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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2014 | By Richard Winton
A Santa Monica jury has awarded a female news producer $5.42 million after finding a West Hollywood nightclub was negligent when an employee allegedly sexually assaulted her in one of its restrooms. The 43-year-old woman sued the Here Lounge and club worker Victor Cruz, alleging she was assaulted and raped by him on March 23, 2009. After a 15-day trial in Santa Monica Superior Court, jurors found Cruz committed a sexual offense that harmed the woman and that Here Lounge's negligence was a substantial factor in causing that harm.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2014 | By Richard Winton
A Santa Monica jury has awarded a female news producer $5.42 million after finding that a West Hollywood nightclub was negligent in the sexual assault on her in a club restroom. The 43-year-old woman sued the Here Lounge and club worker Victor Cruz, saying that she was assaulted and raped by him March 23, 2009. The Times is not identifying her because she is a victim of a sex crime. After a 15-day trial in Santa Monica Superior Court, jurors found that Cruz committed a sexual offense that harmed the woman and that Here Lounge's negligence was a substantial factor in causing that harm.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Jean Merl
State Sen. Roderick D. Wright's sentencing on felony convictions has been postponed two months, until May 16, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday. Deputy Dist. Atty. Bjorn Dodd said Wright's defense attorney has asked for transcripts of all the trial testimony and those won't be ready until the middle of next month. Wright attorney Winston Kevin McKesson said Friday he needs the transcripts to prepare post-trial motions he will submit for Judge Kathleen Kennedy to consider.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
Jury selection begins Tuesday in a discrimination case in which three Latino police officers contend they were routinely passed over for promotions and two of them were given the "dead end" job of patrolling a local mall. The three Westminster officers maintain that despite years of service and numerous awards their careers have languished as non-Latino officers have been promoted and given prestigious assignments in the predominantly Asian city. "These three Latino officers dedicate their lives, put their lives on the line and have been outstanding officers and they've been denied opportunities, at every turn, to move up the ranks," said Victor Viramontes, an attorney representing the officers.
NATIONAL
February 15, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Deliberations resumed in Florida on Saturday morning in the murder trial of Michael Dunn amid speculation that the jury was having difficulty reaching a decision on the fate of the white software engineer accused of killing an unarmed black teenager during a dispute over loud music. Shortly after 9 a.m., Judge Russell L. Healey told a Jacksonville courtroom that the jurors had returned to the Duval County Courthouse and were resuming their work.  “We'll be in recess until we hear something more from the jury,” Healey said in remarks televised from the courtroom.
NATIONAL
February 15, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
The jury in the murder trial of Michael Dunn, accused of shooting an unarmed teenager to death during a dispute over loud music, has reached verdicts on four charges but said on Saturday it could not agree on the top count of first-degree murder. The jury, which is in the fourth day of weighing Dunn's fate, announced its status in a note to  Judge Russell L. Healey late Saturday afternoon. The judge read the jury the so-called dynamite charge, urging them to return to their deliberations and try to resolve their differences.
NEWS
February 14, 2014 | By Corina Knoll
A 40-year-old Los Angeles police officer was found guilty of perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice Thursday at his retrial. Manuel Ortiz was first put on trial in 2012 along with two former Los Angeles police officers accused of writing false reports and lying on the stand during a drug possession case. Evan Samuel and Richard Amio were convicted and sentenced to community labor and probation, but the jury was hung 11 to 1 in favor of guilt when it came to Ortiz. This time, a panel of six women and six men deliberated for about two hours before deciding Ortiz's fate.
NATIONAL
February 14, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
The Florida jury weighing the fate of Michael Dunn, accused of shooting an unarmed teenager to death during a dispute over loud music, told officials Friday that it had hit a wall in its deliberations and then broken for the night. Deliberations were to resume Saturday morning. Jurors have deliberated for more than 181/2 hours since receiving the case Wednesday afternoon. On Friday, the jury asked the judge whether it could hand in a verdict on some charges even if it could not reach a unanimous agreement on one charge.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Corina Knoll
A 40-year-old Los Angeles police officer charged with lying under oath during his testimony in a drug possession case five years ago was convicted Thursday at his retrial. Manuel Ortiz was first put on trial in 2012 along with two former Los Angeles police officers accused of writing false reports and perjury. Prosecutors said that a grainy black-and-white surveillance video - that ended up leading to the drug case's dismissal - contradicted what they said on the stand. Evan Samuel and Richard Amio were convicted and sentenced to community labor and probation, but the jury was hung 11 to 1 in favor of guilt when it came to Ortiz.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Lee Romney
A 22-year-old man is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on an indictment in connection with missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar. The Superior Court grand jury's murder indictment against Antolin Garcia-Torres was handed down Tuesday. It came nearly two years after Sierra, a vibrant cheerleader, disappeared near her home while on her way to school. She was 15 at the time. Sierra is presumed dead, although her body has not been found. The day after her March 16, 2012, disappearance, deputies found her cellphone lying near a road less than a mile from her home.
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