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Sexual Assault

Man Arrested in Bay Area for Child Sex Crimes May Have Victims in WeHo, L.A.

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MARTINEZ (East County Today) — The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office needs the public’s help in the Los Angeles area for identifying potential victims and information related to a case in their Sexual Assault Unit involving defendant Richard Charles Rocha, a 37-year-old resident of Antioch, California.

DA’s Office Seeks Assistance for Ongoing Investigation from Los Angeles Residents

Earlier this summer the District Attorney’s Office charged Rocha with multiple criminal charges surrounding his alleged lewd acts against boys under the age of 14 and setting up hidden cameras in public bathrooms. Initially, Rocha was arrested by the Fremont Police Department in May 2019 at his residence in Antioch.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement learned that Rocha once lived in Southern California, specifically Los Angeles. They believe there may be additional victims in the Los Angeles area. Rocha worked for a nonprofit […]

Continue reading at eastcountytoday.net

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Celebrity News

Harvey Weinstein Convicted on 2 Counts, Acquitted on More Serious Charges

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NEW YORK (TMZ) — 11:16 AM PT — Rotunno and Weinstein’s attorney Damon Cheronis tell us, “While he was not convicted on the most serious charges, we are disappointed in the verdict and will be filing an appeal. There are issues in this trial that were extremely troubling, and they prejudiced Mr. Weinstein’s ability to have his case fairly judged. These will be addressed to a higher court.”

They continue, “In the meantime, we are working on assuring that Mr. Weinstein is brought to Rikers’ Island’s North infirmary unit at the Anna M Kross center complex or in protective custody so that he can get the best medical supervision and care possible.

9:58 AM PT — Weinstein’s attorney, Donna Rotunno, tells TMZ, “We knew going in it was an uphill battle from the beginning. The verdict is bitter sweet. An appeal will be filed, this fight is not over.”

Rotunno also says they requested that Weinstein be placed in a medical facility inside the jail while he awaits sentencing. However, it is ultimately up to the Dept. of Corrections where he ends up.

9:39 AM PT — Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance just spoke to the media and made it very clear … Weinstein’s convictions — even on just 2 out of 5 counts — are absolutely a success in his eyes, and not a failure by any stretch of the imagination.

Vance praised all of the women who testified in the case, saying they changed the course of history with their participation and stories … and helped bring the criminal justice system into the 21st century in the fight against sexual violence.

He went on to say what was made clear is that rape is rape, and sexual assault is sexual assault — whether someone reports it in an hour, a year or never … and despite the relationship a victim may have with his or her attacker.

Bottom line for Vance … he says there’s a new landscape on how to look at these cases, and it’s all because the women in this case were heroic enough to take the stand and speak. He says Weinstein will be behind bars for a minimum of 5 years, and his office will take that as a victory … even though life in prison was potentially on the line on the more serious counts.

Vance’s hope with this case is that victims of sexual abuse will come forward and report, and know they will be believed … and that justice will be pursued on their behalf. It doesn’t appear Weinstein’s legal team took the opportunity to address the press Monday.

9:14 AM PT — Weinstein was remanded into custody following the announcement of the verdicts. He will remain behind bars until his March 11 sentencing hearing.

Harvey Weinstein is guilty of 2 of the 5 charges he faced in his NYC criminal trial — but he was found not guilty on the charges that could have put him in prison for life.

The jury found Weinstein guilty of 1st-degree criminal sexual act and 3rd-degree rape. He could get up to 25 years in prison just for the criminal sexual act. However, the jury found him not guilty on 2 counts of predatory sexual assault charges. Those carried a possible life sentence. He was also acquitted of 1st-degree rape.

A jury of 12 people — 7 men and 5 women — finally reached their verdict after 5 days and about 22 hours of deliberations. This comes after an interesting turn on Friday … when the jurors sent a note to the judge asking if they could be hung on 2 counts of predatory sexual assault and unanimous on the others.

The judge told them to go back deliberations, and they worked it out by Monday morning.

As we reported … Weinstein pled not guilty to 5 felony charges relating to sexual misconduct. The charges were based on the accounts of 2 women … Miriam Haley, a TV and film production assistant who worked on “Project Runway,” and former actress Jessica Mann.

The prosecution rested its case 2 weeks ago after 12 days of witness testimony. In total, 6 women testified against Weinstein, including Haley and Mann. Last Tuesday marked the start of jury deliberations.

As we reported … Mann testified under oath that Weinstein began manipulating her as soon as he met her, allegedly forcing himself on her multiple times and raping her at a hotel in Manhattan.

Weinstein’s defense argued he had a consensual relationship with Mann lasting for years after the alleged sexual assault. He maintained all sexual conduct was consensual.

During closing arguments, Weinstein’s lawyer, Donna Rotunno, ripped into the prosecution, saying prosecutors, “created a universe that strips adult women of common sense, autonomy and responsibility,” arguing Weinstein’s accusers acquiesced to sex because they thought it would advance their careers.

However, Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon countered in her closing argument, saying Weinstein’s accusers “were merely ants that he could step on without consequences.”

The disgraced Hollywood mogul felt he couldn’t get a fair trial in New York, claiming the jury pool was tainted … but the case proceeded.

Originally published — 8:53 AM PT

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Celebrity News

Snoop Dogg Apologizes To Gayle King Over Kobe Bryant Comments

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(TMZ) — I WAS DISRESPECTFUL Snoop Dogg is issuing a public apology to CBS anchor Gayle King after ripping her for the Kobe Bryant interview … and he wants to hash things out in private.

Snoop Dogg is issuing a public apology to CBS anchor Gayle King after ripping her for the Kobe Bryant interview … and he wants to hash things out in private.

Snoop just issued his mea culpa to Gayle, saying the way he came at her with a profanity-laced social media rant was out of line.

As you know … Snoop went nuclear on Gayle last week, heavily criticizing her for an interview she did with WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, which included a question and follow up about Kobe’s 2003 sexual assault case.

Now, Snoop admits he was wrong for lashing out at Gayle — who says she’s getting death threats for the Kobe question — and he says he overreacted because he was rife with emotions and angry at her line of questioning.

Snoop says he was just trying to defend Kobe because Mamba can’t defend himself, but he regrets the way he expressed his feelings.

As for why the change of heart … Snoop says his mom gave him some sage advice. He added … “2 wrongs don’t make it right.”

In his initial rant, Snoop called Gayle a “funky dog head bitch” and asked her, “How dare you try to tarnish my motherf***in’ home boy’s reputation, punk motherf***er? Respect the family and back off, bitch. Before we come get you.”

Snoop later backtracked and said he didn’t mean anything as a threat … and now he’s saying sorry and hoping to sit down with Gayle to chat behind closed doors.

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Lawsuits

Woman Who Claims Rick James Raped Her in 1979 Sues Estate

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A woman who says she was raped by late R&B singer Rick James when she was 15 years old is suing his estate for $50 million.

The unidentified plaintiff says James raped her while she was staying at a group home in Buffalo, New York, in 1979. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday against the James Ambrose Johnson Jr. 1999 Trust, which is run by the singer’s estate.

The suit was filed under the Child Victims Act, which opened a one-year litigation window for victims who were once blocked by the statute of limitations.

In the lawsuit, the woman said James was visiting one of the parents at the group home. She said he came into her room after dinner and raped her.

“He grabbed my hair and pushed my head into the pillow,” she said in the suit. “I tried to fight him off, but he […] 

Continue Reading at apnews.com

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