Blog Post #10

Arizona man abandons granddaughter in desert with loaded gun

There are stories that I come across that I choose not to blog about because they are too sad or grotesque. There are also stories that seem as if a parody news account created them. This is one of those articles, and I had to check it out to see if it was actually true or not. The title of the article reads “Arizona man abandons granddaughter in desert with loaded gun.” I did not know whether to laugh at the stupidity of the idea or be terribly afraid for the little girl. I quickly did research to learn that the granddaughter was in fact unharmed after the incident, so I was able to take the situation a little more lightheartedly. I even showed the article to my peers and they did not believe it was a real article. There are so many aspects I want to cover about the article but I began by learning about what the actual situation was.

Paul Rater is was found in a local restaurant eating a cheeseburger and drinking a beer when authorities were able to track him down. Officials say that he immediately admitted to leaving his granddaughter in the desert. Apparently Rater and his granddaughter were going for a ride in his new pickup truck, when he left her in desert brush, and gave her a loaded gun. The series of events that happened in the story so far seem so ridiculous it is hard to believe how a man could be so foolish to put a child in that much danger. Not only is she at risk of injuring herself with the gun, but there could be many other dangerous factors that could’ve arisen from being alone in the desert. The saddest part of it all is that the little girl is five years old. She was quoted saying to her grandmother, “I don’t know why papa left me. I was calling out for him. He took me by some bushes, gave me a gun and left me.” The heartbreaking quote truly shows how vulnerable the little girl was in the dessert. After four hours the girls was reported missing, which is a scary amount of time for the little girl. The family notified authorities and a helicopter was able to locate her.

The gun she was given was a .45 caliber hand gun, and it was set to the ready-to-fire position. She also reported that she was instructed to “shoot any bad guys.” This leaves me to believe there is something mentally wrong with Rater. No one in their right mind would in the first place give a loaded hand gun to a 5 year old girl, let alone instruct her to shoot at potential threats. Sanity has to have been missing, and I am hoping a further investigation will take place regarding Rater and his motives. He claimed his truck got stuck and they had to walk for help because he left his cellphone at home, and he only abandoned her under a tree after she couldn’t walk any more. This plea has no meaning when the authorities found him eating a burger and drinking beer, he obviously was in no rush to go back and make sure his granddaughter was okay. That will not hold up in court and I am hoping he will be found guilty on all of his charges. He has been charged with two counts of child abuse and one count of child endangerment, and given a $25,000 bond. The charges seem appropriate but one thing that can not be fixed from this situation is the relationship with the family. The child was returned to her mother and I can not even begin to think about how the family dynamic is now. I am so glad there is only emotional hurt rather than physical hurt, if the granddaughter had been injured in any way it would take this scenario to a whole new level. Rater has to be very thankful that the situation did not go as bad as it could have.

After stumbling upon this article I am glad I took the time to look into it. I am still just as upset and confused as I started but I was able to be slightly relieved when I learned that the girl was okay. The situation is horrible, but I am thankful it was not worse than it already is. Christmas will interesting this year for the family.

Sources:

  1. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/11/03/man-left-granddaughter-in-desert-with-gun-while-grabbed-cheeseburger-officials/
  2. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/arizona-man-leaves-granddaughter-alone-desert-loaded-gun-police-n456236
  3. https://www.rt.com/usa/320617-grandfather-desert-girl-gun/
  4. http://www.people.com/article/arizona-man-leaves-granddaughter-desert-gun-police
  5. http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/southwest-valley/breaking/2015/11/02/mcso-says-man-left-granddaughter-5-desert-loaded-gun/75060252/
  6. http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/11/man_leaves_5-year-old_granddau.html
  7. http://www.ktvu.com/news/44308115-story
  8. http://abc11.com/news/police-man-left-granddaughter-in-desert-with-loaded-gun/1067794/
  9. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/arizona-man-leaves-granddaughter-5-alone-in-desert-with-gun-to-shoot-bad-guys-a6718891.html
  10. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arizona-man-abandons-granddaughter-in-desert-with-loaded-gun/
Advertisements

Class Notes 11/5

  • First run off since 1999. Do research to include factual information like this in the news story. Consider yourself a news writer, not an opinion writer.

