The two teenagers accused of raping a sixteen year old girl from West Virginia were found guilty in juvenile court this past Sunday. The two star football players were both sentenced to one year in the state juvenile system for the sexual assault. One of the players must also serve an additional year for the distribution of a nude photograph of a minor. The State Department of Youth Services has the ability to keep the two young men in the juvenile system until they are 21. They must also be registered as sex offenders once they are released.
Because the accused are teenagers, they had a non-jury trial decided by a judge. Judge Thomas Lipps presided over the case and found them delinquent, which is the juvenile equivalent for guilty. Much of the evidence for the case came in the form of social media distributed by the defendants themselves as the victim did not remember the attack. Judge Lipps described the evidence as "profane and ugly" and a cautionary tale of teenagers with alcohol and "how you record things on social media that are so prevalent today."
The two football players were accused of raping a 16 year old classmate in August after she became intoxicated at a house party. Witnesses tweeted and posted video of the attack on social media sites, and the case went viral.
Media Resources: NBC News 3/17/13; New York Times 3/17/13; Feminist Newswire 3/14/13
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .