International Rape Convict Denied Parole With Help of Victim
Ali Rasai, accused of raping women in several countries, was denied for parole thanks in part to the efforts of one of his victims, Holly Desimone.
Rasai was born in Iran and was first charged with rape in Australia in 1990. Rasai falsely claimed refugee status, fled to Canada, and continued to sexually assault women in Red Deer and Edmonton. He was charged a second time, but released on a $3,000 bail. He then fled to Holland, Norway, and Turkey. He was finally apprehended in Amsterdam and sentenced to 4 1/2 years in Canada, after which he applied for parole so that he could be deported. The Stony Mountain Institution, however, refused his parole, after Desimone presenterd her victim impact statement.
Desimone tracked Rasai’s whereabouts for nearly ten years. She was the first in Canada to ask the courts to lift the publication ban on her name as a sexual assault survivor, saying “I wanted people to know that there is a face to rape... If we wanted him apprehended, ... I needed to be named.” Desimone spent years of emotional toil as well as $200,000 of her own money to track down the rapist. She is currently completing her criminology degree and urged others : “Silence is the ultimate killer in the end. You need to tell someone if you want a healthy life and want to trust men again.”
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .