Arrests were made in California last weekend of three men and seven boys, ranging in age from 15 to 25, for the rapes of a 12-year-old and two 13-year-old girls. The girls, who were reported as runaways, were offered a ride home from the ex-boyfriend of one of the girls. The girls were taken to a motel in Fresno where friends of the driver were throwing a party. The girls were allegedly taken to the bathroom and raped by as many as 16 men over several hours.
Later in the evening a boy snuck out of the party and called the police. When the police arrived they questioned many of the suspects and the girls, but the girls did not officially report the rapes until two days later. Sylvia Ogden of the Victim Witness Service Center said that most gang rape victims do not report the crime. “A lot of rape victims feel dirty. ... They’re fearful. Most victims blame themselves. They feel alone,” said Ogden.
Authorities have charged the three men and five juveniles with counts of rape, gang rape, lewd and lascivious acts with children and false imprisonment, according to a Scipps Howard news story. Chief Deputy District Attorney J. Worthington Vogel said the assailants would likely be convicted since the suspects were identified by the victims.
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. . . .