Posted in Celebrity, News, Rape, Sex

Cee Lo Green, Rape, and A Voice

As a fan of  “The Voice”, I was a little surprised to learn one of the show’s coaches and musical super-stars Cee Lo Green has been accused of sexual battery.

He looks so lovable and sweet, no?

I started looking into the story, and as details began to emerge, didn’t find it quite so far-fetched anymore. I am saddened, and I hope his alleged victim (if she is telling the truth) remains strong as she prepares to do battle against a powerful celebrity, the court system, and society as a whole.

Regarding crimes such as sexual assault, the motivation, contrary to what many think, is rarely sexual. Rape is generally an exercise in control. The predator wants to control its prey.

Simple.

This is why it isn’t unusual to find celebrities and other popular people, otherwise having no trouble finding willing sexual partners, committing violent crimes against women. Equally common, however, are instances in which celebrities fall victim to vicious schemes- untrue allegations designed to force them to pay obscene amounts of money to keep criminal opportunists silent.

Which of these scenarios is true in this case, though?

According to the complaint, Cee Lo took a woman to a restaurant in LA several months ago. He bought her a drink, and she remembers nothing after that point. Later, she woke up in a bed somewhere, naked. She does not live in the state of California, and when she returned to her home state, she says she immediately reported the assault to local authorities. At some point, seemingly weeks later, local law enforcement referred the case to LAPD for investigation.

Los Angeles police officers went to the restaurant in question, and spoke with employees and patrons. They also had the complaining witness make a phone call to Cee Lo in an attempt to get him to admit to having drugged the woman in taped conversation. Sources close to the woman claim that Cee Lo admitted giving the woman ecstasy (referred to in the phone conversation as MDMA), and apologizes for doing so. What he apparently does not admit to is giving her the drug without her knowledge, and does not admit to “slipping” it into her drink, as she alleges.

Cee Lo’s camp says the accusations are bogus, and that he is not a violent person. They claim the woman first tried to get him to pay her money to remain quiet, and when that didn’t work, she went to police and lied. This might explain the delay between the incident itself and the woman’s filing of her complaint. Another valid point made by Cee Lo’s supporters is that if he really is on a recording admitting to drugging his accuser, he would have been in custody by now.

Also, a quick google search of ecstasy and its side effects explains that the drug is a stimulant. Not only is it unlikely to render users unconscious, it generally has the opposite effect of keeping someone up for hours and- on occasion- days.

Not knowing anything about his alleged victim, and only knowing what I see on TV of Cee Lo Green’s personality, I am left to my own research to try and form an idea of what really happened.

The truth is, I don’t know. None of us do.

What I do know, however, is that the persona of a celebrity- what they show us when they’re walking the red carpet, giving interviews and performing for the public- is rarely an accurate portrayal of the real human being within. Cee Lo, it appears, is no exception.

Happy-go-lucky on stage, flamboyant, care-free and fun as he appears, he has a dark past. At best, he struggled in his younger years with a temper. At worst, he has a real problem with women.

While married to his (now ex) wife in 2001, Green was arrested and charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct. He’d had a dispute with his wife that turned violent, culminating in his threatening her with a wooden statue, and busting the windows of their car. Cee Lo neglected to show up to court after posting bail, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Arrested again, he spent a couple days in jail, ultimately pleading ‘No Contest’ to the disorderly conduct charge. He was placed on probation, took a domestic violence class, and seems to have stayed out of trouble since that time.

Interesting, perhaps, is that his wife later filed for divorce (in 2004), citing “mental and physical cruelty” as the reason for the split.

Cee Lo has never made it a secret that he was not on a good, solid path in the past. In one interview he says he was a “kleptomaniac, pyromaniac, just plain maniac. I was enraged without an outlet. I was aggressive, and I was pretty efficient with it. I took pride in that ability.” He goes on to say that music, and his association with it, “tamed a savage beast.”

Did it, though?

Posted in C-Haze

AP: Majority of Americans Anti-Black

A new poll by the AP suggests the majority of Americans have anti-black sentiments– as much as 56%. As a bi-racial woman this data doesn’t surprise me at all. I’ve seen it firsthand, and never felt we lived in a post-racial society either before or after the election of President Barack Obama. 

My fear is that people still won’t listen, or that prejudice is so deeply ingrained in some people that there lacks enough of a desire to make a real difference.

For the sake of my black daughters, and for their futures, I hope we can avail ourselves to open, honest dialogue. It’s the only way we can hope to make a change.

Posted in Elections, News, Politics, President, Sandy

Will Sandy Impact Voter Turnout and Election Results?

From Politico Now:

By ANNA PALMER |

10/28/12 9:39 AM EDT

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner predicted on Sunday that Hurricane Sandy will “throw a little bit of havoc” in the approaching elections.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has declared a state of emergency, and the Obama campaign has already canceled a Monday rally with former President Bill Clinton.

Still, the Democratic senator President Barack Obama is in a good position in the swing state.

“He looks quite good,” Warner said, noting that a Washington Post poll has Obama over the 50 percent mark. The poll has Obama up four points, 51 to 47 percent, among likely Virginia voters, over Republican rival Mitt Romney.

Posted in Crime, Missing, News

Etan Patz: Investigators have a tough road to conviction

PHOTO: Pedro Hernandez sits during his hospital arraignment, May 25, 2012.As I continue following the case of Etan Patz, I am struck by a few different thoughts.

First, it is amazing to me- assuming this child was disposed of in the manner suspect Pedro Hernandez claims he was- just how easily a life can be seemingly erased.

Just gone.

Hernandez says after luring the child into the basement of the bodega (where he was employed), he simply placed the body in a bag, and left it in the narrow walkway/alley where the trash collectors would have taken it as part of their regular pick up.

In just a short period of time, the child has simply vanished. Now, 33 years later, it is unlikely he will ever be found.

Next, I am struck by the how difficult this case is going to be for the prosecution. What was the motive for committing this crime? Hernandez doesn’t seem to be a pedophile. When asked why he did it, Hernandez had no answer. He says he doesn’t know. He later said that maybe he did it because little Etan reminded him of a nephew he wasn’t fond of.

Others have speculated that Hernandez was mentally ill, as if that explains the lack of motive. If Hernandez was simply crazy, how did he manage to dispose of the boy’s body in such a thorough manner? How did he manage to live a sane life, with a wife and a child, committing no other crimes, victimizing no other children for 33 years?

Then again, perhaps there are other victims, and Hernandez managed to kidnap and dispose of them as effectively as he kidnapped and disposed of Etan.

Personally, I doubt he could have done that over the course of so many years without raising suspicion somewhere along the way.

In a case that has had its share of both suspects and false confessions, a case that is 33 years old, where there is no body, DNA or physical evidence, the lack of motive seems significant.

I wonder how police can be sure they have the right man. Even if they do, I’m not sure they’ll be able to convince a jury to convict him.

Posted in Crime, News

Man claims he killed Etan Patz

EtanIs this the break authorities have been waiting for?

A man in police custody has implicated himself in the murder of New York City youth, Etan Patz.

Patz disappeared in 1979 while on his way to his school bus stop.

He was six years old, and while long considered dead, authorities have yet to locate the boy’s body, or charge anyone with his murder. There have been multiple suspects over the years.

Etan was the first missing child to have his picture featured on milk cartons, and the case has held public attention for decades.

Suspect Pedro Hernandez lived in the same neighborhood as Patz when he went missing. Hernandez confessed to killing a “child” to both a family member and spiritual advisor in recent years, though he did not name the victim. He has since told police the child was Etan, and that after killing him, he placed the boy’s body in a box. When he later returned, the box was gone.

I feel immense sympathy for the parents of this lost child. Every few years another lead or suspect turns up, and they find themselves back in the spotlight. After getting their hopes for closure dashed so many times, I wonder how they manage to hold it together. They are strong people, that is for sure.

My thoughts join with the thoughts of millions, hoping for some resolution at long last.

Posted in Crime, News

Arrest made in Sierra LaMar abduction

Sierra LamarAll signs point to a tragic conclusion in the case of the mysterious disappearance of teen Sierra LaMar.

Authorities believe LaMar disappeared on her way to the school bus stop on the morning of March 16th. She had been active on her Twitter account while getting ready for school, until all activity suddenly stopped. School officials confirmed she was not present in class that day, and canines later lost her scent at the end of her driveway.

Sierra’s cell phone and handbag, with items of her clothing carefully tucked inside, were later found abandoned.

Police recently announced that they were looking for a red Volkswagen, a vehicle seen in the vicinity at the time    of LaMar’s disappearance. The car was later located and seized.

Authorities have since announced that DNA found on the clothing from inside the discarded handbag are a match to 21 year old Antolin Garcia-Torres.

Garcia-Torres’ DNA was in the database due an earlier assault arrest. While that incident was non-sexual, it was a felony, which allowed police to obtain his DNA.

Investigators have said the man has been under 24-hour surveillance since March, with the hope he’d lead police to the girl’s body. After two months, nothing new had surfaced, and the decision was made to arrest him, for the public’s safety.

The suspect since been linked, by physical evidence, to another assault- this one dating back to March 2009.Antolin Garcia-Torres

Currently it is thought LaMar’s abduction was random, and police believe she is dead.

In the meantime, Garcia-Torres’ family says police have the wrong man, and that he did not commit this crime.

This writer would like to point out that while DNA doesn’t lie, people definitely do.

It’s difficult to face the fact that a loved one is actually a monster, capable of inhuman acts against those least able to defend themselves.

Hopefully this man will show some mercy on Sierra LaMar’s family, and finally tell them where they can find her body. She deserves to come home, and they deserve to know she is, at the very least, resting in peace.

Posted in C-Haze, Hate Crimes, News

Dharun Ravi Sentenced in Rutgers Case

Dharun Ravi learned his fate today. He has been sentenced to 30 days’ in jail, and 3 years probation. Ravi has to pay $10,000 that will be donated to an organization that assists victims of hate crimes, and perform 300 hours of community service.

The judge has opted not to recommend the man’s deportation to India, where he is a citizen.

Ravi had been looking at a potential 10 year sentence, but it seems the judge agreed with popular sentiment, and chose a much lighter punishment.

Dharun Ravi was an insensitive jerk when he spied on his roommate, but he is no hardened criminal.

I hope Tyler Clementi’s parents are able to find a measure of peace in the future, knowing they will forever miss their son. I am equally hopeful Mr. Ravi can move forward in earnest, and make a positive mark on the world.

Posted in Abortion, News, Politics

Movie comparing abortion to Holocaust “accidentally” shown to students

High school students were in for quite a surprise when they were shown a graphic documentary that compared a legal abortion to the Holocaust.

Supposedly it was an accident.

I can only imagine the scandal, had a video “accidentally” been shown advocating a woman’s right to choose, depicting the pro-life movement as Nazis making Heil Hitler gestures instead.