Bill Cosby says he's a 'political prisoner,' refuses court-ordered counseling, has 'no remorse' over sex assault convictions - ABC News
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Comedian and convicted felon Bill Cosby has refused to take part in mandatory counseling as he serves time in a suburban Philadelphia prison after being found guilty at trial on three counts of sexual assault.
Cosby called the classes "entrapment" in a statement released by Andrew Wyatt, the 81-year-old disgraced entertainer's spokesman.
Cosby was ordered to undergo mandatory sex offender counseling after being classified by the trial judge as a sexually violent predator.
It's the most severe classification that a convict can be designated under Pennsylvania’s sex offenders law, which requires that an individual be found to have a “mental abnormality or personality disorder” that makes him or her likely to engage in future predatory, sexually-violent offenses.
Cosby will not be eligible for parole until he serves at least three years behind bars -- and his refusal to attend counseling could be factored into any future parole hearings.
Wyatt acknowledged that Cosby “may have to serve the 10-year maximum if the parole board feels he is not taking responsibility or if he doesn’t fulfill the requirements of his sentence.
Wyatt said Cosby has “no remorse” and maintains his innocence.
Cosby’s statement further claimed he is a “political prisoner” who has been incarcerated because “people did not like how he was trying to engage the black community on becoming entrepreneurs.”
Cosby has been serving his sentence at a prison known as SCI Phoenix, a state correctional facility located about 25 miles northeast of Philadelphia. He was recently moved from isolation into the prison’s general population and, according to the statement, Cosby has been treated well, though he has complained that the prison’s food is too salty.
Cosby was convicted last April on the three counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from a 2004 encounter with Andrea Constand, a former Temple University women's basketball coach. Constand said Cosby gave her three blue pills and sexually assaulted her at his Pennsylvania home after she became physically incapacitated. He was sentenced in September to a minimum of three years in prison and a maximum of 10.
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Bitter infighting continues within the leadership of Papa John’s.
The company’s founder and largest shareholder, John Schnatter, has filed a lawsuit against Papa John’s International, Inc. in Delaware on Thursday, claiming the company’s leadership is causing “irreparable harm” to the business, his attorney told ABC News.
In a statement to ABC News, attorney Terry Fahn, who represents Schnatter said the company’s board and its current CEO Steve Ritchie, are causing harm by their “repeated, and ongoing, breaches of the duties of loyalty and care they owe to the company.”
Fahn said the lawsuit is currently under seal and that he could not elaborate on what exactly Schnatter claims the board is doing that has resulted in harm to the company, though in letters posted on the website savepapajohns.com, which is run by Schnatter, the deposed CEO discusses what he alleges are bad financial decisions, insufficient management skills, a toxic senior management culture and misconduct by the company's leadership.
A document posted on the site said a public version of the complaint will be filed “on or before” Sept. 4.
It’s the second lawsuit filed by Schnatter in recent months against the company he founded in 1984. A separate lawsuit was filed on July 26 over what Schnatter claims was the company’s refusal to provide him with documents related to what he said is the “unexplained and heavy-handed way” in which he was treated following reports that he used a racial slur during a conference call in May.
Schnatter resigned as chairman of the company’s board following those reports and also apologized for his use of “inappropriate and hurtful language.” Now, however, Schnatter writes on his website that he was “falsely accused” of using a racial slur and claims the company took “panic-stricken steps” to distance itself from Schnatter without conducting an investigation into what really happened.
In statements provided to ABC News, a company spokesperson has dismissed the allegations by Schnatter in the most recent lawsuit, writing that he will “do anything to distract attention from the harm caused by his inappropriate words.” The statement also said Schnatter continues to make “reckless allegations in his attempt to regain control and serve his own interests.”
In a July statement addressing the earlier suit, the company said that it has been providing Schnatter with all the materials he is entitled to as a director.
Schnatter has been the subject of several controversies during his tenure as the CEO and the face of Papa John’s. In December 2017, Schnatter stepped down from his role as CEO after blaming lagging sales on the National Football League and player protests during the national anthem, which led to boycotts of NFL games.
Formerly missing woman enters not guilty plea, remains suspect in separate woman’s disappearance - ABC News
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A Pennsylvania woman who had been missing for more than a decade has pleaded not guilty to charges in Nassau County, Florida, as she remains a suspect in the disappearance of another woman last month.
Jennifer Sybert, whose real name is Kimberly Kessler, had her attorney enter a written plea of not guilty to a charge of grand theft auto on Wednesday after authorities said she was seen on surveillance footage dropping off 34-year-old Joleen Cummings’ car hours after she was last seen.
Sybert, aka Kessler, worked with Cummings at a hair salon in Yulee, Florida, and is believed to be the last person to see Cummings before she disappeared nearly a month ago, authorities said.
Cummings’ mother, Ann Johnson, reported her missing on May 14 after she failed to pick up her kids on Mother’s Day.
Kessler has been charged in Nassau County under the name Sybert and has not yet been charged in connection with Cummings’ disappearance.
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office said it's still working to gather more evidence. Sheriff Bill Leeper said last month investigators have reason to believe that Cummings is no longer alive.
Sheriffs in St. Johns County, Florida, arrested Sybert on May 16, which was when authorities learned her real name was Kimberly Kessler -- the same Kimberly Kessler who had been reported missing from Butler County, Pennsylvania, in 2004. The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office said this month that since that time Kessler is believed to have used at least 18 different aliases and lived in more than a dozen states.
She's believed to have gotten her most recent alias, Jennifer Sybert, from the grave of a deceased teenager in Butler County, according to County District Attorney Richard Goldinger.
Sybert remains in jail on a $500,000 bond.
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A federal judge in Arizona has denied a request for a new trial against former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which was brought on by the son of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.
U.S. District Judge Neil Wake ruled that despite claims by Austin Flake’s attorney, Stephen Montoya, that newly uncovered evidence warranted a new trial, Wake ruled that the evidence was “irrelevant as to Arpaio.”
Montoya told ABC News he was “disappointed” with the decision.
The lawsuit stemmed from the deaths of 21 dogs at a Phoenix-area kennel owned by the parents of Austin Flake’s now ex-wife, Logan Brown. Austin Flake and Brown were temporarily watching the property in June 2014 when the dogs died in the sweltering Arizona heat.
The couple maintained that an air conditioner on the property failed overnight and the dogs died accidentally. But the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office would subsequently investigate and recommend felony charges of animal cruelty against Austin Flake and Brown in September 2014.
The two were indicted in October, but the charges were dropped just two months later when the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said the case presented to the grand jury did not take into account the possibility that the air conditioner had failed. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office told ABC News they have no comment on the case.
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The suspect being held in a Galveston County, Texas jail following last week's deadly shooting at Sante Fe High School is making a push to get out of jail on bond.
Attorneys for 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis filed a motion Wednesday requesting that a "reasonable bond" be set. His attorneys argue that Pagourtzis has a constitutional right to a reasonable bail, and they furthermore state that his family has the means to post that bail.
His attorneys did not specify in their motion what they consider a "reasonable bond" to be.
Pagourtzis has been held in Galveston County Jail without bond since he was arrested following the May 18 shooting that killed eight students and two teachers. Thirteen others were injured.
A judge has yet to rule on the motion.
Pagourtzis is facing multiple counts of capital murder as well as aggravated assault on a public servant.