Bacha Bazi

  • Afghanistan- young boys sold by their families are sold to soldiers and wealthy people to dance, entertain and are used for sex.
  • (what methods are the journalists using to discover this story?)
  • It’s a form of slavery
  • A journalist went undercover, realizing he had to be inside the action to expose it
  • “Dancing Boys of Afghanistan”- title of the piece
  • Journalist: Afghan journalist who has been living in exile, almost beaten to death when he was investigating a massacre.
  • The boys are street orphans, and after their performance they will bid and whoever is the highest bidder will participate in sexual activity with the boys.
  • He arranged a meeting with a man who participated in bacha bazi, he needed to get inside the organization to be able to expose it.
    • He’s a very successful businessman, leads a double life. He invited the journalist to meet one of the dancing boys, he was able to see a bacha bazi take place.
  • After a man was asked how many boys he had, he answered: it’s unlimited, 2,000 or 3,000. “I just like watching them dance.” You could obviously tell he was lying when he denied having sex with the boys.
  • Bacha Bazi comes from Pakistan
  • “How long have you been doing bacha bazi?” “about 20 years, what can I say, there is money and power. “
  • Dastager has police security guards for protection.
  • He lives in a wealthy neighborhood, is married, and has 2 young sons.
  • He promises the boys family money and tells them that he will train them. They need to be 12 or 13 and have to be good looking.
  • They are protecting the identity of the 11 year old kid, for reasons later revealed.
  • The kid had absolutely no idea what he was getting into, had never met Dastager in his life.
  • “I had a boy because every other commander had one.”
  • “In Afghanistan, men don’t listen to their wives.”
  • Many miles away he was able to track down “The German”
  • The German acts as a bacha bazi pimp, supplying boys to wealthy businessmen.
  • The 11 year old boy is given lessons in singing and dancing
  • Bacha bazi is taboo in Afghanistan- another method is interviewing sources in other fields
  • Another method- conducting direct interviews with the victims- very tense with the owners sitting in the same room right next to them.
  • The journalist also spent time talking with expert sources in the unicef community and spent time with the local authority as well, it’s not just a one sided story.
  • The boys know that if they do not go with the men or do not please them it is very dangerous for them. Some boys are terrified by that and some seem completely unfazed by it all.
  • Another journalist method- addressing the camera directly and leading the audience.
  • He had seen a popular dancer a year before and tried to find him but was told that he had been murdered.
  • “They terrified him, and warned him. They were planning on doing terrible things to him”
  • The victim becomes the perpetrator, it’s the only life he knows.

We are able to take the cloth off, buy a plane ticket and leave afghanistan. The women there do not have that opportunity.

Iowa Supreme Court

In class we covered a very controversial allegation that was handled by the Iowa Supreme Court. Alleged Jesse M. Marzen committed numerous violations of the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct by engaging in a sexual relationship with a client, disclosing client confidences to the public and making a misrepresentation to a judge. It began with a simple suspension and then lead to a court case. We were able to obtain information regarding the allegation and viewpoints from both Marzen and the victim “Jane Doe”.

The general background information covered the career path of Marzen. He is an Iowa lawyer who graduated from St. Thomas school of law. He practiced law in Charles City and is currently the Floyd County Attorney. On September 2006, a complaint was filed by a woman named “Jane Doe”. She alleged Marzen engaged in a sexual relationship with her after representing her in a mental health commitment hearing. Soon after, a district court judge also filed a complaint against Marzen after hearing testimony from Doe. Marzen was a candidate for the position of Floyd County Attorney at the time the complaints were filed. The news of the allegations spread throughout the community and was highly publicized by local media. Marzen was still elected as Floyd County Attorney even after the allegations.

At the hearing on the complaint, Doe testified she had sexual intercourse with Marzen on numerous occasions while he represented her. Marzen quickly denied any intimate contact with Doe. One member of the commission dissented from the dismissal of the sexual misconduct. The dissenting member believed the events established at least one occasion of sexual intercourse between Doe and Marzen during the course of their attorney-client relationship. Doe’s testimony revealed interesting information that would lead people to believe sexual intercourse did take place between her and Marzen. She commented that Marzen had “funny”-appearing buttocks due to a loose fold of skin hanging from the lower portion of his buttocks. Doe testified she engaged in sexual intercourse with Marzen on four additional occasion’s, all in different locations. One of the witnesses, Amanda, had stopped by a home unannounced when she observed Doe and Marzen walking out of a bedroom. She claimed that Doe hastily offered a reason for her presence in the bedroom with Marzen.

Marzen denied the existence of any sexual relationship at any time with Doe. He testified Doe was never at his house. However, he acknowledged he had been at the house where Doe was staying on multiple occasions, but only for business purposes. Marzen claimed he had more than 10 moles on his back, which Doe failed to mention. Marzen also denied the presence of a flap of loose skin on the bottom portion of his buttocks. He did, however, acknowledge he weighed 325 pounds when he graduated from high school and lost between 125 and 150 pounds since that time. He also acknowledged he has loose skin around his waist and inside his arms.

