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.”
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .