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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 8:28 pm 
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Ex-Lindenwood wrestler guilty of exposing sex partner to HIV, trying to expose others
May 15, 2015
By Susan Weich

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Michael L. Johnson

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Missouri — A former Lindenwood University wrestler was found guilty Thursday of exposing one of his sex partners to HIV and attempting to expose four others to the virus that causes AIDS.

Michael L. Johnson, 23, was found not guilty on a sixth charge — exposing another man to HIV. That man testified he had unprotected sex with Johnson in the fall of 2012 but wasn’t diagnosed with HIV until September 2013. Another of Johnson’s sex partners also contracted the virus.

Jurors deliberated for two hours and 20 minutes before returning the verdict. A sentencing hearing will be Friday; Johnson faces a maximum of life in prison. In closing arguments, Assistant Prosecutor Phil Groenweghe told jurors that Johnson knew he was HIV-positive, yet when his sexual partners asked him about his status, he lied to them and said he was disease-free.

Johnson manipulated many of them into not using condoms, putting the men at significant risk of being infected, Groenweghe said. “What we have here is a perfect storm of malice,” said Groenweghe. Defense attorney Heather Donovan pointed out inconsistencies between the statements Johnson’s sex partners gave on the stand and what they told police, saying that created reasonable doubt.

Earlier Thursday, Johnson testified that he had disclosed his status to his partners before engaging in sex with them, something that is required by law in Missouri. Johnson said in January 2013 he went to the health clinic at Lindenwood University, where he was a student, because he was feeling ill. He said he had an upcoming wrestling match, so he needed to get checked out. He said the nurse suggested some tests and told him a short time later that he was HIV-positive. “I was scared and confused,” he said. “I didn’t have any knowledge of HIV; I knew it was an STD, that’s all.”

He said that same day he met with Frank Lydon, a counselor with the state health department who told him how the virus is transmitted. “I said something about my life being over, and he said, ‘No, it’s treatable,’” Johnson testified. Johnson said he had to sign a document that said he would tell his future partners about his status, and he said he did, but his sexual partners testified that he told them he didn’t have any diseases.

In earlier testimony, prosecutors presented evidence that Johnson had tested positive for HIV in December 2011 in Indiana, his home state. But Johnson said that he did not remember going to a clinic in Indiana in 2011 and being tested for HIV or getting a positive result. Johnson also recounted his sexual encounters with each of the men involved in the case, telling jurors how they had met, how long they had known each other before becoming intimate and details of their sexual encounters.

On cross-examination, Groenweghe said he was surprised that Johnson had such detailed remembrances of the relationships after two years. He played a videotape of Johnson being interviewed by the St. Charles police much closer to the events, in October 2013, in which a detective asked him about one of his sex partners. Johnson said he didn’t remember anyone by that name. When the detective showed Johnson a photo of the man, he said he didn’t recognize him. Johnson testified that it’s true he didn’t remember the man then, but he does now. Groenweghe asked Johnson if he had acted responsibly, why didn’t he tell give the health department the names of his sexual partners. Johnson said heath officials told him he could notify them himself.

Source: St Louis Post-Dispatch.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:35 am 
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Airbnb horror story points to need for precautions
By Ron Lieber
August 14, 2015

Early in the evening of July 4, Micaela Giles’s mobile phone started sounding alerts, and a series of messages straight out of a horror movie began scrolling down her screen.

Her 19-year-old son told her that his Airbnb host in Madrid had locked him in the fourth-floor apartment where he was supposed to be staying and removed the key. The host was still there, he said, rattling knives around in the kitchen drawer and pressing him to submit to a sexual act. He begged his mother for help.

When she called Airbnb, its employees would not give her the address and would not call the police. Instead, they gave her a number for the Madrid police and told her to ask the police to call the company for the address. But the number led to a recording in Spanish that kept disconnecting her, she said, and when she repeatedly called back her Airbnb contact, the calls went straight to voice mail.

According to her son, Jacob Lopez, he was sexually assaulted that night. Eventually, he persuaded his host to free him. He returned home to Massachusetts and is in trauma therapy. His host, who was born male but is living as a woman, denied Mr. Lopez’s accusations. She denied threatening him and said that the sex act was consensual and that he is transphobic. If she is right, filing a false police report and telling the story publicly would be an unlikely way to bury a regrettable experience.

But the central question here is for Airbnb: Just how much responsibility is it willing to assume for the safety of its customers? It refers to them as guests and promotes its security measures and hospitality. But its employees made a choice here that a hotel might not make in similar circumstances. Rather than sending someone to check on Mr. Lopez, Airbnb put the onus on his mother to make that happen.

Airbnb, Uber and their ilk have managed to get people to refer to them as pioneers of something called the sharing economy, a neat trick given that they are in the business of renting out rooms and charging for rides. What they do share, however, is risk. Insurance companies aren’t always fond of everyday individuals running inns out of their apartments and driving people around for money. And an Airbnb listing may not mention the dog that will try to chew off your arm if you get too close.

Still, logic and decency would suggest that when you’re in danger, as Mr. Lopez claimed to be, Airbnb would come to your rescue. And in the wake of this episode, Airbnb said on Friday that it was clarifying its policies to make sure that its employees know to always call the police when someone reports an emergency in progress.

Mr. Lopez found himself in Madrid in the first place because he had such a great experience with Brazilian Airbnb hosts in 2014. His Madrid host told him to meet her at a subway exit near her residence. When they arrived at her apartment and she locked them in, he said, she repeatedly tried to kiss him. He rebuffed her, and then she ordered him to take off his pants unless he wanted to sleep in the streets without his belongings, he said. As these events unfolded, he began messaging his mother, though by the time his mother realized that Airbnb would not give her his address and that she had to get it from him, he said, his host had cut off Internet access.

His host, meanwhile, began rattling around in the kitchen drawers, and Mr. Lopez said he feared that she had a weapon and concluded that the choice to leave was not a real one. After the sexual assault, it was not clear whether she would let him go, he said, and he began looking around for something that he could use to hurt her so that he could escape. “I was telling myself that I was going to have to kill her or she was going to kill me,” he said. “Thoughts that should never have to go through anyone’s mind started to come into mine. How are you going to live with yourself the rest of your life knowing that you killed someone? But if you don’t, then you won’t have a life.”

He chose not to try to fight his way out and eventually concocted a story about plans he’d made to meet friends nearby. Those friends knew where he was staying, he told his host, and they would come for him or call the police if he did not meet them. This scared her enough that she let him leave with his belongings.

Mr. Lopez’s description of the episode, which he gave to me in a three-hour interview at his family’s home, matches the one he gave in his police report. The Madrid police would not comment on the investigation, though his host said that they had already visited her and that she expected to be exonerated.

According to Airbnb, this was a unique situation on a weekend when 800,000 people were staying worldwide with an Airbnb host. A number of the company’s safety procedures came into conflict. On one hand, Airbnb wants sexual assault victims to be able to decide for themselves when, how or if to report a crime. On the other, the company wants to report crimes in progress when customers are in danger and will turn over information quickly if the police request it.

In this instance, Airbnb’s employees believed that the assault had already taken place, according to Nick Papas, a company spokesman. Ms. Giles said she warned of an imminent assault when she first called but later, after hearing from her son, told the company that it had already happened. “We realize we can learn a lot from this incident and we can do better,” Mr. Papas said by email. “We are clarifying our policies so that our team will always contact law enforcement if we are made aware of an emergency situation in progress. Safety is our No. 1 priority, and we want to get our hosts and guests as much help as possible.”

This brings their policies closer to what a hotel might do in a similar situation. At Starwood hotels, which include the Westin and Sheraton brands, hotel operators often get requests from third parties to look in on a guest. According to a company spokeswoman, K.C. Kavanagh, the hotel does not tell the caller whether a guest is staying there but does immediately send security or other staff to investigate. “If we reach the person, we let them know they should contact the concerned loved one,” she said. A spokesman for HomeAway, another short-term rental company, declined to comment about its policies in such situations.

Mr. Lopez’s family had a few suggestions for other Airbnb travelers. The guest and a family member or friend should always have the host’s address easily accessible. Make sure your phone has international service and that you know how to call the local emergency number; Mr. Lopez did not realize his phone would allow him to call and said he would have been scared to speak out loud into the phone in any event. Also, a few details on his host’s profile did not match her Facebook page. In retrospect, he wishes he had been more suspicious, even though he said that she had good reviews on Airbnb. The listing has been removed.

Cindy Southworth, an executive vice president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, who serves on an advisory board for Airbnb, suggested a question that travelers should ask. “Is there a deadbolt that only I can turn,” like the locks and latches in hotel rooms. It’s probably also worth asking — or at least looking — to see if a host or someone else could lock you in. The company’s clarification of its policy, meanwhile, should help, too. “I’m so proud of Jacob’s courage,” his mother said. “And as a family we’re thrilled about the change.”

Source: New York Times

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:22 pm 
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Ex-Anglican priest in UK jailed for sex assault
29 October 2015

LONDON (AP) -- A retired Anglican priest in Britain has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison for sex attacks on teenagers and young men, in a case that sparked allegations of a cover-up by the church.

Vickery House was sentenced Thursday for indecent assaults in the 1970s and '80s. House served under former bishop Peter Ball, who was convicted earlier this month of sexually assaulting 18 young men over two decades. Three of House's victims were also abused by Ball.

Ball's first victim came forward in 1992, but powerful society figures spoke out in his support and he was not charged. House was first accused in 2001. The two men were eventually arrested in 2012. The Church of England has ordered an investigation into how it handled the allegations.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:43 pm 
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Pasolini murder exhibits go on view
30 October 2015

Rome (ANSA) - The shirt that the revered poet and film director Pierpaolo Pasolini wore on the night he was murdered and took off to stem his wounds as well as his shoes, still mud-spattered from the crime scene, will go on public display for the first time at the Eternal City's criminology museum to mark the 40th anniversary of his mysterious death, curators said Friday.

Also at the Rome Criminology Museum fans of the left-wing intellectual can see the dark glasses the gay writer wore the night he died, Nov. 2, 1975, his trousers and books and other possessions taken from his car at the scene of the slaying as well as the wooden boards used to strike him by Giuseppe Pelosi, the rent boy who was convicted of the murder that spawned numerous conspiracy theories.

Justice Minister Andrea Orlando visited the exhibit ahead of the opening Friday saying "the exhibit in its crudeness and brutality explains a historical moment marking a negative point in the civil and cultural life of our country". The exhibits from the murder trial have been stored at the museum since 1985 when they were transferred there from the Rome Juvenile Court. Among them is a ring that belonged to Pelosi which was "an important object in the reconstruction of the facts that opened the way to various interpretations," said the curator of the exhibit, Assunta Borzacchiello.

Source: ANSA

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:06 pm 
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Pentagon ‘gay’ rape debacle: Report alleging male-on-male sexual trauma retracted
By Rowan Scarborough
Monday, November 9, 2015

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Ash Carter.

The American Psychological Association has taken the extraordinary step of retracting an in-house journal article that asserted the rate of rape and other sexual trauma among military men was as much as 15 times higher than the Pentagon’s own survey.

In a press released posted Sunday night, the APA said outside scholars had examined the study, “Preliminary Data Suggest Rates of Male Sexual Trauma May be Higher than Previously Reported,” and determined that the method for randomly selecting and surveying male combat veterans was flawed.

“Although the article went through our standard peer-review process, other scholars have since examined the data and raised valid concerns regarding the design and statistical analysis, which compromise the findings,” Gary R. VandenBos, APA’s publisher, said in announcing the retraction.

