Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Judge Deborah Batts

Judge Deborah Batts during the Robert Moffat sentencing 2010
- Associated Press - Monday, February 3, 2020
NEW YORK — Deborah A. Batts, the nation’s first openly gay federal judge, has died. She was 72.
Batts was found dead on Monday, three months before she was set to preside over a trial of California lawyer Michael Avenatti on charges that he cheated porn star Stormy Daniels, a former client, of proceeds of a book deal. No cause of death was immediately released.
In June 1994, Batts was sworn in after a smooth confirmation process following her appointment to the bench by President Bill Clinton.
Deborah Batts was a trailblazer in every respect: an openly gay African-American woman who became a United States District Judge after a distinguished career as a federal prosecutor and law professor,” Chief Judge Colleen McMahon said in a statement. “It will be difficult to replace her. Our hearts are broken at her premature passing.”
McMahon said one of the judge’s greatest contributions to the court was her last, when she provided oversight to a unique program that enabled people convicted of crimes to earn reductions in their period of supervised release by participating in a special rehabilitative program under intense judicial supervision.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

VULTURE: WeinsteinTrial: Accuser Says He Has No Testicles

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)
WeinsteinAccuser Says He Has No Testicles
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!”

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

NY DAILY NEWS:Staten Island woman who stole $400k from charity for slain police officers gets 2 years

JAN 14, 2020  6:24 PM
Lorraine Shanley standing with her defense attorney as she was sentenced to 2 years behind bars by Judge Sidney Stien.
SOS widows in the audience. Artwork by Elizabeth Williams  ( click on image to see larger)

She scammed the shield — and it’ll cost her two years behind bars.
A Staten Island woman who stole $406,000 from a charity for slain police officers didn’t shed a tear as she was sentenced on Tuesday to two years in prison before a courtroom of NYPD widows and their supporters.Lorraine Shanley raided the Survivors of the Shield charity from 2010 to 2017 thanks to her volunteer role as treasurer. She spent more than $25,000 of the pilfered money on landscaping, $32,000 on dental bills and $10,000 on eyewear.“
Maria Dziergowski, a widow who also served as VP at the charity, said her friendship with Shanley, 69, had destroyed her own reputation. She’d been frozen out of the tight-knit police community because people wrongly suspected she was involved in the scam.“My reputation is ruined. I have widows that won’t talk to me...won’t even look at me,” Dziergowski said. She called Shanley’s crime “just disgusting.”
Assistant US Attorney Brett Kalikow addresses Judge Stien pressing for more jail time for Shanley due to several facts one, being that she had not taken responsibilty for her crime, claiming she stole the money
for a special needs grandchild. 

Shanley’s husband, Officer Thomas Shanley, died of a heart attack on the job in 1986. She previously said that her son’s serious legal trouble, a disabled grandson and other hardships drove her to steal from the charity — though that didn’t explain vacations, tickets for Broadway shows and shopping sprees, among other luxuries. All told, Shanley wrote 121 fraudulent checks and 642 credit card transactions on the Survivors of the Shield’s dime, according to prosecutors. 

The charity relied on donations almost exclusively from active duty police officers.Judge Sidney Stein ordered Shanley also serve three years of supervised release, pay restitution of $406,851 to Survivors of the Shield and $103,983 to the IRS.The judge lamented Shanley’s “terrible detour into criminal wrongdoing” and urged her to commit herself to helping other prisoners while incarcerated.The charity generated as much as $275,000 per year that mostly went to the families of slain NYPD officers and scholarships for children who lost a parent in the line of duty. 

The charity’s donations have dropped significantly since Shanley was charged, Survivors of the Shield members said in court.“With every paycheck, thousands of New York City Police Department officers and employees donated to charity to support the surviving spouses and children of officers killed in the line of duty. Yet for years, Lorraine Shanley exploited that generosity, using her position as the charity’s volunteer treasurer to steal over $400,000 for herself and her family. Today’s sentence sends a clear message that those who commit such fraud will face serious consequences," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.