05 24 2016
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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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  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A longtime Murray State University professor has decided to retire after referring to slavery while making a point about tardiness to two black students last semester, the school said Friday.

Political science professor Mark Wattier, pictured, has filed his retirement application with the state, with an effective date of March 1, university spokeswoman Catherine Sivills said.

One of the students filed a complaint with the university, and Wattier was suspended without pay.

His career spanned 30 years at the school in Kentucky's southwest corner, including time as Faculty Senate president.

In a lengthy e-mail sent to The Associated Press on Friday titled ``My Side of the Story,'' Wattier acknowledged he made a mistake.

The student who filed the complaint, Arlene Johnson, said in her own e-mail to the AP that she's happy that Wattier is retiring, adding that it shows that his actions toward her were ``disrespectful.''

Wattier and Johnson gave different accounts of what happened, but both agreed that the professor made a reference to slavery while admonishing two students to be on time to class.

After a class early last semester, Wattier said, two students approached him asking for a course syllabus. Wattier concluded the students had shown up late for class, but he said he did not know if Johnson was one of them.

``Then, I made a mistake,'' Wattier said in the e-mail. ``I did say, 'Do you know why you were late? There's a theory that a way to protest their master's treatment was for slaves to be late.'

``My comment was inappropriate. I regret having said this out of context and bluntly.''

Johnson, who dropped the class, said Friday that she's still waiting for an apology from Wattier.

``After weeks of no response, it made me feel as though he really did not care about the derogatory remark he made,'' she said. ``So yes, I still would like an apology, whether he's here on campus teaching or retired. I do deserve that.''

In recounting the incident, she told The Paducah Sun that a film was already playing when she arrived on time for the class. Johnson said she and another black student later asked Wattier about a syllabus and why the class started early.

She said Wattier replied that he expected it from them.

The newspaper reported that according to Johnson's official complaint, when she asked Wattier what he meant, he replied: ``It is part of your heritage. The slaves never showed up on time to their owners and were lashed for it. I just don't have the right to do that.''

In his e-mail, Wattier said he has never used racial slurs.

``My inappropriate comment in the complaint does not represent my heart or values on race,'' he said. ``The truth is that I respect my many African-American friends, athletic teammates, colleagues and students from the 1960s to the present.''

Wattier played on the basketball team at Baylor University in the early 1970s, and a former teammate on Friday recalled him as studious and popular with both white and black players.

``He was well-liked by all of the teammates and never had a problem with anybody,'' said Mike Moore, who is white and now lives near Palm Springs, Calif.

Sivills said the university would not comment on Wattier's retirement, noting that officials were still working on Wattier's appeal of his semester-long suspension.

Murray State's fall enrollment was 10,400, with black students making up 7 percent of the student body.

Johnson said she felt ``very upset'' and ``unwelcome'' after the racial remark, but said race relations on the campus in rural western Kentucky seem ``pretty fair.'' She said the incident hasn't changed her attitude about the school.

``In my eyes, I consider us all equal here at Murray State,'' she said.

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