After Fleeing for Eight Years, Alex Kelly Convicted of Rape
For eight years Alex Kelly lived in Europe, off his wealthy parent's money, avoiding a United States trial for raping two women. On June 12th, a Connecticut jury convicted him of raping a girl over a decade ago. Kelly turned himself in to authorities in Switzerland in 1995 when authorities closed in on his location and his passport was close to expiring. A 1996 rape trial ended in a 4-2 deadlocked jury in favor of conviction.
The 1997 jury's foreman Robert Derleth said of the conviction, "We just reviewed the evidence and the evidence spoke for itself." The husband of the women who was raped read a statement on her behalf, "I am grateful that the jury was able to focus on the truth, and hope that what I have done will help other women who have been raped to obtain justice."
Kelly's lawyer promised to appeal and commented, "I consider this just a chapter in this long litigation." Kelly could face 20 years in prison; he will be sentenced on July 24th. He also faces another trial in the case of a second woman who accused him of rape four days after the first accuser came forward.
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. . . .