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Father of sexually-abused daughter lunges after ex-USA Gymnastics doc, asks judge for 5 minutes alone with pedophile

Reuters

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The enraged father of three daughters sexually abused by Larry Nassar lunged at the former USA Gymnastics national team doctor during a sentencing hearing in a Michigan courtroom on Friday. Court guards pinned him to the ground before he could attack Nassar.

The chaotic scene began after sisters Lauren and Madison Margraves had finished reading their victim statements on the second day of hearings at a court in Eaton County. Standing alongside his daughters and wife, Randall Margraves asked to speak.

“I would ask you as part of the sentencing to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon,” he said, gesturing toward Nassar, who has already been sentenced to up to 175 years in prison at an earlier hearing after pleading guilty to molesting young women under the guise of medical treatment.

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Judge Janice Cunningham told him he knew she could not do that, and chastised him for cursing after he called Nassar a son of a bitch. He asked for one minute alone instead. The judge demurred as some in the courtroom laughed uncomfortably.

Margraves then bolted towards Nassar, seated in an orange jump suit nearby. Gasps, cries and shouts filled the courtroom as Margraves was wrestled to the ground and put in handcuffs while Nassar was taken out to safety.

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

“What if this happened to you guys?” he implored of the court officers as they pulled him out the room.

Looking distressed, the lead prosecutor, Angela Povilaitis, turned to the victims and relatives in the courtroom and tried to restore calm.

“I understand Mr. Margraves’ frustration but you cannot do this,” she said. “This is not helping your children.”

The hearing resumed after a short break, with the judge addressing what she called a “scary” scene.

“My heart started beating fast and my legs started shaking,” Cunningham said. “We cannot react by using physical violence,” she said, noting she could not imagine Margraves’ pain as a father.

Nassar is also serving a 60-year federal term for child pornography convictions.

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

His case has sparked broader outrage after numerous victims accused USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body, and Michigan State University, where Nassar worked, of failing to investigate complaints about him going back years. U.S. Olympic officials have also been criticized by some of the sport’s biggest stars, including gold medalists Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney.

On Thursday, the police department in Meridian, Michigan, apologized publicly to one victim for declining to press charges against Nassar in 2004 when she reported that he abused her. The Wall Street Journal also said on Thursday that U.S. Olympic officials did not intervene after being told in 2015 that USA Gymnastics had uncovered possible abuse by Nassar.

USA Gymnastics’ board of directors agreed to a demand by the U.S. Olympic Committee that they all resign in the wake of Nassar’s sentencing, as did the president and athletic director of Michigan State. The scandal has prompted several investigations into those institutions.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax and Jonathan Allen; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Andrew Hay)

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Not Fake News

Better than the Weekend Actually Got Nominated for Something

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Adobe Stock

Well, two things, actually.

And this shit got me in my feelings.

When I found out Better than the Weekend was nominated for two Steamtown Music Awards, I was just happy to be invited to a work affair happening at a bar. The annual event celebrates the talent and hard work of regional musicians and entertainment industry professionals set in Northeastern Pennsylvania — and BTTW is nominated for Publication/Blog of the Year and Journalist of the Year. (Directions on how to vote at the end of the article.)

As the founder of an online publication still in its early development, getting recognized by the community and being in the company of publications that have been around in our HQ city for as long as 25 years is pretty rad and a solid win on its own.

When I launched BTTW in the summer of 2016, I wanted to create an online community of people who want an escape from the negative bullshit in their lives and need help getting through the week. And the way that community continues to grow is by focusing on sharing stories about who people really are outside of their IG feed and how they live their lives. Because understanding each other and finding common interests and values is how we connect and feel less alone in the world.

There was the time I spoke to a white college-educated liberal who wanted Donald Trump to be the next president. The Associated Press even circulated that story.

Then there was the time I visited a sleepaway camp for grownups. That might be the greatest place to unplug and make great new friends. Ever.

There was also the time BTTW hosted and moderated Scranton’s first-ever live streamed political debate with candidates running for public office or the time we threw an epic election party.

All the while, musicians from Northeastern PA have been part of that story, whether it was with a live performance at our office or a BTTW hangout —

Live entertainment at the HQ for Scranton’s First Friday with Mike Baresse

Posted by Better than the Weekend on Friday, April 6, 2018

 

— or having discussions with musicians beyond their music; deep from the soul. This is SMA nominee Jami Kali posing for ‘Dreams, Exposed,’ photographed by nominee Lisa Petz. 

To vote Better than the Weekend for Publication of the Year and me (Justin Adam Brown) for Journalist of the Year, click this link to be directed to the event’s Facebook page. Scroll down to the Recent Posts and you’ll find the categories and be able to vote.

If you’re from Northeastern PA, vote for your favorites. If you’re not, vote for everyone!

Win or lose, I’m just happy BTTW is capturing your attention.

I’ll be at the event Thursday, Sept. 13 at The V Spot in Scranton rooting on all the nominees and celebrating their hard work. Hope you’ll make it, too.

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Dickhead Jogger Arrested for Throwing Homeless Man’s Belongings in Lake

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A video went viral of a jogger taking time out of his day to throw a homeless man’s belongings into a lake. The jogger has since been identified as 31-year-old Henry William Sintay by The Mercury News and was arrested. He’s currently being held on $100,000 bail.

The dickhead move made by the dickhead jogger happened by Meritt Lake in Oakland, California, on Friday, June 8. A witness named JJ Harris filmed the incident as a woman tried to stop the dickhead jogger. This video is messed up on so many levels — and not only because his thicc dad bod doesn’t suggest he has time to stop mid-jog to try to end homelessness.

Watch this:

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Starbucks will close 8,000 stores May 29 for racial-bias training

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Starbucks says it will close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon to educate employees about racial bias.

“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” he said. “Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”

The announcement follows the controversial arrest of two black men who were waiting for a friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week after the store manager called the police. They were arrested for trespassing. The customers said they were waiting for another man to arrive. That person arrived at the store just as they were being arrested.

Starbucks’ CEO publicly apologized repeatedly following the arrests, which he called “reprehensible.”

Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, will be among the help to design the program, as will executives from the Equal Justice Initiative and Demos, to roughly 175,000 Starbucks employees.

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