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3 women accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape: report

Three women accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of forcing them into sexual acts in an expose published Tuesday -- accusations that the Hollywood giant denied in a statement through one of his representatives.

>> Read more trending news

The allegations came to light just days after The New York Times detailed complaints of sexual harassment spanning decades against the Miramax co-founder. Weinstein acknowledged the accusations in a statement to the newspaper last week and vowed to “deal with this issue head on.”

In a report published Tuesday by The New Yorker, former aspiring actress Lucia Evans, Italian actress Asia Argento and a woman who was not identified told the magazine that they were forced into sexual acts with Weinstein. Evans told the magazine that she was assaulted by Weinstein in 2004, while Argento said she was assaulted in 1997. The New Yorker did not say when the third alleged attack took place.

In a statement issued to The New Yorker, a spokeswoman for Weinstein, Sallie Hofmeister, denied the accusations.

“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” she said. “Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

Actresses Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette told The New Yorker that they suspected that Weinstein kept them from working in Hollywood after they rejected his advances. Hofmeister denied the allegation.

Four women, including Filipina-Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, told The New Yorker that Weinstein touched them inappropriately in a way that could be construed as assault.

Guitierrez said she went to the New York Police Department after Weinstein groped her in 2015, according to The New Yorker. He admitted to grabbing her without consent in an audio recording taken by the model for police, but no charges were filed against Weinstein.

Weinstein was ousted from his position with The Weinstein Company on Sunday amid fallout from the sexual harassment allegations uncovered by The New York Times. Multiple celebrities have come out in support of Weinstein’s accusers in the wake of the report.

Lawyer: Rapist granted joint custody of boy he fathered will not seek visitation

A Michigan man who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl in 2008, fathering her child, will not attempt to see the boy, despite being granted joint custody by a judge, the man’s lawyer said.

Barbara Yockey, a lawyer for Christopher Michael Mirasolo, told the Port Huron Times Herald that the matter is being resolved privately. The boy her client fathered is now 8 years old and being raised by his mother. 

“He’s not going to attempt to see the child, no,” Yockey said. 

Related story: Woman’s rapist gets joint custody of child he fathered in assault

The ruling over the boy’s custody garnered media attention -- and consternation from the public -- over the weekend. Those angered by the judge’s decision included Michigan’s lieutenant governor. 

“This is outrageous and unacceptable,” Lt. Gov. Brian Calley wrote on Facebook. “I will begin work immediately on remedies. This article says that this case is the first of its kind in Michigan and perhaps in the nation. We need to make sure that it is also the last of its kind -- and that the decision is overturned.”

Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons, a former state representative, also vowed to see that the victim and her son remained safe.

“You can bet that I will keep an eye on this situation, and if the court further denies this victim justice, I will work with the Attorney General to ensure Michigan’s law is enforced and rape victims are protected,” Lyons wrote.

Yockey said she expects that the issue will be resolved in an Oct. 25 hearing scheduled on the case. Mirasolo’s victim, now 21, sought recourse through the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, a 2015 law that grants states more funding for victims of sexual assault if they allow courts to terminate the parental rights of rapists who father a child.

The woman’s lawyer, Rebecca Kiessling, told the Times Herald that her client is the first victim to seek protection under the new law.

Kiessling said there should be an immediate investigation into the Sanilac County Prosecutor’s Office, which initiated the custody issue. 

Prosecutors said Tuesday that the office is reviewing how it handles paternity complaints, the Times Herald reported. They disputed Kiessling’s previous claims that the judge in the case, Sanilac County Judge Gregory S. Ross, gave Mirasolo her client’s home address and ordered that his name be added to the boy’s birth certificate without her client’s consent. 

“This young woman came to the Sanilac County Prosecutor's Office and completed and signed a paternity questionnaire in which she disclosed the alleged father's name and address,” read the prosecutors’ statement, obtained by the Times Herald. “She further signed an agreement to cooperate with pursuing paternity and signed a statement authorizing the disclosure of her address.”

The Detroit News previously reported that Ross awarded joint legal custody to Mirasolo, 27, of Brown City, after a DNA test proved he was the boy’s biological father. WDIV-TV reported that Assistant Sanilac County Prosecutor Eric Scott filed a motion to establish the boy’s paternity and collect child support on his behalf. 

Mirasolo was accused of forcibly raping the victim and threatening to kill her in September 2008, when she was 12 and he was 18. She, her 13-year-old sister and a friend sneaked out of the house one night to meet a boy and the boy’s older friend.

That friend was Mirasolo, who asked the girls if they wanted to go for a ride, Kiessling told the News. 

“They thought they were going to McDonald’s or somewhere,” Kiessling told the News. “Instead, he tossed their cellphones away, drove to Detroit, where he stole gas from a station, and then drove back to Sanilac County, where he kept them captive for two days in a vacant house near a relative.”

>> Read more trending news

Mirasolo was arrested about a month after the attack. He faced 25 years to life in prison, but was given a plea deal in which he was convicted of attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct. 

Sentenced to a year in jail, Mirasolo served just six months before being released early to care for his sick mother, the News reported

Kiessling told the Times Herald that the plea deal in her client’s case was “atrocious,” considering the victim’s pregnancy proved a sexual assault took place. 

Mirasolo also served four years in prison in a second case from 2010, in which he was convicted of sexually assaulting a second victim, who was 15 at the time of the assault. Now free on parole, he is listed as a Tier 3 offender on the Michigan State Police’s sex offender registry

The Times Herald reported that the victim in the second case reached out to Kiessling after Mirasolo’s custody issue made national headlines.

“He should have been in prison when she was raped,” Kiessling said. “It is the prosecutor’s fault that she was raped.”

The attorney, who is co-founder of the organization Hope After Rape Conception, said the case is a good example of why laws are needed that terminate a rapist’s parental rights. 

“First of all, a rape victim should not have to be tethered to her rapists for 18 years,” Kiessling, herself a child conceived through rape, told the Times Herald. “She deserves to be fully protected from her rapists, as well as the child. Secondly, we've had several women in our organization conceived in rape, and their biological rapist fathers used visits to molest them as well.

“Someone who raped is unfit to be a parent. They don’t respect basic boundaries, so they shouldn’t be a parent. You also shouldn’t be able to benefit from your crime.”

Mother killed while driving home after visiting premature twins

A mother was hit and killed by a suspected drunken driver Friday while returning home from visiting her premature twins at a California hospital, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Katie Evans, 37, is survived by her husband and six children, including the premature twin girls, who are less than eight weeks old. The other children range in age from 2 to 12 years old, People magazine reported.

Evans was killed Friday night after a suspected drunken driver hit a curb and lost control of her car, sideswiping another vehicle before hitting Evans’s vehicle head-on, according to a report from The Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

Law enforcement officials told the Signal that alcohol containers were found in the suspect’s car.

Evans died at the scene.

The 22-year-old suspect was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries, and she was booked on a misdemeanor DUI charge upon being released, the Signal reported. Further charges could be filed.

Family members told People magazine that Evans was near home when she was struck.

“She was traveling home late at night after visiting her baby girls at the hospital,” Evans’s sister-in-law, identified as Caralee, told People magazine. She said Evans visited the girls every day.

“They were not expected to survive at all,” Caralee told the magazine. “Every day was like a miracle at the beginning … it was a super high-risk pregnancy.”

As of Tuesday morning, more than $200,000 has been raised for the Evans family through a YouCaring page set up by relatives.

“Katie couldn’t go a day without visiting her brand-new twin girls in the hospital,” the page said. “She was a devoted mother, sister and wife and will be immensely missed.”

Katie’s husband, Jacob, plans to use the fundraising money for child care costs and other unforeseen expenses, family members said.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Florida man sets himself on fire after Cowboys lose to Packers, deputies say

An agreement to burn a losing team’s jersey went horribly wrong when a drunken Florida man tried to put the jersey on, deputies say.

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

A husband and wife were watching the Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers game inside their Vero Beach home when the husband’s team lost and he went outside to incinerate his jersey, according to the Sebastian Daily.

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: Woman shot dead after running over Florida cop

“He was set on fire after losing a bet on the Cowboys game. … Skin was hanging off his arm and back,” a witness told Sebastian Daily.

Family members quickly took off the jersey and took him to Indian River Medical Center with with second- and third-degree burns to his back, right arm and hand, the report said. 

>> Read more trending news

The 27-year-old man said he was drunk, deputies said.

Read more at Sebastian Daily

Wanted man's Facebook challenge to police backfires

A Michigan man’s plans seemingly backfired when the police department that had already served him a warrant responded to his Facebook challenge.

>> See the post here

“If you’re [sic] next post gets a thousand shares I’ll turn myself in along with a dozen doughnuts,” Champagne Torino wrote to the Redford Township Police Department on Facebook, according to WTVD. Torino added that he’d “pick up every piece of litter around all your public schools.”

>> Read more trending news

Police accepted and shared his challengeWJBK reported that it took only an hour for the post to be shared over a thousand times, and it has been shared almost 4,000 times at the time of this writing.

The department wrote that it hoped Torino would keep his word and himself in.

>> Read the post here

Casino mogul Steve Wynn says Las Vegas shooter would have triggered alarms at his hotels

Casino mogul Steve Wynn identified Las Vegas as a target city nearly two years ago, and he told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Sunday that he increased spending on security at his hotels by “tens of millions of dollars” in attempt to “identify and pre-empt any kind of terroristic or violent threat.”

>> Watch the interview here

Wynn suggested that the training and steps implemented at his properties would have set off alarm bells if Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock had tried to launch his mass murder scheme from one of them.

>> Read the latest on the Las Vegas shootings

Specific training techniques include Wynn hotels housekeeping staffs, room service staffs and anybody else who enters a guest room doing visual inspections every time. He added that a room with a “Do Not Disturb” sign displayed on its door for longer than 12 hours is investigated.

“The scenario that we’re aware of would have indicated that [Paddock] didn’t let anyone in the room for two or three days,” Wynn told “Fox News Sunday.” “That would have triggered a whole bunch of alarms here.”

>> On Rare.us: Somber photos of Las Vegas emerge after the city cut its lights for 11 minutes

Wynn said guns are not allowed in his hotels, unless they belong to employees who are required to carry them. He said guests who are found to have guns, “we eject from the hotel.” Wynn said they discover guests with guns “continually.”

>> Read more trending news

After the shooting, Wynn hotels started using wands to detect potential metal objects on guests, as well as inspecting luggage upon entrance to the hotel.

>> On Rare.us: The father of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock was a “minister” — of a criminal nature

Paddock had been known to stay at Wynn resorts, among many others. Wallace asked Wynn if his security teams had much of a profile on him, and if anything should have raised a red flag.

“The most vanilla profile one could possibly imagine. A modest gambler, at least by our standards,” Wynn said.

Missing 2-week-old: Grandfather believes father ‘did something to that baby’ 

Christopher McNabb has not been charged in connection with the death of his newborn daughter. But the baby’s grandfather feels certain that McNabb should be in jail

>> Father of dead baby said ‘I didn’t do it’ on store surveillance video, witnesses say

“He done something to that baby,” Tim Bell, Caliyah McNabb’s grandfather, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

>> Father in police custody after 2-week-old baby found dead in woods

Caliyah McNabb was reported missing from her room in the Eagle Mobile Home Park late Saturday morning, according to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. She was found dead Sunday in woods behind the family’s home. 

>> On MyAJC.com: How did baby Caliyah die? Investigators hope autopsy offers clues

The baby’s father initially eluded investigators after his daughter was found. McNabb jumped out of a vehicle and ran Sunday afternoon, according to the Sheriff’s Office, but was later located and taken into custody. A convenience store employee recognized McNabb and called police, WSB-TV reported. Witnesses at the store said that McNabb yelled that he “didn’t do it” before he was taken into custody.

>> Watch the news report here

>> 7 things to know about 2-week-old baby found dead in the Georgia woods

Sunday evening, McNabb was arrested on an unrelated probation violation, Capt. Keith Crum said. Crum said Monday morning that investigators did not have probable cause to charge anyone in connection with the baby’s death. 

>> Read more trending news

"We've got a dead child, but we don't know what caused the death,” Crum said. 

>> Family says body of missing 2-week-old found in woods

An autopsy was conducted Monday by the GBI, but preliminary findings have not been released. 

Man travels to Florida, brings candy to have sex with 9-year-old, police say

Police said a 64-year-old man from Austin, Texas, has been arrested on charges he traveled to Orlando, Florida, to have sex with who he thought was a 9-year-old girl.

Mark Andrew Nichols was arrested Saturday, WFTV reported.

Undercover sex crime detectives created an ad on a website, and Nichols responded to the ad on Sept. 13, investigators said. An internet crimes detective posed as a father and mother as “experienced parents to learn new things about raising little ones,” investigators said.

>> Read more trending news

Orlando police said Nichols explicitly described sex acts he planned to perform with the child, according to emails and texts he sent to the detective posing as the girl and her parents.

Police said in an arrest affidavit that their investigation of Nichols began when he responded to the online ad.

According to the affidavit, police said Nichols set up a meeting with the parents in Orlando. Upon Nichols’ arrival in Florida on Saturday, he was met instead by arresting police officers.

At the time of his arrest, Nichols had Sour Patch Kids candy, a bag of Skittles and a bottle of lubricant, investigators said. 

Nichols has been charged in Florida with attempted sexual battery of a child younger than 12, attempted lewd or lascivious conduct, solicitation of a minor via computer, obscene communication and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

He remained in a Florida jail Monday morning with bail on the combined charges set at $1,500, but a hold has been placed on his case to keep him in custody, Orange County jail records show.

Cops: Burglar says 'Naruto' books were 'teaching him how to be a ninja'

Some thieves steal money. Others steal jewelry.

And then there are those who steal “Naruto” books to learn how to “be a ninja and ... enter secured areas,” Dunwoody police said in a Facebook post Monday.

>> Read more trending news

Christopher Zahyeer Atkins, 25, of Altamonte Springs, Florida, was arrested about 1 a.m. as he was burglarizing a Target store in the 100 block of Perimeter Center Place, according to a police report. 

>> Read more Floridoh! Stories 

“The alarm company observed a suspect on camera making forced entry into the business,” Dunwoody police wrote in the Facebook post. “Officers quickly arrived on scene and checked the area. One of our officers observed a suspect walking away from the business matching the suspect description seen on camera.”

Atkins admitted to police during an interview that he broke into the store “because he was reading the book Naruto, Volume 5,” which was teaching him how to be a ninja, the post said. “Naruto” is a Japanese comic that follows an adolescent ninja. 

Atkins stole 10 books, 10 DVDs, an ONN DVD player, a Samsung tablet, Bluetooth headphones, a clock, money and a book bag, according to the report. 

Police booked Atkins into the DeKalb County Jail on a first-degree burglary charge.

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