A video clip has surfaced of the University of California, Santa Barbara professor who appears to have stolen a graphic anti-abortion sign from two abortion protesters and then assaulted one of the protesters earlier this month.
The professor is Mireille Miller-Young. She is an associate professor in the feminist studies department who specializes in queer theory, black film and pornography.
The abortion protesters are Thrin Short, 16, and her sister 21-year-old sister, Joan. They are members of a Riverside, Calif.-based pro-life group called Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust.
Miller-Young is now facing assault charges as a result of her actions, reports The Daily Nexus, the UC Santa Barbara student newspaper.
The scene went down on Tuesday, March 4. The Short sisters were standing in a designated “free speech zone” on the UC Santa Barbara campus with at least one large, very gruesome poster depicting aborted fetuses.
Thrin Short told Fox News that Miller-Young approached her and her sister, who had already been arguing with a gaggle of angry counter-protesters. She said Miller-Young eventually became enraged, filched the sign and waddled away.
“Before she grabbed the sign, she was mocking me and talking over me in front of the students, saying that she was twice as old as me and had three degrees, so they should listen to her and not me,” Thrin Short told Fox News via email. “Then she started the chant with the students about ‘tear down the sign.’ When that died out, she grabbed the sign.”
The cellphone video clip appears to start at roughly this point. It shows Miller-Young and two women sauntering away with a large, homemade anti-abortion billboard.
“She’s a professor and she steals signs,” says one of the Short sisters.
“Don’t you know you are stealing?” asks another unseen female – presumably the other sister.
“I may be a thief but you’re terrorists,” Miller-Young responds.
Miller-Young and the two sign-carrying women then disappear into a building. The protesting sisters briefly carry on an argument with a still-loitering abortion advocate.
The sisters then head into the building. One of them then calls campus police. The other one continues filming.
“Try and stop us,” Miller-Young turns around and taunts.
A short time later, Miller-Young attempts to block access to an elevator and, at one point, lunges toward the sisters.
Someone keeps screaming, “Don’t touch me!” It’s not clear whose voice it is, though it appears to come from Thrin Short.
Short described the chaotic scene to Fox News, charging that Miller-Young assaulted her repeatedly, causing scratches on both of her wrists.
“I explained how I had been trying to keep the elevator door open with my foot, because I thought the police would be there any second, and that’s when she pushed and grabbed me,” Short explained. “She then got off the elevator and tried to pull me away from the elevator doors so the others could get away with the sign.”
Bitter yelling ensues in the video. The thieves successfully get the elevator door to close and the clip fades to black.
University officials are staying completely mum about the alleged assault by the feminist studies professor, calling Miller-Young’s actions a personnel matter.
Kristina Garza, a spokeswoman for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, noted the high irony of the incident.
“The professor is a feminist studies professor and her specialty is pornography, and she did commit an act of violence against another woman. So, the irony there to us is rather great,” Garza told Fox News.
“If she isn’t prosecuted, wouldn’t anyone else think they could do the same thing and get away with it?” Thrin Short added. “The assault on me was part of the whole package of her deciding that she was above the law and could do whatever she liked to us.”
Charges are being considered against a Texas judge who sent a minor back into the home of a guardian who was living with a sex offender who later murdered the guardian and raped the juvenile, according to a lawsuit.
Also, three Texas teachers were indicted for failing to tell authorities about the student’s report of threats from the sex offender, the suit notes.
The consequences of the judge’s decision and the actions by the teachers were severe: The student was tied up and raped by the sex offender, who also murdered her guardian in front of the student, according to the lawsuit in Caldwell, Texas.
The Texas Center for Defense of Life late Tuesday filed the action on behalf of the juvenile, identified only with the initials S.R.L. The case seeks a court ruling that the teachers and judge “breached their duty” to the juvenile and compensation.
The defendants in the case are teachers Bliss Bednar, Vance Skidmore and Bradley Vestal as well as the Caldwell Independent School District and a retired judge, Terry Flenniken.
“There is no excuse for Judge Flenniken’s poor decision,” said TCDL attorney Greg Terra. “He knew exactly what the minor was dealing with in her home situation and that she lived with Edward Clinton Lee, a registered sex offender, and yet still sent her back to live with him and her guardian instead of granting the petition to release her to her biological mother.”
The court filing states S.R.L. was living with Jean Slovacek-Storm, who previously had been married to S.R.L.’s grandfather. Edward Clinton Lee, a registered sex offender, also was living in the home.
The juvenile’s mother, Angela Belcher, had tried to get her daughter out of the living arrangement through the courts months earlier when S.R.L. became pregnant at age 15 with her 15-year-old boyfriend, but she was rebuffed by Flenniken.
The judge was considering a legal request by TCDL to remove S.R.L., during her pregnancy, from the home where she was living with Slovacek-Storm and Lee.
In that case, Flenniken interviewed S.R.L. privately in his chambers.
In the interview, according to an affidavit, the juvenile told the judge of the threats from Lee. Lee, the statement said, “had repeatedly asked S.R.L. to take off her clothes, even offering her $20 to strip down in front of him.” Also, “S.R.L. would move the dresser against the door, rearranging her room to keep Lee out and going so far as to sleep in her day clothes and not in pajamas so that Lee would not be able to see her change.”
She also reported to the judge Lee would come into the bathroom while she was showering to take pictures.
Flenniken apparently disregarded the girl’s statements.
“Flenniken returned to the courtroom with S.R.L. without making any report to the police about the reported sexual offenses and propositions,” the lawsuit alleges. “Flenniken had no discretion, based on his special relationship with S.R.L. not to intervene and protect S.R.L… Action was mandatory.”
Then on the morning of June 29, 2012, “about four months after Flenniken sent S.R.L. back to the home of Lee, a registered sex offender, Lee shot and murdered Jean Slovacek-Storm and violently sexually assaulted S.R.L., tying her up,” according to the lawsuit.
“S.R.L. eventually escaped her bonds, left the house through a window, and ran naked down the street to a local school where she found a police officer. On April 30, 2013, Edward Clinton Lee plead[ed] guilty to aggravated sexual assault of S.R.L. and aggravated kidnapping of S.R.L. in conjunction with his plea to capital murder, and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.”
The case alleges that the teachers also knew of the dangers and had not only an opportunity but a responsibility to call authorities long before the assault and murder occurred.
In a statement by Terra that was released to WND, he reported that S.R.L. was in Bednar’s English class and was instructed to write about “the best or worst things that has ever happened in their life.”
Terra said: “S.R.L. asked Ms. Bednar if she could write about something that was happening to her right now. Ms. Bednar responded that she may do so if she changed the names.”
The essay “details the sexual abuse and sexual assault of ‘Sandra’ by ‘Phillip,’” he continued.
But after the essay was turned in, according to Terra, “Edward Clinton Lee and Jean Slovacek-Storm had been contacted by Assistant Principal Vance Skidmore and Principal Bradley Vestal regarding the paper.”
Lee and Slovacek-Storm “strongly admonished S.R.L. for ‘lying in her paper to get Eddie in trouble,’” Terra reported. “S.R.L. was immediately driven to the school and forced to apologize to Bednar, Skidmore, and Vestal for ‘lying’ in her paper.”
The lawsuit alleges once the educators received the knowledge of S.R.L.’s situation, they “had no discretion and were required to report” to authorities.
“Had they reported the abuse outcry, S.R.L. would like not have suffered aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping,” the lawsuit alleges.
Skidmore, Bednar and Vestal have been indicted on a Class A misdemeanor counts of failure to report, and their cases are pending.
According to Terra’s statement regarding the case, the Texas attorney general is reviewing Flenniken’s involvement and “will consider whether any criminal charges will be filed again him.”
Additionally, TCDL is filing grievances against Flenniken with the Texas state bar as well as the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
School officials declined to respond to a WND request for comment, and Flenniken declined comment when asked by AP.
