Child Porn Purveyor Slapped With 27-Year Sentence

Erin E. Marques, 36, a dual citizen of the US and Ireland, was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison after he was convicted of conspiracy to advertise child pornography.

Court documents released last week stated that from 2008 to 2013, Marques ran a hosting service on the dark web, part of the Internet that you only can get to with special software. This allows users to stay anonymous.

His free hosting service hosted sites that let users look at and share pictures of child molestation and child sexual abuse. The investigation showed that Marques’ hosting service contained hundreds of child abuse websites that featured millions of illegal images.

It is estimated that two million of these images were not known by the police, and many showed sadistic abuse of small children.

The US district judge on the case, the man’s crimes were similar to a drug kingpin.

Hosting Service Propigated The Spread Of Child Molestation For Years

Acting US Attorney Jonathan Lenzner stated that this was an extreme case of child pornography being spread around the world by one individual’s actions. Millions of ‘horrific images and videos’ of children been sexually and physically abused were shared.

He added that his sentencing sends a message to child pornographers that international law enforcement will find you sooner or later and hold you accountable.

Europol also was involved in the child pornography and exploitation case. A spokesperson said last week that they praised the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in Europe. They noted that ensuring the safety of children by finding and arresting child pornographers is one of their highest priorities.

More Than 200 Child Porn Websites Taken Down

This child pornography investigation has targeted thousands of child pornography criminals who used more than 200 websites on the Tor network and dedicated to trading child pornography.

The investigation involved several law enforcement agencies in the US and Europe, including more than 70 organizations in 12 countries. There are few other examples where so many international law enforcement agencies have worked together to facilitate an arrest.

In addition to the 200 websites taken down, there were hundreds of other sites found that sponsor or facilitate other criminal activities.

More than 4 million videos and images were seized and dozens of child pornography offenders were prosecuted.

Convicted Man Apologizes And Pleads For Mercy

During his sentencing, the child pornographer apologized to his victims and asked for mercy from the court. He said that he had destroyed his reputation and that of his family. Some of the affected family were allowed to give victim impact testimony at the sentencing.

The judge agreed to give Marques credit for the eight years he spent in jail in Ireland and the US since he was arrested in 2013. The judge also ordered him to pay $87,000 to the victims of his crimes.

In his original plea agreement, Marques and prosecutors agreed to a sentence between 15 and 21 years. But the judge rejected the deal as flawed.

The revised agreement recommended he serve between 21 and 27 years, but Chuang was allowed to give a stiffer sentence. Some types of cases restrict the sentences that federal judges can hand down, but that was not the case here.

At that point, federal prosecutors recommended a 27-year sentence and a lifetime of supervision after release. He has no possibility of parole.

Defense attorneys asked for a 21-year sentence for their client. He can go back to Ireland when he finishes his prison sentence.

Marques Pleaded Guilty In February 2020

Marques gave a guilty plea early in 2020 for hosting and running a free web service he called ‘Freedom Hosting’ on the dark web from 2008 to 2013. The dark web is encrypted and only can be accessed with tools that provide anonymity to users.

Investigators discovered more than 8 million images and videos of child pron on his servers. Marques resided in Ireland when the offenses occurred. He was extradited to the US in 2019, when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to advertise child pornography.

An April 2021 court filing said a witness for the US government was going to tell federal investigators that Marques was the biggest seller of child pornography worldwide and that he had made more than $3 million from pornography being distributed on his servers.

However, Marques’ attorneys said their client made money from his legal web hosting company, not from Freedom Hosting.

Lenzner said this was the first case he knew of where federal law enforcement was able to get to the ‘seeds’ of the child pornography trade and put a stop to a lot of the problem. However, it is certain, he added, that others will take Marques’ place and try to capitalize financially on an illegal trade that does severe damage to children.

Human Trafficking Bust Leads To 102 Arrests And 47 Victims Rescued

In Missouri, the attorney general’s office announced last week that law enforcement organizations in 11 states arrested 102 suspects related to human trafficking crimes. This multi-agency effort also resulted in the rescue of 47 victims and sex workers.

The AG’s office said that the multi-state bust, dubbed Operation United Front, occurred last Thursday night and Friday morning. The office added that each state handled its own operation simultaneously and shared information with law enforcement in Missouri.

Multi-State Efforts Leads To Major Results

The office noted that before this human trafficking operation, the state provided training and information about the best ways to do these complex operations with other states. Other states that were part of the operation were:

  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Minnesota
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • South Dakota

Last week, Missouri AG Eric Schmitt said that Operation United Front was one of the largest human trafficking busts in recent history that involved unprecedented coordination between many states and jurisdictions.

Schmitt noted that when multiple law enforcement and government agencies work together, it’s possible to derail human and sex trafficking, which usually crosses many jurisdictions. Also, he said that the AG’s office in Missouri will never stop investigating and stopping human trafficking in the state, he added.

The AG’s office stated that police made arrests and rescues by using sting human trafficking operations that focused on buyer-centric and victim-centric methods. These techniques usually feature undercover police officers who set up meetups and dates with potential victims and rescue those people. Or, they may pretend they are victims and arrest the traffickers and buyers at the meetups.

Sting Took Place At A Kansas City Business

Missouri law enforcement officials noted that the sting in Missouri occurred at a business in Kansas City where two suspects were arrested. Also, four victims were rescued, and 11 victims received services to help them get out of the sex trafficking world.

Many of the sex trafficking victims are under 18 and don’t know any other way to make a living, which the traffickers exploit.

Kentucky law enforcement made the most arrests – 46 – and 21 sex trafficking victims were rescued. In Iowa, law enforcement arrested 11 suspects and seized hundreds of thousands of dollars of US currency.

In Texas, state law enforcement arrested four suspects, and seven were nabbed in Nebraska.

Law enforcement officials in Michigan also stated last week they had made several sex trafficking arrests.

Schmitt noted that the operation in South Dakota occurred at the Sturgis Biker Rally, and nine people were arrested. Eight of the arrests involved the enticement of a minor online, and another was for attempting commercial sex trafficking of someone under 18.

Iowa Law Enforcement Executed 10 Search Warrants

Iowa law enforcement was especially aggressive during the human trafficking operation. The Department of Public Safety in the state stated that it executed 10 search warrants, pinpointed five businesses that were working in sex trafficking, made 11 arrests and seized at least $50,000 in cash.

Officials for Iowa DPS stated that human trafficking hurts the state because it’s close to Chicago and Kansas City and major intersection system intersections. That’s why human trafficking is rising in Iowa, and it happens in many settings.

DPS also said that it rescued and offered medical supplies and services to sex workers and victims. Further, it arrested suspects across the US that were linked to human trafficking.

DPS said other states performed minor recovery work intended to rescue people most vulnerable and manipulate by suspected human traffickers.

Minnesota School Also Accused Of Sex Trafficking In August

The sex trafficking sting operation above produced impressive results, but sex trafficking still occurs throughout the country.

For example, an acupuncture school in Minneapolis, Minnesota, recently had a massage program shut down because of suspicions it was engaging in sex trafficking. This is a problem that has been rising in Minnesota and recently caught the attention of law enforcement.

A class-action lawsuit was filed against the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. It alleged that the owners engaged in a scheme to steal wages from several acupuncturists.

The federal lawsuit claims that the previous owner didn’t offer meal breaks or overtime and withheld 5% of the acupuncturists’ salaries to reduce losses from canceled appointments.

The Office of Higher Education in Minnesota closed the school’s massage and acupuncturist programs and ordered the owners to sell the business in 2020. This was after the office discovered the company was engaged in human trafficking and prostitution.

AAAOM was highlighted in a news story that dug into signs of sex trafficking in schools across the United States. In addition, researchers involved in the case highlighted several failures in enforcement and oversight related to the problem.

However, the attorneys for the defendants have denied the sex trafficking and wage-withholding allegations.

Porn Star Ron Jeremy Indicted Sexual Assault Federal Charges

Porn star Ron Jeremy was indicted this week on at least 30 sexual assault counts involving 20 victims going back at least 20 years, according to the LA County district attorney’s office.

State prosecutors said that Jeremey, 68, pleaded not guilty to the charges, including forcible oral copulation, forcible rape, sexual battery by restraint, sexual penetration by a foreign object, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person.

Jeremy has been accused of sexually assaulting at least 20 women over a 24-year span going back to 1996. The victims’ ages were between 15 to 51. One of the young women allegedly raped was a 17-year-old at a Woodland Hills, CA, home in 2008, state prosecutors said.

Other victims were a 19-year-old woman who was allegedly raped during a magazine photoshoot in southern California. Another was a 26-year-old woman was allegedly raped at a nightclub.

