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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Sexual Assault"

Netflix Institutes It’s Own Bizarre Version of the 5 Second Rule in Response to #MeToo

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I stumbled across this item from earlier in the month that probably got buried under all the hoopla concerning Trump’s Singapore  summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. It seems Netflix is instituting a bit of a dictatorial regime of their own in response to the #MeToo movement.

Westlake Legal Group AP_379346600680-620x335 Netflix Institutes It’s Own Bizarre Version of the 5 Second Rule in Response to #MeToo sexual harassment Sexual Assault Popular Culture Hollywood Front Page Stories Featured Story Entertainment

Robin Wright, Kevin Spacey and Michael Kelly seen at Netflix ‘House of Cards’ Academy Screening at AMPAS on Monday, April 27, 2015, in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Netflix/AP Images)

In order to avoid sexual harassment and misconduct on the set, the streaming video giant has established rules of conduct that seem like something from a fictional dystopia or maybe an isolated and strict religious culture.

Netflix has introduced new anti-harassment training in the wake of the #metoo movement that rocked Hollywood and seriously disrupted production on its House of Cards show.

New rules imposed on set reportedly include no looking at anyone for longer than five seconds, no lingering hugs, no flirting and no asking for a colleague’s phone number. (emphasis added)

Get your stopwatches out.

…3…4…5 LAWSUIT!

Let’s remember that rules don’t really affect the culture in Hollywood. That’s even true when the rules are actual state laws. California passed legislation requiring the entertainment industry to take steps to screen out sexual predators among those agents and publicists who will be working with children. The law is being widely ignored.

Netflix’s new rules of conduct probably will be as well.

“Everyone was spoken to about #MeToo,” an on-set runner currently working on the new season of Black Mirror told The Sun.

“Senior staff went to a harassment meeting to learn what is and isn’t appropriate. Looking at anyone longer than five seconds is considered creepy.

Television and film are visual art forms. There are times when looking at someone for 5 seconds or more is part of the job.

“You mustn’t ask for someone’s number unless they have given permission for it to be distributed. And if you see any unwanted behaviour, report it immediately.

How would you know if someone has given permission to distribute their phone number unless you ask for it?

“It has sparked jokes,” they added, “with people looking at each other, counting to five, then diverting their eyes.”

Of course it has sparked jokes. It’s pretty silly.

Obviously the situations that launched the #MeToo movement are very serious, but a big part of the problem is that the perpetrators tend to be people who don’t think rules apply to them. Netflix may be putting something in place that will help them dismiss an offender after the fact or prevent innocent misunderstandings among colleagues, but will this address the real problem?

Would it have prevented someone from becoming the next Kevin Spacey or Danny Masterson?

I doubt it. Rules like this are the equivalent of trying to stop school shootings by punishing kids for playing cops and robbers with finger guns and sticks. It has the same ring to it as the idiotic “teach men not to rape” philosophy as if men who commit sexual violence or other misconduct do so out of ignorance that it is wrong to do so.

And let’s face it, the problems in Hollywood don’t stem from a key grip’s inappropriately lingering gaze on the script supervisor.

It stems from really bad people who by virtue of their fame and marketability think they can get away with whatever they want. And they did get away with whatever they wanted for a long time as long as the money was rolling in. Until that changes this sort of change is purely cosmetic.


The post Netflix Institutes It’s Own Bizarre Version of the 5 Second Rule in Response to #MeToo appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_379346600680-300x162 Netflix Institutes It’s Own Bizarre Version of the 5 Second Rule in Response to #MeToo sexual harassment Sexual Assault Popular Culture Hollywood Front Page Stories Featured Story Entertainment   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

MetroAccess driver charged with raping disabled passenger

WASHINGTON — A van driver was arrested Wednesday night after allegedly sexually assaulting an intellectually disabled passenger aboard a MetroAccess vehicle Monday afternoon in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Deymon Levarne Childs, 40, of Suitland, now faces several charges including second-degree rape, second-degree assault and third-degree sex offense.

The passenger, an adult female, told Metro Transit Police that Childs picked her up as schedule in Prince George’s County but made an unscheduled stop, where he forced himself on to her as she sat in the back of the van.

The vehicle was parked along Brightseat Road during the time of the incident, police say.

The victim received care at a hospital and has been released.

The van has since been processed by Metro Transit Police’s crime scene technicians for available evidence.

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FBI warns about sexual assaults on airline flights

BALTIMORE — The FBI is warning about a serious federal crime that’s on the rise, even though many incidents are probably not being reported: sexual assaults.

While sexual assaults on airline flights are still relatively rare, agents said, the number of reported cases has increased in recent years.

In 2014, 38 cases of in-flight sexual assault were reported to the FBI. Last year, that number increased to 63 reported cases, but officials believe the crimes are significantly under-reported.

There have already been 10 reports of sexual assaults on flights that landed at BWI Marshall Airport in 2018, sources said. Those numbers are in line with what other airports around the country have been seeing.

The attacks usually involve inappropriate touching ranging from “grazing a body part to even more graphic acts,” said Brian Nadeau, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore division.

Often the assaults happen on redeye flights after the cabin lights are darkened.

“Many of the victims are seated in middle or window seats, are covered by a blanket or a jacket, and oftentimes are asleep,” Nadeau said. “We find offenders will often test their victims, sometimes brushing up against them to see how they will react or if they wake up.”

Additionally, many offenders know victims may not want to report an incident.

“They don’t want to cause a scene, be embarrassed, or they see no law enforcement nearby,” he said.

As part of an awareness campaign, the FBI is encouraging anyone who believes they’ve been assaulted to immediately tell a member of the flight crew.

“Law enforcement can greet that aircraft, so we can detain both the subject, the victim and the witnesses as well,” said David Rodski, an FBI special agent assigned to BWI Marshall Airport.

He added a plane is the worst place to commit a criminal act.

“Onboard an aircraft, we’ve got the manifest. We will have your name as it appears on your driver’s license and your date of birth,” he said.

Those who face charges could be prosecuted under one of several felony statutes.

Even if charges cannot be brought, Rodski said, the FBI will “index” the suspect in its system.

“Anybody that we talk to, anybody that we do an investigative activity on, we’re going to keep track of. So especially if we get a repeat offender, we’re going to know about them,” he said.

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The Catholic Women’s Forum Hosted “The #MeToo Moment: Second Thoughts on the Sexual Revolution”

Approximately 50 years after the sexual revolution profoundly changed the United States, the #MeToo movement became a worldwide phenomenon — leading some to examine our current cultural landscape and the effects of the sexual revolution. On May 31, the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) Catholic Women’s Forum and the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture presented “The #MeToo Moment: Second Thoughts on the Sexual Revolution.”

Cardinal Donald Wuerl was the keynote speaker; Mary Eberstadt of the Faith & Reason Institute gave the opening remarks and was followed by the all-women panels “Women’s Health: Evidence and Concerns” and “Exploitation: A Booming Business,” with closing remarks by Helen Alvaré, who recently published a pro-life feminist op-ed for CNN.

According to the EPPC, #MeToo has “prompted new questions about related risks to women and whether those risks share a common root in the sexual revolution.” The forum acted as an “in-depth conversation” that drew on “women’s experiences and the latest evidence from the social sciences, law, and medicine to expose troubling and underreported facts about the exploitation women face today.”

As a pro-life feminist who believes the sexual revolution was ultimately a net positive, I was interested in seeing how the forum addressed the sexual revolution and #MeToo, as well as the conclusions the speakers reached.

The event discussed multiple topics, including the effects of casual sexual encounters; pornography; birth control and fertility; prostitution; and sex trafficking. Below are excerpts from the speakers and panels. The full videos are available here.

Several speakers pointed out how pornography harms both men and women; it can affect how they view sexual intercourse or can cause relationship or dating troubles, such as communication issues or the replacement of intimacy with pornography.

Last year, NPR reported “married men and women who use pornography are more likely to get divorced than men and women who do not.” Additionally, psychologist Mary Anne Layden noted one study found 58% of male pornography users experienced erectile dysfunction with their partners but not with pornography.

Layden also pointed out pornography can affect expectations of sex, noting 88.2% of the scenes in one sample of 304 pornographic videos contained physical aggression such as slapping. Such behaviors can be consensual, but these scenes can affect younger viewers, who may be inexperienced and emotionally immature, and warp their perspective of what their partner wants.

However, it seems limited to claim the predators at the heart of the #MeToo sexual misconduct stories learned their bad behavior solely from pornography or the issue with such predators is simply “emotional unintelligence.”

Abuse of power is one of the most common themes in history and has occurred since the dawn of time, long before the sexual revolution nearly six decades ago or the rise of Internet pornography — from kings and their subjects, to slave-owners and their slaves, to managers and their subordinates. In particular, women of color and women in poverty throughout history have frequently been at the mercy of the powerful men in their lives, and it is vital these women’s experiences are not erased or treated as insignificant or invalid.

“The time for defending gender-cide in the name of feminism is over,” Eberstadt said.

It is pro-woman to be pro-life, and it is consistent with feminist messages to argue the baby in the womb is a human being with his or her own autonomy.

Furthermore, it is indisputable sex-selective abortion and infanticide affect females far more than males. 

“Around the planet, millions more unborn girls are killed every year than boys. They are killed because they are girls,” Eberstadt said. “It is as anti-female as it is possible to be.”

The modern feminist movement needs to acknowledge and address this, as well as other issues within the movement — as Eberstadt said, “Like wolves in Planned Parenthood clothing, some men have been using pro-abortion politics as protective coloration for harassment and exploitation.”

Left-leaning men often use their support of progressive issues, particularly abortion, to establish themselves as “allies” or progressive heroes. They co-opt supposedly “feminist” messages for their own selfish purposes, in order to remove any responsibility from their own actions and to gain protection.

From Harvey Weinstein, to Eric Schneiderman, to Tim Murphy, public figures and politicians from both sides of the aisle have taken advantage of the abortion debate for power, for political gain, and to avoid personal responsibility.

Dr. Suzanne Hollman, a professor of clinical psychology at George Washington University, referred to a 2012 study that found 78% of women regret their most recent casual sexual encounter. She discussed how men and women’s non-verbal signals of consent (or non-consent) differ, which can result in miscommunication that is made even more confusing when two partners are unfamiliar with each other.

However, the sexual revolution focused on consensual sex between willing participants; sex is not something taken or given but shared, and it’s completely in line with the sexual revolution to encourage women to take agency to directly say “no” at any time and to simultaneously encourage men to pay attention to their partners’ non-verbal cues.

Unfortunately, many empowering aspects of the sexual revolution get overlooked, while time before the sexual revolution is often mistakenly remembered as though sexual misconduct was nonexistent.

For example, the term “sexual harassment” was coined in the 1970s because women demanded it no longer be considered acceptable behavior. Furthermore, the events of the sexual revolution led to women obtaining the ability to seek legal recourse for such behavior and for discrimination (such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Williams v. Saxbe of 1976, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1980).

Other positive outcomes include the Equal Opportunity Credit Act of 1974 giving women financial freedom and the courts beginning to treat domestic abuse, sexual violence, and marital rape as serious crimes, rather than as family or private issues.

Furthermore, violence or abuse of power should not be placed in the same category as consensual or premarital sex, and it’s important to remember fifty years is ultimately not a significant length of time in the history of mankind.

But there were certainly negative repercussions. Dr. Monique Chireau, a obstetrician-gynecologist at Duke University Hospital, discussed the increase of sexually transmitted diseases since the sexual revolution — sexually transmitted diseases hit a record high in California in 2017, with more than 300,000 diagnoses — and how such diseases can lead to infertility.

Dr. Chireau also pointed out that “women’s fertility regulation strategies” can “have unintended consequences.”

Our workplace system was created before women in the workplace was common, before the average age of first-time parents increased, and before both parents working became common. “[Contraception] has hurt women in not allowing for flexibility or changes in professional structures,” Dr. Marguerite Duane said.

This perspective takes women into consideration and values them both as part of the family and as part of the workplace. It does not insist every woman’s place is only in the home or insist the structure is inflexible and therefore cannot accommodate or better serve women.

Dr. Duane noted, “Women spend [their] twenties trying to avoid pregnancy and their thirties trying to become pregnant.”

Because the biological window to have children is so small, it is of vital importance there are no problems or issues. Yet many women lack important knowledge and information about our own bodies and fertility, only becoming educated and informed upon deciding we are ready to have children.

The Church encourages the Natural Family Planning method, which results in women becoming more familiar with their bodies and more knowledgeable about their fertility than many women using other contraceptive methods like the birth control pill.

Unfortunately, though the birth control pill gave women sexual freedom, there are side affects of interfering with one’s natural hormones. Dr. Duane stated that 65% of women who stop using oral contraceptives do so because of side effects and wondered if the world will someday view the birth control pill as negatively as tobacco.

The speakers also examined the profitability behind exploitation.

Jennifer Lahl discussed the effects of surrogacy. “Bodies of women in particular are valued for their reproductive capacities — their eggs, their wombs,” she said. “The global fertility industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar a year industry.” According to Market Watch, the industry will reach $30 billion dollars by 2023.

An increase of 846% in reports of suspected child sex trafficking online in only a five-year period is horrific.