“So much pain and agony could have been spared for the girl and her family if Judge Flenniken did what any judge in the country would have done and ordered the girl out of the home of the sex offender,” said Stephen Casey, attorney at TCDL. “The shock and horror of what happened to this girl will have lifelong repercussions. The school officials also failed her by not following the mandatory training and reporting of the abuse outcries. Had they adhered to the law, this tragedy would likely have been prevented.”
Eight-year-old Gabby Williams weighs only 11 pounds.
The tiny girl from Billings, Mont., still looks like an infant and needs to be cared for as if she is a newborn, with her mother and father changing her diapers and feeding her multiple times a day.
Her mother, Mary Margret Williams, told ABCNews.com that Gabby hasn’t changed much over the years. In fact, her skin still feels like a baby’s and her hair is still fine-textured.
“She has gotten a little longer and we have jumped into putting her in size 3-6 month clothes instead of 0-3 months for the footies,” she said.
Gabby is one of only a few people with a baffling condition that seems to prevent them from aging. It’s so rare that scientists have yet to coin an official name for it.
TLC shared Gabby’s story back in 2011 in a special called “My 40-Year-Old Child.” The hour-long documentary also profiled 40-year-old Nicky Freeman, an Australian man with the appearance of a 10-year-old.
Scientists have since discovered two more people with similar cases of the mysterious syndrome: a 29-year-old Florida man with the appearance of a 10-year-old, and a 31-year-old Brazilian woman who still looks like a toddler. Their stories, along with Gabby’s, are part of a follow-up TLC special that airs on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.
The show chronicles medical researcher Richard Walker‘s search for clues as to why these individuals don’t age and what they have in common.
Perhaps these amazing people even hold the secret to eternal youth.
Walker explained that “developmental inertia,” or physiological change, is vital for human growth.
“Without that process we never develop,” he told ABCNews.com. “When we develop, all the pieces of our body come together and change and are coordinated. Otherwise, there would be chaos.”
However, the body continues to change once it reaches maturity, and there is no way to stop the process.
Walker said he believes he found one of the genes responsible for developmental inertia. He also said the mutations are on the regulatory genes on the second female X chromosome.
“If we could identify the gene and then at young adulthood we could silence the expression of developmental inertia, find an off-switch, when you do that, there is perfect homeostasis and you are biologically immortal,” Walker said.
By “biologically immortal” he means people would still die from disease and in accidents, but they wouldn’t experience the normal effects of aging.
“You wouldn’t have the later years,” Walker said, “you’d remain physically and functionally able.”
That this is why his study of Gabby’s genetic code is important, Walker told ABCNews.com.
Gabby’s parents admitted they were concerned at first that Walker was using their child to find the fountain of youth for vanity purposes, but he explained the research focused on helping people who struggle with the hardships that come with old age.
“Alzheimer’s is one of the scariest diseases out there,” Gabby’s mom Mary Margret said. “If what Gabrielle holds inside of her would find a cure — for sure we would be a part of the research project. We have faith that Dr. Walker and the scientific community do find something focused more on the disease of aging, rather than making you 35 for the rest of your life.”
On Wednesday, police in Austin arrested two Mexican nationals who reportedly participated in the gang-rape of a 13-year-old girl on June 29.
The girl, a runaway, who lives at the Settlement Home for Children, was picked up by three Latino men and driven to the Avalon Arms apartments, where she was raped by a large group of men for several hours, according to police.
As many as 13 men took turns sexually assaulting the girl. Many cheered and filmed the sickening crime on their cell phones, according to court documents.
Juan Lozano Ortega, 25, and Edgar Gerardo Guzman Perez, 26, have been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. Both are currently being held in the Travis County Jail on immigration detainers.
The affidavit states the assault lasted until early into the morning of June 30, then the victim was driven to a nearby neighborhood and told to “find somewhere to go.”
Police say they were able to track Ortega and Perez from the phone call the girl made to her foster brother with their cell phone. She was able to make it back on her own to the settlement home.
The girl was taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors determined her injuries were consistent with her allegations.
Austin police are currently searching for the other assailants.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to contact the Austin Police Department at (512) 974-5750.
