• via Orlando Sentinel

    Sickening

    Mentally Ill Woman Dragged Like Suitcase

    Just minutes after being declared mentally incompetent, a shackled Dasyl Jeanette Rios was tugged by her feet down a courthouse hallway.

    “All I wanted to do was sob for a few minutes. Cry. I wanted to cry for a few minutes because my life is in your hands,” Dasyl Jeanette Rios said, wailing, as she was pulled by a Broward Sheriff’s deputy with her feet shackled through a Florida courthouse on Monday. The 28-year-old woman had just been declared mentally incompetent before she was dragged like a suitcase through the hallways by Christopher Johnson.

    The disturbing incident was captured on a cellphone by Bill Gelin, an attorney and blogger at J.A.A.B. (Justice and Advocacy in Broward County), though the details of what led to a disturbing escalation aren’t entirely clear. While the video shows Rios writhing in pain and crying “You’re hurting me! You’re fucking hurting me. Stop! You didn’t give nobody a chance,” it is not entirely clear what led Johnson to feel compelled to restrain Rios in such a seemingly disturbing manner.

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  • Shutterstock

    THE MOTHER OF ALL SCAMS

    She Got Rich Stealing Moms’ Dreams

    Forty families, desperate for kids, paid Allison Layton tens of thousands each for the promise of parenthood. But the babies never came.

    Hoan Nguyen dreamed of becoming a mom. But she had fertility issues, and so Nguyen began scouting for a surrogate from her Arizona home. She landed on a website called Miracles and Miracles Surrogacy. Nguyen only found out later that it was a fraudulent business run by a conniving mom.

    It was May 2011 and the hopeful parent thought she found the perfect surrogate named “Amy.” A phone conversation with the Miracles Inc. owner had Nguyen acting fast because “Amy,” she was told, was “in high demand.” Nguyen sent two payments totaling $19,500 and signed some papers to make it official. But Hoan Nguyen was baited and bilked. There was no “Amy” and the money she signed off to deliver a baby someday was as good as gone.

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  • Students on the UPenn campus. (Bob Krist/Corbis)

    THE ACCUSED

    Law Profs Revolt Over Sex Assault Rules

    Due process is not “window dressing,” the professors argue. It’s necessary to establish a process’s legitimacy.

    When the White House announced a new national campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses last year, the treatment of victims was the chief concern. But now, after a more than a year filled with a flurry of campus reforms, some university faculty are increasingly worried about a different party: the accused.

    The rights of students accused of sexual assault are increasingly scrutinized as colleges begin to implement new reforms to make it easier to report and respond to sexual assault. Decades of university failure to care for sexual assault victims has understandably produced a backlash, but there is growing concern that due process for the accused may be the baby tossed out with the bathwater.

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  • Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

    Podcast Truthers

    ‘Serial’ Truthers Are Now Doxxing Women

    Those who speak their minds about the podcast are often harassed online and sometimes targeted in real life. And for women with an opinion on the show, it’s much worse.

    Susan Simpson has been blogging about legal matters since she graduated from law school. For five years, she’s run her site without any disruption to her professional or personal life. Then, she tackled the murder trial against Adnan Syed, which had been launched into national fame thanks to the popularity of the podcast Serial.

    That’s when, according to Simpson, people started trying to get her fired.

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  • via Facebook

    Tragic

    Free Pass for Killing a Pregnant Woman

    Katherine Hoover was five months pregnant when a man shot and killed her—and now a Florida prosecutor is refusing to press charges.

    Katherine Hoover, five months pregnant with a boy she already knew as Rehlin, was eating McDonald’s at the DeHayes family kitchen table in Brooksville, Florida, as 35-year-old William DeHayes—an old friend of her new husband, Carson—showed off his collection of guns. First, he unstrapped the 9mm from his leg, then got out an old shotgun from the bedroom.

    Moving on, DeHayes used a Western-style draw (“kinda like a cowboy would,” he later explained to police) to unholster an antique revolver that had belonged to his grandfather. DeHayes had been practicing gun slinging tricks he learned on YouTube—a hobby he picked up to give himself purpose after getting on permanent disability for back pain. “Something I can be proud of,” DeHayes said to investigators.

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  • Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

    THE KAFKA LIFE

    Homeschooler Can’t Prove She’s American

    Her parents homeschooled Alecia Faith Pennington and never filed for government ID. Now she can’t get a job, buy an airline ticket or have a normal life.

    “My name is Alecia Faith Pennington and I’m a U. S. citizen by birth.”

    That’s how Alecia Pennington’s YouTube video begins; the 19-year-old Texas native declares with a quiet confidence that she’s a citizen of the United States, born on American soil.

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  • Farooq Naeem/AFP/Geety

    DESPERATE MEASURES

    Mueller’s Family Proposed Prisoner Swap

    When all other options were exhausted, Kayla Mueller’s family tried to persuade Obama to free a terrorist who wanted to weaponize Ebola.

