sexual assault

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An attorney for Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax says there's a witness who can corroborate his story that he did not rape a woman while they were students at Duke University nearly 20 years ago.

Fairfax lawyer Barry Pollack sent a letter Tuesday to Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry saying the unnamed witness "has stated unequivocally" that the allegations made against Fairfax are false.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Lawyers for Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax have sent letters to prosecutors in three states asking them to open a criminal investigation into sexual assault allegations against him.

In copies of the letter obtained Wednesday by news outlets, Fairfax's lawyers asked district attorney's offices in Virginia, Massachusetts and North Carolina to investigate "public and serious criminal" allegations made against Fairfax. He has denied the allegations and says any investigations will find no wrongdoing.

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A 22 year-old pre-med student has been sentenced to six month of home confinement, 24 months of probation and one thousand hours of community service after admitting sexually assaulting a University of Delaware student.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Mahesh Gouru could have faced up to 15 years in prison.

The paper reports that Allison, which is pseudonym, said she wanted at least three years.

Prosecutors had recommended six months.

A lone University of Delaware sophomore stood in silent protest on the campus this week.

Her names was Alyvia Pauzer who says she feels dismissed after reporting a sexual assault earlier this year.

She says she organized the demonstration to express a common feeling among those who reported such assaults.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is blasting his own political party for not letting him sponsor a table at major fundraising event.

The Democratic Party of Virginia recently rejected Fairfax's bid to donate $2,500 to pay for a table at the party's annual Blue Commonwealth dinner.

DPV spokesman Jake Rubenstein said the party does not feel "comfortable" accepting money from Fairfax after two women came forward accusing him of sexual assault.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has withdrawn from plans to be a commencement speaker at his alma mater, Virginia Military Institute, and won't participate in any other graduation ceremonies amid the persisting scandal over a blackface photo.

News outlets report the Democrat is abstaining from graduations throughout Virginia this season. Northam's spokeswoman Ofirah Yheskel said Monday that he deiced weeks ago to skip ceremonies over concern he would divert focus from graduates.

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DAMASCUS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland school system will hire an outside firm to investigate its procedures and reporting practices following the filing of rape charges that involve high school football players.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith announced the move in a letter to parents.

Four teens are being prosecuted as juveniles on charges of rape and attempted rape. Authorities said a young man was sexually assaulted by his teammates with a broomstick at Damascus High School last fall.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax says he's asked prosecutors in Boston and North Carolina to investigate sexual assault allegations two women have made against him.

Speaking at a Wednesday news conference, Fairfax again said the allegations are untrue and the sexual encounters he had with the women were consensual.

Fairfax says he'll cooperate fully with prosecutors in Boston and Durham, North Carolina, where the women say the assaults took place.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - House Republicans say they tried and failed to broker a deal with Democrats that would allow for a bipartisan public hearing in which two women who accuse Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault could testify under oath.

Republican Speaker Kirk Cox issued a statement Tuesday blaming Democrats for refusing to participate and blocking a bipartisan hearing.


DAMASCUS, Md. (AP) - Officials at a Maryland high school waited hours to tell police that a football player had been credibly accused of raping a teammate with a broomstick, despite an agreement with police requiring the immediate reporting of sexual assaults.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The first of two women to accuse Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault says she still wants him to resign.

CBS News released excerpts Sunday of its interview with Vanessa Tyson, who says Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex in 2004. The full interview will air Monday.

Fairfax says the encounter was consensual.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore County officials say they will again review how police conduct sexual assault investigations after continued complaints about how authorities handle the cases.

The Baltimore Sun reports county officials face criticism on sexual assault investigations from several fronts. County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. says he's charged a task force with examining police and prosecution policies and training. The goal is to make investigators more accountable and ensure that police consider the trauma that victims have experienced.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Another Maryland county will stop having law enforcement officers ask sexual assault victims to waive their rights to an investigation.

Anne Arundel County spokesman Chris Trumbauer tells The Capital that Police Chief Timothy J. Altomare was told Tuesday to end the practice. The move follows a Baltimore Sun report and survey on the practice.

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TOWSON, Md. (AP) - A Baltimore Sun survey found Baltimore-area police departments prompted sexual assault victims to waive their rights to an investigation more than 200 times in 2017 and 2018. The newspaper reports that the practice is contrary to guidance from experts and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault Executive Director Lisae Jordan called the practice "totally and completely inappropriate," citing the impaired decision-making and memory that often accompanies recent trauma.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Delaware State University officials by a former student who claimed she was raped by a classmate.

The judge last week overruled Mai-Ajah Keel's objections to a magistrate's report recommending dismissal of the case, but she said Keel could file an amended complaint.

Keel claimed that after she reported the assault in 2013, she was met with deliberate indifference by school officials and harassment and retaliation by her alleged attacker and other students.

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(AP) The lawyer representing one of the women who has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault is urging state lawmakers not to delay a public hearing on the matter.

Attorney Nancy Erika Smith released the statement Monday on behalf of Meredith Watson after it became clear that lawmakers are not moving forward anytime soon with impeachment proceedings against Fairfax.

