iNPLACENEWS Blog Has MOVED

September 14, 2008

Hey everyone!  From all the staff to all the readers of our blog and the watchers of our live news programming broadcasted live over the internet directly to your desktop, we want to thank you for all your support and participatiion.  We have relocated our blog to iNPLACENEWS.COM.  There you will find all our blogs, including the old posts, your comments you made, the place to download our free desktop player and all of the current news from around the world.  Stay up-to-date on all the current events by watching our broadcasts, reading our blogs, and watching videos-on-demand.  Again, go to iNPLACENEWS.COM for all the newest blogs and the older posts you love to go back to read.  Thank you again for your time, support, and participation.

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Busted in Mineola: Feeding Kids Pills and Forcing Sex Shows

June 22, 2008

In the windowless front rooms of a former day care center in a tiny Texas community, children as young as 5 were fed powerful painkillers they knew as “silly pills” and forced to perform sex shows for a crowd of adults.
Two people have already been convicted in the case. Now a third person with ties to the club, previously known in town only as a swingers group, is set to go on trial Monday not far from Mineola, population 5,100.

“This really shook this town,” said Shirley Chadwick, a longtime resident of Mineola. “This was horrible.”

Patrick Kelly, 41, is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, tampering with physical evidence and engaging in organized criminal activity.

In all, six adults have been charged in connection with the case, including a parent of the three siblings involved.

Jurors this year deliberated less than five minutes before returning guilty verdicts against the first two defendants, who were accused of grooming the kids for sex shows in “kindergarten” classes and passing off Vicodin as “silly pills” to help the children perform.

Jamie Pittman and Shauntel Mayo were sentenced to life in prison. Kelly also faces a life sentence if convicted, and Smith County prosecutors hope for another swift verdict.

Thad Davidson, Kelly’s attorney, said his client passed a lie-detector test proving his innocence and worries about getting a fair trial in Tyler, 25 miles southeast of Mineola, which is in Wood County.

“I think it’s impossible to get a fair trial within 80 miles of Smith County,” Davidson said.

Mineola, about 80 miles east of Dallas, is a close-knit, conservative bean-processing town of with more than 30 churches. Residents there want to put the scandal behind them as quickly as possible.

The one-story building where prosecutors say four children – the three siblings, now ages 12, 10 and 7, and their 10-year-old aunt – were trained to perform in front of an audience of 50 to 100 once a week has been vacant since the landlord ousted the alleged organizers in 2004.

Down a slight hill is a retirement home, and even closer is the office of the local newspaper. Doris Newman, editor of The Mineola Monitor, said rumors of swinger parties spread around town but that no one mentioned children being involved.

Newman, who can see the building from her office window, said she remembers the parking lot filling up with more than a dozen cars at night.

In August 2004, an editorial under the headline “Sex In the City” opined that if the swingers left quietly, “we’ll try and forget they’ve infiltrated our town with their set of moral standards.”

“It’s not that we’re trying to look the other way,” Newman said. “But there’s a lot more to Mineola than that.”

According to a Mineola police report, the department first investigated a complaint in June 2005 in which the siblings’ foster mother said one of the girls described dancing toward men and another child saying that “everybody does nasty stuff in there.”

In the second trial, Child Protective Services caseworker Kristi Hachtel testified, “I’ve seen a lot and I never in my wildest dreams imagined this. They were preyed upon in probably one of the most heinous ways possible.”

The children are now doing better, the welfare agency said.

“Through counseling and therapy sessions, these children are now finally feeling secure and safe,” agency spokeswoman Shari Pulliam wrote in an e-mail.

Permanent custody of the three siblings was given to John and Margie Cantrell. This week, prosecutors in California charged John Cantrell with sexually assaulting a child in the state 18 years ago. Margie Cantrell said her husband is innocent.

Kelly’s attorney moved Friday asking to postpone the trial in light of the allegations against Cantrell, a state witness. Texas Child Protective Services said it would be “common” for the agency to investigate.

The Rev. Tim Letsch is opening a church in the yellow-plastered building where the children were abused. He acknowledges that building a congregation might be difficult because of the stigma attached to the property.

“You got to decide whether you’re willing to forgive those kind of things,” Letsch said. “It’s a hard deal. Especially for a spiritual person to walk in and say, ‘This happened here.'”

Origally posted @ AssociatedPress.com

iNPLACENEWS

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


R Kelly Found NOT GUILTY in Child Sex Case

June 13, 2008

This story and all other past blogs along with all the up-to-date blogs can be found at the new home of the iNPLACENEWS blog here

A Chicago jury has acquitted R. Kelly on all counts at his child pornography trial.

The verdict came six years after the R&B superstar was first charged with videotaping himself having sex with a young girl. Prosecutors had said she was as young as 13 at the time.

The Grammy award-winning singer dabbed his face with a handkerchief and hugged each of his four attorneys after the verdict was read. The singer had faced 15 years in prison if convicted.

Both Kelly and the now 23-year-old alleged victim had denied they were the ones appearing on the tape, which was played for the jury at the beginning and end of the trial.

The prosecution’s star witness was a woman who said she engaged in three-way sex with Kelly and the girl from the video. Defense attorneys argued the man on the tape didn’t have a large mole on his back, as Kelly does.

The jury of nine men and three women included the wife of a Baptist preacher from Kelly’s Chicago-area hometown, as well as a compliance officer for a Chicago investment firm and a man in his 60s who emigrated from then-Communist Romania nearly 40 years ago.

Jurors took the sex tape at the center of the trial with them, and a monitor was set up in the jury room in case they wanted to review it.

Kelly was charged with 14 counts of videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl, who prosecutors say was as young as 13.

The 41-year-old superstar’s trial was repeatedly delayed, once because the judge seriously injured himself falling off a ladder and another time because Kelly had emergency surgery to remove his appendix.

In closing arguments, Kelly’s attorney banged on the jury box with his fist, yelled and whispered, laughed and pleaded for more than in hour in his emotion-filled closing.

At one point, Sam Adam Jr. referred to a defense argument made repeatedly during the trial that a mole on the singer’s back proved he simply can’t be the man in the video.

After displaying a freeze frame of the man’s back in the video — with no apparent mole — Adam walked over to the defense table and placed his hand on Kelly’s shoulder.

“The truth be told, there is no mole … that means one thing,” Adam told jurors, then paused and lowered his voice. “It ain’t him. And if it ain’t him, you can’t convict.”

Prosecutors wrapped up their arguments the same way they began them a month ago: by playing the entire graphic sex tape in open court.

The 27-minute film played on a monitor just outside the jury box — the lights switched off and the blinds pulled across courtroom windows — as Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Heilengoetter read through sections of the indictment.

Neither Kelly nor the alleged victim testified at trial. But as the video played Thursday, Heilengoetter told jurors the man on the tape is Kelly and that he controlled the encounter.

Kelly sat across the room from jurors at the defense table in a gray pinstripe suit, his hands folded in front of him. As the sex tape played, he appeared tense, keeping his eyes on the monitor, his mouth drawn tight and his brow furrowed.

Over seven days presenting their case, prosecutors called 22 witnesses, including several childhood friends of the alleged victim and four of her relatives who identified her as the female on the video.

In two days, the Grammy winner’s lawyers called 12 witnesses. They included three relatives of the alleged victim who testified they did not recognize her as the female on the tape.

During the trial, Kelly endeavored to make a good impression on jurors, always standing straight and folding his hands in front of him whenever they entered the courtroom. Jurors, in turn, made a good impression on Judge Vincent Gaughan, who repeatedly praised their attentiveness. All appeared to take careful notes, even when testimony became highly technical.

This story is courtesy of CNN.COM

iNPLACENEWS


Smut Trial Judge Calls For Ethics Panel To Review His Porn

June 13, 2008

Federal appeal court judge Alex Kozinski called for an ethics panel to investigate his own conduct in regards to the lewd photos and videos on his publicly accessible Web site. “I will cooperate fully in any investigation,” Kozinski, chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said in a statement calling for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to assign the inquiry to a panel of judges outside the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction of nine western states. The outcome seems almost laughable as Circuit judges are appointed for life and can only be fired by Congress, though they can be censured by fellow jurists. Court rules permit such investigations to be transferred in high-profile cases, or when a decision within a district might weaken public confidence in the outcome.

The gallery of online images and videos included a picture of two nude women on all fours painted to look like cows, images of masturbation, a video of a bare-bottomed man being pursued by a sexually aroused donkey and a slide show featuring a striptease with a transsexual.

Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and law professor at Loyola University Law School said, “If you found this kind of thing in your kid’s bedroom you would wash your kid’s mouth out with soap….Character counts for judges because they have so much power and affect so many people’s lives.”

The existence of the videos and pictures was first revealed by the Los Angeles Times, which reported that Kozinski had acknowledged the material on his personal Web site, but blocked access to it after being interviewed. He went to claim the images were not obscene.

Cyrus Sanai, a Beverly Hills lawyer, took credit for bringing the graphic material to light.

Sanai said he discovered the sexual content in December while monitoring the judge’s Web site as part of an ongoing legal battle with the court. After downloading the files, Sanai said he began contacting reporters at various publications in January to bring attention to what he called widespread ethical problems on the 9th Circuit.

To see the judge’s website go HERE

This story of the trial, its suspension, and the judge’s personal porn started HERE

The original story continued HERE

iNPLACENEWS