    The family of Kayla Mueller, the 26-year-old American aid worker killed while held hostage by the so-called Islamic State, wrote a letter to President Barack Obama last year asking that he commute the 86-year sentence of a Pakistani scientist serving time in a U.S. prison, according to e-mails obtained by The Daily Beast.

    The move reflected the desperation of the family, and of those trying to help it, as options to win Kayla's freedom narrowed and the terrorists threatened to kill her if the scientist were not released.

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  • Omar/Redux

    REST IN PEACE

    U.S. Won’t Investigate Hostage’s Death

    Officials confirmed 26-year-old Kayla Mueller is deceased but say there’s no evidence a Jordanian airstrike killed her—and the Pentagon won’t probe the circumstances.

    U.S. officials and family members of Kayla Mueller, a 26-year-old American aid worker taken captive by the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Syria in 2013, confirmed Tuesday that she has died. But government officials conceded they may never know when and how she perished.

    “We are heartbroken to share that we’ve received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller has lost her life,” Mueller’s parents said in a statement. “Kayla was a compassionate and devoted humanitarian. She dedicated the whole of her young life to helping those in need of freedom, justice, and peace.”

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  • Photo Illustration by Emil Lendof/The Daily Beast

    SHIP OUT

    Silicon Valley’s Sex Workers Are Broke

    An FBI crackdown and skyrocketing rents in San Francisco are forcing them to take side jobs—like driving for Uber—or leave.

    It’s a story built for headlines: Monied men in Silicon Valley create a demand for highly compensated sex work that can easily be coordinated using the same apps and services they create at their desk jobs. As a narrative, it contains the holy trifecta that has come to replace sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll: sex, tech, and the hollow optimism of neoliberal capitalism. There’s just one problem: It’s not exactly true.

    For the last two years, the media has been fixated on the idea of a mutually beneficial arrangement between Silicon Valley employees and sex workers. The reports follow a familiar pattern: Time-crunched Silicon Valley employees have a large amount of disposable income and the tech-savvy, Square-enabled sex workers who provide services for them are reaping the rewards, potentially earning upwards of a million dollars. Even after the FBI raided and shut down the escort advertising website MyRedbook.com last June, citing child trafficking as the rationale, tabloids and high-profile media outlets alike continued to promote the image of a “prostitution boom” driven by Silicon Valley’s money.

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  • Reuters

    It Was a Bad Time

    Bitchification of the '90s Is Over

    Look back and see what we had to say about women in power in the '90s. It was horrific. It hasn't stopped entirely, but it's better now, and you have—at least in part—Monica Lewinsky to thank.

    Monica Lewinsky may always be most famous for her affair with President Bill Clinton, but for the first time in decades, and perhaps for the first time at all, the 41-year-old’s voice is being heard. At the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Summit, she wanted to make it clear: Her identity, she said, had been hijacked. “It was a form of identity theft,” she said.

    She is emerging as a torch holder for cyberbullying victims, today counts nearly 80,000 Twitter followers and was recently nominated for one of journalism’s most prestigious awards for simply telling her story.

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  • Reuters

    Unfair

    NYC Schools Suspend Black Girls 10x More

    American schools need to talk about race and gender at the same time.

    Last August, a 12-year-old Georgia student named Mikia Hutchings faced expulsion from school and criminal charges in juvenile court. Her offense? Writing the word “Hi” on a locker room stall with a friend. Eventually she was ordered to spend a summer under probation, but not before her grandmother filed a discrimination complaint and a state senator called out the punishment as unjust—Hutchings is African American, while the caucasian student who graffitied with her paid a small restitution.

    “What kid needs to be having a conversation with a lawyer about the right to remain silent?” her lawyer told The New York Times. “White kids don’t have those conversations; black kids do.” In Georgia, black female students receive suspensions five times more frequently than their white counterparts, a school district spokesman told the Times.

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  • Stanford University / Alamy

    Justice

    Accused Campus Rapist In Jail For Once

    When passersby caught a star swimmer allegedly raping an unconscious woman outside of a frat, they didn’t call the university. They jumped on him. They called police. Now he’ll face a judge, not an anthropology professor.

    If there is such a thing as an ideal way for onlookers to respond to campus sexual assault, the arrest and indictment of 19-year-old Brock Allen Turner would be it.

    Turner, a former Stanford freshman and star swimmer, has been charged by Santa Clara prosecutors with raping a woman who was passed out outside a cluster of fraternity houses. According to county prosecutors, two students on bicycles saw Turner on top of the unconscious woman at approximately one a.m. Sunday January 18. The two students held Turner down while he tried to get away, and a third person ran to get police. Turner was arrested on the spot and sent to the San Jose Main Jail. He was released on bail, but within ten days the Santa Clara County district attorney charged Turner with five felony counts for the alleged January 18 incident, including one count of raping an unconscious person and two counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object.

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