Having to retract findings it ballyhooed just a week ago is clearly an embarrassment for the world's largest association of psychologists with nearly 122,000 members. The APA sent out a press release Nov. 2 touting the military male findings among 12 other articles on military sexual trauma in the journal Psychological Services. “Rates of military sexual trauma among men who served in the military may be as much as 15 times higher than has been previously reported, largely because of barriers associated with stigma, beliefs in myths about male rape, and feelings of helplessness,” the APA said Nov. 2.

APA is not retracting the other articles with a general theme that military sexual trauma is underreported. Sean Sheppard, a psychologist at the University of Utah and lead researcher for the now-retracted article, told The Washington Times last week that his survey method of a randomly selected 180 veterans enabled him to uncover the true rate of male sexual assault. The APA retraction said military sexual trauma was broadly defined in the journal articles and included sexual assault, sexual battery or repeated, threatening sexual harassment experienced during military service. But in Mr. Sheppard’s survey questionnaire, male sexual trauma equaled, “I was sexually assaulted while serving in the military.”

The Pentagon and the Justice Department define sexual assault as rape or other unwanted sexual contact or a threat to commit such an assault. The Rand Corp., which conducted the Pentagon’s latest sexual assault survey, found that 12,000 military men said they were sexually assaulted last year. Of those, 3,850 said they were the victims of “penetrative” attacks, meaning they were raped. A Rand spokesman confirmed Monday that its researchers told the APA that its published study methodology was flawed.

To extrapolate the APA article, it would mean as many as 180,000 military men were sexually assaulted, and of those, 57,750 were raped in one year. “In the research that we conducted, broadly speaking, the rates of sexual assault are significantly higher,” Mr. Sheppard told The Times. “I couldn’t tell you whether that is due to rape or not, but you can make that hypothesis.”

Source: Washington Times.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:41 am 
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Ex-catechist gets prison for molesting teens
9 November 2015

Bergamo, Italy (ANSA) - Italy's supreme Cassation Court on Monday upheld two guilty verdicts against a former catechist, sentencing him to three years four months in prison for sex acts with minors.

Carilio Ghilardi, 56, a native of the town of Sorisole in Bergamo province, was found guilty of sexually abusing three 15-year-old boys in October 2010-September 2011. The victims said he molested them in cars while giving them rides home, and on a day trip to Naples.

The court also awarded the family of one of the victims, which was a civil plaintiff in the case, damages of 50,000 euros. The sentence is binding.

Source: ANSA

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:03 pm 
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Jail for woman who pretended to be man for sex with friend
12 November 2015

London (AFP) - A woman was jailed for eight years by a British court Thursday after tricking a friend she met on Facebook into having sex with her by disguising herself as a man.

Gayle Newland, 25, met the victim on the social network in 2011 using the profile name Kye Fortune and spoke to her on the phone impersonating a man's voice. They finally agreed to meet face-to-face in 2013. But Newland insisted that the other woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wear a blindfold for the meeting, claiming to feel insecure after brain surgery.

They subsequently spent more than 100 hours together in which the other woman always wore a blindfold during activities which included watching television together and sunbathing. The couple had sex around 10 times before the woman ripped off her mask and saw that Newland was wearing a prosthetic penis.

Newland, of Willaston, Cheshire, northwest England, claimed the victim always knew she was only pretending to be a man and that they were engaged in role play as they explored their sexuality. She insisted that no blindfold was used and denied strapping bandages to her chest and wearing a woollen hat to disguise herself.

Sentencing Newland for sexual assault at Chester Crown Court, judge Roger Dutton called her a "deceitful, scheming and thoroughly determined young woman". He added: "You pursued this course of conduct over a lengthy period during which you played with her affections, acting entirely for your own sexual satisfaction and choosing to ignore the devastating impact that the eventual discovery of the truth would have on her."

