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Rape Victims in Louisiana Are Being Charged for Hospital Exams


Sorrento Police Chief Earl Theriot admits he committed sex acts with an unresponsive woman while responding to a 911 call and now faces a federal sentence for lying to the FBI about it.

Theriot pleaded guilty Monday to making false statements to an FBI agent in connection to a civil rights investigation.

Theriot, 65, admitted at a hearing in federal court Monday that on Nov. 1, 2013, he committed inappropriate acts when responding to a 911 call about an unresponsive person at a gas station. Instead of transporting her to her residence, he placed her in the front seat of his police vehicle and took her to his office where he “engaged in…sexual contact with her.”

Theriot resigned as chief Friday, as required by the plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley says his office, in the meantime, will still be on patrol and responding to residents’ calls in Sorrento.

U.S. Attorney Walt Green said his office was dedicated to investigating “credible allegations” of police corruption and civil rights violations.

The case was worked by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Ascension Parish District Attorney’s Office.


A California-based group has distributed and trained some Ferguson residents on how to use body cameras to record police.

Copwatch raised more than $6,000 to purchase 110 of the small devices to give to residents over the weekend, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported (

The organization joined Ferguson-based activists the Canfield Watchmen to meet with about two dozen residents near the site where Michael Brown was fatally shot last month by a Ferguson police officer.
David Whitt, a spokesman for the Canfield Watchmen, said that the body cameras offer people the ability to “challenge the police narrative.”
Ferguson’s police chief, Thomas Jackson, said residents are entitled to wear and use the small cameras. He also said the department’s officers have been told not to interfere with that right.
“And really, many members of the public have already been (taking videos of police) with cameras in their phones,” Jackson said.
Two companies last month donated 50 body cameras to the Ferguson Police Department. Last week, St. Louis County police began issuing cameras to officers, with the goal of equipping all patrol officers as soon as possible.
Jacob Crawford, a We Copwatch staff member, led Saturday’s training session with a presentation on a person’s rights during police interactions. Crawford, 36, works as an investigator for a San Francisco law firm and has traveled to U.S. cities where there have been protests over police shootings.
“Police are allowed to walk up to anyone they like and ask questions,” he said. “Police like consent. They can use your consent in court against you.”
He advised against consenting to a search, but cautioned that physically interfering with one would not stop it and could lead to an arrest.
Some in the Crawford’s audience interrupted him and called some of his instructions unrealistic.
“But, sir, in a real scenario, it doesn’t always happen like that,” said Ermon Trotter Jr., 46, a minister from Florissant. “If a black man starts to ask why he’s being detained, a cop will scream, ‘Shut up!’”
Crawford acknowledged some of his advice wouldn’t fit every police encounter.
“Sometimes the best thing to do is just stay calm,” he said.
To which Whitt added, “And turn on your camera.”


Come and bake it.

Texas is enjoying a burst of entrepreneurship after enacting laws that let anyone turn a home kitchen into a business incubator. Under “cottage food” laws, people can sell food baked or cooked at home, like cookies, cakes and jams, if it’s deemed to have a very low chance of causing foodborne illnesses. Crucially, cottage food laws exempt home bakers from having to rent commercial kitchen space.

After winning Austin’s Best Chocolate Cupcake in the city’s Cupcake Smackdown, Amy Padilla decided to open a cupcake bakery in 2009. “At that time, a commercial bakery was my only option,” she said. But with rent averaging around $25 an hour, “it almost became cost prohibitive to continue.”

Not being able to bake at home posed other problems as well. Kelley Masters, a baker based in Cedar Park, found a rental kitchen for $15 per hour, but that rate was only available after 10 p.m. “So I would put my two-year-old son to bed,” she said, “pack a large laundry basket with supplies, and drive out to the commercial kitchen, and start baking, coming home around 1 or 2 a.m.” Sometimes she even had to waste time cleaning up after the previous renter.

After learning that other states had enacted cottage food laws, Masters became an activist, recruiting and rallying people to back legislation that would legalize selling homemade food. Their efforts paid off when Texas passed it first cottage food law in 2011.

Under the new cottage food law, Padilla reopened Bellissimo Bakery, so she could carry on customizing children’s birthday cakes and selling her cupcakes, in flavors like Kona Kahlua or Death by Chocolate. Since 2011, her sales have increased by 25 percent every year, and she’s predicting an increase of up to 50 percent this year. “Not only do I love creating custom cakes and cupcakes, but I love that my cottage food bakery has the ability to financially make a difference,” she added. “I couldn’t be happier that this law is in effect.”

The Texas cottage food law does not extend to “potentially hazardous” foods, like dishes that have meat or shellfish, so consumers have had few problems with home bakers. After contacting both the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and environmental health departments for the 25 largest cities and counties in Texas, the Institute for Justice found no complaints regarding foodborne illnesses from a cottage food business. By lowering regulatory barriers, the Texas cottage food law has made it easier for budding entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.

Unfortunately, cottage food laws in other states needlessly restrict entrepreneurs. In Minnesota, home bakers can only earn up to $5,000 a year, one of the lowest caps in the nation. That comes out to less than $100 a week. Selling too many cookies or cakes, or selling at a venue that isn’t a farmer’s market or community event could mean up to 90 days in jail or fines of up to $7,500. Arguing these regulations “restrict or defeat the ability…to earn an honest living,” Jane Astramecki and Mara Heck, two home bakers, filed a lawsuit with the Institute for Justice to challenge the Minnesota cottage food law (as shown in the video below). In June, a Minnesota judge dismissed the case, and IJ is now appealing that decision.


WASHINGTON — Democratic and Republican lawmakers Tuesday called for a new vote authorizing the use of force against ISIS, with several arguing the Obama administration’s air strikes against ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliated organizations in Syria should prompt Congress to return from recess and vote before the November election.
Although the White House has insisted it has the authority to conduct airstrikes under the 2001 Authorized Use of Military Force, or AUMF, congressional critics have rejected that interpretation as overly broad, and even administration supporters believe a new AUMF should be put into place that reflects the current war on terrorism.
“The president should have come to Congress and still should come to Congress for authorization,” Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told BuzzFeed News Tuesday. “I believe there’s broad support for it, we have our mission and I believe we’re going to do an excellent job. We’re building a coalition, we’re getting Arab countries involved and I don’t think he should be afraid or ashamed to come to Congress. I think he’s waited too long.”
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a leading House Democrat, agreed, arguing in a statement, “It is time for Congress to step up and revise the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force in a way that supports the targeted actions underway, but also prevents the deployment of American ground forces that would drag us into another Iraq War.” In a tweet from his official account, Van Hollen explicitly called on Boehner to “bring members back to debate/vote on AUMF that supports current mission but ensures no ground troops.”
But with an election less than two months away — and few members looking to take ownership of a war that could become a major political liability — it’s unlikely either Boehner or Reid would bring members home.

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