Judge Rules Cosby Civil Deposition Testimony Can Be Used in Criminal Trial

Prosecutors in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial next year will be able to use testimony he gave during depositions for an accuser’s lawsuit, a judge ruled Monday.

Attorneys for Cosby, 78, claim that he only agreed to testify in the 2005 lawsuit brought by Andrea Constand because a prior prosecutor had promised him that he would never be prosecuted, but in his ruling Monday, Judge Steven T. O’Neill concluded that no such promise ever existed, Philly.com reports.

“This court concludes that there was neither an agreement nor a promise not to prosecute, only an exercise of prosecutorial discretion,” O’Neill wrote.

As Philly.com notes, that ruling hands a major victory to Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, who cited Cosby’s deposition as a reason to reopen the investigation into Constand’s allegations.

The investigation led to Cosby being charged last year with sexually assaulting Constand.

The deposition, which was unsealed for the first time last year, was taken during the litigation of Constand’s lawsuit against Cosby. That case was later settled for an undisclosed amount.

In the deposition, Cosby acknowledges giving young women drugs or alcohol in past sexual encounters; many of the women Cosby named in the deposition have since claimed that he drugged and abused them.

In a transcript edited for brevity and published by the Washington Post, Cosby describes the sexual encounter that happened between him and Constand after he had given her three pills:

Q: So, you’re not telling us that you verbally asked her for permission?

A: I didn’t say it verbally, I said. The action is my hand on her midriff, which is skin. I’m not lifting any clothing up. This is, I don’t remember fully what it is, but it’s there and I can feel. I got her skin and it’s just above the hand and it’s just above where you can go under the pants.

Q: Then what happens?

A: I don’t hear her say anything. And I don’t feel her say anything. And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped.

In case you need a translation, that is Mr. Cosby admitting to having a nonconsensual sexual encounter with someone he gave drugs to first.

Another pretrial hearing scheduled for next week will determine whether or not Steele will be able to call 13 of Cosby’s more than 50 other accusers to the stand in support of Constand’s testimony.

Read more at Philly.com and the Washington Post.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheRootRssFeed/~3/Jrv4fJIjXxE/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Judge Rules Cosby Civil Deposition Testimony Can Be Used in Criminal Trial

Prosecutors in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial next year will be able to use testimony he gave during depositions for an accuser’s lawsuit, a judge ruled Monday.

Attorneys for Cosby, 78, claim that he only agreed to testify in the 2005 lawsuit brought by Andrea Constand because a prior prosecutor had promised him that he would never be prosecuted, but in his ruling Monday, Judge Steven T. O’Neill concluded that no such promise ever existed, Philly.com reports.

“This court concludes that there was neither an agreement nor a promise not to prosecute, only an exercise of prosecutorial discretion,” O’Neill wrote.

As Philly.com notes, that ruling hands a major victory to Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, who cited Cosby’s deposition as a reason to reopen the investigation into Constand’s allegations.

The investigation led to Cosby being charged last year with sexually assaulting Constand.

The deposition, which was unsealed for the first time last year, was taken during the litigation of Constand’s lawsuit against Cosby. That case was later settled for an undisclosed amount.

In the deposition, Cosby acknowledges giving young women drugs or alcohol in past sexual encounters; many of the women Cosby named in the deposition have since claimed that he drugged and abused them.

In a transcript edited for brevity and published by the Washington Post, Cosby describes the sexual encounter that happened between him and Constand after he had given her three pills:

Q: So, you’re not telling us that you verbally asked her for permission?

A: I didn’t say it verbally, I said. The action is my hand on her midriff, which is skin. I’m not lifting any clothing up. This is, I don’t remember fully what it is, but it’s there and I can feel. I got her skin and it’s just above the hand and it’s just above where you can go under the pants.

Q: Then what happens?

A: I don’t hear her say anything. And I don’t feel her say anything. And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped.

In case you need a translation, that is Mr. Cosby admitting to having a nonconsensual sexual encounter with someone he gave drugs to first.

Another pretrial hearing scheduled for next week will determine whether or not Steele will be able to call 13 of Cosby’s more than 50 other accusers to the stand in support of Constand’s testimony.

Read more at Philly.com and the Washington Post.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheRootRssFeed/~3/Jrv4fJIjXxE/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Local Non-Profit Helps Los Angeles High School Students ‘Get Lit’

A Los Angeles-based nonprofit is helping local high school students to learn to love and appreciate poetry, and recently turned a group of them into published poets.

Get Lit, founded in 2006 by Diane Luby Lane, is an organization that brings poetry into schools and “fuses classic and spoken word poetry to increase teen literacy and cultivate enthusiastic learners emboldened to inspire social consciousness in diverse communities.”

According to its website, the curriculum crafted by Get Lit is currently taught in almost 100 schools, and is aligned to Common Core standards in both English and performing arts, making a valuable program for both students and teachers.

Luby started her program in two high schools in Los Angeles, but the program has since grown to incorporate more schools, a professional performance troupe comprised of high school students who have participated in the program, a drop-in program on Saturdays for youth to hone their writing and performance skills, and a leadership program for graduates of the original program that go on to college.

Luby told LA Weekly that it wasn’t easy getting her program into Los Angeles schools.  

“Schools will say, ‘You don’t know our students, they’re not gonna like this stuff,’” Lane said. “And they did. They did! It makes me so angry because we decide, ‘Well, if you’re going to go to classes, you better bring hip-hop here because that’s what the kids like.’ We just dumb stuff down.”

