05 25 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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Bree Newsome

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The two people arrested for removing the Confederate flag from the front of the South Carolina Statehouse have been released from jail in the state capital. 

Officer L. Tucker of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center said 30-year-old Bree Newsome and 30-year-old James Ian Tyson were released from jail Saturday after posting bond. Both Newsome and Tyson are from Charlotte.

Newsome was about halfway up the more than 30-foot steel flagpole just after dawn Saturday when officers of the South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services ran to the flagpole and told her to get down. Instead, she continued up the pole and removed the flag.
She and Tyson, who had both climbed over a wrought-iron fence to get to the flag, were arrested. The flag, which is protected by state law, was raised about 45 minutes later, well ahead of a rally later Saturday by supporters of keeping the flag where it is.

Sherri Iacobelli, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety, said Newsome and James Ian Tyson, 30, also of Charlotte, have been charged with defacing monuments on state Capitol grounds. That's a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison term of up to three years or both.

A staff member at the Alvin Glenn Detention Center where the two were taken said she did not know if they had attorneys.
According to the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, the "Bail for Bree Newsome" fund had raised just over $77,000 in nine hours as of 8 p.m. EDT. The fund was set up to pay for her bail and legal expenses.

About the time of her arrest, Newsome released an email statement to the media.

"We removed the flag today because we can't wait any longer. We can't continue like this another day," it said. "It's time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality."
Authorities said Newsome was from Raleigh. However, Mervyn Marcano, a spokesman for the small group of activists who worked together to take down the flag, said she had recently moved to Charlotte.
Tamika Lewis, another member of the group, said taking down the flag "was done because we were tired of waiting for the judicial system to make the decision they have been prolonging for a very long time."

Later Saturday, about 50 people who support keeping the flag held a rally at the statehouse. Many were waving Confederate flags as they shouted "Heritage Not Hate!"
"This is not a flag of hate. It's a flag of heritage, and we have a right to our heritage," said Leland Browder of Greenville. "And, you know, I'm from the South and proud of the South and, you know, proud of this flag."

Supporters also said the voters should decide the fate of the flag and shouted: "Let the People Vote."
Calls for removing the flag have been renewed since nine black churchgoers were killed in what police characterized as a racist attack at a Charleston, South Carolina church last week.

South Carolina lawmakers took the initial steps last Tuesday toward removing the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds by agreeing to allow discussion of the matter during the legislative session.

The agreement came a day after Republican Gov. Nikki Haley reversed course and called for the divisive symbol to come down. The flag has flown in front of the state Capitol for 15 years after being moved from atop the Statehouse dome.

The NAACP praised Newsome for her actions and called on authorities to treat her with leniency.
"Prosecutors should treat Ms. Newsome with the same large-hearted measure of justice that inspired her actions. The NAACP stands with our youth and behind the multigenerational band of activists fighting the substance and symbols of bigotry, hatred and intolerance," NAACP President Cornell William Brooks said in an emailed statement.

Some state lawmakers, however, worried that Newsome's actions will hurt efforts to bring the flag down permanently.
"There are 2 ways the Confederate Flag can be removed forever. Citizens please engage legally or we lose!" state Sen. Marlon Kimpson of Charleston, a Democrat, said on his Twitter account.
And, in another tweet, Republican state Sen. Shane Massey of Edgefield said such actions" will make this discussion much more difficult." Both lawmakers favor bringing down the flag.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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