex and raped her in early 2013 and alleged that she was in a twisted relationship with him because of her sexual inexperience.
As Mann tearily described alleged incidents, she also made the bombshell claim that Weinstein doesn’t have testicles and appeared to have a vagina, saying she thought he was “intersex” the first time she saw him naked.
Weinstein faces charges in New York City for allegedly raping Mann, and for an alleged sexual assault on former actress Mimi Haleyi. Prosecutors have used Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra’s allegation that Weinstein raped her around late 1993 to bolster their claim that Weinstein has a pattern of predatory behavior. Weinstein has maintained his innocence.
“He would talk very dirty to me about fantasies and things, and compare me to the other things actresses that he said were doing kinky, dirty things with him,” Mann testified. “He always wanted to film me. I never gave him permission.”
|Jesssica Mann testifying abou ther relationship with Harvey Weinstein. Questioned by prosecutor Joan Illuszzi|
“He would say, ‘Do you like my big, fat, Jewish dick?’” claimed Mann, 34.
“The first time I saw him fully naked,” she said, “I thought he was deformed and intersex. He has an extreme scarring that I didn’t know, maybe [he] was a burn victim …”
“He does not have testicles, and it appears that he has a vagina,” she claimed, saying she had oral sex with Weinstein.
As Mann claimed that he had deformed genitals, Weinstein dropped his head.
“He also peed on me once,” she also said of Weinstein, who is 67.
Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi asked Mann to describe Weinstein’s hygiene.
“It was very bad,” she said. “He smelled like shit — excuse me, sorry, like poop. He just was dirty.”
|Jessica Mann broke down as she testified about an attack by Weinstein. |
As he was dragging me into the bedroom, I didn’t fall but I was having a lot of trouble keeping my balance, he was pulling me so fast.”“He threw me down on the edge of the bed, and he was demanding that I take off my clothes and I was begging him,” she said sobbing, her breath strained. “And I said, ‘No, please, no!”
For more of this story see link: https://www.vulture.com/2020/01/jessica-mann-harvey-weinstein-trial-testimony.html
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Judge grants Purdue Pharma, Sackler family pause in civil lawsuits
The reprieve will last only three weeks to give the parties time to seek more financial information from the family.
|“Litigation against the Sacklers is litigation against Purdue,” Ben Kaminetzky, an attorney for Purdue Pharma, told the court. “Continued litigation harms everyone.”|
Artwork by Elizabeth Williams ( click on image to see larger)
Monday, June 24, 2019
|Keith Raniere writes notes on little blue post its during trial Panel of sex slave masters behind him|
Nxivm: How a Sex Cult Leader Seduced
and Programmed His Followers
Former Nxivm members testified they were brainwashed into being branded and assigned to have sex with him.
By Colin Moynihan
June 14, 2019
Courtroom Artwork by Elizabeth Williams
When she first attended classes run by the self-help group Nxivm, Sylvie noticed multiple pictures on display of the group’s leader, Keith Raniere, known as Vanguard.
|Sylvie being shown a large photograph of Kieth Raniere that was displayed at the classes|
People in the classes, held in Albany, appeared to venerate Mr. Raniere, Sylvie testified during his racketeering and sex trafficking trial. She said class participants clapped, bowed, huddled, recited a “mission statement” and then said in unison “Thank you, Vanguard!”
|Sylvie on the stand giving her testimony about being manipulated into becoming a sex slave for Raniere|
The experience left her thinking she would never take another class, Sylvie said. Yet she did, eventually joining a clandestine subgroup within Nxivm in which she was called a “slave” and required to blindly obey a “master.” She even allowed Mr. Raniere to perform oral sex on her, believing she could not refuse.
For six weeks, the question of how Mr. Raniere persuaded so many seemingly perceptive people to let him control their lives has hung over his federal racketeering trial in Brooklyn.
Six former Nxivm members have taken the stand, providing a window into how the group indoctrinated people, undermined their moral beliefs and convinced them to blindly follow Mr. Raniere’s edicts, even when that meant breaking the law or tolerating unwelcome sexual contact.
Over the years, Nxivm’s curriculums provided the philosophical framework for a group in which members were taught to substitute Mr. Raniere’s principles for their own and see deviation from his teachings as heresy. The community was an echo chamber, witnesses said, and dissenters were subject to recrimination.
|The anonymous jury that convicted Raniere of all counts.|
Richard Ross, who runs the Cult Education Institute in Trenton, testified that he was hired by the parents of Nxivm members to extricate them from the group. “It became clear to me that this was a personality-driven group defined by a leader, eerily reminiscent of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard,” he said.
Besides Sylvie, the jury has heard from three other witnesses: Daniela, “J” and Nicole, whose full names were withheld because they were considered victims.
Two former high-ranking Nxivm leaders, Lauren Salzman and Mark Vicente, also testified. Ms. Salzman, whose mother founded Nxivm with Mr. Raniere, was indicted along with him but pleaded guilty in March.
|Raniere seated with attorneys who was found guilty of conspiracy, racketeering, identity theft,
extortion, forced labor, money laundering, wire fraud and sex trafficking
Lauren Salzman, a former high-ranking member of Nxivm, testified that some programs were “creating a community of people and kind of even an army of people to insulate and protect Keith and his views.”
