Today’s Lady News: Another Week, Another College Gang Rape

  • Oh, man, this story hits close to home because, literally, Sacred Heart University in Connecticut is in my hometown. According to police, on Sunday night an 18-year-old victim was allegedly having consensual sex with 19-year-old student Timothy Sanders, when he called his two friends from his SHU lacrosse team, Nicholas Travers and Zachari Triner, to join him. Sanders allegedly held the victim down while Travers and Triner sexually assaulted her; when she screamed and struggled, Travers and Triner fled the room. Police said Sanders allegedly asked the victim if he could continue to have intercourse with her. Police have charged all three with conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual assault, while Sanders was also charged with first-degree unlawful restraint. [Connecticut Post]

  • Google executives have addressed why a racist image of First Lady Michelle Obama comes up—and will continue to come up—near the top of its search results. I agree with their “freedom of speech” argument on this one, although I, too, am outraged. [Chicago Tribune]
  • A Connecticut man has pleaded not guilty to charges he set his girlfriend on fire and tried to set her 12-year-old daughter on fire, too. Police say Howard Stewart of New Haven was confronted by his girlfriend, Christina Lee, with an accusation that he had abused Lee’s 12-year-old. Stewart then doused Lee and her daughter in an accelerant and set Lee on fire, while the daughter fled the house with the couple’s three-month-old child. Stewart was charged with arson and assault and is being held on a $2 million bail. [, AP]
  • Officer Ally Jacobs, a police officer who was integral in helping to capture Phillip Garrido, who is accused of kidnapping Jaycee Dugard, spoke to her old high school and urged the students to always speak up if something doesn’t seem right. “If you take anything away from today, just listen to your voice. It’s always right, it’s there for a reason,” Officer Jacobs told them. “So, I listened to that voice, I followed up, went a little extra mile, and three lives were saved because of it.” [L.A. Times]
  • As four of the Senate’s 14 female Democratic senators are chairwomen for various committees, a New York Times blogger theorizes these women might have leverage and influence to sway votes on the health care reform bill in favor of women’s health issues. [New York Times Prescriptions Blog]
  • In more health care reform bill news, controversy over the Stupak-Pitts Amendment has apparently revived activism both pro-choice and anti-choice groups. [New York Times]
  • Rena Kanokogi, a pioneer of American women practicing judo, passed away today at 74. Kanokogi won her first judo championship in 1959 by posing as a man, but had to give her gold medal back after she was found out! [L.A. Times]