A judge unsealed grand jury transcripts earlier this week in a case about the death of a 10-year-old boy whose parents allegedly tortured and killed him after he came out.
Earlier this year, Anthony Avalos died after what investigators described as years of torture at the hands of his mother, Heather Barron, and her boyfriend, Kareem Leiva.
The director of the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) said that Anthony had “said he liked boys” in the weeks leading up to his death.
The prosecution’s case involves both physical evidence and witness testimony. Assistant district attorney Jonathan Hatami told the grand jury about the coroner’s report, which found injuries all over Anthony’s body.
“There were injuries to Anthony’s side and his hip area, both his left hip and his right hip, and his arms, and even injuries to his feet,” Hatami said. There were also abrasions to his knees, circular marks on his stomach and torso, and bruises on his face, and blunt force trauma to Anthony’s brain and his body.
The grand jury also heard from Anthony’s 8-year-old sister, whose name was not released.
She described horrific abuse that Leiva meted out mostly to her, Anthony, and another brother.
She said that the kids were often forced to kneel on rice. Both of the parents would punish them with the rice, and sometimes Leiva would push on their knees with his foot.
The girl said that she was forced to clean up the rice. “Was there any blood on the rice?” the prosecutor asked. “Yes,” she responded.
“One time, Kareem dragged [Anthony] on the carpet and he got a rug burn,” she told the grand jury.
The kids were also sometimes forced to stand in a corner for hours after they got home from school.
“Sometimes we would like go in the hallway, the little wall between my room and my mom’s room, we would have to go there on our knees and carry books and with two weights on top tied all together and we would have to hold it for like ten minutes,” the girl said.
If the dropped the books, they had to start over for another hour. The parents also beat the kids with belts, according to the sister, and the prosecutor said there was evidence that they were hit with power cords and vacuum tubes, as well as by Leiva’s fists.
Leiva would also have the kids beat each other. “So the boys would be in trouble so Kareem would have me and [my other brother] beat up Anthony or me and Anthony beat up [my other brother]. Kareem would have us pinch him or sock him.”
The sister talked about how food was used to punish the kids. It was often withheld, and sometimes they were forced to eat things like a raw corn tortilla with peanut butter on it.
“Kareem would time us for two minutes or five to eat the tortilla or sandwich and if we didn’t get it on time because it’s nasty we would get sriracha or Tapatio on it,” she said.
Leiva put an alarm on the boys’ bedroom door because he caught them sneaking out to look for food at times when he was starving them.
They weren’t let out, even to use the bathroom. If they soiled themselves, they had to either sleep in it or on the floor.
“Kareem would hold their legs, make them lay down, and put their face in the pee,” the sister said.
Last, she talked about the days leading up to Anthony’s death. Barron found Anthony “acting weird” and saying he wanted to sleep. Later she noticed that he wasn’t breathing.
The sister said that Barron “told Anthony that they were gonna go to the hospital, Kareem picked him up from his armpits and dropped him on the floor. He did that about 10 times.”
The next morning, Anthony wouldn’t wake up and Barron called 911. He died the next day in the hospital.
When police showed up at their house, the girl said that she lied to them because her mother told her not to talk about Leiva. Barron said that Anthony’s injuries happened because he fell.
The prosecutor said that Leiva was primarily responsible for the injuries, but Barron also beat the children and did nothing to stop Leiva. Hatami also said that she should have taken Anthony to the hospital earlier.
Body camera footage of a deputy talking to Barron after Anthony’s death was also released. When she is told of some of the allegations of torture, she scoffs.
The date of the trial has not been set. Bail is set at $2 million each for Leiva and Barron.
Written by: Alex Bollinger. 07 December, 2018. lgbtqnation.com
The U.S. Department of Justice recently named a new director for the Office of Public Affairs. Kerri Kupec was named to basically be their spokesperson, and she just happened to work for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a LGBTQ hate group.
ADF is a legal group designated as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). It regularly takes on court cases representing clients who discriminate against LGBTQ folks. The ADF supports the criminalization of sodomy, Russia’s “gay propaganda” law and the right to fire or refuse service to LGBTQ people.
The ADF has asked the Supreme Court to hear two cases that just might roll back LGBTQ rights.
Kupec’s appointment wouldn’t be so concerning except for the fact that it continues the Trump Administration’s habit of advancing anti-LGBTQ bigotry in its ranks.
In May 2018, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), another SPLC certified hate group, was appointed onto the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a federal commission “dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.”
In July 2018, the Trump administration held a U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom led by the Secretary of State. During the ministerial meeting, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, announced that African laws criminalizing LGBTQ identity are a form of “religious freedom.”
In January 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, which exists almost entirely to allow medical professionals to oppose abortion and discriminate against LGBTQ people.
These moves are largely bits of red meat that Trump throws to his religious conservative base. Remember, 81% of evangelical voters voted for Trump in 2016.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that a Norfolk firefighter was forced by city officials to leave after they learned he is gay. Scott Phillips-Gartner 55 apparently ran into trouble after marrying his longtime boyfriend.
Phillips-Gartner worked for Fire-Rescue, staring his career as a 911 operator and then eventually becoming an assistant fire marshal and bomb squad technician.
However, after his wedding, the department stripped away his rank and law-enforcement powers and assigning him a low-level desk job.
His attorney, Barry Montgomery, says Phillips-Gartner wound up retiring amid threats of being fired. “This was not the way he wanted to leave,” Montgomery says. “It was humiliating.”
With Montgomery’s help, he’s suing the city of Norfolk for creating a hostile work environment. The suit notes that Battalion Chief Roger Burris mocked Phillips-Gartner throughout 2015, treating him poorly and asking “Where is Ms. Gartner?” in staff meetings.
It also claims Phillips-Gartner was well regarded by superiors and colleagues until he informed the city’s HR department that he’d gotten married.
In 2016, Norfolk implemented a non-discrimination policy protecting city employees from being unfairly treated on the basis of sexual orientation.
City officials from Norfolk have declined to comment to the Virginian-Pilot on the story or the lawsuit.
A Florida man is under arrest and two others remain at large after they allegedly kidnapped, stripped, beat, and robbed a man who had arranged a hookup with one of them on Instagram.
20-year-old Matthew Evans is charged with felony kidnapping and attempted robbery. The alleged attack happened last week near the Sebastian River Landing clubhouse in Sebastian, Florida.
According to the victim, whose identity has not been released, he had agreed to pay Evans $50 for a quickie. They arranged to meet in the club parking lot inside the gated community at 11 PM on the evening of November 18. Evans pulled up in a car and the man got in.
What happened next is truly horrifying…
Before the victim could register what was going on, Evans allegedly put him a choke hold and began shouting antigay slurs at him as a getaway driver of the car sped off down the dark street and out of the gated community.
The TCPalm reports:
They drove about a quarter-mile east and parked at San Sebastian Park, where another man with a handgun was waiting, the warrant said. Evans and the man with the gun demanded the $50 and punched the accuser in the face until he blacked out, breaking his nose and leaving him with a depression in his cheekbone, according to police. His sweatpants, cellphone and the money were gone by the time the man walked home 20 minutes later and called 911, according to a detective.
When police arrived at the victim’s home, he was in bad shape, his face swollen and bleeding.
Police were able to track Evans down through his Instagram profile. He is currently being held without bail.
The alleged gunman and the getaway driver still remain at large.
20 is either a lucky number or adult gay porn star Bryce Evans has a desire to set a record. It appears that Mr. Evans has been arrested again. Over the past 20 years he has been arrested for burglary, grand theft auto, battery, drug possession and DUIs.
Now according to Str8UpGayPorn, Evans has gotten arrested again and has reached a new personal record in number of mug shots. On top of that, Bryce the 44-year-old performer who has worked for gay porn companies like Peter Fever and Pride Studios was recently arrested in Florida for two felony charges of possession of cocaine and fentanyl.
While Evans was initially attached to a third charge of probation violation, it looks like prosecutors won’t follow up on that charge. But in relation to the other two charges, prosecutors had Bryce Evans arrested sometime earlier this year.
Bryce Evans is now in custody at Broward County. Now, Evans is waiting for his upcoming court hearing, which will happen on December 5th.
Evans is the title holder for gay porn star with the most mug shots.
Donald Trump and his dysfunctional administration has asked the Supreme Court directly to make a ruling on a proposed transgender military ban.
The lower district and federal courts have heard arguments to the ban, and have ruled in favor of the challenges. Because of this, the Trump administration is not able to implement the policy to ban transgender people from serving in the military.
There are several challenges in front of the courts, for example, the DC Circuit will hear arguments in December regarding the ban.
But this did not stop Solicitor General Noel Francisco from filing petitions with the Supreme Court. The petitions are asking the Court to make a ruling on the issues to three cases. If the justices take up the issues, their final ruling would decide it and remove all cases before the Federal courts system.
Typically, the Supreme Court will not take and/or hear cases that have not gone through the lower courts, but instead, consider previously issued opinions by lower court judges.
History of the ban
The proposed ban was first announced last year in July. One month later, he issued a memorandum that would end trans service that would have started at the beginning of 2018. However, there was immediate criticism against the policy and several lawsuits were filed challenging it.
To date, the first court to hear a case ruled against the policy and the judge in an opinion said that trans troops must be allowed to join. So, in March 2018 Trump issued a new policy which was a watered-down version.
The issue of the ban still remains tangled in the court system. Some trans people have been able to join the military, and others face obstacle after obstacle.
So, now Trump a petition before the Supreme Court will get the matter out of the labyrinth of the courts.
Trump vs judges
This past week Trump got into a Twitter dispute with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts. Ranting about the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and referred to one judge as an ‘Obama judge’. Roberts, therefore, issued a shark rebuke to Trump’s comments.
‘We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,’ he said.
‘What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.’
Trump responded to Roberts’ on Twitter
Five men have settled with the city of San Jose who were discriminated against when police arrested them in targeted undercover sting operations.
The City Council approved a $125,000 payment to each of the men to avoid a federal lawsuit filed in November 2017. Between 2014 and 2015 undercover police arrested six men on misdemeanor lewd-conduct charges at Columbus Park.
However, a judge dismissed the charges against all the men after determining the police had violated their equal protection rights by selectively discriminating the men involved. Five of the men filed a federal lawsuit last year.
Bruce Nickerson, who is an LGBT rights attorney who said he as “extraordinarily pleased” with the settlement and praised the City Attorney’s Office and the police department for their quick response to the lawsuit.
“I want to give them full credit for their response,” Nickerson said. “They were good faith personified.”
As part of the settlement, the city must abide by several conditions.
The Mercury News reports:
Under the settlement, the city must also meet a Nov. 12 deadline to provide Nickerson with a five-year list of “individuals other than the Plaintiffs, who were arrested by the San Jose Police Department, pursuant to ‘sting” (undercover) operations” that lead to similar charges as the plaintiffs. The city is also required to cooperate with Nickerson’s request with the Santa Clara County Superior Court “to discover information about factually similar arrests by the SJPD during the last five years.”
“They’re going to continue to search the database for past cases and clients who would have been class members,” he said. “We may be able to resurrect those cases.”
Former student Ricky Windmann said he was sexually abused by Peter Modica, a janitor at the Catholic boys school, the New Orleans Advocate reports.
Windmann claims the abuse began in the 1970s when Modica led him into the maintenance office and forcibly performed oral sex on him.
The New Orleans Advocate reports:
The janitor would go on to sexually abuse the adolescent several more times in the ensuing years… Similar incidents would unfold every few weeks or so for a couple of years. Monica’s assaults eventually escalated into anal rape - including on time when a school fair was unfolding within earshot.
Windmann tried to resist, however, Modica would say it was ok and urged him not to tell anyone. “If you say anything, who’s your mom going to believe, me or you?” Windmann recalls Modica saying.
According to the New Orleans Advocate:
Windmann said he’s never forgotten the despair her felt the two times other adults at Jesuit witnessed the abuse but didn’t get him help. The first time it happened, Modica was abusing Windmann in the on-campus Chapel of the North American Martyrs. A layperson came in, someone Windmann didn’t know. That Person simply said, “Goddamn it, Pete,” before leaving.
But that is nothing compared to what happened when witnessed a second time. While Modica was raping Windmann, Rev. Cornelius “Neil” Carr walked into the room.
The New Orleans Advocate reports:
A priest, Windmann thought, would surely put Modica in his place. Instead, the priest walked over, put one hand on the middle of Windmann’s back and said, “Relax.” Then Carr began masturbating as Modica continued to rape him, Windmann said.
Jesuit quietly paid Windmann a $450,000 settlement six years ago, just around the time, the school settled two other abuse claims involving two other former employees, details of those settlements remain sealed. Windmann decided to speak out after the school failed to disclose his settlement or publicly acknowledge the sexual abuse he suffered. “We know that there’s systematic and institutionalized abuse of children …and (ending) this should be the top priority,” he says. “I was born a Catholic. This is my church. We, the parishioners, the abuse victims, need to take our church back because that’s what Jesus–what God–would want us to do.”
India's Supreme Court in a historic ruling handed down a decision that makes homosexuality no longer a criminal offence.
In a unanimous Supreme Court decision, that court ended the countries sodomy ban. "Any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates fundamental rights," wrote Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
One of the Justices, Indu Malhotra, said that "history owes an apology to LGBTQ people."
It was cause for celebration across the country for the LGBTQ community.
People on Instagram began to post images as people welcomed the news by sharing their favorite photos from Pride Celebrations:
A new article published by the Advocate has reported that fashion photographer Rick Day has been accused of sexually assaulting to models. The exclusive interviews models Barrett Pall and Kai Braden have both claimed they were sexually assaulted by Day, whose work can be found in GQ, Elle and Vogue Italia. At the time of the assault, both men were teenagers.
Pall reported that Day reached out to him in 2007 through the online platform Model Mayhem and stated that Day was interested in shooting him for a coffee-table book. In the message, which The Advocate obtained a screenshot of, Day assured Pall he was “not looking for a hookup … but I find you very cute and would love to shoot a hot sexy shot of you.”
The Advocate reports:
Day got on his knees, pulled out Pall’s semi-erect penis from his underwear and began masturbating him. Pall says he was stunned and frozen but felt pressure to pretend he “was OK with it” in order to get through and obtain the photos. Pall tells The Advocate he was a virgin and this act was the first time he’d done anything sexual with a man — an experience he says was “robbed” from him. Day allegedly told Day to ejaculate on his face, and when he was finished, he offered Pall a shower to clean off. The shoot, which Pall says seemed to go on forever, was finally over.
Branden account is very similar and claims his assault occurred in 2006 when he was 18. Like Pall, he arrived at the shoot to learn it was just the two of them. There were no other assistants, make-up artists, or anyone else around. In the middle of a shoot, Pall alleges Day pinned him to a wall with his “hand around my neck” and his “mouth to ear” and whispered, “it was OK, that I should just relax.”
The Advocate reports:
“I remember he asked if I had ever had sex with a guy before, and I told him I had never had sex period,” the model says. Day, whose fingers were on Braden’s anus, “seemed to ease off when I told him that.” Braden claims he was pinned to the wall for at least two minutes until he eventually pushed the photographer off. “He seemed to have gotten the picture, and we wrapped up the shoot,” Braden says. “I tried to get out of there as quick as I can and keep my cool.”
Afterwards Braden told his agents what had happened. He says they replied by saying, “Yeah, we know,… Rick is like that with guy [models], but he takes great pictures.”
“A photographer should have never felt comfortable enough to come up to me in the first place and repeatedly put his hands on my body without my permission, let alone sexually violate me,” Braden says.
Day declined multiple times to comment on the story.
h/t: The Advocate