John D.R. Atchison, 53, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., was arrested Sunday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after several weeks of Internet conversations between the prosecutor and a detective posing as the mother of a 5-year-old girl, authorities say.
Atchison was carrying presents for the girl, including a doll and hoop earrings, and also had sexual materials, including petroleum jelly, Sheriff Mark Hackel said.
Atchison's boss, U.S. Attorney Gregory R. Miller, said that his staff was "deeply saddened by the arrest." He said his office was cooperating with the FBI, U.S. prosecutors and Michigan investigators and believed that "in the end, justice will be served."
The prosecutor is a married father of three, and Miller said that the staff was concerned about Atchison's family. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to them," he said.
Also yesterday, a youth sports organization in which Atchison is active said it was placing him on leave until the charges were resolved.
Soldier sues, says superiors
blocked meeting of atheists
FORT RILEY, Kan. - A soldier whose superior prevented him from holding a meeting for atheists and other non-Christians is suing the Defense Department, claiming it violated his right to religious freedom.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., alleges a pattern of practices that discriminate against non-Christians in the military. It was filed Monday to coincide with the 220th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit names Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Maj. Paul Welborne as defendants.
According to the filing, Spec. Jeremy Hall, a soldier assigned to Fort Riley's 97th Military Police Battalion, received permission to distribute fliers around his base in Iraq for a meeting of atheists and non-Christians.
When he tried to convene the meeting, Hall claims, Welborne stepped in, threatening to file military charges against Hall and block his re-enlistment.
Guilty plea at start of trial
in bunker kidnapping, rape
BEAUFORT, S.C. - Vinson Filyaw, accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and raping her in an underground bunker, pleaded guilty yesterday, moments before his trial was to begin.
The girl was rescued after more than a week when she talked her abductor into letting her play games on his cell phone and instead sent a text message for help.
Filyaw stood in court yesterday with his arms clasped behind him as he quietly answered "Yes, sir" when the judge asked him whether he was freely pleading to the charges. The victim sat with family members, her mother's arm around her.
"Well, I guess there's something wrong with me for doing all of this. I was 36; she's 14. That's wrong or against the law, whatever you want to say," Filyaw told WLTX-TV after his plea.
Sentencing was set for today. Filyaw could spend the rest of his life in prison.
1-year term for mom of boy who wandered on interstate
INDIANAPOLIS - A woman who slept while her 3-year-old boy went outside and wandered onto a busy four-lane highway was sentenced yesterday to a year in prison for child neglect.
Marion Superior Court Judge Lisa Borges scolded Nancy Dyer before sentencing her, saying it was "a miracle" her son wasn't killed.
The boy, Damon Dyer, was unscathed as the drivers of at least a half-dozen cars and a tractor-trailer rig on I-465 swerved to avoid him on Dec. 30. The temperature was in the mid-50s as the boy ran around barefoot, wearing only a soiled diaper and a Superman T-shirt.
Authorities said Dyer, 31, was sleeping when the boy slipped outside, climbed through a hole in a chain-link fence and onto the highway. Police officers said that when they traced Damon to his home, they found his 2-year-old sister eating spaghetti off the floor, with human waste and trash strewn about.
The boy and his younger sister have been in foster care since Dyer's arrest. She gave birth last month to her sixth child, who is in the care of a guardian.
A streetcar named SLUT
SEATTLE - Officially, it's the South Lake Union Streetcar. But in the neighborhood where the new line runs, it's called the South Lake Union Trolley - or, the SLUT.
At Kapow! Coffee, a shop in the old Cascade neighborhood, 100 T-shirts bearing the words "Ride the SLUT" sold out in days, and another 100 are on order.
"We're welcoming the SLUT into the neighborhood," said Jerry Johnson, 29, a part-time barista.
Some claim - incorrectly, according to representatives of Vulcan Inc., the company that is developing the area - that South Lake Union Trolley was the original name and that it was changed when officials belatedly realized the acronym.
The $50.5-million project should be completed with streetcars running in December. Underlying the lighthearted opposition, however, is resentment over changes in the old working-class neighborhood. *