A teenage girl was beheaded by a relative in northern Afghanistan after she turned down his marriage proposals, according to reports.
The victim, named as Gisa, was decapitated with a knife in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province on Tuesday, local police said. She is believed to be around 15-years-old.
A police spokesman said two men, named as Sadeq and Massoud, had been arrested following the teenage girl’s murder.
The two men are understood to be close relatives of the victim that live in the same village.
Local police sources have said the men behind the attack wanted to marry the girl, but their advances had been turned down by victim’s father.
Gisa is understood to have been attacked as she returned to her home in Kulkul village after going out to collect water from a nearby well.
Her father told a local news agency he had not wanted his daughter to get married because she was too young.
Afghanistan’s Taliban regime – notorious for its oppression of women in the country – was ousted in 2001, but extreme violence against women is still rife.
In 2009 the Elimination of Violence Against Woman law was introduced in Afghanistan, criminalising child marriage, forced marriage, ‘giving away’ a girl or woman to settle a dispute, among other acts of violence against the female population of the ultra-conservative Islamic nation.
But the UN has said there is a ‘long way to go’ before the rights of Afghan women are fully protected.
Comprehensive official statistics on the number of incidents of violence against women in the country are difficult to establish, with the majority of cases going unreported. However in the year to March 2011, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission registered over 2,000 acts of violence against women.
The NATO-led International Security and Assistance Force has given high priority to re-establishing women’s rights that were eradicated under the Taliban as part of its efforts to create a security strategy for Afghanistan.
But with the deadline for international troops to pull out of the country – scheduled for the end of 2014 – looming, activists have warned that the outlook for the female population remains bleak.
Human Rights Watch has said women’s rights are increasingly at risk in the run up to the scheduled draw-down of NATO forces, with early and forced marriage, impunity for violence against women and lack of access of justice among the long list of challenges they still face.
While Afghan women have won back some basic rights since the Taliban was toppled 11 years ago, so-called honour killings remain relatively commonplace in the war-torn Islamic nation.
This year the country’s Independent Human Rights Commission recorded 16 incidents of honour killings in March and April alone, the first two months of the Afghan new year.
During the month of July a spate of brutal killings in the country – which left four women and two children dead – attracted international attention.
The Independent Human Rights Commission warned last month that Afghanistan has seen a sharp rise in cases of both honour killings and rape, adding that many incidents of murder and sexual assault go unreported to authorities.
The ever-present threat of violence at the hands of men in a patriarchal society has also led to an increase in cases of Afghan women taking their own lives.
Dozens of women commit suicide in the country each year, often to escape failed or abusive marriages.
Divorce is still taboo in Afghanistan, and women who flee their marriages, if caught, face stringent prison sentences.
A family court established in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, in 2003 offered a semblance of hope for women in the country that are trapped in forced marriages or subject to domestic violence – but it still adheres to Afghanistan’s version of Islamic sharia law.
Traditional Afghan culture places no onus on a man who wants to leave his spouse to go through legal proceedings – he can divorce his wife without any approval of the justice system. In the court in Kabul, a woman must plead her case before judges and lawyers, and she must have five male witnesses willing to attend in support.
A recent case saw a 17-year-old girl forced to accept a marriage proposal from a man she despised successfully argued for her engagement to be scrapped by the court, according to The Washington Post.
Tragically for Farima, who dreamed of becoming a doctor, the decision did not mark a return to the life of relative freedom she enjoyed before her engagement. Before taking her battle to the court, the desperate teenager had thrown herself from the roof of her Kabul home.
Farima broke her back in the fall, but survived. Her fiance insisted that their planned marriage must still go ahead, leading the now disabled teenager to take her battle to the family court.
Following the case, the 17-year-old is back in her childhood home. Her family did not allow her to return to school, and the injuries she sustained in her failed suicide bid mean relatives fear she will be unlikely to marry in the future. While she managed, against the odds, to free herself from a fate she dreaded, the future for this defiant Afghan girl still looks bleak.