Smith said Fairfax should have to testify publicly. There's been no indication so far that legislative leaders want public hearings on the matter.

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(AP) A group of black clergy and community leaders is asking for a moratorium on the widespread calls for Virginia's governor and attorney general to resign over their admissions they wore blackface in the 1980s.
The Rev. Rodney Hunter is co-director of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and pastor of Richmond's Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.
He said Monday that the records of Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring show "they are different people" than they were when they wore blackface more than three decades ago.

Virginian Pilot

(AP) A top Virginia Republican served as an editor for a college yearbook that includes racial slurs and at least one image of a person in blackface.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment was managing editor of the 1968 yearbook for the Virginia Military Institute.

The yearbook includes a photo of a man in blackface standing with others in costumes and uses racial slurs to describe a student from Bangkok, Thailand.

The contents of the yearbook were first reported Thursday by The Virginian Pilot.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Maryland's Republican governor says he believes a full investigation is needed into allegations of sexual assault against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Amelia Chasse, Gov. Larry Hogan's spokeswoman, said Thursday that "the governor believes there needs to be a full investigation before the process moves forward."

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A former Delaware priest accused of raping a pre-teen girl between 1991 and 1994 has died.

Bob Krebs, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, confirmed Wednesday that John A. Sarro died Monday at a nursing home after a long illness. He was 76.

Sarro was indicted in January on charges of first-degree unlawful sexual intercourse and second-degree unlawful sexual contact. The charges involved a girl who was under the age of 16. He pleaded not guilty in February.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore along with two other of the state’s universities are asking to rescind Bill Cosby’s honorary degree.

The move follows the former comedian’s conviction of drugging and sexually assaulting women.

WBOC reports that UMES gave Cosby the degree in 1998 when he addressed the school during a commencement ceremony.

The television station reports that some students it talked with said it was the right thing to do.

Senior Ben Webster said that it was necessary to address the issue of sexual violence and harassment.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new report shows that the number of reported rapes on Virginia Commonwealth University's Monroe Park campus nearly doubled last year.

The university's annual security report says the number of rapes jumped from eight in 2015 to 15 in 2016. Seven rapes were reported in 2016 at the university's MCV campus.

University spokesman Tom Gresham told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the school expected an increase in the number of reports following recent efforts to improve the school community's education about reporting the crime.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new law in Virginia will ensure that sexual assault victims are notified when the state completes the analysis of their rape kit.

The bill backed by Attorney General Mark Herring requires law enforcement to contact victims or their family members when they finish testing a PERK kit. Victims will also be able to get any law-enforcement analysis of the kit.

The new law was one two measures Gov. Terry McAuliffe highlighted during a ceremonial bill signing on Thursday. The Democratic governor signed the bills into law last month.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal appeals court has ordered a lower court judge in Delaware to reconsider a claim from a Delaware prison inmate who says he was sexually assaulted by a correctional officer during a pat down in 2014.

DeShawn Drumgo claims Sgt. William Kuschel patted and groped inappropriately, then squeezed his genitals until the skin ruptured while other officers laughed and failed to intervene.

A federal judge granted summary judgment to the state after the defendants said Drumgo failed to file a grievance before filing the lawsuit.

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A series of kidnappings and sexual assaults of women has sent fear through New Castle County – especially University of Delaware students.

There have been three incidents so far with an armed masked man carrying out the attack.

He is described as 5-fee-7 inches, tall with a thin build.

The university has shared posts by the New Castle County Police Department along with safety tips but has not sent out an alert.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Data shows that thousands of rape kits in Maryland have not been tested.

Citing figures obtained under the state Public Information Act, The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland police have left over 3,500 of the kits untested.

Advocates for rape victims say that number shows that police are not investigating all sexual assaults cases thoroughly.

State lawmakers required police departments to report their figures this year to the attorney general's office and to explain why kits remain untested.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Police say a University of Delaware student reported that she was sexually assaulted.

Newark police say the 20-year-old woman went to the police department Sunday to report that she was attacked as she walked alone on Saturday night.

Police say the woman reported she was walking on Corbit Street near Wilson Road around 10:30 p.m. Saturday when a man approached her from behind and pushed her against a parked car. He sexually assaulted her, then fled on foot.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Old Dominion University says it is committed to treating victims of sexual assault with "care, professionalism and respect."

Giovanna Genard confirmed in a statement Thursday that the university has received a federal complaint alleging that school mishandled a student's rape case in 2014.

The complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education accuses campus police of preventing the woman from getting a medical exam to preserve evidence until after she was interrogated for almost eight hours.

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Much has changed since the Life Crisis Center in Salisbury opened as a rape crisis center forty years ago. Executive Director Michele Hughes tells Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush that a new task has been added to their list: Helping people after the death involved in a homicide. The center is holding a gala at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City to mark it anniversary.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pledging at least $1 million in grants to help groups that serve victims of sexual assault in Baltimore after the Justice Department found the police department's responses to sexual assault "grossly inadequate."

The Republican governor said Thursday that the money represents immediate action to improve services to victims.