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:10 pm 
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Nine-year sentence sought against nun in underage sex case
17 November 2015

Busto Arsizio, Italy (ANSA) - Italian prosecutors on Tuesday requested a prison sentence of nine years nine months for a nun accused of sexually abusing an underage girl.

The alleged victim killed herself at the age of 26. Maria Angela Faré, 55, is on trial in the Lombard town of Busto Arsizio.

Source: ANSA

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:06 pm 
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Philippine court convicts US marine for killing transgender Filipino
1 December 2015
By Girlie Linao

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Philippine court convicts US marine - © Pnp Olongapo-Pio, EPA

Manila (dpa) - A Philippine court on Tuesday convicted a US Marine of homicide for killing a transgender Filipino in a motel in a northern city last year.

Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison for the killing of Jennifer Laude, who was found strangled in a motel bathroom in Olongapo City, 90 kilometres north of Manila, in October 2014.

At the time of the crime, Pemberton was among thousands of US forces who took part in regular military training exercises with Filipino soldiers. The case against him prompted calls by various nationalist groups for a review of a visiting forces agreement with the US.

The Philippines has been relying on Washington for support in its efforts to boost its military capability amid a territorial dispute with China. Judge Roline Jinez Jabalde ordered Pemberton, who has been detained at the Philippine military's headquarters, to be immediately transferred to the national penitentiary, where he will be jailed until Philippine and US authorities agree on where he will serve his sentence.

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Philippine court convicts US marine - © Dennis M. Sabangan, EPA

US authorities insisted that Pemberton be brought back to a holding facility at the Philippine military headquarters until a final agreement on where he will be jailed. "He is still under the custody of the Americans," prosecution attorney Harry Roque said. "This is a sad day for the victim's family, a sad day for Philippine sovereignty."

Hundreds of protesters outside the Olongapo City court cheered after hearing of the conviction, while Laude's mother and sisters cried when the verdict was read. Pemberton, who was accompanied by about a dozen US embassy officials, was silent most of the time. "The important thing is that he is jailed here in the Philippines," said one of the demonstrators outside the court. "We cannot allow him to get away with the crime."

The prosecution and Laude's family were dissatisfied that Pemberton was convicted of the lower charge of homicide. He had originally been charged with murder. "This is a bittersweet victory because he was not convicted of murder," Roque said. "I am also very mad that the sentence was lowered because the judge recognized as mitigating circumstance the fact that Laude was a man."

In her ruling, Jabalde put weight on Pemberton's testimony that he found the experience "so revolting and disgusting" that he lost his mind when he learned that Laude was not a woman. Because of that, the judge lowered the sentence to a minimum of 6 years and maximum of 12 years, instead of 12-20 years. "This is a very dangerous precedent for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," Roque said. "That will encourage hate crimes."

Source: dpa.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:13 am 
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Bisexual man gets prison for hate-crime murder of gay man
June 14, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) -- A bisexual man convicted of murder as a hate crime for shooting a gay man he taunted on a New York City street was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years to life in prison, with the judge making a reference to the shooting attack at a gay nightclub in Florida.

A Manhattan jury had convicted Elliot Morales in the May 2013 shooting of Mark Carson in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, a center of American gay life for decades. Prosecutors said Morales had issues with his own sexuality and was jealous that Carson and his roommate were openly gay. He yelled anti-gay slurs at the men before shooting Carson in the face at close range.

Arrested moments later, Morales began laughing and admitted killing Carson as officers held him down. "Diagnosis dead, doctor," he is heard shouting on an officer's video.

At the sentencing, Judge A. Kirke Bartley talked about the Orlando shooting, where 49 people were killed, which he said was a parallel to Morales' crime. "That parallel is revealed in hate, self-loathing, fear and death," he said. He characterized Morales as "a monster," and said, "Yours is a legacy of death and fear, nothing more, nothing less."

Morales, who represented himself in court, said he acted in self-defense and couldn't be guilty of a hate crime because he is bisexual. His star witness was a transgender woman who testified that she was his ex-lover.