In addition to his testimony, Marzen offered testimony from a number of witnesses. Rod Mulcahy, a lawyer in Marzen’s former law office, testified the attorneys and staff at the office would be there until eight or nine in the evening. He felt it would be difficult for Marzen to have had sex in his office during this time without being noticed. Marzen also offered testimony from a number of witnesses designed to show Doe had a propensity to lie or exaggerate. Marzen offered testimony from John Farrell, a probation officer formerly assigned to Doe. Doe had sued Farrell for sexual misconduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and false imprisonment. Although Farrell denied any sexual harassment or other such conduct, he settled the lawsuit for $5,000. Exhibits were used and a DNA test by the IDCI came back with negative results. Also had a doctors appointment where the report documented only that Marzen’s buttocks and perineum appeared “normal,” without a specific statement affirming or denying the presence of loose folds of skin.

It is an interesting case that required a lot of background information and reason to formulate a decision. There are many reasons that would argue “Jane Doe” is falsely accusing Marzen but it is up to the Supreme Court to make the decision.

Blog Post #9

New York City man arrested five years after wife’s death

covlin1102.jpg

New York City is known for it’s wild city life. As with any city, there are potential dangers that come with it. Most people fear gang violence in cities like New York, but there are often many white collar crimes that take place and garner just as much attention. You don’t fear New York because of the wealthy citizens committing crimes, but it happens nearly as much as the blue collar crimes. Recently an article came out about a man who was arrested five years after his wife’s death. I knew instantly that their had to be ulterior motives to the possible murder, and they were so clear it was almost mystifying why the arrest happened so late. I am planning on studying in the New York area and coming from midwest Iowa, I will have to get used to hearing about these happenings in the news. I am not excited about this, and neither is my mother, but these kinds of murders leave me wondering. What could possibly lead a husband to kill his wife, when they have been married for years with two children? The details are clearly stated in the article.

The couple had been going through a bitter divorce, something that should tip off officials during the investigation. I feel like the husband should be a primary suspect during an investigation such as this, especially after the next information released in the article. The investigators initially believed the death was an accident, but after they exhumed the body and performed an autopsy it was revealed that she had been strangled. The next bit of information is what I believe should have confirmed the suspect of the investigation being the father. The day after her death, she had a planned meeting with to make changes to her will. “She was fearful for her life, believed Rod intended to kill her, and there was some urgency to make changes in her will,” according to court papers filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court, which handles estates. I don’t know how this information could have delayed the arrest of the father, although investigators were thrown off by a wound on the back of the neck of the victim. They believed that she had possibly slipped and fallen, causing her to wound her head and drown in the tub.

The saddest piece of information from the article came next. Their daughter, nine years old at the time, found her lifeless mother in the tub. There are so many reasons that make this article sad and distressing, but the fact that their innocent daughter found the victim’s body takes it to a new level. The scarring of their mother being murdered is enough to trouble them for a lifetime, but having to experience it in person is the most terrible thing that could have happened to that poor girl.

After I was upset by the last information I had found, I was stunned at what I read next. Her Jewish Orthodox family had rejected an autopsy initially, which resulted in the cause of her death being undetermined. After the investigation began, the family agreed to allow her body to be exhumed and an autopsy had taken place. I now realize why the husband was able to be free of any accusations because he was saved by the family’s rejection of the autopsy. The family has now spoken out against him, calling him an animal. They are now currently fighting him for custody of the children, and I truly hope they win so the kids will be able to grow up in a safe and loving family. Currently his guardianship was suspended when the investigation began, which is good for the children whether or not he is guilty. Kids do not deserve to be involved in adult situations such as these, especially in their case. Roderick Covlin’s lawyer said his client was “stunned” by the Sunday arrest. “There can be no credible evidence, because he did not kill his wife,” Gottlieb said after a brief court appearance.

This is yet another heartbreaking article that was hard to read at times. It is just hard to fathom how the family could ever move on from such a terrible tragedy, and there have been so many turns in the five years since the accident. I hope the best for the family and for the children, they deserve a life of love and happiness. I plan on trying to stay up to date with the story because I am curious what the investigation will lead to.

Sources:

  1. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/11/02/new-york-city-man-arrested-five-years-after-wife-bathtub-death/?intcmp=hpbt1
  2. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/NYC-Wife-Found-Dead-In-Bathtub-5-Years-Ago-Arrested-Murder-Charges-339324532.html
  3. http://www.lohud.com/story/news/crime/2015/11/02/new-rochelle-native-charged-murder/75031320/
  4. http://www.vosizneias.com/219302/2015/11/02/new-york-husband-arrested-in-orthodox-jewish-wifes-death-in-nyc-tub-after-5-years/
  5. http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Husband-arrested-in-wife-s-death-in-NYC-tub-6604958.php
  6. http://nypost.com/2015/11/02/estranged-husband-arrested-6-years-after-wifes-killing/
  7. http://www.usa-news.net/sitio/news-usa.php?id=12-104012&id_sm=1&titulo=new-york-city-man-arrested-five-years-after-wife%27s-bathtub-death#.VjeshirBzGc
  8. http://www.statesville.com/news/us/ap/husband-arrested-in-wife-s-death-in-nyc-tub-after/article_c6c340b7-7246-5187-8d82-9b820b7f720e.html
  9. http://columbustelegram.com/news/national/husband-arrested-in-wife-s-death-in-nyc-tub-after/article_55a1c0aa-3df1-5bf7-9aa6-f44999f51148.html
  10. http://koin.com/ap/husband-arrested-in-wifes-death-in-nyc-tub-after-5-years/