We must all be aware of the horrors being inflicted on children and women. We cannot remain ignorant to the evils that people are willing to commit for the sake of pleasure or money.

The Church has formed groups with the goal of ending trafficking.

Helen Alvaré, a professor of law at George Mason University, provided the event’s closing remarks, in which she revealed at least one positive result of the sexual revolution by noting the significance of a panel of female scholars. “It really did take some decades to have this many qualified women,” she said. “We could not have had such a conference thirty years ago.”

The EPPC and the Catholic Women’s Forum were willing to engage in this discussion and to try to examine issues in our society, which is an attitude that’s sorely needed.

However, one topic that was missing was the Catholic Church sex abuse and the more recent #ChurchToo stories. These are uncomfortable truths to face, but it is necessary to acknowledge these abuses occurred, to examine how and why they were able to occur, and to ensure they never occur again. Furthermore, it is necessary to ensure predators in the church know they will not be tolerated, accepted, or welcomed and to ensure victims in the church know they will be heard, believed, and supported.

The event was nevertheless thought-provoking. And, because the panelists were all scholars who used empirical data, their points cannot be easily disregarded, even for those who disagree.

I hope these organizations continue to encourage these discussions — and I plan to be at the next such event they hold.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent those of any other individual or entity. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahmquinlan.

The post The Catholic Women’s Forum Hosted “The #MeToo Moment: Second Thoughts on the Sexual Revolution” appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group METOO-300x157 The Catholic Women’s Forum Hosted “The #MeToo Moment: Second Thoughts on the Sexual Revolution” Uncategorized The Sexes Social Justice sexual harassment Sexual Assault religion Pop Culture Inconsistency Human Rights Gender Issues Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture & Faith Culture Allow Media Exception Abortion   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Police investigating sexual assault in Fairfax County park

WASHINGTON — U.S. Park Police are investigating a reported sexual assault in a Fairfax County park.

Officers responded to a call at Fort Hunt Park near the southern end of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Alexandria shortly after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. The suspect had already fled when police arrived, and was not found after a search of the area.

Police say their preliminary investigation indicates the suspect and victim may know each other. Anyone with knowledge of the situation is asked to call U.S. Park Police at 202-619-7266.

Below is the area where it happened.

Westlake Legal Group staticmap?key=AIzaSyAUgwUVDbpkDzjtqaM9s73ohlXdWjsSukg&zoom=13&center=38.715197,-77.053563&size=640x300&maptype=roadmap&markers=color:red%7Clabel:%7C38.715197,-77 Police investigating sexual assault in Fairfax County park Virginia us park police Sexual Assault Local News Fairfax County, VA News crime alexandria

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Digest of a federal district case in the September 28, 2017 Virginia Lawyers Weekly

Westlake Legal Group Navy-seal-300x180 Digest of a federal district case  in  the September 28, 2017 Virginia Lawyers Weekly Sexual Assault Navy Seal Criminal Sex act   A digest of a federal district case  in  the September 28, 2017 Virginia Lawyers Weekly highlights federal and military criminal procedure and rules of evidence.  The facts that led to this interesting analysis begin with the  arrest of a Navy seal stationed in San Diego, but at a training course in Virginia. While in Virginia, Petty Officer first Class Seerden was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel on the base.  In the course of the investigation of that accusation, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service secured his phone. Based upon guidance from judge advocates at the base and in the officer’s chain of command, they concluded that Seerden’s commanding officer in San Diego was the proper person to grant authority to search the officer’s phone. During that search, child pornography was discovered.  The search was discontinued and a warrant was sought from a federal magistrate to continue the search under a warrant. Seerden’s attorneys attempted to have the evidence of child pornography tossed out on the grounds that the seizure was unconstitutional because Seerden’s commanding officer in San Diego was not the correct person to grant permission for  the initial search of the phone. The Court analyzed this issue under the military rules of evidence.  Seerden’s commanding officer in San Diego was not the correct person to grant permission for Seerden’s phone to be searched.  So, that initial search was illegal. The Court found that there is a good faith exception under military law  which allows evidence obtained as the result of an unlawful search to be used.   The second search, made under the warrant issued by the federal magistrate, but which was based upon information in an affidavit based on that first, unlawful, search was held to be a valid search under the good faith rule.  The court held that the  mistake in this case was merely  technical and did not rise to the level where exclusion of the evidence was warranted and the investigating agents relied , in good faith, upon the advice of the judge advocates.  Seerden pleaded guilty and waived his right to appeal.




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