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November 21, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details. A European professor was taken into custody Thursday in an 18-year-old cold case in which she is accused of helping set up the murder of a man she claimed raped her while she was a college sophomore. Patricia Esparza, 39, was handcuffed and taken into custody immediately following a brief hearing in Orange County Superior Court. Prosecutor Scott Simmons said he offered Esparza a plea deal that would require her to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and be sentenced to three years in prison.
November 21, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel
In the spring of 1995, a man's body was found dumped alongside a road in Irvine. He had been beaten and hacked with a meat cleaver. His killing went unsolved for years. Now prosecutors say that Norma Patricia Esparza, who at the time was a  sophomore at Pomona College, went to a Santa Ana bar with a group and pointed out a man she said had raped her in her college dormitory -- setting in motion events that left him dead. Esparza, now a respected professor of  psychology  in Geneva,  says she was forced by an aggressive ex-boyfriend to identify her rapist and then conceal his crime for nearly two decades.
November 21, 2013 | Paloma Esquivel
One day late last year Norma Patricia Esparza, a respected professor of psychology in Geneva, got on a plane bound for an academic meeting in St. Louis. When the plane landed in Boston for a layover, police met her at the airport and arrested her -- for an 18-year-old slaying in Santa Ana. Esparza, 39, and three others are now facing trial in a homicide that has generated international attention. Prosecutors say that on a night in the spring of 1995, when she was a sophomore at Pomona College, Esparza went to a Santa Ana bar with a group and pointed out a man she said had raped her in her college dormitory.
November 18, 2013 | By David Colker
Katherine Hagedorn was not your stereotypical priestess in the Cuba-based Santeria religion, known for its complex, ecstatic drumming that adherents believe can call forth deities. She grew up in New Jersey, was white, had a doctorate in music and was a longtime popular professor at Pomona College. But as a graduate student on a cold, rainy day at Brown University in 1988, she spotted a poster for an upcoming performance by an Afro-Cuban ensemble of drummers and dancers. The performance changed her life.
November 8, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - Political science professor Sergei Medvedev, a longtime lover and explorer of the Arctic, drew the ire of Russian President Vladimir Putin when he recently called for international protection of the icy northern region in the face of economic development plans. Last month, Putin called Medvedev, who teaches at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, "a moron. " The incident prompted a nationwide discussion of the Arctic and coincided with the arrest of 30 Greenpeace activists protesting a Russian oil drilling project in the region.
October 31, 2013 | By James Barragan
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this week set aside the 37 1/2-year prison sentence of a former Cal State East Bay professor who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a woman's infant daughter multiple times. In setting aside the prison term for Kenneth Kyle, along with his guilty plea, the appellate court on Wednesday ruled that the  sentencing judge had interfered with plea negotiations by promising a life term if the case went to trial and he was convicted. In stating that he would give Kyle a life sentence, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco became involved in the plea negotiations, which violated federal regulations, the federal appeals court ruled.
October 25, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
Add one more job to the already busy schedule of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa -- this one at USC. Villaraigosa has been appointed a part-time professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy and will focus on such issues as state government, planning and transportation, USC officials announced Friday. In his new role, Villaraigosa is expected to lecture to undergraduate and graduate students and lead a new think tank called “the USC Villaraigosa Initiative for Restoring the California Dream,” which will sponsor forums and reports on major policy issues, according to the school.
October 24, 2013 | By Doug Smith, Rosanna Xia and Michael Finnegan
Ending days of mixed messages, the city of Los Angeles sent a request Thursday formally asking a UC Berkeley engineering professor for a list of concrete buildings that could be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake. The professor, Jack Moehle, responded quickly , saying that the university was "investigating the legal and ethical constraints" of releasing preliminary research data. He did not agree to release the list. Researchers led by Moehle have compiled a database of about 1,500 concrete structures in Los Angeles built before 1980 that may be at risk of collapse in an earthquake.
October 22, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Besides its all-inclusive historical sweep - from the first African to set foot in the New World to the first African American to occupy the White House - what distinguishes Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s new series, "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross," from many previous documentaries on the black experience is … Henry Louis Gates Jr. Gates, a Harvard professor and academic typhoon the world knows as "Skip," is one of the more familiar faces...
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