Thursday, September 22, 2011

News Roundup

▲A bizarre case. It only took the jurors two hours to acquit Ruben Bunn of one count of sexual assault. Prosecutors argued the woman was too intoxicated after a day of drinking to consent to having sex with Bunn, but the jury obviously had a reasonable doubt. Bunn, testifying in his own defence, told jurors he asked the woman three times if she wanted to have sex with him and she said yes each time. "I'm not a sexual predator," he told jurors. The woman's aunt broke down a bedroom door and found Bunn on top of the woman with his pants around his ankles. Here's where it gets bizarre: the woman's aunt and mother beat the man with a coin-filled "Texas mickey" bottle and kicked him out of the house. He returned a short time later to "apologize" and was attacked again. Police found the man a short time later at his home, seriously injured. Bunn was taken to hospital for treatment and then arrested.

Lynn Kochenderfer, 41, pleaded guilty to falsely reporting an incident after she told Bowling Green police that a hospital tech sexually assaulted her at a hospital. Kochenderfer and the tech exchanged sexually explicit text messages in which they both discussed sex acts that they would like to perform with each other.  The accuser claimed that only the tech texted her. She also alleged that the tech came into her hospital room and that the two had sex. She never resisted the tech’s advances or told him “no,” but claims she was shocked about the incident and heavily medicated. Nevertheless, she eventually pleaded guilty.

Amanda Angelero called 911 from a pay phone and described in specific detail an imaginary man she said had assaulted her in her apartment before stealing her wallet, cell phone and car. Investigators found the woman's red 1994 Honda parked in a parking spot. The car was heavily damaged.  When a deputy asked Angelero about the damage, he detected the "moderate to heavy odor" of alcohol. She denied drinking, and changed her story: The man had tried to rape her, she now said, and after she fought him off, he crashed the car into a tree, fleeing on foot. But a witness told deputies that it was Angelero, not an assailant, who crashed the car into a tree and a sign. Investigators noted that she continually changed her version of events, which never added up. As many as 18 deputies were involved in investigating and searching for the man Angelero had said attacked her. She was charged with misusing the 911 emergency system and making false reports to law enforcement.

▲An 18-year-old woman has been ordered to serve two years of probation after she pleaded guilty to falsely accusing a police officer of raping her. 18-year-old Meghan Franks must serve 90 days in the parish jail and pay fines totaling $1,140 plus court costs.

Engra Bellamy who once was convicted of rape has settled a $25 million federal lawsuit that claimed his Fifth and Sixth amendment rights were violated by police officers who did not advise him about his right to remain silent before secretly taping conversations with him while he underwent medical treatment at a local hospital. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Bellamy was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison for that alleged rape (by the way, his accuser admitted to making a false rape claim as a juvenile). Before the trial, but following his arrest, Bellamy was hospitalized after an asthma attack. A female officer was posted at his door, where the two spoke for about four hours. Bellamy was not read his Miranda rights but made incriminating statements. The following night the police officer, Alyssa Campbell Wells, wore a hidden recording device. Again, Bellamy made incriminating statements. In 2006, the Virginia Court of Appeals tossed Bellamy's rape conviction and sentence after ruling police failed to read him his rights and also violated his right to an attorney. He eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and battery. That same year, Bellamy's accuser received 10 days in jail after giving conflicting testimony in an unrelated assault case.