05 24 2016
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  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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Harlem Hellfighters

Photo: Men from the Harlem Hellfighters regiment. Below Sgt. Henry Lincoln Johnson

Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkeley have sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, asking him to award the Medal of Honor to WWI war hero Henry Lincoln Johnson. They have also asked Panetta to speed up the process, which normally takes two years.  For Defense Sec. Panetta to be reviewing the case suggests that Army Sec. McHugh already has reviewed and approved the award.

"For nearly 100 years, our nation has failed to properly recognize the heroic actions of Sergeant Henry Lincoln Johnson," the letter reads. "We are writing to ask you to take the opportunity to correct this injustice by personally reviewing the new evidence that has been submitted to support awarding Sergeant Johnson the Medal of Honor. We also ask that you expedite the review process, which we understand can normally take more than two years. After reviewing the evidence and

learning more about Sergeant Johnson's story, we believe that you will agree that America has already waited far too long to properly honor one of its most distinguished heroes."



According to President Roosevelt, Sgt. Henry Lincoln Johnson was one of the five bravest men to serve in the war. Yet, like many of his companions in the Harlem Hellfighters, he was passed over for recognition in the United States, even though France recognized Johnson with its highest military honor: The Croix de Guerre with gold palm.

Wyden and Merkeley's letter is the latest effort in a long campaign to secure America's highest honor for Johnson.  At the time, recognition was denied him solely because he was Black during the time of Jim Crow, segregation and a powerful Ku Klux Klan.

In the last two years, the campaign has gained momentum, thanks to the efforts of campaigners including Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, New York Sen. Charles Schumer, former New York State Rep. Joe DioGuardi and veterans groups. Schumer's staff this Spring unearthed new evidence that showed Johnson's bravery was recognized at the time by his commanding officers and also by an independent evaluator who investigated the case.

The Skanner News Medal of Honor series

Stories

Courage Comes in Every Color

Video: Nick Fish Seeks Medal Of Honor for WWI Hellfighter

Hellfighters Battle to Fight for America

Honors in France But Lynchings in America

Video: Breakthrough for Campaign to Honor Henry Lincoln Johnson with the Medal of Honor

One Final Push May Secure Medal of Honor for Harlem Hellfighter from WWI

Army Sec. McHugh Will Review Sgt. Henry Lincoln Johnson's Medal of Honor Bid

Oregon Senators Urge Panetta to Expedite Medal of Honor for Henry Lincoln Johnson

Editorial

Two Brave Soldiers. Two Stories of Courage. Two Medals of Honor

VIDEO

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish on WWI Hero Sgt. Henry Lincoln Johnson

Documents supporting Sgt. Henry Lincoln Johnson's Medal of Honor Bid

http://www.theskanner.com/docs/Henry_Lincoln_Johnson_documents.pdf

 

 

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