TIME justice

Rick Perry Booked in Politically Charged Abuse of Power Case

Rick Perry Mugshot
Texas Gov. Rick Perry gets booked on abuse of power charges at the Travis County Sheriff's Department in Austin, on Aug. 19, 2014. Travis County Sheriff's Department

The Texas governor faces two felony charges

Texas Gov. Rick Perry turned himself in at the Travis County Courthouse Tuesday on two felony charges of abuse of power.

Perry, who has vowed to contest the charges stemming from a threat and ultimate veto of funding to the state’s public integrity unit, surrendered himself to Sheriff’s deputies to be fingerprinted and have his mug shot taken. Perry is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.

Outside the courthouse, Perry allies protested the indictment handed down by a grand jury Friday evening. “I am here today because I believe in the rule of law,” Perry told a crowd of cheering supporters before entering the courthouse. “And I am here today because I did the right thing.”

Perry was indicted for threatening and then ultimately vetoing funding for the unit after its head, District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated. Perry demanded that Lehmberg resign and, when she refused, vetoed the funding.

“I am going to enter this courthouse with my head held high knowing the actions I took were not only lawful and legal, but also right,” he added.

The governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate has hired a high-priced legal team and deployed his political machine in his defense, which has become a rallying point for Republicans across the country. Democrats, including former Obama strategist David Axelrod, have also expressed doubts about the merits of the prosecution.

Perry cast the criminal complaint as “an attack on our system of government,” arguing it was well within his rights to veto the funding. “If I had to do so, I would veto funding for the public integrity unit again,” he said.

“I’m going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being,” Perry said before turning to enter the courthouse. “And we will prevail.”

Perry’s political action committee, RickPAC, released a new video defending the veto Tuesday.

After he left the courthouse, Perry tweeted that he went to purchase an ice cream cone.

TIME Religion

Christianity Today Should Not Have Published a Rapist’s Story

The former youth pastor doesn't sound as repentant as he claims to be

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This article originally appeared on Patheos.

Remember when the Good Man Project posted an article by an unrepentant rapist, supposedly as an example of things to avoid? Well, Christianity Today recently posted an article by a youth pastor who had sex with one of his students and is supposedly repentant—but doesn’t really sound that way. In fact, it squicks me out exactly the same way the Good Men Project’s posting of a rapist’s story does. Maybe worse actually, because this guy is supposedly repentant. Except not.

In the article, the unnamed jailed former youth pastor, whom we will call Tim for the sake of ease, describes his offense as an “extramarital affair” and assigns as much guilt to his victim as he accepts himself. She sinned, you see.

Tim begins his article by talking about how he grew dissatisfied with his wife. Parenting small children, he says, took a tole on their relationship. Tim says he was very successful as a youth pastor, but didn’t feel appreciated by his wife. So he looked elsewhere.

Meanwhile, there was someone else in my life that appreciated me very much. Seeking approval and appreciation, I gravitated toward that person. She and I were always happy to see each other and looked forward to each other’s company. Before long, we were texting each other and interacting through social media. Nothing scandalous or questionable—a Facebook “like” or comment here, a friendly text there. Things friends do.

But I knew what appeared innocent was, in reality, wrong and very dangerous. Red flags kept popping up. Why was I not talking about this “friendship” with my wife? Why was I being secretive and sneaky about it? Why didn’t I, in the earliest stages, when I knew the “friendship” was rapidly escalating beyond what it should be, slam on the brakes?

What Tim doesn’t mention at this point in the article is that this “friend” was underage. She was, you see, one of the teenagers in the youth group he pastored.

In the early stages of this extra-marital relationship, I thought that I was seeking approval from someone other than my wife because I was not receiving it from my wife. But me seeking approval and appreciation elsewhere had dramatically impacted how I related to my wife. The unaddressed sin—my selfishness—caused my wife to respond to me differently. I see now that I failed to nurture our marriage properly, but at the time I silently blamed her for driving me away.

The “friendship” continued to develop. Talking and texting turned flirtatious. Flirting led to a physical relationship. It was all very slow and gradual, but it was constantly escalating. We were both riddled with guilt and tried to end things, but the allure of sin was strong. We had given the devil far more than a foothold and had quenched the Holy Spirit’s prodding so many times, there was little-to-no willpower left.

An “extra-marital relationship,” he calls it. An extra-marital relationship between a youth pastor with a wife and children and a girl of 16 or so. Right. Note too that he speaks of the allure of sin affecting both of them, placing even responsibility on his victim. Neither of them, he says, had the willpower to end it.

You may have guessed by now that the “friend” in my relationship was a student. She was one of the core students, involved from the very beginning. Our families were very close, which meant a lot of time together over the years. She adored me and I loved the adoration.

And here he finally gets around to telling us, for the first time, that “friend” he had a “relationship” with was one of his students. It’s about time, don’t you think?

When my wife discovered incriminating text messages on my phone, I knew instantly that everything was about to come crashing down. After hours of screaming and crying, she packed some bags, loaded our 2 kids into the minivan and left the house at 3 AM. I have not seen my kids since. It has been over a year. The only time I have seen my wife has been in court. We have not communicated in one year. I lost my job, and was required to drop out of seminary. I pleaded guilty to 2 felonies, am serving time in prison and will be a registered sex offender for the rest of my life.

You know what’s interesting? Tim doesn’t even bother discussing how this “extra-marital affair” affected his young victim. He talks about how his life came crashing down, but he doesn’t spare another word for his “friend.” Literally—not a single word. He left his victim with a shattered life and only seems to care about the fact that he lost his ministry. Oh noes.

While Tim wrote the article anonymously, there is a note at the bottom:

The writer serves as a GED tutor and helps lead the Christian community at the facility where he is serving his sentence. He is due to be released in the fall of 2015.

Maybe it’s just me, but given how this article is written, I’m thinking this guy really isn’t ready to step back into leadership.

Fortunately, readers took Christianity Today to task in the comments, arguing that they should not have posted an article of this sort by someone who so clearly had yet to take full responsibility for his actions. One of the editors later added this note to the end of the article:

In response to readers’ concerns, the author of this piece has offered the following clarification: “I recognize that what I initially considered a consensual relationship was actually preying on a minor. Youth pastors who do the same are not “in relationship” but are indeed sexual predators. I take 100 percent of the responsibility for what happened.”

I’m not buying it. The article was not written like it was by someone who took “100 percent of the responsibility,” and the author very clearly described himself as being “in a relationship” rather than as a sexual predator.

And Christianity Today posted this piece. Christianity Today is fairly mainstream for evangelicalism, so much so that I grew up thinking it was liberal. The editors of Christianity Today ought to know better. If evangelicals are going to step up and get serious about sexual abuse in their communities, they have got to stop publishing things like this.

Blogger Esther Elizabeth is calling for Christianity Today to take the post down:

Can you imagine the OUTRAGE if a Catholic Priest was allowed to publish an article describing his “relationship” with an “adoring” altar server? And that outrage would be absolutely JUSTIFIED.

Why?

Because a predator loses the right to tell his side of the story right about the time he decides to PREY on a CHILD.

Because the ONLY story that should garner attention is the VICTIM’S story.

Libby Anne is a blogger for Patheos.

Read more from Patheos:

TIME North Korea

North Korea Says Life in U.S. Is ‘Living Hell’

Undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on April 26, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting a shelling drill of an artillery sub-unit under Korean People's Army Unit 681 at undisclosed place in North Korea.
Undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on April 26, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting a shelling drill of an artillery sub-unit under Korean People's Army Unit 681 at undisclosed place in North Korea. KNS/AFP/Getty Images

Investigators in North Korea have released a report detailing the lives of "wretched" American citizens and calling the U.S. the "worst human rights abuser" just two months after a U.N. council slammed the Hermit Kingdom for "crimes against humanity"

Two months after the U.N. Human Rights Council excoriated North Korea for “crimes against humanity”, the reclusive kingdom has released its own analysis of the “serious human rights situation in the U.S.”

According to the report, the U.S. is the world’s “worst human rights abuser,” with its citizens trapped in a “living hell.” The report paints a dystopian nightmare of soaring crime rates, enabled by lax gun control laws and rising unemployment, abetted by a rapacious ruling class, and racism spreading under a mysterious law identified as the “citizenship act.”

And as his administration heaps abuses on its people, President Obama, the report finds, “indulges himself in luxury almost every day, squandering hundred millions of dollars on his foreign trip in disregard of his people’s wretched life.”

The “analysis” was published on a North Korean newswire last week. The U.N.’s Human Rights Council has yet to weigh in.

 

TIME Argentina

Argentina Rescues Girl Imprisoned in Garage for Nine Years

The 15-year-old was discovered by one of her biological sisters

Argentinean police said Wednesday they rescued a 15-year-old girl who had been severely beaten, starved and locked in a garage for nine years by her foster parents, the BBC reports. The girl was found in the Buenos Aires by one of her biological sisters, who had previously lost track of her.

Argentine officials said the girl was taken into foster care after a court declared her biological parents financially unfit to provide for her along with their seven other children. The girl’s biological family lost track of their daughter after 2005 for reasons unclear.

The girl had reportedly only been fed bread and water while in captivity and barely weighed 44 pounds when she was discovered. She had apparently been out of the garage twice in nine years, with only a dog and a monkey for company while she was detained. She claimed her foster parents physically abused her if she tried to eat any of the leftover food given to the pets.

The girl has been taken to a local hospital for treatment while her guardians have been arrested and charged with slavery and abuse.

[BBC]

TIME Books

Duck Dynasty‘s Lisa Robertson Reveals Childhood Abuse in New Book

The Women of Duck Commander
Howard Books

In a book by the female Robertsons, the reality show's stars don't shy away from serious topics

Duck Dynasty is best known for its male stars — the Robertson men who make those famous duck calls — but the women of the show are speaking out in a new book: The Women of Duck Commander: Surprising Insights from the Women Behind the Beards About What Makes This Family Work, out April 1.

The book, written by Kay, Korie, Missy, Jessica and Lisa Robertson, is heavy on parenting and relationship tips aimed at the fans who often ask them how their big TV-friendly family came to be. They don’t shy away from the dark stuff — marital problems and alcohol abuse, namely — but the biggest and darkest reveal comes in a chapter written by Lisa, Alan’s wife, who joined the show in its fourth season. In it, she describes being sexually abused by a relative when she was a child:

As a little girl, I had an extended family member who had major drug and alcohol problems. Unfortunately, that person lived with my grandparents, so I had to see him often. Because I spent so much time at my grandparents’ house, I was easy prey for him. My earliest memory of being molested was at the age of seven when he started to do things to me, things that made me feel bad and dirty.

Robertson never told her parents, until much later when she had her own children. The abuse continued until she was a teenager, when she threatened that she would tell her father and he would kill her abuser. She writes that she believes the trauma of her abuse led her to think that her “purpose in life was to please men,” contributing to her straying from her marriage. Eventually, as religion played more of a role in her life, she says she was able to heal herself and her marriage.

So why reveal such a personal matter in a chapter in the middle of book that’s also about cooking and Sunday school, in a context where readers probably expect hijinks about hunting?

Robertson explains that she did it because she’s aware that “what happened to me happens to many, many people” and that she wanted to show those people that she was able to recover. Though her own personal method of recovery, through religion, may not work for everyone, she gets her message across:

…I want all abuse survivors to know they have hope. They can have hope for complete healing, hope for great relationships, and hope for a wonderful life, free from the lingering effects of the trauma they have suffered.

 

TIME hate crimes

U.S. Police to Get Transgender Training

San Francisco Celebrates Gay Pride With Annual Parade
In this file photo from 2008, members of the Hayward, California police department take part in the 38th Annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration David Paul Morris—Getty Images

Officers to learn how to spot hate crimes and build trust with a community that is disproportionately at risk of abuse

The Justice Department has launched a program to train local police departments to better respond to transgender people, who disproportionately suffer from violence and abuse.

Launched Thursday, the initiative will help officers to identify hate crimes and foster trust within the transgender population. Law enforcement officials say many in the community are often reluctant to report such crimes, reports Associated Press.

“It’s clear that such a training is as necessary as it is overdue,” says Associate Attorney-General Tony West. “Because too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement.”

[AP]

TIME abuse

Study: Teenage Jocks More Likely to Abuse Girlfriends

Oceanside Pirates junior varsity team line up against the Mira Mesa Junior varsity team as they play high school football in Oceanside
A new study links sports aggression and relationship abuse among high school students © Mike Blake – Reuters

Those playing both basketball and football are most likely to abuse their partners, a new study finds

A new study claims to show a link between sporting aggression and relationship abuse, finding that the likelihood of a teenage boy ill-treating his girlfriend is about twice as high if he plays football or basketball.

Inspired by the apparent correlation between violent sports and dating abuse among college athletes, the study examined data from 1,648 male students in relationships from 16 high schools in California.

Those playing sports such as football and basketball were more likely to have abused their partners either physically, sexually or psychologically than those who didn’t play sports, or those who were wrestlers, swimmers or tennis players.

Teens who only played football were about 50% more likely to have abused their partner, according to study, which was conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

[Reuters]

 

 

TIME Immigration

F.B.I. Says Dead Border Patrol Official May Be Behind Recent Kidnappings

A U.S. Border Patrol agent looks out at the desert near Falfurrias, Texas
A U.S. Border Patrol agent looks out at the desert near Falfurrias, Texas March 29, 2013. ERIC THAYER - Reuters

Agent suspected of kidnapping and assaulting three women

A border patrol agent who was discovered dead in his home in south Texas this week may have responsible for kidnapping and assaulting three women who had entered the U.S. illegally.

According to the F.B.I. investigators, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents came across an unidentified female on Wednesday who claimed she and two other women had been abducted and assaulted by a man.

Following the incident, authorities encountered a second woman who was also injured, leading the investigation to a house in Mission, Texas, belonging to a border patrol official. The agent, who was identified as Esteban Manzanares, was dead when authorities arrived, while a third woman was discovered at his home.

“We believe he is the person responsible for the kidnappings and the assault of all three of them,” said Michelle Lee, an FBI spokeswoman in San Antonio, according to the Associated Press.

Customs and Border Protection is reportedly in full cooperation with the F.B.I. as the investigation continues.

[AP]

TIME animals

College Kids Arrested After Making Dog Do Keg Stand And Tweeting About It

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Blurry beer keg Getty Images

College is the worst

General rule: Don’t make your dog do a keg stand. Ever. Also: don’t make your dog do a keg stand, take a picture of it, and then post it on the internet, unless you want to a) get called an amoral animal abuser and b) get arrested.

Two students at the State University of New York at Brockport were arrested after an image of a black lab being held upside down over a keg — nozzle positioned at the opening of the pup’s mouth — went viral. (You can click here to see the offensive photo, if you must.)

Nursing student Robert Yates, 20, took and then tweeted the photo, which led to his arrest on charges of torturing/injuring an animal. Shane Oliver, 20, was photographed holding up May the dog’s hind legs. He was arrested with the same charges. They’re both scheduled to appear in court April 2.

Some people were horrified:

Some defended the culprits:

And others seriously missed the point:

Luckily Mya, whose owner wasn’t at home at the time of the incident, is safe and sound:

TIME celebrities

Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin Respond To Woody Allen Abuse Claims

29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Cate Blanchett Honored With The Outstanding Performer Of The Year Award
Actress Cate Blanchett attends the presentation of the Outstanding Performer Of The Year Award at the Arlington Theatre during the 29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 1, 2014. Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images

The 'Blue Jasmine' stars react to claims director sexually abused adopted daughter Dylan Farrow

The stars of Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine have responded to the open letter penned by the director’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, in which she details claims that Allen sexually assaulted her when she was 7 years old.

In one of the letter’s more powerful moments, Farrow asks several actors who’ve worked with and supported Allen about how they would respond if the abuse had personally affected them: “What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?”

Now, two of those actors have acknowledged the letter. At the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Saturday, journalist Jeffrey Wells asked Blanchett if she had any response to the letter. Blanchett, who has been nominated for an Academy Award her role in Blue Jasmine, simply commented, “It’s obviously been a long and painful situation for the family and I hope they find some sort of resolution and peace.”

As for Baldwin, he had a somewhat harsher response to the growing controversy. “What the f&@% is wrong w u that u think we all need to b commenting on this family’s personal struggle?” he tweeted Sunday. “So you know who’s guilty? Who’s lying? You, personally, know that?” he continued, adding: “You are mistaken if you think there is a place for me, or any outsider, in this family’s issue.” He later deleted his responses.

Allen, who has always denied claims of sexual abuse, responded, via lawyers, by saying that he was not responsible for “Dylan’s distress.”
[People]

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