Sarah’s News Roundup 03.16.19

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who has made women’s empowerment key to her 2020 election campaign, is facing claims she ignored sexual misconduct in her office.

A former female aide to the senator said she was sexually harassed by a more experienced member of staff and that after she complained the senior aide was disciplined but not fired.

The accuser was blamed by senior staff and submitted this letter of resignation: “Your office chose to go against your public belief that women shouldn’t accept sexual harassment in any form and portrayed my experience as a misinterpretation instead of what it actually was: harassment and ultimately, intimidation.”

Mrs Gillibrand’s office has acknowledged they did not reply to the former aide, saying her letter contained “clear inaccuracies”.

The senator added: “As I have long said, when allegations are made in the workplace, we must believe women so that serious investigations can actually take place, we can learn the facts, and there can be appropriate accountability. That’s exactly what happened at every step of this case last year.”

The senior male aide had allegedly made inappropriate comments and persistent, unwanted sexual advances to the aide, and misogynistic comments about other women immediately after he received a promotion.

Once the accuser complained, the senator’s office launched an internal investigation.

The result was that the alleged perpetrator’s promotion was revoked, but he kept his job.

A spokeswoman for the senator said the male aide was fired last week after the office “learned of never-before reported and deeply troubling comments” allegedly made by him and additional evidence of his alleged past misconduct towards other female Gillibrand staffers.

A man in the US has claimed to have found a video tape allegedly showing R Kelly “sexually abusing underage African-American girls”.

Gary Dennis handed the tape to authorities after discovering it at his house whilst sorting through a box.

Dennis had played the tape labelled “R Kelly” expecting it to be an old concert but it contained images of sexual abuse and showed Kelly “telling them (the girls) what to do and what to say, and it appeared that he was in control of the camera.”

Dennis also contacted Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing women who claim to have been sexually abused by Kelly.

The tape was later turned over to the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Ms Allred said Dennis had no personal connection to the singer and had “no idea” how or when he came to possess the tape, but that friends had given him tapes of sporting events in the past.

She said the tape appears to show a separate incident from those previously attributed to Kelly, but conceded that she could not be “100% certain” the man on the tape was him.

Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg said: “The doubt here is self-evident. It is not him. The larger question is what the authorities are doing about the Dennis’ possession of what they believe is child pornography in their tape collection. It is obviously now just open season on R. Kelly. It is irresponsible to continue to take the speculation of every Tom, Dick and Harry, and report it as if it is fact.”

Cardinal George Pell has been jailed for six years after being convicted of sexually abusing two 13-year-old boys in Australia in 1996.

The former Vatican treasurer is the most senior Catholic figure ever to be found guilty of sexual offences against children.

The cardinal maintains his innocence and is appealing against his convictions.

In sentencing Pell on Wednesday, Judge Peter Kidd said the cleric had committed “a brazen and forceful sexual attack on the two victims” adding: “Your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance.”

In December, a jury unanimously convicted Pell of one charge of sexually penetrating a child under 16, and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16.

His conviction has rocked the Catholic Church, where he had been one of the Pope’s closest advisers.

The co-founder of a suspected US sex cult has pleaded guilty to racketeering offences.

Nancy Salzman told a court in New York she had stolen email addresses of critics of Nxivm group and tampered with video evidence.

Salzman, known as Prefect in the group, is due to be sentenced in July.

Female recruits of Nxivm were allegedly branded with the initials of the group’s spiritual leader Keith Raniere and coerced into having sex with him.

Investigators say the organisation is a sex-trafficking operation disguised as a mentoring group.

Audio recordings have been found of Fox News host Tucker Carlson using misogynistic and offensive language on a controversial radio show.

Carlson is heard in the recordings from between 2006 and 2011 defending child marriage, making sexual comments about underage girls and using explicit and misogynistic language against well-known female figures.

Carlson posted on Twitter acknowledging that he had been caught “saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago”.

He did not “express the usual ritual contrition” but publicised his show and asked his opponents to come on as guests: “I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what to think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

Sarah x

#metoo

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