Two Jailed For Over A Decade In German Campsite Child Abuse Case

Defendants Mario S (3rd L) and Andreas V (3rd R) stand next to their lawyers Juergen Bogner (2nd L) and Johannes Salmen (R) as they arrive for their trial at the district court in Detmold, northwestern Germany, on September 5, 2019.

 

A German court on Thursday sentenced two men to more than a decade each in jail after they pleaded guilty to sexually abusing dozens of children at a campsite over two decades.

The Detmold regional court jailed 56-year-old accused Andreas V. for 13 years, while 34-year-old Mario S. must serve 12 years.

After their sentences, both men will be held in preventive custody, a step reserved only for the most dangerous criminals.

The pair are believed to have been the main perpetrators in a series of abuse cases that went undiscovered for years at the campsite in Luegde, around 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Hanover in northern Germany.

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Along with a third suspect, Heiko V., they were accused of 450 instances of child sexual abuse.

Prosecutors said more than 40 children fell victim to the men at the “Eichwald” campsite between 1998 and 2018.

Most of the children were between three and 14 years old at the time.

Some 33 witnesses, including 16 victims and 12 relatives, testified before the court in the trial over the past ten weeks, many of them behind closed doors.

Outrage over the serial abuse, uncovered in late January, grew nationwide as details of failings by police and local authorities came to light.

Bayern Defender Boateng Under Investigation For Assault

Bayern Munich’s defender Jerome Boateng is pictured prior to the Audi Cup final football match between FC Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur in Munich, southern Germany.  Christof STACHE / AFP

 

Bayern Munich and former German national team football star Jerome Boateng, 31, has been charged with assault after allegedly attacking his former partner, German prosecutors confirmed Tuesday.

“The Munich prosecutor’s office has had proceedings open against Jerome Boateng for dangerous assault since autumn 2018. Following extensive investigations, charges were brought on February 11, 2019,” chief prosecutor Anne Leiding told AFP-subsidiary SID, confirming reports in German media outlets Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and WDR.

Leiding added that the court was yet to open the case, but had accepted an accessory prosecution from the alleged victim, named only as ‘S.’.

According to the SZ and WDR reports, ‘S.’ is Boateng’s former partner of ten years and the mother of two of his three children.

Prosecutors also confirmed that Boateng was the subject of a separate police investigation into assault.

Former Germany central defender Boateng is one of the country’s most successful players, having won the World Cup with Germany in 2014 and the Champions League with Bayern in 2013.

His career has declined in recent months, after he was dropped from the national squad earlier this year.

Boateng’s relationship with his club has also suffered after he slipped down the defensive pecking order at German league champions Bayern.

In May, club president Uli Hoeness advised the 31-year-old to “find a new club”, but a mooted transfer to Italian giants Juventus fell through at the last minute on the final day of the European transfer window on Monday.

AFP

Police To Arraign Lady Who Kept Child In A Kennel

A photo combination of the suspect and the victim.

Police authorities in Lagos are set to arraign a woman identified as Onyinye Mbadike seen in a viral video detaining a boy in a dog cage.

She is expected to be arraigned at the magistrate court in Ogba, Lagos state.

In the video, she is seen assaulting the boy after flogging him with a belt before locking him in up in the dog cage.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Woman Who Locked 10-Year-Old In Dog Cage

Lagos state police spokesperson, Bala Elkana says the woman was arrested based on the viral video and that the woman has admitted to being the one in the clip.

But she denied locking the boy in a cage with dogs and that she only locked him in an empty cage where bags are kept.

She claimed the boy took an alcoholic drink in their refrigerator and smashed the side mirror of her car with stone, which made her detain him in the cage.

US Rapper A$AP Rocky Released Until Assault Verdict On August 14

 

The Stockholm district court said Friday that US rapper A$AP Rocky should be released from custody, pending the verdict of an assault trial that has garnered global attention and stirred fan outrage.

The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has been in custody in Sweden since he was arrested on July 3 after a street brawl, but on the last day of his trial the court decided to release him, pending the verdict.

“Rakim Mayers… (and the two others accused) are no longer going to be remanded in custody,” presiding judge Per Lennerbrant told the court, adding that the court’s verdict would be made available on August 14.

AFP

A$AP Rocky To Face Assault Trial In Sweden

ASAP Rocky attends Rihanna’s 4th Annual Diamond Ball at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. 
Angela Weiss / AFP

 

US rapper A$AP Rocky will be tried for an alleged assault next week over a June street brawl, a Swedish court said Thursday, in a decision likely to infuriate fans already indignant over his three weeks in custody.

“Today I have pressed charges against the three suspects for assault, because in my judgement what has happened amounts to a crime, despite the objections about self-defence and provocations,” prosecutor Daniel Suneson said in a statement published Thursday morning.

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The 30-year-old rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested on July 3 along with three other people, following the brawl in Stockholm on June 30. One of them, the rapper’s bodyguard, was later released.

Part of the fight was captured in an amateur video published by US celebrity news outlet TMZ. The rapper later published videos of his own to Instagram purporting to show the lead up to the fight.

Mayers has claimed he was acting in self-defence, saying he was responding to harassment and provocations by the plaintiff.

But Suneson said in his statement: “I have had more material to consider than what has been available on the internet.”

 Heading to trial 

According to the charging document filed with the Stockholm District Court, the evidence includes surveillance footage, witness testimony and text conversations that the prosecutor says prove there was no need for self-defence and that a bottle was used as a weapon in the alleged assault.

Magnus Stromberg, the plaintiff’s lawyer, told AFP his client suffered injuries that were “serious, nasty and he has been in a lot of pain”.

On July 5 the court-ordered Mayers be kept in custody pending investigation of the case as he was considered a “flight risk”.

The court originally gave the prosecutor two weeks to decide on whether to press charges and later granted a week-long extension.

Suneson’s decision to press charges means the rapper can be kept in custody until his trial, which the court has set for next week.

The trial is scheduled to take place over three days, starting on July 30 and then continuing on August 1 and 2.

Assault carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail in Sweden.

Mayers’ lawyer Slobodan Jovicic told reporters the decision was “expected” and his client maintains his innocence.

“He is extremely disappointed that the prosecutor has put the other account (of the events) ahead of his own,” Jovicic said during a press briefing.

 #FreeRocky 

The musician, who had his breakthrough in 2011 with the release of the mixtape “Live. Love. A$AP”, was on a European tour and has already had to cancel over a dozen shows.

Since his arrest, fans, fellow artists and US Congress members have campaigned for the artist to be freed.

US President Donald Trump contacted Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven directly to discuss the case, and tweeted Saturday he had been assured that Mayers would be “treated fairly”.

“I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative,” Trump added.

Lofven’s press secretary Toni Eriksson confirmed the call and told AFP that “the prime minister was careful to point out that the Swedish justice system is completely independent”.

An online petition called #JusticeForRocky has garnered more than 620,000 signatures. The rapper’s detention has also led to accusations of racism by the Swedish justice system.

In May of last year, fellow rapper G-Eazy was charged with violence against a public servant, resisting arrest and possession of narcotics in Sweden, but was released after pleading guilty and fined 80 000 kronor (around $8,500 or 7,600 euros) after a day and a half in custody.

In an Instagram post-G-Eazy, who is white, said the difference between his and A$AP Rocky’s treatment was a sign of “white privilege” and “racism”.

Responding to a question about whether law enforcement’s handling of the case indicated racism, Mayer’s lawyer Jovicic told reporters Thursday that he thought Sweden was “not a racist society”.

“I think that my last name is living proof that anyone can make it here and I don’t see that angle at all”,” Jovicic said referring to his Serbian last name.

AFP

Assault Allegation: Court Extends ASAP Rocky’s Detention

ASAP Rocky (file)                                                                                                                Angela Weiss / AFP

 

A Stockholm court on Friday ordered that US rapper ASAP Rocky, detained in Sweden on assault allegations, should be kept in custody for another week while the prosecutor completes his investigation.

“The deadline to press charges has been extended to Thursday, July 25 at 11 am (0900 GMT). The suspect will until then remain in detention,” the district court said in a statement.

The 30-year-old artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested on July 3 shortly after midnight after a street fight on June 30.

On July 5 the Stockholm District Court ordered that Mayers should be kept in custody while the case was being investigated, as he was considered a “flight risk”.

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The court had given the prosecutor until July 19 to decide on whether to press charges.

However, the prosecutor requested the deadline be extended to next week as they needed more time to complete the investigation, which the court granted.

Mayers’ lawyer Slobodan Jovicic called the court’s decision disproportionate.

He said that it was unreasonable to assume Mayers was a “flight risk” since not returning for a potential trial could mean that the rapper would never be able to visit Europe again, for fear of getting arrested.

“I am very disappointed, even though this was very much expected, given our regulations for detentions and that it’s very easy to detain someone,” said Jovicic.

AFP

US Labour Secretary Alex Acosta Resigns Over Epstein Case

US President Donald Trump (L) and US Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta address the media early July 12, 2019 at the White House in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski / AFP

 

US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned Friday, amid a backlash over a secret plea deal he negotiated a decade ago with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier accused of sexually abusing young girls.

“I called the president this morning and told him that I thought the right thing was to step aside,” Acosta said in a joint appearance with President Donald Trump at the White House.

Acosta, 50, a former federal prosecutor, has been facing mounting calls to resign over the deal that saw Epstein serve just 13 months in a county jail.

Trump said the decision to go came from Acosta, who telephoned the president Friday morning. He described Acosta as a “tremendous talent” and “great secretary of labor” who had done a “very good job.”

Epstein, 66, was charged on Monday by prosecutors in New York with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.

READ ALSO: Trump Declares State Of Emergency As Storm Bears Down On New Orleans

Those charges carry a maximum of 45 years in prison.

According to prosecutors, Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage teen girls at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005. Some were as young as 14.

Acosta fielded a barrage of questions Wednesday from reporters about his office’s handling of the Epstein case when he was a federal prosecutor in Florida.

The deal reached with Epstein required him to admit a single state charge of soliciting prostitution from a minor and register as a sex offender.

Acosta said prosecutors agreed to the deal rather than take Epstein to trial on more serious charges because that would have been a “roll of the dice”.

AFP

Viral Video: SAN Asks NSCDC To Apologise To Judge

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Paul Ananaba, has asked the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to apologise to a former acting Chief Judge of Kebbi State, Justice Elizabeth Karatu.

This followed a viral video showing an NSCDC official barring the judge from gaining entry into the court premises to deliver judgement.

Reacting during his appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Ananaba described the action of the security officer as unacceptable.

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He explained that Justice Karatu, by virtue of her position, was the head and wondered why she should be barred from the court premises.

“How can you lock a court premise? Is it a public holiday under the Public Holidays Act?” he asked.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Paul Ananaba.

The senior advocate added, “I thought that an agency like the Civil Defence should have come to apologise not just to the judge, much more to the judiciary and the legal profession.

“I think what has happened based on the response of the Civil Defence is not acceptable. The Chief Judge of any state or the Federation is the head of the court.”

In the video which went viral recently, the NSCDC official informed Justice Karatu and her security aide — a police officer — that he was instructed to bar her from gaining access to the courtroom.

The judge was said to be due to retire on July 5 and had gone to the court on July 4 to deliver her last judgement when the incident occurred.

She had reportedly written a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC), decrying her non-confirmation based on her religion.

But Ananaba said the issue should be taken far from the judge’s petition and the response she got.

He stressed the need for security operatives to show restraint when attempting to resolve civil issues.

“I think security agencies particularly the Civil Defence should know when to apologise when to get to where their limits are,” Ananaba said.

Assault: Senator Abbo Reacts As Nigerians Condemn His Action

Senator Elisha Abbo

 

Senator Elisha Abbo who is in the eye of a storm for beating a woman who tried to prevent him from assaulting another woman has reacted to the scandal, confirming that he is indeed the man in the video.