As he cross-examined Carson's former roommate at trial, Morales blamed the two men for the conflict that led to the shooting and suggested they should have ignored the taunts and walked away. In his closing argument, he wept and told jurors that he was "not a bigot of any type" and that charging him with a hate crime was "ridiculous."

The shooting happened a few blocks from the Stonewall Inn, the site of 1969 riots that helped give rise to the gay rights movement.

"Any life lost to gun violence is a tragedy for our city," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement. "But homophobic, hate-fueled incidents like this one are particularly unconscionable. As we mourn the lives lost in Orlando, we remain committed to doing everything we can to combat and prevent crimes against LGBT New Yorkers."

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:24 am 
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Was Orlando gunman sexually conflicted? And did it matter?
By DAVID CRARY and LINDSEY TANNER
June 14, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) -- Was the Orlando nightclub gunman part of the local gay dating scene? As investigators ask that question, activists and academics reflect on a phenomenon that has been documented: Some men who profess to disdain homosexuality have covertly engaged in sex with other men.

Over the years, there has been a string of politicians and pastors who publicly opposed various gay-rights initiatives, and eventually were implicated in furtive same-sex liaisons.

The Rev. Ted Haggard, a prominent evangelical megachurch pastor in Colorado who opposed same-sex marriage, was forced out of his job in 2006 after a male escort alleged Haggard had paid him for sex. Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, a consistent foe of gay-rights legislation, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in 2007 following his arrest in a Minneapolis airport men's room where an undercover officer suspected him of soliciting sex.

It's not yet known if Omar Mateen, killed in a gun battle with police during Sunday's attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, had any sort of internal struggle related to sexual identity. His father has suggested he may have acted out of anti-gay hatred, and was not gay himself. Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating reports that Mateen was a regular at the nightclub and had used gay dating apps.

Even if it turns out that Mateen, a Muslim, had engaged in gay sex, and was conflicted about it, there is no track record to suggest that would be a trigger for a massacre. Gay-on-gay violence is not uncommon, but much of it is in the form of intimate-partner violence, not attacks on strangers. "It is very rare that homophobia turns into something that is so hateful," said Dr. Marshall Forstein, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and president of the American Psychiatric Association's lesbian, gay and bisexual caucus. "We don't know whether he (Mateen) was casing the joint, whether he was trying to find victims on the websites or whether he was trying to deal with internalized feelings" of homosexuality, Forstein said.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD, said any further revelations about Mateen's sexuality wouldn't alter the fact that the LGBT community - and the core values of America - had suffered a horrific attack. "Whether the gunman's homophobia spurred from hatred of others or hatred of himself, this is homophobia all the same," she said in a statement. "And it's sadly just the latest example of homophobia turning to horrific violence, just as it has for decades."

Psychological studies have shown that some men with repressed same-sex desires may express anti-gay views, especially if they grew up in families that opposed homosexuality. Dr. Jack Drescher, a New York-based psychiatrist with expertise in sexual-identity issues, cited a 1996 study at the University of Georgia that tested the sexual arousal of men exposed to imagery of gay sex. It found that men with antipathy toward gays had higher arousal levels than men who were accepting of gays.

However, Drescher said there's been relatively little subsequent research to explore the topic of anti-gay sentiments among men sexually attracted to other men. "It might make common sense, but I don't think it's been very well studied," Drescher said. "And rarely do you see this level of violence - it's not a typical response."

Douglas Haldeman, president-elect of the California Psychological Association, also has reviewed the Georgia study. "It did suggest that some people cannot tolerate their own homoerotic responses," he said. "Their cultural beliefs, their society, has caused them to internalize their feelings."

Michael Newcomb, a Northwestern University psychologist who studies health disparities in the LGBT community, said even if the shooter was struggling with his own sexuality, it's likely many other factors led to the massacre. "People who are struggling to come to terms with their sexual identity do at times react to that by doing the exact opposite, which could be to become more masculine or more vocal about their ideals of a traditional family," he said. "There are so many societal factors that can lead to mental health problems just by living in a society that devalues being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender." That may sometimes lead to violent outbursts, but not to the extreme of the Orlando massacre, he said.

