June 22, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - The state House approved a bill Thursday night to allow expert witnesses to testify for the prosecution in rape cases and sent it to Gov. Corbett, who is expected to sign it. The bill, approved without debate, will end Pennsylvania's status as the only state without such a law. "This is a bipartisan victory," said Rep. Cherelle L. Parker (D., Phila.), who joined with cosponsor Kate Harper (R., Montgomery) in thanking their House colleagues. Sponsors said the legislation would allow experts to help victims at trial by describing for jurors the dynamics of sexual violence and - for example - offer explanations for why a victim did not immediately report the attack go to a hospital.
April 29, 2012 |
The day seemed routine for Teri Wright, who came home from her job as a national operations manager in Center City, ate dinner, watched TV, and went to bed. But at about 2 a.m., she was awakened by four men who had broken into her house. They tied her up at gunpoint. Wright was raped four times. "I had a choice that night," said Wright, 48, of Edgewater Park, Burlington County. "I could have untied myself and laid in the bed" and kept a secret. Instead, she ran for help and reported the assault to police.
April 9, 2012 |
The 19-page letter from the U.S. Department of Education to colleges and universities across the nation last April made already-busy Philadelphia lawyer Gina Maisto Smith even busier. The letter emphasized that colleges had to respond to any complaint of sexual misconduct, even if the victim didn't want to press charges or otherwise pursue it. Some colleges hadn't been investigating such complaints even though a 2001 Education Department document recommended it, said Smith, a former sex-crimes prosecutor who now specializes in law involving sexual misconduct on college campuses and other institutions.
February 12, 2012
Movies Coriolanus See Steven Rea's preview on H2. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Nicolas Cage retuns in the title role of this sequel about the bounty hunter of demons. The Secret World of Arrietty See Steven Rea's preview on H2. Thin Ice Greg Kinnear stars as a Wisconsin insurance agent whose plan to take advantage of a prospective customer is spoiled by an even more devious locksmith. Alan Arkin and Billy Crudup also star. This Means War See Steven Rea's preview on H2. Opens Tuesday Reviewed by critics Carrie Rickey (C.R.)
January 29, 2012 |
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a complex issue, one that deserves serious scholarship and open, civil debate. Expect to see none of that next weekend on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, where the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement is staging a "conference. " Instead, as we should have learned from many past BDS events at colleges around the country, this will be an exercise in disinformation and propaganda, a call for political and economic warfare, and an attempt to foment hatred of Israel.
January 7, 2012
Music Eilen Jewell. Jewell has the voice of a folkie singer-songwriter rather than the full-throated pipes of a honky-tonk angel, and she can be a fidgety, fussy performer on stage. But the Idaho-born, Boston-based guitarist and bandleader (her first name is pronounced ee-lynn) has more than what it takes in the category that really counts: songwriting. Last year's Queen of the Minor Key picked up where 2009's Sea of Tears left off. (In between, there was a just-OK Loretta Lynn tribute album.)
October 21, 2011 |
At water coolers across the region, two aspects of the Downtowners club frat party have legs: the ages of the 10 women arrested (the oldest was 51) and the fact that no "johns" were charged. Some see an inequity in the fact that the ladies' photos were paraded in the press, while most of the men in attendance remain anonymous and uncharged. (The pictures have also provided plenty of fodder. As a buddy of mine snickered, "You can tell who charged $30 and who charged $100. ") Of the three guys who were arrested, two were club members allegedly acting as bartenders in the absence of a liquor license, and the third was charged with promoting prostitution.
September 14, 2011 |
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Clergy sex-abuse victims upset that no high-ranking Roman Catholic leaders have been prosecuted for sheltering guilty priests went to the International Criminal Court on Tuesday, seeking an investigation of the pope and top Vatican cardinals for possible crimes against humanity. The Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit legal group, requested the inquiry on behalf of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, arguing that the global church has maintained a "long-standing and pervasive system of sexual violence," despite promises to swiftly oust predators.