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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Jean Merl
SACRAMENTO - Although state Sen. Roderick D. Wright won't be sentenced on his felony convictions until March, judgment day from the Democrat's peers in the Legislature may be imminent. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said Wednesday that he would consult with his caucus and "make a full set of recommendations within the next couple of days. " Wright, who was accused of lying about where he lived when he ran for his seat and voted in several elections, was convicted by a Los Angeles County jury Tuesday on eight counts of perjury and voter fraud.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- State Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) should be removed from office if his felony convictions are upheld on appeal, according to Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside), chairman of the Senate's ethics committee. A jury on Tuesday found Wright guilty on eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud after prosecutors said he lied when he said he lived in the Senate district in which he ran for office. “I certainly think that if the appellate process has been exausted and the verdict is upheld on appeal that his service in the Senate would undoubtedly need to terminate,” Roth said Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
A 30-year-old former ice skating coach has been convicted of sexually abusing two of his underage students, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Wednesday. Donald James Vincent was convicted of felonies including forcible lewd acts upon a child and oral copulation/sexual penetration with a child under 10, district attorney's officials said in a statement. Vincent was a coach at Paramount Iceland, and abused the students at his homes in Downey and Hacienda Heights between 2007 and 2011, according to prosecutors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 | By Rick Rojas
A former San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy was convicted Wednesday of molesting a teenage girl participating in the department's youth Explorer program, prosecutors said. A jury found Nathan James Gastineau, 33, guilty of 16 felony counts related to having sexual intercourse, as well as performing lewd acts with a minor, in addition to a single count of possessing child pornography, according to prosecutors and court records. The jury reached its verdict after about three hours of deliberation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2014 | By Jean Merl, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
A Los Angeles jury on Tuesday convicted state Sen. Roderick D. Wright on all eight counts in his perjury and voter fraud trial. The Inglewood Democrat was indicted by a Los Angeles County grand jury in September 2010. He had pleaded not guilty and said he thought he had been following the law in 2007 when he took steps to run for the seat he has held since late 2008. In a trial that began Jan. 8, prosecutors accused Wright of faking a move to a rental property he owned in Inglewood so he could run in what was then the 25th Senate District.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2014 | By Rick Rojas
Two leaders in an Ontario street gang were convicted Monday for their part in running what authorities described as a criminal operation responsible for violent crimes and the distribution of narcotics such as meth and heroin in the city, prosecutors said. Armando "Mando" Barajas, 50, and Juan "Nito" Gil, 43, were found guilty by a jury on federal racketeering charges connected with the operation of the Black Angels gang in the San Bernardino County city, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office.  These were the latest in a string of nearly 60 convictions of people linked to the gang, including the gang's enforcers and drug dealers - all stemming from an indictment charging violations of the RICO, or Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations, Act, prosecutors said.
NATIONAL
January 23, 2014 | By John M. Glionna
A jury in Phoenix on Thursday convicted a man charged in the 1991 killings of nine people, including six Buddhist monks, bringing an end to a bizarre decades-long case that involved multiple trials and evidence of overzealous police interview tactics. Johnathan A. Doody sat impassively in Maricopa County Superior Court as a clerk read guilty verdicts in a robbery gone bad nearly a quarter-century ago: nine counts of first-degree murder, nine counts of armed robbery and single counts of burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
WORLD
January 21, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
The highest court in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday convicted 30 Islamists of establishing an "international branch" of the banned Muslim Brotherhood in the wealthy Persian Gulf federation, a case slammed by rights advocates as politically motivated and marred by a catalog of legal abuses. Ten Emiratis and 20 Egyptians were given sentences ranging from three months to five years. There is no right to appeal. Charges included allegations that the men stole classified documents, operated a secret organization and collected aid and donations without government permission, according to the charge list and sentencing details published by Gulf News.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2014 | By Inkoo Kang
To what extent can a film endorse an act it refuses to show? That's the question prompted by Arvin Chen's gay dramedy "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?," which advocates closeted homosexuals to come out but is so eye-loweringly demure about same-sex desire it may as well have been made under the Hays Code. Two men kiss just once in "Tomorrow. " In a fantasy sequence, married optometrist Weichung (Richie Ren) locks lips with flight attendant Thomas (Wong Ka-Lok). It's a wonderfully wistful scene - a stolen moment of impulsive affection witnessed only by dozens of empty eyeglasses - but it's marred by the fact that their smooch is about as passionate as a little girl kissing her teddy bear good night.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Rick Rojas
They were teenage girls desperate for something better: They came from group homes or families that were broken. Some already had children of their own and were struggling to provide for them. There were also girls who came from environments that seemed more stable, but still, they were drawn into prostitution by the promise of money and independence. "They knew what to say and do to entice them," prosecutor Ami Sheth said of the sex-trafficking ring that lured girls from the Inland Empire to Los Angeles County, where they had sex for money at motels in Compton and Lynwood and faced verbal and physical abuse if they didn't make enough.
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