The Orlando attack, which left 49 people dead in addition to Mateen, occurred just two weeks ahead of the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. That ruling, and increasing acceptance in many other realms of U.S. society, have empowered many people to come out as gay at earlier ages and to be more comfortable with that decision, according to gay activist Wayne Besen, a Florida native now based in Chicago. "When I came out in 1988, I felt alone, like I was the only one," he said. "Nobody says that anymore. Everyone knows there's a community out there, that people are out and happy."

However, he said there are pockets of U.S. society, for example in households where homosexuality is viewed as sinful, where young people still struggle with whether to come out. "For someone who grew up in an extremely anti-gay atmosphere, with parents saying that if they had a gay child they would shun them, that creates profound psychological damage," Besen said. "They may want to come out but they can't."

For any such young person, he suggested, it would be deeply frustrating to be in the closet while observing the growing number of gays and lesbians living openly and confidently. "It's out there and in your face and hard to avoid," he said.

Tanner reported from Chicago.
Source: AP

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:57 pm 
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Hundreds protest murder of LGBT activist in Istanbul
21 August 2016

ISTANBUL (AP) -- Demonstrators gathered in central Istanbul to protest the rape and killing of a transgender woman and LGBT activist.

Hundreds attended the rally on Sunday, holding signs and chanting slogans for 22-year-old Hande Kader, whose body was found last weekend. Media reports say the body was burned beyond recognition. Opposition MPs also attended the demonstration. Banu Aslan, 58, told the Associated Press, "We want justice. They should never do this again. They should never murder again."

Last month, Turkish gay rights organization Kaos GL reported that the decapitated body of a gay Syrian refugee, Muhammed Wisam Sankari, had been found in Istanbul. Homosexuality is legal in Turkey but rights groups say hate crimes against the LGBT community are common.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:06 am 
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Social worker 'obsessed with Breaking Bad dismembered police officer'
By Haroon Siddique
20 October 2016

A crystal meth user obsessed with the TV drama Breaking Bad strangled a Metropolitan police officer after inviting him to his flat for a sex session and then attempted to destroy the evidence by aping a method used in the show, a court has heard.

Stefano Brizzi, 50, is accused of the murder of PC Gordon Semple, whose body was found at the social worker’s flat in Southwark, London, on 7 April this year. He admits disposing of the 59-year-old’s body but denies murder, claiming the officer died by accident during a drug-fuelled sex game that went wrong.

Opening the prosecution case at the Old Bailey on Thursday, Crispin Aylett QC told the jury that Brizzi was a heavy user of crystal meth who had lost a job at Morgan Stanley. He sought help from a support group for users run by Alex Roberts. “Mr Roberts ... says that Stefano Brizzi had been obsessed with the American television show Breaking Bad. In the series a chemistry teacher named Walter White starts producing crystal meth,” said Aylett. “At first this is done to pay for medical care but he soon descends into the criminal underworld. After poisoning a rival, White ends up dissolving the body in acid.”

Aylett, who warned the jury that the evidence called for “strong stomachs”, said officers were called to Brizzi’s flat on 7 April after a neighbour complained about the smell. There they found human remains in the bath, which was filled with acid, as well as in plastic buckets on the bathroom floor. “In dismembering Gordon Semple and disposing of some of the body parts, the defendant must have hoped, first, to avoid being caught and, if that failed, that it would be impossible to identify how Gordon Semple met his death,” said Aylett.

The jury heard that Brizzi told the police officers: “I’ve tried to dissolve the body ... I’ve killed a police officer.” Aylett said Brizzi continued: “I killed him last week. I met him on Grindr and I killed him. Satan told me to.” The prosecutor said Brizzi was now saying that Semple’s death was an accident.