The assault, which was first reported by Premium Times, has sparked outrage with many Nigerians calling for his prosecution and urging the Senate to also discipline him.

When contacted, the Senator told Channels Television that he would release an official statement in reaction to the assault video.

“We will be releasing statement, maybe tomorrow afternoon,” he said, adding that the incident happened before he became a Senator.

READ ALSO: Video Of Senator Assaulting Woman In Abuja Sparks Outrage

Beyond that, the Senator said the roughly 10-minute video was incomplete, claiming he was at the shop because his sister had been assaulted there, but that part was edited out of the video.

He said, “We will soon release an official statement to the viral video which happened before I became a senator; where my younger sister was beaten to a pulp in a shop and I was called upon there (sic); where I had to call an ambulance and a policeman to come to the scene and it got out of hand I was also assaulted.

“It is an old video, but we will soon release a statement to that effect. It was my sister that was at the store and she was assaulted; in fact, she fainted in the shop but they compressed the video and cut that part out of it.

“They took her out to resuscitate her; the one standing with a cap is a doctor. The doctor had to come to give her life. My sister is not in the video, it was completely cropped out of it.”

Senator Abbo said he would be demanding the release of the full recording.

“This is a political season and now I am now a politician. Before I was not a politician but now the reality of the fact is that I am now a politician and politicians are not people who are liked; they (people) exhume things of 20 years and they hang it on their neck now,” he said.

“As I said before, we will release a robust response to everything, and we will also ask for the entire video to be released since they have the video. We will seat and discuss about the video. Just to be clear, that video was taken long before now and it was released just as this point.”

Brutal Assault

In the CCTV video, the Senator had, however, not mentioned anything about his sister being assaulted. The video showed him seated in the shop for a while as activities went on. He then got on the phone, walked out of the office for a bit, came back in and sat down.

Four minutes into the video, he received another call. Shortly after, a policeman came in and he informed the policeman, that the shop attendant is his friend but that she insulted him.

“She is not my enemy; she is my friend. We are not enemies; she is my friend and I have known her for over five years. But she insulted me. She said I am drunk, I am stupid and I am mad,” he said before asking the policeman to take her away.

As he was speaking to the policeman, the lady made a call of her own to inform her father about what was going on, but the move angered Abbo, who ordered her to stop the call.

As she tried to round up the call, another man with Abbo tried to slap the phone away, prompting another woman in the shop to intervene.

After the woman asked the man to “take it easy”, Abbo flew into the raged and attacked her.

Watch video here

The assault has attracted widespread condemnation, emerging as a top trend on social media with more than 100,000 tweets dedicated to it, many of them declaring the action as unacceptable, shameful, and criminal and demanding that the authorities, particularly the police and the Senate, should act.

Video Of Senator Assaulting Woman In Abuja Sparks Outrage

Senator Elisha Abbo                                                                                                    Photo: Premium Times

 

A video showing a Senator beating up a woman in a sex toy shop in Nigeria’s capital Abuja has sparked outrage with many calling for his prosecution and ouster as a lawmaker.

In the video, published exclusively by Premium Times, Senator Elisha Abbo, who represents Adamawa North Senatorial District, is shown launching a brutal attack on a woman who tried to stop him from assaulting another woman attending to customers in the shop.

The Senator accused the shop attendant of insulting him and asked a policeman with him to arrest her. Obviously concerned for her safety, the attendant made a call and tried to inform someone about what was happening.

But this only angered the Senator who ordered her to stop the call. Things took a violent turn when a man with the lawmaker tried to smack the phone away from the shop attendant’s hand and another woman who was watching the drama intervened.

The Senator became livid and launched an attack on the woman who had only urged them to “take it easy”, slapping and hitting her before ordering the policeman to arrest.

As the policeman did his bidding, dragging her away despite the pleas of the shop attendant who was the initial target, the Senator continued his assault.

READ ALSO: Assault: Senator Abbo Reacts As Nigerians Condemn His Action

The assault, which happened on May 11 according to the Premium Times report, has led to shock and outrage.