Lane told LA Weekly that while she sees the significance of acknowledging contemporary work, Get Lit is about exploring how timeless pieces of poetry can be brought into modern conversation; kids know Kendrick Lamar, and they should know Walt Whitman as well.

“It’s just that it’s all good, and it’s all vital, and we shouldn’t decide what certain kinds of people are going to like,” Lane said.

In October, the nonprofit published a book by the Get Lit Players titled “Get Lit Rising,” telling the stories of nineteen teen poets including teens who are homeless, autistic, have parents in jail, battle with weight and body issues and more, and how they are using poetry to “pursue lives of promise and to reach out to friends, families and communities.”

Lane told LA Weekly that the Get Lit program has impacted schools in various Los Angeles neighborhoods, reaching the “richest kids possible,” as well as “students that don’t speak any English.”

The Get Lit website notes some scary educational statistics including the fact that 1 in 4 children in America group up illiterate; the state of California is ranked 46 out of 50 in teen literacy; and the Los Angeles Unified School District has a 34 percent dropout rate.

To that end, the nonprofit’s mission statement speaks for why it is here:

“We use poetry to increase literacy, empower youth, and inspire communities.”

Read more at LA Weekly and the Get Lit website.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheRootRssFeed/~3/EFOUVrI0ycE/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Local Non-Profit Helps Los Angeles High School Students ‘Get Lit’

A Los Angeles-based nonprofit is helping local high school students to learn to love and appreciate poetry, and recently turned a group of them into published poets.

Get Lit, founded in 2006 by Diane Luby Lane, is an organization that brings poetry into schools and “fuses classic and spoken word poetry to increase teen literacy and cultivate enthusiastic learners emboldened to inspire social consciousness in diverse communities.”

According to its website, the curriculum crafted by Get Lit is currently taught in almost 100 schools, and is aligned to Common Core standards in both English and performing arts, making a valuable program for both students and teachers.

Luby started her program in two high schools in Los Angeles, but the program has since grown to incorporate more schools, a professional performance troupe comprised of high school students who have participated in the program, a drop-in program on Saturdays for youth to hone their writing and performance skills, and a leadership program for graduates of the original program that go on to college.

Luby told LA Weekly that it wasn’t easy getting her program into Los Angeles schools.  

“Schools will say, ‘You don’t know our students, they’re not gonna like this stuff,’” Lane said. “And they did. They did! It makes me so angry because we decide, ‘Well, if you’re going to go to classes, you better bring hip-hop here because that’s what the kids like.’ We just dumb stuff down.”

Lane told LA Weekly that while she sees the significance of acknowledging contemporary work, Get Lit is about exploring how timeless pieces of poetry can be brought into modern conversation; kids know Kendrick Lamar, and they should know Walt Whitman as well.

“It’s just that it’s all good, and it’s all vital, and we shouldn’t decide what certain kinds of people are going to like,” Lane said.

In October, the nonprofit published a book by the Get Lit Players titled “Get Lit Rising,” telling the stories of nineteen teen poets including teens who are homeless, autistic, have parents in jail, battle with weight and body issues and more, and how they are using poetry to “pursue lives of promise and to reach out to friends, families and communities.”

Lane told LA Weekly that the Get Lit program has impacted schools in various Los Angeles neighborhoods, reaching the “richest kids possible,” as well as “students that don’t speak any English.”

The Get Lit website notes some scary educational statistics including the fact that 1 in 4 children in America group up illiterate; the state of California is ranked 46 out of 50 in teen literacy; and the Los Angeles Unified School District has a 34 percent dropout rate.

To that end, the nonprofit’s mission statement speaks for why it is here:

“We use poetry to increase literacy, empower youth, and inspire communities.”

Read more at LA Weekly and the Get Lit website.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheRootRssFeed/~3/EFOUVrI0ycE/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Report: Law Enforcement Receives Bomb Threat For Los Angeles Subway Station

Federal and local law enforcement in Los Angeles ramped up security across the city’s massive transit system after authorities received an overseas tip on Monday about an imminent bombing at the Metro Red Line’s Universal City Station.

According to Deirdre Fike, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, an anonymous man warned of a potential attack on Tuesday and provided information on a tip line abroad, the LA Times reports.

Although Fike declined to specify which country fielded the tip, she did confirm that it was delivered in English.

The FBI and local law enforcement spoke at a news conference on Monday evening and said that the threat was considered specific and imminent, and investigators were examining its credibility.

“This could be real, it could be a hoax,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell. “We’re asking the public to stay calm and vigilant.”

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said that local law enforcement reviews threats such as these constantly, but the specificity of this incident forced a rapid responsse.

“We don’t have the time to vet this threat in the way we would like,” Beck said. “This one we had to move quickly on.”

There will be an increased presence of uniformed police, sheriff’s deputies, and K-9 units checking for explosives.

The Sheriff’s department oversees security for Los Angeles County Metro’s bus and rail system, and McDonnell said undercover operations would be conducted throughout the day.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said he would ride the Metro Red Line tomorrow from Universal City, told the public to prepare for random bag searches.

“My advice is right now, everyone should go about their normal day tomorrow,” Garcetti said. “People may see a heightened security presence … but don’t let those frighten you.”

Chief Scott Edson, head of the Sheriff’s Department’s Homeland Security Division said passengers should report any suspicious activity.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Read more at the LA Times.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheRootRssFeed/~3/-TCBsqFg9uI/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment