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January 1, Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Conviction Overturned



Hello Americans,

In a stunning sequence of events, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction and opened the way for his immediate release from prison. The 83-year-old has served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence for drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. Charges were brought in 2015 following the unsealing of Cosby’s incriminating testimony from a civil lawsuit brought by Constand. However, the court found that the former district attorney (DA) had promised to not charge Cosby ahead of his testimony in the Constand civil case — and the current DA was obligated to stand by his predecessor’s promise to not bring charges. The court called the comedian’s arrest “an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was forgone for more than a decade.”

TV actor Allison Mack, who played an integral role in the cult-like group NXIVM, was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty on charges that she manipulated women into becoming sex slaves for the group’s leader. “I am sorry to those of you that I brought into NXIVM,” Mack wrote in a letter. “I am sorry I ever exposed you to the nefarious and emotionally abusive schemes of a twisted man. I am sorry I ever exposed you to the nefarious and emotionally abusive schemes of a twisted man.” The NXIVM leader, Keith Raniere, was sentenced to 120 years in prison on sex trafficking charges in 2020.

In Surfside, Florida, four more bodies were pulled from the rubble of last week’s condo collapse. The death toll now stands at 16, with 139 others still unaccounted for. Hundreds of rescuers, some from overseas, have been looking for bedrooms buried under 13-16 feet of concrete. Crews will soon be facing an additional complication to the mounds of precarious rubble, as rain and thunderstorms are expected. “I can tell you that none of us have lost hope,” Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Eddy Alarcon said. “We’re always praying for somebody to be alive, but at the very least it gives some closure to the families waiting to hear from their loved ones.”

Fox News Media has agreed to pay a record $1 million fine following an investigation by the New York City Commission on Human Rights into patterns of sexual harassment and retaliation at the company. “We found that [Fox News] engaged in a pattern and practice of retaliating against the individuals that were working at Fox News,” said Christina Piaia, supervising attorney of the commission’s gender-based harassment unit. “When such information was reported, oftentimes there was additional retaliation that happened.”

One of former President Donald Trump’s key aides is expected to be charged for failing to properly report company perks. The Manhattan district attorney is preparing to charge the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, with tax-related crimes. More charges may be coming as well. New York prosecutors are investigating allegations of “hush money” paid to women who say they had carnal relations with Trump, in addition to claims of real-estate price manipulation. 

Lastly, Donald Rumsfeld has died. Rumsfeld was a two-time defense secretary best known for his time at the height of the Iraq War. The controversial figure lost political support amid the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and stepped down from his position in 2006. Rumsfeld passed away at his home in New Mexico surrounded by family at the age of 88.

Stay safe,

Fraser Dixon


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