Today’s Lady News: Jury Acquits Rapist Who Climbed In Window With A Knife

  • Good news, ladies! A man who broke through a woman’s kitchen window and raped her at knife point has been acquitted by a jury. Timothy West broke into a stranger’s house at 1:30 a.m. and raped her while her family slept elsewhere in the house. When he was finished, he asked for her number, and she saw an opportunity to help the police catch him so she gave it to him. The victim’s brother called 911 after he left and she can be heard crying in the background. Police secretly recorded their conversation when West called her the next day and said — get this — “I do apologize from the bottom of my heart. … You mad at me? I can’t call you no more?” The victim agreed to meet him at a Dunkin Donuts that night, but when he showed up, police were waiting and arrested him. A jury acquitted this fine human being because they assumed she must have known the victim and invited him over. Let me repeat this: They didn’t believe her. I know all my hookups come in via the kitchen window holding a knife! Timothy West is currently in jail serving out the rest of an unrelated sentence for burglary. And then he’ll be back on the streets. Good job, justice system. [Jezebel]

  • Sarah Palin’s Facebook page got hacked by supporters of Stephen Colbert and John Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” to spell out the words, “KEEP FEAR ALIVE.” Clever! [The Daily What]
  • New York senatorial gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino dismissively referred to his opponent, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, as a “little girl” who kisses up to the state’s longtime senator, Chuck Schumer. Sen. Gillbrand issued a statement to say his comments “were offensive to women and unacceptable in any circumstance.” Paladino told reporters, “She’s offended. I don’t care. Doesn’t matter to me.” [New York Times]
  • A 23-year-old woman in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was told to cover up while she breastfed her son inside a restaurant. Micayla Duran and her partner, Parker Jennings, demanded and received their money back. The Frontier Restaurant has since apologized to Micayla and admitted their employee who told her to cover up was in the wrong. New Mexico law states that mothers are allowed to nurse in public. [UPI]
  • Florida Democratic State Senate candidate Kevin Rader recently took aim at his Republican opponent, Lizbeth Benacquisto, who is against legal abortion except in the cases of rape or incest. Rader recently ran an attack ad about her opposition to abortion and she shocked everyone by speaking publicly in a new ad about how she was raped at age 19 and passionately believes rape victims should be allowed to have abortions. “When I was 19, I was raped, and until now I’ve dealt with this privately, but my opponent, Kevin Rader, is exploiting this crime, suggesting that I wouldn’t stand up for other victims,” Benacquisto says in her new ad. [WPBF]
  • So sad: a 15-year-old Michigan girl was killed by the man who sexually assaulted her the day he was supposed to give testimony. Taylor Manley was abducted by Raymond Bus, who killed Taylor and then himself. He also had the name “Taylor” tattooed on the back of his neck. Ew. [***Link is fixed*** Detroit Free Press]
  • A decade after being mandated by Arizona law, abortion clinics will begin enacting new laws that forbid nurse practitioners from performing abortions. Planned Parenthood Arizona has long opposed the law because it said nurse practitioners are capable of terminating pregnancies as well and the new restrictions only make it harder for a woman to have an abortion. [CNBC]
  • The health department is investigating why 37 women were sickened at a University of Michigan sorority house last weekend, but they suspect norovirus, which is a fancy term for “food poisoning.” [Detroit Free Press]
  • A Greenville, South Carolina, woman waiting in line at the South Carolina Department of Social Services was asked to stop breastfeeding her one-month-old daughter in public. Theresa Chalouhi’s husband had lost his job and she went to the DSS to apply for assistance. The department made her wait 45 minutes past her appointment, during which point her baby started to cry. Chalouhi said when an employee told her not to nurse in their lobby, she burst into tears. “She had been crying for 15 or 20 minutes. A mother’s instinct is to do just what comes natural, you know?” Chalouhi told reporters. “Sometimes you’ve gotta swallow your pride in the case of your child and do what she wants, what she needs.” Well, you have the law on your side, dear. It is completely legal for a woman to nurse her child in public in South Carolina. [WYFF4]
  • A so-called “personhood amendment,” which seeks to give fetuses the legal status of people and thus criminalize abortion, will appear on Mississippi’s ballot in fall 2011. [Ms. Magazine]
  • Despite all the air time hogged by the likes of Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle, polls actually show Republican female candidates won’t fare so well on Election Day this Tuesday. [NPR]
  • Laila Ali, the boxer and daughter of Muhammad Ali, opens up about how women can unleash their own power. [Essence]
  • Can I tell you a dirty little secret? I love reality TV shows about female cops. That’s why I’m kind of thrilled for “Police Women of Dallas,” the new show on TLC. [Dallas News]
  • David Letterman joked in his Top 10 list that one of the signs the Democratic Party was in trouble was #2, “Nancy Pelosi found in a hotel room drunk and naked with Charlie Sheen.” I think this is funny and an obvious joke, but some activists are upset. [Name It Change It]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Islamic lesbians in the U.K. speak up about being forced to marry men to protect the family’s “honor.” [BBC]
  • Canada’s Minister for the Status of Women announced an earmark of $10 million to address the “disturbing number” of missing and murdered aboriginal women. The money will go towards improving the safety of aboriginal women within their communities and to create a National Support Center for Missing Persons. [Vancouver Sun]
  • Anti-abortion protesters gathered outside a conference for the International Federation of Professional Abortion and Contraception Services in Seville, Spain, last weekend, shouting “murderers” at the participants. [Feminist.org]
  • Pervy, call girl-friendly Italian president Silvio Berlusconi told the press today, “I’ve got nothing to clarify … I love life, I love women.” Um … yes … we know! [AP]

Thank you, commenter OhPandaBear, for pointing out the error in the Carl Paladino/Kristen Gillibrand item. My apologies for the brain fart.

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