The jury heard explicit details of extreme sexual practices favoured by Semple and the defendant, including domination and bondage, revealed by their profiles and messages they sent to various men on Grindr. Both men also used illegal drugs. Aylett said that Brizzi had upset other people in the crystal meth support group by talking about his sexual practices including satanic rituals, pain and sacrifice.

The prosecutor said that Semple, who had served with the Metropolitan police for 30 years, was in a relationship but regularly met strangers for sexual encounters. On 1 April, when he was supposed to be on duty, he made contact with Brizzi, whose Grindr profile was Dom SE1 – indicating a liking for dominant activity and his postcode – and said he was “free now for (a) hot dirty sleazy session”. Semple arrived at the defendant’s flat and over the next few hours they used Grindr to invite other men to join them for a sex party where drugs would be available.

One man, identified in court only as CD, turned up shortly after 7pm. However, when he rang the entry buzzer he was told by a voice over the intercom, presumed to be that of Brizzi: “We are having a situation here. Someone fell ill but we’re taking care of it, so our party is cancelled.” Brizzi later told police that when a man arrived at the flat “I was right in the middle of strangling Gordon”.

Semple last used Grindr shortly after 7pm. Twenty minutes later there was no answer when his partner tried to call him on his mobile. The partner reported him missing the next morning after he failed to return home and or answer more than 20 phone calls. Over the next few days Brizzi’s neighbours became conscious of a nasty smell emanating from his flat. One of the neighbours knocked on his door to complain on 4 April and Brizzi apologised, saying it was caused by a meal he was cooking.

The next day the defendant was caught on CCTV at a hardware store buying items including pincers, heavy-duty scissors, a putty knife, plastic buckets, carpet cleaner and a perforated metal sheet. Aylett told the court the sheet was “wound up into a coil, maybe to be used as a grater”. He suggested this was used to extract pieces of flesh later found in Brizzi’s bath. Brizzi sobbed loudly at times as he heard the case against him and proceedings were halted early after he appeared to be in some distress. The case continues.

Source: Guardian UK

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:12 am 
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British serial killer gets life sentence for murdering 4 men
25 November 2016

LONDON (AP) -- British serial killer Stephen Port was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Friday for the murders of four young gay men whom he met online.

Judge Peter Openshaw said Port should die in prison for his "dreadful offenses." Relatives of the victims cheered and clapped as the sentence was announced in the Old Bailey courthouse.

Port was convicted by a jury on Wednesday of plying his victims with drinks spiked with lethal doses of the drug GHB, raping them when they were unconscious and dumping their bodies in and around a nearby graveyard. The 41-year-old chef also was convicted of 18 other offenses, including four rapes and four sex assaults, against several other men.

The U.K.'s independent police watchdog is investigating why detectives did not initially link the deaths of the four murder victims, all in their 20s, whose bodies were found near Port's home in east London over a 15-month period. Police began investigating the deaths as potential homicides only when the family of Port's final victim, Jack Taylor, pressed for action. "We finally have justice for Jack and the other boys," Taylor's sister Donna said outside court. "A sick and twisted scumbag will never be able to hurt or destroy any other family's life," she said.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:47 pm 
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5 Afghan teens who raped boy to be expelled from Sweden
8 March 2017

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- A Swedish appeals court has overturned a lower court's ruling and ordered that five Afghan teenagers convicted of the aggravated rape of an underage boy should be expelled from the country.

The Svea Court of Appeal said Wednesday "the reasons for the expulsion outweigh those against." The Uppsala District Court had ruled in December that the teens couldn't be expelled because they are under 18 and because of the security situation in Afghanistan. The unaccompanied, asylum-seeking minors had been sentenced to youth custody of up to 15 months for dragging another Afghan boy into a forest in October, threatening him with a knife and raping him.

The appeals court also banned them from returning to Sweden for the next 10 years. There were no immediate comments from the defense lawyers.

Source: AP

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