Also, a 38-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted in a bar in Hollywood where Jeremy was a frequent guest. The woman was assaulted at his home and another was assaulted at a strip club. He usually allegedly assaulted young and even underage women, but sometimes he would turn his attention to women in their 30s and 40s.

Jeremy also was accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in 2004. The most recent alleged incident occurred on Jan. 1, 2020, when the porn star was accused of assaulting a 21-year-old woman outside a Hollywood business.

If he is convicted, he could be sentenced to 330 years in prison. Even if he receives a much shorter sentence if convicted, it’s highly likely he will die in prison.

Grand Jury Returned Indictment August 19

The Los Angeles grand jury returned the indictment Aug. 19 and it was unsealed Aug. 24. This comes about a year after Jeremy was charged.

His case was shown to the grand jury to avoid a public initial hearing where witnesses would need to testify in public. They wanted to avoid causing more pain to the victims, as occurred in the Harvey Weinstein trial.

The Los Angeles district attorney said that survivors of sexual assault often suffer in isolation for years. The district attorney’s office is doing its best to ensure that sexual assault survivors have as many options available as possible to aid their recovery.

Court records state that Jeremy is being held at the Twin Towers Correction Facility in Los Angeles on a $6.6 million bond. He will go back to court on October 12 for a pretrial appearance.

Jeremy Has Been An Adult Entertainment Star For Decades

Ron Jeremy is thought to be one of the major stars of the porn industry going back to the 1970s. His most active period was the 1980s and 1990s, when he played an overweight, hairy, older man. He had a strong presence in the porn industry for years after that. Rumors about sexual assault dogged him for years, but they only came into the public eye recently.

He was known for groping, hugging and kissing the bodies of many female performers as journalists took pictures at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Los Vegas. He also was often seen at porn conventions in LA and other large cities.

His fame led him to obtain roles in several reality series, including The Surreal Life.

In 2017, Rolling Stone reported that almost two dozen women said the porn star was a predator and used his bizarre public behavior as a way to justify his sexual assaults. Many victims were workers in the adult entertainment industry.

Jeremy has denied all allegations and said that he is devastated that any women ever felt uncomfortable with him. However, there are so many charges coming from so many women, it seems unlikely that all of the contacts with these women was consensual.

Jeremy Sued For Sexual Assault In 2020

Jeremy isn’t facing only criminal charges; in 2020, he was hit with a civil lawsuit for sexually assaulting a female friend at a hotel in LA.

Charity Carson said that her friend of 25 years trapped her against a bathroom wall, squeezed her chest, and tried to make her touch his penis.

Court documents noted the woman was screaming and trying to get away from Jeremy. She eventually was able to run from the room.

Carson told the media that they were friends for decades and she was shocked he would attempt to assault her. She noted at the time that six months had passed since the alleged incident, and it took her that long to get up the courage to file the complaint.

Carson went public with her accusations in June 2020 and said the adult entertainment actor is a ‘sexual predator’ who sees women as mere toys. Jeremy has appeared in at least 2,000 films.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment of 11 Women

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated this week that he will resign in 14 days because of a sexual harassment scandal that is crippling his ability to govern. He said during a press conference that he didn’t want to distract New York from vital work that needs to be done.

Cuomo’s surprising resignation was livestreamed from his office in Manhattan, just minutes after his attorney denied the accusations that the governor had sexually harassed anyone during his terms in office.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will become the governor in two weeks and will be the first woman governor of the state.

Resignation Comes A Week After Blistering Report From State AG

Cuomo’s resignation came just a week after a damning report released by the New York Attorney General’s office. The report found that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 former and current staffers, including a state police trooper that was on his protective detail, and women who did not work in state government.

The resignation also comes as five district attorney’s offices around New York have started probes of possible crimes that the governor committed against some of his accusers.

Cuomo said his motivation to step down is to avoid an impeachment drama that will distract the government from its duties, which is continuing to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. He said given the current situation, the best way he can help is he resigns and let the government get back to its job.

Cuomo continued to deny some of the serious accusations against him, but he conceded that he had touched some of his accusers in a way that made them uncomfortable. He added that some of the ‘incidental physical contact’ and comments were normal for men who were born when he was.

Governor-Elect Agrees With Cuomo Stepping Down

Governor-Elect Hochul, who is from Buffalo, said that she agree’s with Cuomo’s decision to resign, and it is the right thing to do for the state.