Dr. Janja Lalich, a sociologist at California State University, Chico, and an author of books on cults, said Nxivm shares characteristics with many of these types of groups.
Cults often display a zealous commitment to a special and unaccountable leader, discourage dissent and control members through shame, guilt and peer pressure, she said.
“The more that they have absorbed and internalized the belief system the harder it is to question it,” she said of cult members. “Your personal sense of self has been replaced by your cult self and when you’ve become enveloped in a sphere of influence all the aberrant behavior becomes normalized.”
Mr. Raniere, 58, co-founded Nxivm (pronounced NEX-ee-um) in the 1990s as a self-help organization based near Albany. Members regarded him as the most ethical man in the world and someone who could help them lead more fulfilling lives.
Prosecutors have said that he exploited his followers, who paid thousands of dollars for courses. Among other things, Mr. Raniere is accused of founding the secret subgroup, called D.O.S., which included women who were branded with his initials and assigned to have sex with him.
He is now facing conspiracy, racketeering, identity theft, extortion, forced labor, money laundering, wire fraud and sex trafficking charges.
His lawyers have said that Mr. Raniere’s teachings benefited untold people and his sexual relationships were consensual. While some may question his methods, they said, Mr. Raniere acted in good faith.
During the trial, several witnesses described Mr. Raniere’s exalted standing among his followers.
“People would talk about how he could affect weather, how he would affect technology,” said Mr. Vicente, a filmmaker from Los Angeles. “By the time you saw him, it was a little bit like you were seeing, you know, some kind of god.”
|AUSA Mark Lesko gives rebuttal /closing statement|
Ms. Salzman, who was among as many as 20 women said to have had a sexual relationship with Mr. Raniere, testified that some Nxivm programs were “creating a community of people and kind of even an army of people to insulate and protect Keith and his views and legitimize and advocate for the lifestyle that he wanted.”
According to the testimony, Nxivm leaders sought to learn what people most wanted or feared, then presented courses as a solution.
Mr. Vicente said that some upper-level courses were aimed at changing students’ “programming,” likening the process to hacking a computer. The courses eroded people’s “instinctual” sense of ethics, he said. “It in essence played with our moral compass,” he said.
|Allison Mack bail hearing|
Some ex-Nxivm members said that they remained in the group despite reservations partly because they did not want to doubt people and programs they had trusted.
An actress from California named Nicole said she joined D.O.S. at the invitation of Allison Mack, known for her role on the television series “Smallville,” whom she looked upon as a mentor. Ms. Mack assuaged any fears she had.
“I was already stuck,” Nicole testified. “I wanted to believe her.”
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Thursday, April 4, 2019
US judge gives Tesla CEO Elon Musk,
SEC two weeks to work out their issues
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, has been a constant presence in the courtroom throughout his Brooklyn federal trial.
Like star-crossed lovers in a lurid narconovela, they would steal doting glances at one another from across the courtroom, with Guzman at the defense table, and Coronel in the gallery.
|Emma Coronel Aispuro seated in court during trial testimony in the row reserved for her|
|Emma Coronel Aispuro seated in court the day of summations 1/2019|
As the jury now weighs Guzman's fate, the former beauty queen still pops into court in support of her husband, who faces 10 counts in a massive cocaine conspiracy.
|Emma Coronel speaking to spectators during day one of deliberations|
While Coronel carries herself with the same effortless air she embodied during some three months of opening arguments, witness testimony, and closing arguments, an air of tiredness appears to be creeping in.
Coronel nevertheless continues to channel the same glamour that has made her as much a star of the trial as her purported kingpin spouse, sporting form-fitting clothing, sky-high heels, and a perfectly coiffed cascade of black hair when she appears.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Witness at El Chapo trial testifies about bribe payment to DEA agent made on behalf of Colombian cartel group
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Artwork by Bill Robles of 'Miracle on the Hudson'. Pilot, crew, passengers mark 10th anniversary of extraordinary landing
|Bill Robles illustration of a non court scene,|
the rescue of US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River 10 years ago.
This illustration was shown at the The New York City Police Museum in a show titled
Police in our Community.
The show highlighted the different divisions of the NYPD and how they interact with the community.
Several NYPD divisions were involved in the rescue from Aviation to Harbor to ESU/Scuba and more.
In the icy January waters the NYPD safely rescued all the passengers
with assistance from various ferry services including NY Waterways.
Thursday, January 3, 2019
El Chapo jury hears testimony from cartel cohort: A former Mexican drug trafficker who once claimed he was an informant for the DEA is testifying at the U.S. trial of the notorious kingpin known as El Chapo
Lawyers for Guzman – who was sent to the United States in 2017 after gaining notoriety for twice escaping Mexican jails – have sought to portray the cooperators as shady opportunists willing to exaggerate their client’s involvement in the drug trade to earn breaks in their own cases.