05-27-2017  6:38 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Art Museum Hosts Upstanders Festival May 27

Event includes spoken word, workshops and poster making in support of social justice ...

North Portland Library Announces June Computer Classes

Upcoming courses include Introduction to Spreadsheets, What is the Cloud? and Learn Programming with Games ...

Merkley to Hold Town Hall in Clackamas County

Sen. Jeff Merkley to hold town hall in Clackamas County, May 30 ...

NAACP Monthly Meeting Notice, May 27, Portland

NAACP Portland invites the community to its monthly general membership meeting ...

Photos: Fundraiser for Sunshine Division's Assistance Programs

Under the Stars fundraiser took place on May 18 at the Melody Grand Ballroom ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

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The preservation of Thurgood Marshall's legacy is dependent upon our dedication to our children ...

CFPB Sues Ocwen Financial over Unfair Mortgage Practices

What many homeowners soon discover is that faithfully paying a monthly mortgage is in some cases, just not enough ...

B-CU Grads Protest Betsy “DeVoid” in Epic Fashion

Julianne Malveaux says that Betsy “DeVoid,” is no Mary McLeod Bethune ...

NAACP on Supreme Court's Decline to Review NC Voter ID Law

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks made the following remarks ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Members of a Los Angeles street gang are facing charges in the 2008 beating of a man who claimed he had a sex tape of Shaquille O'Neal and that the former NBA star was behind the attack.

Sheriff's department records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times showed investigators probed allegations that O'Neal was connected to the attack, but O'Neal denied any involvement and has not been charged, the paper reported Wednesday. Also, O'Neal is not named in the criminal complaint.

Robert Ross reported being beaten in 2008 but details of the case only came to light publically this week in a preliminary hearing in which Ross testified against seven members of the Main Street Crips facing kidnapping, robbery and assault charges.

According to sheriff's report, Ross told investigators he was kidnapped at gunpoint by Main Street Crips gang members in West Hollywood in February 2008 and taken to the home of the gang's alleged leader Ladell Rowles. He said the gang members beat him, stole $15,000 in cash and some jewelry.

Ross said Rowles demanded the purported videotape of O'Neal having sex with a woman other than his wife and $100,000, according to the sheriff's investigative report.

Ross told investigators in 2008 that he believed O'Neal was behind the attack because of a business deal gone bad and because O'Neal believed he had the tape, the Times reported. Ross later told police he was "bluffing" about the tape.

Detectives found phone records showing a "flurry of calls" between Rowles and O'Neal's business partner Mark Stevens around the time of the February 2008 incident, the sheriff's report said.

O'Neal and Stevens both denied any involvement in the attack when interviewed by sheriff's investigators in 2008, the Times said.

Prosecutors said they have no evidence that a sex tape exists.

In a July 2009 letter asking for leniency in Ross' sentencing for unrelated federal drug and firearm charges, a sheriff's captain wrote that Ross was cooperating with law enforcement as a victim and witness in an incident that may implicate a "celebrity," the Times reported.

Attorney Nicholas Tonsich, who represented O'Neal and Stevens, did not immediately respond to an Associated Press call for comment.

O'Neal retired this month after 19 seasons, several of them with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ross is expected to resume his testimony when the preliminary hearing continues in July.

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