She noted that she has worked at all levels of state government and is ready to lead the state as the new governor.

AG Report Found Cuomo Broke State And Federal Laws

New York Attorney General Letitia James said last week that the governor had broken state and federal laws with his inappropriate conduct, which she said included unwanted touching and sexual remarks that made his victims feel uncomfortable.

In a media interview released this week, Cuomo administrative assistant Brittany Commisso said that the governor had touched her breast in one incident, and patted her rear another time in the Executive Mansion. Commisso said that the governor broke the law.

After the report was released Hochul said she believed all of his accusers, and said that his behavior was illegal and repulsive.

However, Cuomo denied the charges and said the sexual harassment probe was biased against him.

In fact, during his resignation speech, he referred to his daughters, saying that he wanted them to know that he never had disrespected a woman. He did say that he made mistakes and he apologized.

State Assembly Still Considering Impeachment

After Cuomo said he would resign, Democratic Senator James Skoufis said the State Assembly may still impeach the governor. This would allow the state senate to convict him, so he would be barred from holding office in the state again.

Skoufis said if you look into impeachment history, there is a precedent to continue with the process even after the elected official no longer holds office. He apparently was referring to the impeachment of President Trump in early 2021.

Cuomo is the top New York Democrat politician to go down because of a political scandal. In 2008, Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after he paid for sex with a prostitute. Former House Representative Anthony Weiner went to federal prison in 2017 after he pleaded guilty to sexting with an underage girl.

Cuomo’s Resignation Comes Five Months After Scandal Broke

The sexual harassment allegations broke in April 2021, but the denouement of the scandal was delayed until the release of the AG’s report.

His fall from the governorship is a stunning turnaround from 2020 when he was praised in some circles for his COVID response; he even was given a book deal to write about how he managed the crisis in New York.

Cuomo was even rumored to be a potential running mate for Joe Biden or even Attorney General in the new administration.

Cuomo resisted the constant calls to resign for months, which started after several former aides accused him of sexual harassment.

After James issued her damning report, the district attorney’s office in Albany County said it was looking into alleged crimes committed by the governor and will ask for investigative materials as part of the AG’s probe.

Cuomo is the son of the late Governor Mario Cuomo, who served New York for three terms. Cuomo was the attorney general for New York previously and also served as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development during President Clinton’s administration.

Arizona State Senator Charged with 7 Felony Sex Crimes With Minor

Arizona State Senator Otoniel Navarrete has been hit with seven felony counts of sexual misconduct with two minors, which would net him 49 years in federal prison if convicted.

The Maricopa County judge on the case set Navarrete’s bond at $50,000 and put several restrictions on him if he is allowed to leave jail. The senator made his first court appearance last Friday.

The prosecutor said that he should not be allowed to contact minors, whether they are in his family, out of his family, or strangers. He was eventually released on bond.

His Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate told him to resign his seat immediately, and other officials also asked that he step down.

His colleagues signed a joint statement at the end of last week, noting that the serious nature and circumstances of the felony charges faced by the senator are a major distraction from his duties as an elected official.

They also said in the joint statement that sexual abuse of this nature is intolerable, and he should resign immediately.

Navarrete Was Arrested After Several 2019 Allegations Surfaced

Navarrete was placed under arrested by state law enforcement after police in Phoenix received several complaints about alleged incidents with minors that occurred in 2019. Police interviewed the victims and had one of them call the senator, according to a statement of probable cause.

In the call that was recorded by police, Navarrete acknowledged touching the male victim inappropriately and performing oral sex on him several times, per documents released from the superior court in Maricopa County

Navarette said on the recorded call that he regretted what he did and knows the actions were wrong. He also said the man was not at fault for anything he did.

In the call, the victim, who is now 16, confronted the senator and asked him why he touched him inappropriately. Navarrete told him he was mentally unwell at the time, and he continued to express regret for what he did.

The alleged incidents occurred at Navarrete’s house and have caused the youth to feel anxiety and anger, the young man said.

The arrest documents also note another incident where the senator reached under a minor’s shorts and touched his upper thigh. The youth swatted his hand away.

Police arrested Navarrete in his house without incident, and he attended his initial court appearance remotely while in custody.

The state senator’s arrest comes a few days after he tested positive for COVID-19. He noted on his Facebook page that he has mild symptoms and that people should get the vaccine.

Navarrete was elected to the state House of Representatives in Arizona in 2016 and represented District 30. In 2018, he was elected to the state Senate for District 30, and he was re-elected in 2020.

He also serves as the deputy director of Promise Arizona, a community-based nonprofit organization that advocated for young undocumented migrants from Mexico.

AP Recently Released List Of 90 State Lawmakers Accused of Sex Crimes

Navarrete is hardly alone as a state legislator accused of sex crimes with minors. The Associated Press released a list of 90 state lawmakers that have been accused of sexual misconduct between 2017 and 2019.

The AP report noted that many people in political power do not face sufficient repercussions for their sex crimes. Many of the people on the list either resigned or did not seek reelection, but only 10 of the legislators on the list were charged with a crime or went to trial.

The AP report also stated that the lack of accountability has remained the same since 2019, with several high-profile state politicians being charged with sex crimes. Of those, the ones that have been seen the most in the media are New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Florida State Representative Matt Gaetz, and Missouri State Representative Rick Roeber.

Cuomo is facing several accusations of sexual harassment and related inappropriate behavior, with people on both sides of the aisle demanding his resignation. Cuomo is also facing an investigation in the New York State Assembly that could lead to his impeachment.

Gaetz is being investigated for possibly breaking federal sex trafficking laws; he also is accused of having sexual intercourse with a 17-year-old and compensating her to travel with him.

Roeber was tossed out of the Missouri House in April 2021 after a state investigation into child abuse found that he sexually and physically abused his children.

Of those three, Roeber is the only one that has been removed from his legislative position. Cuomo and Gaetz are still in office even with the serious allegations against them.

Unfortunately, many politicians often pay no higher price than having to resign their office. It remains to be seen if Navarrete’s price will be more than having to resign his seat. In his case, at least, he has been charged with felonies and will eventually have his day in court.

SeaWorld And Disney Workers Arrested Child Molestation Sting

A security guard at Walt Disney World and a janitor at SeaWorld were among 18 men arrested in a child molestation sex sting called ‘Operation April’s Fools,’ according to the Polk County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office.

The men who were arrested responded to online advertisements from undercover police officers posing as children or the parents of children.

The sheriff’s office noted that child sex trafficking and molestation are out of control as predators look online for children as young as 10 to teach them to engage in sexual activity.

The sex sting involved Florida law enforcement from several parts of the state from March 29 to April 4. The sting is one of several that have been done in the area in the last seven years.

Dozens of Disney Workers Arrested For Sex Crimes Since 2006

This isn’t the first time Disney and SeaWorld workers, who often work with children, have been arrested for sex crimes.

A 2014 CNN investigation determined that 35 Disney workers, two SeaWorld, and five Universal workers have been arrested since 2006 for child sex crimes, attempting to meet a child for sex, or possessing child pornography.

Each of the parks said at the time that they have no tolerance for illegal sex crimes and require every employee to undergo rigorous background checks.

All of the alleged sex crimes happened outside the amusement parks, except for two cases involving possessing child pornography on Disney World property. None of the suspected sex crime cases involved children visiting the amusement parks.

The sheriff’s office noted the recent arrests that two theme park workers, including a security guard and a football coach at a Christian elementary school, were among the 18 suspects.

The arrested announced this week included a 26-year-old security guard named Jeffrey Binder, who works at Walt Disney World. The sheriff’s office said he arrived at the arrest location to have sex with a female he thought was 14-years-old.

Binder chatted online and texted with the undercover police officer that he wanted to do sexual things to her. He also bought condoms and brought them to the sting location. His Disney security guard uniform was in his vehicle when he was placed under arrest.

Binder has been charged with attempted lewd battery, trying to have sex with a minor, and using a computer to seduce a minor. In addition, he has a criminal history that includes one arrest for battery/domestic violence.

A spokesperson for Disney World said the man has been placed on unpaid leave as the case is handled by the justice system.

SeaWorld Custodian Also Arrested For Attempted Seduction Of A Minor

Another amusement park worker arrested was Arthur Nelson, 19, who is a janitor at Discovery Cove theme park in Orlando.

Nelson arrived at the sting location to have intercourse with who he believed was a 14-year-old girl. The man sent her photos of his genitals, and he purchased condoms on the way to the sting location.

After he was arrested, he told the police that he knew the person was 14-years-old, and that he has talked to underage girls before but he had never tried to meet one. Nelson also said he was high at the time, and he ‘thought it was a good idea.’

The man was charged with using a two-way electronic communication device to commit a felony; use of a computer to seduce a minor; attempted lewd battery, and traveling to meet a minor.

A SeaWorld spokesperson said that the company uses extensive criminal background checks to screen its employees. However, the company also noted that it has no tolerance for these situations and will take appropriate action when warranted.

Others arrested during the sex sting operation included a hospital technician, computer program manager, auto dealership manager, former firefighter, and an airline customer service manager.

Another DisneyWorld Employee Arrested Said He Was Trying To Protect The Child

A 49-year-old former DisneyWorld worker named Robert Kingslover was arrested during the previous sting operation in 2014. He was charged with soliciting a child for sexual acts and traveling to meet a child for illegal sexual activity.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges because he claimed he was attempting to protect the girl and would call the police when he appeared at the house. He noted that his family has supported him after the arrest.

Kingslover told the media that he loves his children, and they know he would not try to hurt a child.

Other Disney workers caught in the earlier sting were costumers, security guards, a tour guide in training, a gift shop worker, and several maintenance workers.

It appears that child sex predators often are employed at theme parks that cater to children, and it’s probably only a matter of time before more of them are caught by the police.

New Mexico Democrat Under Investigation for Money Laundering and Racketeering

According to state officials, New Mexico House Majority Leader Sheryl Stapleton, a Democrat, is being investigated by the state attorney general’s office on charges of racketeering, money laundering, receiving kickbacks, and other crimes.

Representatives from the attorney general’s office searched the Democrat’s office in Albuquerque last week and her home, arrest warrants noted. They were searching for irregularities in her work at the city’s public schools since spring 2021.

Suspicions Raised Regarding Stapleton’s Connection To Public School Vendor

State investigators were attempting to determine whether her connections to Robotics Management Learning Systems, a company based in Washington state, do business with Albuquerque’s public school system. They noted that every invoice issued by the company to the public school system was for an even dollar amount, with most payments being $40,000.

Stapleton is also involved with several other vendors that regularly receive payments from Robotics Management, investigators noted. The amount of money being paid could be, if found illegal, one of the biggest kickback schemes in the history of New Mexico.

The search warrant noted that the school system paid Robotics $5.3 million from 2006 to 2021. Records from the Bank of America state that Robotics’ primary source of income is the contracts it has with APS. APS workers and state investigators note that the procurement process involving Robotics wasn’t according to New Mexico state law.

The warrant also noted that state investigators found that 60% of the funds paid to the company by APS for seven years was redirected to Williams businesses, including a local restaurant, A Taste of The Caribbean, The Charlie Morrisey Center for Creative Assistance, S. Williams and Associates, and the Ujima Foundation.

Investigators allege that she used some of the stolen money for her expenses. They accuse her of using her position to funnel more state funds into two nonprofit organizations she runs.

Charges have not been filed in this state case yet. However, the attorney general’s office said that it could assure the people of New Mexico that they will be quick and diligent in investigating the matter, as it involves public funds and schools.

The governor, Michelle Grisham, stated that she is troubled by the reports and that public confidence is damaged when there appears to be impropriety or illegal activity.

Grisham also said that the people of the state deserve elected officials who put citizens ahead of themselves.

Her attorney Ahmad Assed told the press last week that it’s too early to make any comments about the investigation.

Williams Resigns Her Position In The State Legislature

Amid these allegations called the largest kickback scheme in state politics, Stapleton resigned her seat in the state legislature late last week.

She said that she needs to devote a lot of time and energy to defend herself against the criminal allegations.

Meanwhile, the African American Performing Arts Center at Expo New Mexico may change its name because it was dedicated to Stapleton.

Representatives of the organization told the media that they always had reservations about Stapelton’s names being on the front of the building. The problem is that when a public policymaker names a building after themselves if you are still in office, you could get into a scandal. Unfortunately, that is what has happened here.

The Bill Richardson administration dedicated the building to Stapleton more than 10 years ago. In a recent Facebook post, a representative of the organization said this current criminal investigation is just a reminder of what can happen when you name a building after an active politician.

It is unknown what the new name of the building will be and who it will be dedicated to.

Williams Has Been At The Center of Controversy in the Past

Back in 2011, when Williams was the state House Democratic Whip, she was forced to apologize to Governor Susana Martinez for an outburst in the state Capitol when she said a Republican lawmaker was ‘carrying the Mexican’s water on the fourth floor.’

Stapleton was the first black woman to be elected to the state legislature. The incident happened after a legislative study committee break where she confronted a Republican who had been interviewed for a story that said Stapelton was being compensated by the public school system while she was working in legislative sessions. This was a violation of state law.

Stapleton told the media in an apology that she didn’t know that in New Mexico, it can be taken as a slur to call someone a Mexican. Many Hispanics, especially in the northern part of the state, can trace their ancestry to Spain and call themselves Spanish.

The investigation is in its early stages, and no trial date has been set. However, she could face decades in prison if she is convicted on racketeering and money laundering charges.

Singer R. Kelly Faces Racketeering And Sex Crime Charges As Trial Looms

Singer R. Kelly has about two weeks until jury selection starts in his federal racketeering trial in New York City. Now, federal prosecutors are asking the judge to admit evidence of other alleged misdeeds that were no in the charging documents of the rhythm and blues singer.

The federal court filing provides details from a witness who said Kelly asked her to buy child pornography involving underage boys. Additional evidence shows a video of physical abuse and threats that the singer used to keep control over girls and women with whom he had sex.

There also will be evidence presented of bribes that were made on his behalf to various state and county employees. These bribes were intended to obtain fake IDs for underage boys and girls.

Last week, federal prosecutors asked the judge who will preside over the August trial to allow evidence that suggests Kelly was involved in these other alleged crimes. They noted that the evidence of these new crimes is related to the racketeering crimes he allegedly committed.

Additional criminal charges in the document include several episodes of sexual abuse of females under 18 as well as sexual abuse of a male under 18. He could get more than a decade in prison for each of those sex charges.

In the federal case in Brooklyn, the singer faces sex trafficking and racketeering charges, among several others. He has pleaded not guilty and jury selection starts Aug. 9.

Allegations of Threats and Bribery

One of the bribes that are mentioned in the filing involves paying a state employee $500 to make an ID card so a 15-year-old girl would look to be 18 when Kelly married her in August 1994.

A source that knows about the matter told the media that the minor is the deceased singer Aaliyah, who was married to Kelly in 1994. Federal prosecutors stated in the court filing shows the marriage certificate that indicates the woman was 15 years old when she married him in August 1994.

Aaliyah passed away in 2001.

Another potential bribe in the filing took place in the 1990s. Federal prosecutors said they have a February 2019 phone recording between a crisis manager and Kelly that occurred after the release of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries.

Prosecutors say in the conversation that Kelly told the manager to learn what he should pay the bailiff. They also say later that the manager informed Kelly to pay a worker in Cook County IL $2500 to buy a burner phone so the manager could get information about Kelly’s legal problems.

One Witness May Testify That Kelly Directed Her To Find Child Pornography

Federal prosecutors say, if possible, one witness will testify that the singer told her to find child porn showing boys. The filing says that several videos were received from a device that was found during a search of the singer’s home that back up the testimony. But court documents say that the government cannot confirm the ages or identity of the people in those videos.

Prosecutors also are requesting that recordings be admitted that show abuse and threats of several women to show the abuse that Kelly used to keep control over girls and women he was having sex with. One recording was taken by a camera that was placed in a bedroom.

Kelly Also May Have Abused A Teenager He Met In McDonald’s In 2006

Another charge just came to light in July, right before the August trial is set to start. The accusation is that R. Kelly sexually abused a teenaged boy in 2006 that he met in McDonald’s.

Federal charging documents state that Kelly met the 17-year-old in 2006, and invited him to a party at his house in Chicago. The child was accompanied by his parents, but Kelly told the boy to come by alone next time. That’s when things allegedly turned sexual.

The federal agents on the case said when they were alone at Kelly’s home, the singer began to sexually abuse him. Prosecutors also say the 17-year-old introduced Kelly to another underage male, and the singer tried to abuse him, too.

It was not until years after these events happened that a relationship occurred between the second abused minor and Kelly. The feds say Kelly did start a relationship with the boy when he was underage, but he would tell the young man to have sex with women with whom Kelly was associated. He also allegedly filmed many of those sexual encounters.

Kelly also has legal trouble in several states, but the federal racketeering case combined with the sex charges seems to be what will begin first. Kelly has been provided more time to obtain new attorneys as much of his old legal team left after the sex charges came to light.