Class Notes 10/29

Iowa Supreme Court v. Marzen

  • Alleged Jesse M. Marzen committed numerous violations of the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct by engaging in:
    • A sexual relationship with a client
    • Disclosing client confidences to the public
    • Making a misrepresentation to a judge
  • The grievance commission found there was insufficient evidence of an ethical violation on the charges of a sexual relationship with a client and a misrepresentation to a judge
  • It was found that Marzen violated the rules of professional conduct and will have an indefinite suspension not to exceed six months

General Background Facts and Proceedings:

  • Jesse M. Marzen is an Iowa lawyer
  • Graduated from St. Thomas School of Law
  • Practiced law in Charles City and is currently the Floyd County Attorney
  • September 2006- a complaint filed by a woman named “Jane Doe”
    • She alleged Marzen engaged in a sexual relationship with her after representing her in a mental health commitment hearing
    • Soon after, a district court judge also filed a complaint against Marzen after hearing testimony from Doe
  • Marzen was a candidate for the position of Floyd County Attorney at the time the complaints were filed. The news of the allegations spread throughout the community and was highly publicized by local media. Marzen was still elected as Floyd County Attorney even after the allegations.
  • At the hearing on the complaint, Doe testified she had sexual intercourse with Marzen on numerous occasions while he represented her. Marzen quickly denied any intimate contact with Doe.
  • One member of the commission dissented from the dismissal of the sexual misconduct. The dissenting member believed the events established at least one occasion of sexual intercourse between Doe and Marzen during the course of their attorney-client relationship.
  • The board filed an application to appeal Count 1. Marzen only cross-appealed as to Count III.
  • Doe’s testimony revealed interesting information that would lead people to believe sexual intercourse did take place between her and Marzen.
    • She commented that Marzen had “funny”-appearing buttocks due to a loose fold of skin hanging from the lower portion of his buttocks.
    • Doe testified she engaged in sexual intercourse with Marzen on four additional occasion’s, all in different locations.
    • One of the witnesses, Amanda, had stopped by a home unannounced when she observed Doe and Marzen walking out of a bedroom. She claimed that Doe hastily offered a reason for her presence in the bedroom with Marzen.
  • Marzen denied the existence of any sexual relationship at any time with Doe. He testified Doe was never at his house. However, he acknowledged he had been at the house where Doe was staying on multiple occasions, but only for business purposes.
  • Marzen claimed he had more than 10 moles on his back, which Doe failed to mention
  • Marzen denied the presence of a flap of loose skin on the bottom portion of his buttocks. He did, however, acknowledge he weighed 325 pounds when he graduated from high school and lost between 125 and 150 pounds since that time
    • He also acknowledged he has loose skin around his waist and inside his arms.
  • In addition to his testimony, Marzen offered testimony from a number of witnesses
  • Rod Mulcahy, a lawyer in Marzen’s former law office, testified the attorneys and staff at the office would be there until eight or nine in the evening. He felt it would be difficult for Marzen to have had sex in his office during this time without being noticed.
  • Marzen also offered testimony from a number of witnesses designed to show Doe had a propensity to lie or exaggerate. Marzen offered testimony from John Farrell, a probation officer formerly assigned to Doe. Doe had sued Farrell for sexual misconduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and false imprisonment. Although Farrell denied any sexual harassment or other such conduct, he settled the lawsuit for $5,000.
  • Exhibits were used and a DNA test by the IDCI came back with negative results. Also had a doctors appointment where the report documented only that Marzen’s buttocks and perineum appeared “normal,” without a specific statement affirming or denying the presence of loose folds of skin.

Ethical Violations:

  • While Marzen’s attempt to evade application of the rule of confidentiality is novel, it cannot be sustained.
  • There have been similar scenarios that were unable to be sustained as well.
  • Marzen argues that, even if his disclosures constituted a breach of confidentiality, that breach was excused by the rule:
    • A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary: to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer’s representation of the client.

Cedar Falls Candidates Forum

Cedar Falls is a wonderful place to live. I have only experienced living in Cedar Falls for a year and a half, but it has proven to be a place I am proud to call “home.” Towns don’t just become great on their own, it takes great leadership and guidance from those who care about maintaining the beauty and order of the town. The Cedar Falls candidates forum consisted of potential leaders all getting the chance to speak about why they would be great in that position. For one night, they were able to introduce themselves and answer questions, hopefully proving to citizens why they deserve a role of power in the community. As an outsider looking in, I was excited to learn more about the conflicts that have arisen in the past, and how each of these candidates would handle them. I was unable to attend the actual forum, but through watching the video online I was able to hear the sides of opinion each citizen presented. I was able to form my own opinions but was excited to get the chance to hear the opinions of my peers to see if they aligned with those I had formed.

One of my initial reactions was surprise. I was warned there might be moments that seemed awkward because it is an important election. It was more cut-throat than i had expected, where there were unexpected moments of calling out opposing candidates. One candidate who resorted to this tactic was Jim Brown. He would be talking about his own plan of leadership and then politely explain how Jon Cruz would not be able to be as successful as him. It almost seemed comical to me, because he was saying it in the nicest way possible, even with a grin on his face. It would take me a second to realize that what he just said was a slam on Cruz, and I grew to appreciate his approach. He seems to be a very kind individual, but you can’t always win just because of kindness. He is in the race because he believes he can make a positive change for the community, and he wants people to understand that it is time for a leader other than Jon Cruz. After watching the forum, he won my vote. I had a general understanding of all of the candidates after researching them in class, but after watching him speak I realized he would be getting my vote. His readiness for the forum was impressive, and he is obviously taking his potential role very seriously.

After watching Jon Cruz and David Haltermann, I knew they would both make credible candidates as well. They present the appropriate leadership qualities needed to be the mayor of a town, but their speaking at the forum did not win me over. Cruz seems worn, most likely from his repeated job of being mayor of Cedar Falls. I feel as if he has held power for much longer than any mayor should, and I feel that it is past due for a new leader. Dave Haltermann was interesting to watch as well. He was there for a reason, he has many changes he would like to see done, but I do not think he is mayoral material. He did not have his introduction memorized, which immediately put him on a different level than the other two candidates. I feel like he would play a great role on the leadership board but I do not see him being the mayor of Cedar Falls in the near future.

I was very excited to collect the opinions of my peers, to determine whether our beliefs lined up with each other’s or not. I began my interview process with Holden Feagler, a 19 year old intern with BMW in Cedar Rapids. I started by asking if he had any opinions on the mayoral candidates. “As an economist, I fully support Jim Brown for wanting to create more jobs instead of raising the city minimum wage. If Jim Brown were mayor one of his focuses will be creating new jobs, which would make Cedar Falls a much more profitable place to live,” stated Holden Feagler. Holden is an economics major at the University of Cedar Falls, and he seemed to resonate with a lot of Jim Brown’s ideals, and we were able to agree on the fact that we both wanted him to be mayor. Byron Fritch, a 19 year old intern with the University Physics department, has lived in Dike New Hartford all his life. This is a rural community outside of Cedar Falls. I was excited to hear his input as he has been in the Cedar Valley area during the past leadership of Jon Cruz. I asked him if he wanted Cruz to continue his position as mayor. “He hasn’t done anything too radical to upset me in the past few years. Although I do not agree with the housing ordinance he had passed. It might help to have a younger person in the position of mayor to bring more energy to the city,” said Byron Fritch. It was interesting hearing the perspective of a citizen who has experienced the leadership of one of the mayoral candidates. He shared the same belief that it is probably time for a younger mayor to take office to bring new ideas and energy to the city of Cedar Falls. The third person I asked was Nicolai Gibbens, who is a 21 year old working for a private painting company. “I do not approve of Jim Brown because he is trying to commercialize Cedar Falls. Cedar Falls is the perfect size where it is not too small and it is not too big. Making it bigger will not always make it better,” said Gibbens. I understand where Nicolai is coming from, as I come from a small town myself. It does seem that if Jim Brown is elected mayor there could be a definite increase in population from the increase in business and jobs. It is good to look at his plan with that perspective because there could be a lot of citizens with the same thinking as Gibbens. People are comfortable with the size of Cedar Falls and would not appreciate the inevitable increase of population that would come with Jim Brown being mayor.

After the process of viewing the candidates forum and hearing the opinions of my peers, I feel as if I have garnered an increased amount of knowledge regarding the mayoral race in Cedar Falls. I was glad I was able to get differing opinions rather than all of the opinions supporting Jim Brown. It was good to hear why people would and wouldn’t like Jim Brown as mayor. I feel like I have enough information to form a valued opinion and cast an educated vote. There are three credible candidates running for the position of mayor in Cedar Falls, and to be honest I would be comfortable with any of the three being elected. There are certain qualities that stand out to me that prove leadership I would want to follow, whether its the president of the United States or Mayor of Cedar Falls. Jim Brown has those qualities and I hope my vote will be one of many on November third that will land him the spot as mayor of Cedar Falls.

Blog Post #8

New York Teens Church Assault

Churches undergo a lot of scrutiny, from it’s members and especially from non-members. The Catholic priest scandals, to being simply judgmental. There is sadly a lot of negative news that stems from the church, which gives other churches bad images as well. Acts of wrongdoing shine a very negative light on Christianity as well, discouraging the people who consider having a relationship with our Savior. It is very disappointing when I find cruel articles revolving around a certain church, because I know some people will read them and that will be very influential in their thoughts about churches in general. This church article contains something I would never expect to come from any religious institution. There is a church in New York, and six of its’ members are being charged with manslaughter and second degree assault. I was shocked when I read the article, hoping I had read the article wrong. I had not, and I found disturbing information that lead to the death of one teen brother, and serious injuries of another. I wanted to investigate the unfortunate happenings closer, having no idea what would cause a murder in the church.

The brother who survived the attack, Christopher Leonard, spoke in court to explain what had happened. He is shown with his head lowered, speaking quietly about what lead to his brothers’ death. He stated how the pastor had asked them to stay late. One moment they were facing questions from their pastor, and then the beating began. Christopher testified that the weapon used was a cord “about 4 feet long”, and it was folded twice. I still was at a loss as to what either of the brothers’ could have said that would warrant a beating so severe, but Christopher solemnly explained what his deceased brother had said. Lucas Leonard had expressed a desire to leave the church, and that is what brought the violence to a start. He had suffered injuries so severe doctors could have believed that he had been shot. What I found next was the most startling of the information provided in the articles.

The boys’ parents, Bruce and Deborah Leonard, are charged with first degree manslaughter. Their stepsister is also charged with second degree assault. I had thought the article had reached a low with the violence, but the fact that 3 of attackers were their family is the most disturbing information I could imagine. The fact that they were the cause in their sons’ death leads me to believe there is more to the story than what is told in the article. There has to be an ulterior motive, whether it lies in the church or the minds of the family. Mental illness comes to mind, and I hope there will be an investigation of the Word of Life Christian Church in New Hartford, New York.

The violent act was described in detail during the court hearing, where Christopher explained what personally happened to him. He told how he was hit everywhere except for his face, including his genitals. The disturbing information that showed how he was abused and violated is hopefully enough cause to imprison the attackers. It is such a weird concept because if the attackers are found guilty and go to prison, Christopher will no longer have his parents as legal guardians. In most cases you would not want your parents to go to prison, but I feel as if Christopher would be perfectly fine with that decision. It is hard to understand what the family dynamic is currently like, but I hope Christopher is staying in a safe place away from his “family.”

I am deeply saddened by the fact that his brother he was able to relate to is now deceased. Christopher’s body language clearly shows how devastated he is. His shoulders and how he holds his head clearly shows how damaged and hurt he is, physically and emotionally. I hope he can come back from this incident and go on to live a normal life, not letting this mess him up in the long run. I also hope this does not discourage his wanting to be involved in a church. I hope he understands that his church he attended is not anything like churches he could attend elsewhere. I am nervous that this incident will prevent his desire to attend another religious institution, but with prayer I hope he will have faith. I am also hoping this is the last instance of violence I will hear that takes place inside of a church.

Sources:

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/21/us/new-york-church-assault-case/index.html
  2. http://wtvr.com/2015/10/21/teen-describes-new-york-church-assault/
  3. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/10/22/survivor-tells-deadly-beating-allegedly-at-hands-church-members/
  4. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/latest-uncle-allowed-beaten-teens-34630482
  5. http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/teen-beaten-inside-new-york-church-testifies-against-sister-charged-in-the-assault-1.2620098
  6. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/nyregion/christopher-leonard-in-court-tells-of-attacks-at-word-of-life-church-that-killed-brother.html
  7. http://fox13now.com/2015/10/16/police-teen-killed-in-n-y-church-assault-wanted-out-parents-face-manslaughter-charges/
  8. http://www.bostonherald.com/news/national/2015/10/police_teen_son_was_beaten_for_trying_to_leave_his_church
  9. http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_28985393/once-vibrant-church-became-place-fear
  10. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/10/16/parents-boy-fatally-beaten-at-new-york-church-in-court/

Class Notes 10/20

  • “It’s a good idea that we have the email/alert system, so that people do not go unaware that it happened.” -Hope Koerperich, communication major.
  • “I was actually happy that the person that it happened to was brave enough to report it and make us all aware of us, because if they hadn’t reported it the person could have gotten away with it, and we all would have been susceptible to it happening to us.”-Mckenzy Marley, communication major.

Police Chief:

  • This is something we developed a couple years ago, this particular message, and it’s very specific about being a sexual assault.
  • Has tips on how to minimize your risk, we call it risk reduction.
  • This was a little painful for me
  • We had an incident in the Fall of 2012, I wrote it and got a lot of feedback from, negative feedback
  • We are required by federal law to do this, that law also states that in this message we must put crime prevention tips that would minimize the likelihood of the same crime occurring with another victim
  • It’s not a blame the victim situation, it’s what we have to do.
  • This new draft of the email is much different than the first, it met the approval of the federal agency
  • The specific incident is bolded to draw attention to it.
  • If you read yesterday’s message, it states that it was reported to a campus authority, not the police department.
  • Clery act- there are several different groups that fall into the category, police officers automatically fall into the category. Anybody on the campus who has a significant responsibility for students: RA’s, athletic directors, etc. If you’re a professor who only teaches, you’re not a CSA.
  • CSA’s have the responsibility to report and notify other people if they are aware of a crime, they’re supposed to notify the clery officer for their campus (which is the police chief)
    • The officer has to evaluate it from crime alert, make sure it goes on the crime log, and count it statistically when they send in the results of the year to the board of education
    • The victim could choose not to investigate, this is a victim driven process, you want the victim to have control because their control was taken away from them.
  • Confidentiality is important, if they do not want their name released it does not have to be
  • You have to report the crime and also the geography, residential housing: a subcategory of on campus, off campus, public property
    • Geography is very important, the accuracy of what location the incident occurred in has to be precise
  • “Just give me a brief summary of what happened”- she can see what is reportable and what is not
  • Follow up question revolves around the location
  • If someone wants to do a police investigation, how long is that process?
    • There is no cost to the victim, the process’s length depends on so many things, could be any sort of length depending on witnesses and residence of the suspects, it can be a very long process.
  • Is it worth it?
    • That’s where the victim’s choice comes in. We have victim advocates.
    • People get used to watching the show’s CSI and assume the processes take little time but it is very inaccurate. It is what the victim wants, if they want to take the time to investigate they can choose to do that whenever.
    • They can also choose to terminate an ongoing investigation.
  • How effective have the investigations been?
    • I think we do a good job, most of the time: most of the victims do not want to pursue their attackers. One investigation began at 2:30 AM, and put in 80 hours overtime, and we did have closure on that one, unfortunately not the right kind of closure, but there was closure. The sooner you get to it the better of a chance you get to attaining the good result.
  • In Louisiana, it’s called battery, not assault. The way we would write assaults, I would read the report and review the clery definitions.
  • Penn State- Sandusky incident.
    • Once that became knowledge, nobody reported it. Several people knew about it and nobody reported it to the police. The coaches who knew about it, athletic director, vice president, and president had a legal obligation to report the crime. All of them did what they thought was right and told their supervisor, the person in power above them.
    • The clery auditors have not released the fine that they will impose on Penn State, and it’s been 4 years. Speculations revolve around millions of dollars will be fined.
    • Eastern Michigan- girl raped and murdered- they didn’t want anyone to know this happened and claimed she had committed suicide. Police chief was fired with criminal charges, many people were removed from power.
  • Clery applies to everyone on a college campus
    • It applies to faculty, staff and students
    • In the reports, we don’t want to talk about the victim or identify them in any way, maybe insert a suspect description
  • Under clery, we have 4 sex crimes: rape, fondling, statutory rape, and incest.
    • The last two are unenforceable.
  • Where can you find the report just issued? uni.edu
  • You can not compare universities for multiple reasons, one is because we have completely different populations, there is no use in a comparison because the data will be drastically different due to many factors.
  • Why do we have more thefts than the year before? How do you answer that? You can’t, data is just reporting what happened.
  • Why do we have less drug crimes than the year before? You can probably answer that. Better educated individuals are not making the same mistakes they would have made without the new info they have learned through classes
  • Making sense of the numbers, what do they really mean?

Blog Post #7

“I could have prevented 9/11” -Donald Trump

Many politicians are revered as admirable and honorable. Many do not fall into that category, and one in particular is Donald Trump. His career as a real estate agent and television star create quite the journey of becoming a presidential candidate. Recently on an episode of Saturday Night Live, a comedian from the show stated how he thought “America needed to stop doing things because they are funny.” This is in reference to him believing it was funny that Trump was running for president, but now that the election process is proceeding with Trump still involved, it worries him. He believes that America needs to stop encouraging Trump’s behavior because he doesn’t want him in the running anymore. I agree with this, and when he truly became a contender in the 2016 election, I decided to do some research of the man myself, instead of just abiding by what my peers were saying.

I simply typed in his name on YouTube, and found a video labeled “Top 10 crazy Donald Trump moments”. Instantly I realize that I would never want a president with a multitude of videos highlighting his worst moments, all of them being in a public setting. There were videos of him being rude to so many different people, and many instances where he incessantly reminded people about how wealthy he was. I soon realized that what the media and my peers were saying was true, and I too became scared that many Americans are actually in support of this man. I also had the realization that I had never in my life met one supporter of Donald Trump, and to this day I still have not met anyone who is intending to vote for him.

Knowing all of this information, when I was on CNN.com and found an article with the title “Donald Trump: I would have prevented 9/11”, I was not as surprised as I should have been. Such an outrageous statement would have taken me aback if it was muttered by anyone other than Donald Trump. I simply was not surprised that he would have the audacity to say something so outlandish only a month after the anniversary of the tragedy. I decided to take a closer look into the article to fully understand why Trump would make such a remark. “Trump says he’s not blaming George W. Bush for 9/11, but he claims that if he had been president, the attacks would have never happened,” according to CNN. This is due to the fact of how strict he is on immigration rights, in his mind the attackers would have not been able to be in a position to commandeer the US flights.

He also brought Jeb Bush into the mix, and said something that I have not been able to fully process and get over, truly showing the lack of respect Trump holds for others. “I’m not blaming George Bush,” Trump said. “But I don’t want Jeb to say ‘My brother kept us safe,’ because 9/11 was one of the worst days in the history of this country.” Trump also took to Twitter and in a demeaning manner tweeted about Jeb Bush and his brother. I personally do not someone as immature as Trump in any position of power in the American government. I also believe that with tighter security measures 9/11 may have been prevented, but I strongly believe that Trump would not have been able to prevent 9/11 with whatever security measures he plans on using. In an interview he stated that he is planning on building a wall separating Mexico from the United States, and also stated that he would have Mexico pay for it. These kinds of strategies will not “make America great again.” They are not even logical statements to make in the first place, and yet he is still in the running for presidency. After all of those accusations, Jeb Bush pushed back against the criticism with grace and class. “My brother responded to a crisis, and he did it as you would hope a president would do. He united the country, he organized our country and he kept us safe. And there’s no denying that. The great majority of American’s believe that.”

As the election grows closer, I can only hope that Donald Trump’s overextended stay in the limelight of the political battle for president comes to a close. America needs to stop doing things because they are funny. His attitude and personality is much better suited for a television network.

Sources:

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/18/politics/donald-trump-jeb-bush-9-11/index.html
  2. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-my-immigration-plans-would-have-prevented-911/
  3. http://time.com/4077615/donald-trump-bush-september-11/
  4. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/18/trump-suggests-might-have-prevented-11-attacks-extending-feud-with-bush/
  5. http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/trump-bush-continue-battle-over-9-11-comments-george-w-n446726
  6. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3278050/Donald-Trump-says-tough-immigration-stance-prevented-9-11-doubt-people-country.html
  7. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3278050/Donald-Trump-says-tough-immigration-stance-prevented-9-11-doubt-people-country.html
  8. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/donald-trump-says-that-he-would-have-prevented-911-if-he-had-been-president-in-2001
  9. http://www.vibe.com/2015/10/donald-trump-september-11-attacks/
  10. http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-10182015-htmlstory.html

Class Notes 10/15

Jon T. Crews:

  • Running for mayor
  • Address: 4815 Algonquin Dr. #3 Cedar Falls IA, 50613. Black Hawk county.
  • Candidate’s phone: 319-830-7075
  • Email: jon.crews32@gmail.com
  • Found his public Facebook account, very respectful. Has a wife, very involved in the community.
  • Searched his address and found out that he lives in an apartament in GreenHill Town homes
  • He does not live in a home like Jim Brown does, his wife is the co-owner of the apartment
  • Has a website crewsformayor.com
    • About Jon Crews: Born and Raised in Cedar Falls, was a Cedar Falls High School graduate, and attended West Point after high school. He served four and a half years in the U.S. Army active reserves while attending the University of Northern Iowa. He graduated with a teaching degree in 1970 and was first elected Mayor of Cedar Falls in 1971. At the end of this year, Jon will have served 30 years in the role.
    • His wife Ronelle was born and raised in South Africa where she received her doctoral degree.

David Halterman:

  • Address: 4108 Heritage Rd Cedar Falls, IA, 50613. Black Hawk County
  • Candidate’s Phone: 319-404-2285
  • Candidate’s email: dhalterman@cfu.net
  • David Halterman has had speeding tickets and has been pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt
  • David Halterman has a semi-private Facebook page, and does not seem to advertise for his campaign near as much as they other candidates
  • Has been called a “Horse’s Ass”
  • Seemed very friendly on the phone- told the class to approach him and ask any questions that we might have.
  • Can not find near as much information on him, seems like the least likely candidate during this campaign.

Will be attending David Halterman’s election parties on November 3rd