‘Justice For Victims’

Amnesty International is among those that have called for the Senator to be investigated.

“This must be investigated. Victims of his violence must get justice,” the human rights organization said in another tweet about the attack.

Actress Kate Henshaw was among celebrities who have condemned the action declaring the assault unacceptable.

Rapper M.I. Abaga described the action of the policeman at the scene shameful, with fellow artist Banky W sharing his sentiments.

Many more Nigerians and activists condemned the assault and demanded justice for the victim. They also urged the Senate to act on the matter and demanded the dismissal of the policeman involved.

Ex-PSG Defender Maxwell Denies Assault

(file) Maxwell, Paris Saint Germain sports coordinator during the French championship L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Stade de Reims on September 26, 2018, at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France. AFP

 

Brazilian police said Thursday they were investigating alleged assault by former Paris Saint-Germain left-back Maxwell on his former wife.

News website G1 reported Giulia Reverendo Andrade had filed the complaint of assault which she says left her with two fractured toes, on March 27.

READ ALSO: CAF To Introduce VAR From Quarter-Finals At Cup Of Nations

“I am saddened to see how someone who I lived with and is the mother of my marvellous children has used the law in a distorted way,” said Maxwell, now an official at PSG, who denies the allegations.

“For the good of my children I will prove my total innocence and I will show they are simply lies,” he added in a statement published by his entourage.

The 37-year-old took up the position of technical co-ordinator at the Parisian club after retiring from playing in 2017 following a career which included spells at Barcelona, Inter Milan and Ajax.

AFP

Grace Mugabe Accused Of Bloody Attack On Domestic Worker

Grace Mugabe also faces an arrest warrant in South Africa for her alleged assault on a female model in Johannesburg in 2017.

 

Grace Mugabe, the wife of former Zimbabwean ruler Robert Mugabe, has been accused of attacking an employee at the family’s home with a shoe in 2017, lawyers said Tuesday.

She also faces an arrest warrant in neighbouring South Africa for her alleged assault with a power cable on a female model in Johannesburg in the same year.

Papers filed in Zimbabwe’s high court by lawyers for Shupikai Chiroodza allege that Mugabe used her fists and then her shoe in a prolonged attack that left Chiroodza’s face pouring blood.

Mugabe allegedly attacked Chiroodza after accusing her of “milking” her husband because she had accepted a cash wedding gift from him, the papers say.

Chiroodza was a government employee working at the Mugabes’ private Blue Roof mansion in Harare when the alleged attack took place in March 2017, eight months before then-president Mugabe was forced from office.

“I represent Chiroodza, who was part of the domestic staff at Blue Roof in a case of unlawful dismissal,” lawyer Douglas Coltart told AFP.

In her court papers demanding her job back, Chiroodza said Grace Mugabe punched her and ordered her to return an unspecified amount of money.

“She started beating me with clenched fists shouting, ‘Who do you think you are? You are milking my husband behind my back’,” Chiroodza said in her court application.

‘I was terrified’

“I was terrified. She removed her shoe and continued assaulting me with it and blood started gushing out of my forehead, mouth and nose. The assault continued for about 20 minutes.”

Chiroodza said she received a dismissal letter two months later.

Coltart said the civil service commission had indicated it would not contest the case. “We are hoping to get some form of settlement,” he said.

Mugabe, 53, was seen as a possible successor to her husband in a race against Emmerson Mnangagwa, the current president.

Mugabe, now 95, was ousted following a brief military takeover in 2017 after 37 years in office and replaced by Mnangagwa, the favoured choice of the military.

In August 2017, Grace allegedly attacked Gabrielle Engels using an electrical extension cord at an upmarket hotel in Johannesburg where the Mugabes’ two sons were staying.

South Africa granted Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity, allowing her to hurriedly leave the country, but a court later scrapped the ruling.

She earned the nickname “Gucci Grace” for her lavish lifestyle as Zimbabwe’s economy collapsed under her husband’s authoritarian rule.

Last month Mnangagwa said Robert Mugabe was in Singapore for medical treatment and was expected back home in mid-May.

AFP