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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Carlee Soto uses a phone to get information about her sister, Victoria Soto

WASHINGTON— The latest government snapshot of school crime paints a picture of safer schools with declines in violent crime, bullying and harassment because of sexual orientation.

Still, about 3 percent of students ages 12 to 18 said they were victims of crimes at school in 2014. About 1.3 million students were suspended for at least one full school day for alcohol violations, violence or weapons possession.

Middle school students were more likely to be bullied than high school or elementary school students, said the report, released Wednesday by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Justice Department.

On college campuses, the number of sexual attacks more than doubled from 2001 to 2013. "There's really no way to say whether those increases reflect an increase in actual forcible sex crimes or just that more people are coming forward and reporting them," said Lauren Musu-Gillette, an author of the report.

Overall, the report showed progress, said Peggy G. Carr, acting NCES commissioner.

"Bullying is down, crime is down, but it's not enough," she said. Even before the report was issued, Ken Trump of the National School Safety and Security Services cautioned about reading too much into federal statistics on school crime.

"Federal and state stats underestimate the extent of school crime, public perception tends to overstate it and reality is somewhere in between," he said in a presentation to the Education Writers Association national conference in Boston.

He said in an interview that there is no mandated crime reporting for elementary, middle or high schools.

However, NCES' Musu-Gillette said the report was a nationally representative sample of school crime, taken in large part from surveys of students.

The report indicated that schools are taking steps to reduce crime.

About 75 percent used security cameras during the 2013-2014 school year and more than 9 in 10 controlled access to their buildings. Schools also required students to wear IDs and mandated dress codes to try to make campuses safe.

"Our nation's schools should be safe havens for teaching and learning, free of crime and violence," the report said. "Any instance of crime or violence at school not only affects the individuals involved, but also may disrupt the educational process and affect bystanders, the school itself, and the surrounding community."

Trump called security cameras a quick fix that leads to a "false sense of security," and said there has to be a balance between the hardware and the human element of school safety. That includes having counselors and psychologists on hand and training staff to deal with bullying, verbal abuse and other threats.

He said too much focus is on the rare possibility of a shooting, rather than incidents that may occur daily. He asked, for example, whether schools know how to deal with a non-custodial parent trying to pick up a child.

"School administrators are a lot more pro-active about security than they were a decade ago," he said. He said social media and an overall awareness have made it "harder to hide things that occur in schools."

The federal Clery Act requires colleges and universities to report and distribute data on campus crimes.

The report said the number of criminal incidents on college campuses declined 8 percent in 2013 from the previous year. The most common type of crime was burglary. There were 23 murders on campus that year.

Despite efforts to improve security, schools still see violence.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology reported Monday that a student was fatally shot during a burglary at a fraternity house. And at the University of Arizona last week a man was shot near a campus building.

In recent years, sexual assaults and the response by colleges and universities have become a focal point of discussions about campus crime.

In a speech last month at the University of Pittsburgh, Vice President Joe Biden urged students to "change the culture" to combat sexual assault.

The Obama administration has an ongoing initiative aimed at reducing the incidence of sexual assault on college campuses.

"This is a character test; you have to pass it and our nation has to pass it," Biden said.

The crime report said the number of campus sex assaults rose from 2,200 in 2001 to 5,000 in 2013.

A total of 781 hate crimes were reported on college campuses in 2013, most commonly vandalism. Second was intimidation. Many of those hate crimes were related to race or sexual orientation.

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