Today’s Lady News: Fake “Rape” Was Apparently A Prank By Sacred Heart Lacrosse Players

  • A lawyer for one of the lacrosse players involved in an incident at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut on Sunday night said three male students didn’t actually rape an 18-year-old female student, but held her down and joked about raping her. Therefore, these three young men were charged with conspiracy to commit sexual assault. Timothy Sanders, the lacrosse player with whom the victim was having consensual sex and who held her down when his friends entered the room, has also been charged with unlawful restraint. The lawyer called it a “sophomoric prank”—understatement of the year, sir!—and said the victim of this sexually humiliating situation “deserves an apology.” Does he not see how pranking a girl that she is going to be raped goes beyond just plain douchey behavior? [Huffington Post, Newsday, Boston Herald]

  • Keith Nichols, 22, of Los Angeles is being investigated for four sexual assaults which allegedly occurred after he lied to women and told them he is a photographer for Vibe magazine. (He is actually a security guard.) Nichols allegedly told the women he would hire them as underwear models, measured privates on the fake “audition,” and never called them back about modeling work. [L.A. Times]
  • Meet 27-year-old Krystal Ball, a woman who is running for Congress in the First District of California. In an interview, Ball told other young would-be politicians, “What I would say to young women is that we really need you to be engaged. We need you to be involved in the process. You’re missing and it shows.” [Lemondrop]
  • On Monday, Baltimore passed a bill to become the first U.S. city to require so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” (which often pop up nearby abortion clinics to discourage women from terminating their pregnancies and offer them baby items and/or financial assistance if they do so) must post signs stating that they do not offer or give referrals for abortion or contraception use. Baltimore’s mayor Sheila Dixon is expected to sign the bill and it will go into effect 30 days later. [Feminist Daily News]
  • Alma Minerva Chacon, an illegal immigrant in Arizona, spoke to a Spanish-language TV station about how she was forced to give birth while shackled to the bed when she went into labor the same night she was arrested by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The police refused to let her leave her hospital room for a urinalysis and Chacon was also reportedly told if no one came to pick up her baby girl within 72 hours, the child would be given over to state custody (which makes no sense, considering she was picked up for being an illegal immigrant!). [Latina.com]
  • Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced a bill in the House on Nov. 20 which would address the backlog of “rape kits.” A “rape kit” is a collection of DNA information the police or hospital collects after someone is sexually assaulted and not processing the “rape kit” can mean the rapist does not go behind bars. [Feminist Daily News]
  • A court in Switzerland granted bail to filmmaker Roman Polanski, who faces extradition charges to the United States for a 1978 crime in which he drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl. [New York Times]
  • An employee from Oprah Winfrey’s production company says that she will cancel her annual “Favorite Things” episode where everyone in the audience gets tons of free goodies. In the past, Oprah did a thrift-themed “Favorite Things” episode but the rumor is that with the state of the economy, Oprah will call it off this year. [Daily Beast]

INTERNATIONAL

  • In honor of today being the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the United Nations has unveiled a Network of Men Leaders to act as role models and curb violence against women worldwide. The 14 leaders on the network include such diverse men as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Brazilian author Paul Coelho. In a statement, Tutu said, “You are a weak man if you use your physical superiority to assault and brutalize women.” [BBC]
  • The U.K. will add instruction about domestic violence to health classes, but some teachers are saying it is not their job to teach about interpersonal relationships. Really? Conflict resolution seems like an appropriate subject for health class to me. [BBC]
  • France will pass a law to ban “psychological violence within the couple,” which sounds like a fancy term to mean verbal abuse, I think. The country is also considering adoption of a Spanish program of tagging violent partners to prevent them from stalking their victims. In Spain, domestic abusers are required to wear a watch-sized alarm which sounds if they get too close to their victim and gives her a chance to call the police. [Agence-Free Press]
  • The death toll from HIV/AIDS has dropped 10 percent worldwide in the past five years thanks to greater access to anti-retroviral drugs, according to data from UNAIDS and the World Health Organization. [BBC]
  • Amnesty International has spoken out on behalf of the women of Tajikistan (which borders Afghanistan), stating half are raped, beaten or abused by their husbands and their husbands’ extended families. “Women are being treated as servants or as the in-laws’ family property,” said AI’s Tajikistan expert in a statement as it called for the country to adopt domestic violence legislation. [BBC]
  • Two male beefeaters (you know, the people in the funny hats?) at the Tower of London have been fired for harassing Moira Cameron, the first female beefeater. [BBC]
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