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July 2011 Archives

Facebook accounts increasingly searched by law enforcement

Federal law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, DEA and ICE have increasingly been using Facebook and other social media sites as tools in criminal investigations. The problem is that many of these searches are not being reported to users, which may lead to legal challenges that claim the searches are a violation of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against illegal search and seizure.

Rep. Wu accused of sexual misconduct, resigns

Congressman David Wu said he will resign from Congress after being accused of sexual misconduct by a teenage girl. The teenager called the Congressman's office and left a voicemail message detailing the allegations. Wu told his aides that a sexual encounter occurred but said that it was consensual. The teenager says that it was an unwanted, aggressive sexual encounter.

Strauss-Kahn accuser speaks to media about alleged sexual assault

The woman who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her last May in his hotel room has given an interview about the alleged attack to ABC News. The woman works as a hotel maid at the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square. She said that Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her when she entered his room to clean it.

Law enforcement trying to crack down on bath salts sales

The prevalence of the designer drug, bath salts, is growing as are the reported injuries and illnesses occurring in drug users. According to a recent article in The New York Times on bath salts, there were 3,470 calls to poison control centers in the U.S. from January to June. In 2010, there were a total of 303 calls. Hospital emergency room doctors have described bad reactions to the drug to be like a combination of all the worst effects of cocaine, meth, PCP, ecstasy and LSD.

When what looks like child abuse isn't abuse: Part 2

As reported in the previous post, NPR, ProPublica and PBS Frontline have been investigating shortcomings in the nation's death investigation system and how these shortfalls in the system can lead to the wrongful conviction of people for sexual assault, homicide and abuse of children. NPR looked into almost two dozen cases where convictions of these crimes were overturned after it was found that the work or testimony of the forensic pathologists involved was flawed or biased.

When what looks like child abuse isn't abuse: Part 1

A recent investigation by NPR, ProPublica and PBS Frontline looked into problems with death investigations in the U.S. The death investigation system in the U.S. lacks national standards, is underfunded and has a shortage of specialists the investigation found. The investigation also found that many doctors were working as forensic pathologists without the required board certification.

Sexual assault charges may be dropped against Strauss-Kahn

As reported in previous posts, last May, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the chief of the International Monetary Fund at the time, was accused by a hotel maid of sexual assault. The maid said that Strauss-Kahn had attempted to rape her and had sexually assaulted her on May 14 when she entered his hotel room to clean it. Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the IMF in light of the charges and scandal.

Man fights to rebuild reputation after false sexual assault charges

A recent two-part series in the Los Angeles Times by Christopher Goffard tells the story of a man who experienced a living nightmare when he was falsely accused of sexually assaulting an ex-girlfriend and the mother of his young son. The man could not believe what was happening to him as he was arrested in front of his son's school and brought to jail where he spent the next three months in a single-bunk cell. He was dumbfounded when he learned he was charged with kidnapping, torture, attempted murder and sexual assault, among other charges. The man thought he would be released right away because his ex-girlfriend was definitely lying to detectives. He ended up spending three months in prison because the charges were so serious he was denied bail.

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