Ohio Sheriff Under Fire For ‘Cover Up’ In Football Rape Case Investigation

Ohio Sheriff Under Fire For 'Cover Up' In Football Rape Case InvestigationA county sheriff under fire for how he has handled a high school rape investigation faced down a raucous crowd of protesters on Saturday and said no further suspects would be charged in a case that has rattled Ohio football country.

‘Shielding the popular football program’

Ma’lik Richmond and Trenton Mays, both 16 and members of the Steubenville High School football team, are charged with raping a 16-year-old fellow student at a party last August, according to statements from their attorneys.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla, accused of shielding the popular football program from a more rigorous investigation, told reporters no one else would be charged in the case, just moments after he addressed about 1,000 protesters gathered in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse. Abdalla declined to take the investigation over from Steubenville police, sparking more public outrage.


‘Joking about an assault’

The case shot to national prominence this week when Anonymous made public a picture of the purported rape victim being carried by her wrists and ankles by two young men. Anonymous also released a video that showed several other young men joking about an assault. The protest’s masked leader, standing atop a set of stairs outside the courthouse doors, invited up to the makeshift stage anyone who was a victim of sexual assault. Protesters immediately flooded the platform, which was slightly smaller than a boxing ring.

Abdalla then climbed the stairs himself and addressed the protest over a microphone. He said he had dedicated his 28-year career to combating sexual assault, overseeing the arrest of more than 200 suspects. Clad in a teal ribbon symbolizing support for sexual assault victims, Abdalla later told Reuters that he stood by his decision to leave the investigation with local police. He would have had to question all 59 people that the Steubenville Police Department had already interviewed in its original investigation, he said.

Do you think there is a cover up going on here to protect the schools’ football program? Should County Sheriff Fred Abdalla step down from his position?

Source: Drew Singers, Reuters, Yahoo News

Image: Beaumont Enterprises

Netanyahu: Israel Ready To Escalate Gaza Strikes

Netanyahu Israel Ready To Escalate Gaza StrikesIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while affirming his support for diplomatic efforts to reach a cease-fire in Gaza, underscored that Israel would take “whatever actions” are necessary to defend itself.

‘Durable outcome’

Netanyahu made a brief statement beside U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had flown to the Mideast on Tuesday to help advance diplomatic talks intended to avert an escalation of the weeklong conflict with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Clinton said the United States is pushing for a “durable outcome” promoting stability, but the cease-fire talks brokered by Egypt had failed to yield a truce as of late Tuesday, with Hamas reportedly saying an agreement won’t come any earlier than Wednesday.

Efforts to end a week-old convulsion of Israeli-Palestinian violence drew in the world’s top diplomats on Tuesday, with President Obama dispatching Clinton to the region on an emergency mission and the U.N. chief appealing from Cairo for an immediate cease-fire.


‘Harsh punishment’

Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers have staked tough, hard-to-bridge positions, and the gaps keep alive the threat of an Israeli ground invasion. On Tuesday, grieving Gazans were burying militants and civilians killed in ongoing Israeli airstrikes, and barrages of rockets from Gaza sent terrified Israelis scurrying to take cover.

Meanwhile, Israel reported its first military causality in the conflict after a rocket strike.  Reuters reported that Palestinian gunmen rode motorcycles and dragged the body of a man suspected of working for Israel. There is broad consensus among Palestinians that informers for Israel deserve harsh punishment, and it is rare to hear someone speak out against killings of alleged collaborators.

Do you think the U.S. will be able to come up with a “durable outcome” between Israel and Gaza? Tell us what you think of this long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict!

Source: Fox News

Image: Reuters