Conviction upheld in New York sex-abuse case featured in movie

George Argerolos/AP - This May 1989 file image shows Jesse Friedman, center, and his father, Arnold, right, under arrest from the documentary “Capturing the Friedmans.”

NEW YORK

Conviction upheld

in sex abuse case

There is no reason to overturn the conviction of a man in a notorious 1980s sex abuse scandal, prosecutors announced Monday after a three-year review that was prompted in part by a 2003 Oscar-nominated documentary that questioned the prosecution.

There was strong reason to investigate and prosecute both Jesse Friedman and his father, Arnold, when the scandal erupted in 1987, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice said in a 168-page report Monday. The new inquiry also concluded that father and son had abused young boys taking computer classes in the basement of their Great Neck, Long Island, home. Both pleaded guilty in 1988 to abusing 13 children.

Rice’s review was undertaken after Friedman appealed his conviction after the release of “Capturing the Friedmans.”

Arnold Friedman pleaded guilty to the charges in 1988 and was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. He committed suicide behind bars in 1995. Jesse Friedman was released from prison in 2001.

— Associated Press

COLORADO

Transgender child

wins rights ruling

Colorado Civil Rights Division officials say a suburban Colorado Springs school district discriminated against a 6-year-old transgender girl by preventing her from using the girls’ bathroom, in what advocates described as the first such ruling in the next frontier in civil rights.

Coy Mathis’s family raised the issue after school officials at Eagleside Elementary in Fountain said the first-grader could use restrooms in either the teachers’ lounge or in the nurse’s office but not the girls’ bathroom. Coy’s parents feared she would be stigmatized and bullied. They said Coy, who was born a triplet with two sisters, identified as a girl even before she started elementary school.

“This is by far the high-water mark for cases dealing with the rights of transgendered people to access bathrooms,” said the Mathis family’s attorney, Michael D. Silverman of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. The Maine Supreme Court is considering a similar case involving a 15-year-old transgendered girl.

— Associated Press

CALIFORNIA

Inmates at risk for fungus to be moved

A federal judge ordered California on Monday to move several thousand inmates out of two state prisons because they are at high risk of contracting a potentially deadly airborne fungus.

U.S. District Judge Thelton E. Henderson ordered corrections officials to transfer most black, Filipino and medically at-risk inmates because they are more vulnerable to health problems from valley fever.

The fungal infection originates in the soil of the San Joaquin Valley, where Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons are located. About 3,250 of the two prisons’ 8,100 inmates fall into the categories covered by the judge’s ruling.

— Associated Press

N.Y. police chief says no tightrope walk: New York’s top police officer says Nik Wallenda’s hope of walking a tightrope between the city’s most famous skyscrapers just isn’t going to fly. Commissioner Raymond Kelly was asked on Monday about the possibility of Wallenda, a member of the famous “Flying Wallendas” circus family, walking a tightrope between the Chrysler and Empire State buildings. “I would say no,” Kelly said. “I think it’s dangerous.” The daredevil completed a walk over a gorge near the Grand Canyon on Sunday, walked over Niagara Falls a year ago, and was eyeing New York City for his next death-defying attempt.

— Associated Press

 
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