Gymnast Aly Raisman's powerful statement at sentencing hearing for doctor Larry Nassar

"Larry, you do now realize that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time are now a force, and you are nothing."

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105 power brokers accused of sexual misconduct this year, starting with Fox News firing Bill O'Reilly

The Reckoning [vox.com] examines 105 of the powerful people (all but two of them men) who have been accused of sexual misconduct in 2017. Abusers in media and journalism are relatively widely-exposed, whereas those in other fields seem relatively few in number, at least as Vox counts it. In particular, badly-behaved politicians get headlines, but the list is surprisingly short.

More and more people have come forward publicly in recent months with stories like these, of high-ranking men who abuse their power to sexually harass and intimidate others. This kind of abuse is far from new, but in 2017, more and more of these men actually started facing consequences.

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Infosec vs. its predators

Pundits suggest the "Weinstein moment" — a broader, deeper awareness of abusive conduct, sexual harassment and criminal sexuality — is already fading without significant change. Few of the offenders face consequences worse than losing a gig, and yesterday we learned The New York Times isn't even up to that, letting its celebrity groper keep his job and trotting out Executive Editor Dean Baquet to dismiss his admitted behavior as merely "offensive." Sarah Jeong looks at another example: the hacker community, which did a surprisingly good job of outing its "missing stairs" but has trouble banishing them for good.

In information security, as in many other industries where the accused is a prominent figure, accusations can turn into a competition of social capital, and the accused almost always wins out over their accusers. But in this community, giving an accused rapist a pass has often been framed as a moral imperative with four words: “He does good work.” The assumption is that talent is scarce and sexual misconduct must be tolerated for the good of society. Little to no consideration is given to what we lose from disbelieving victims — their technical and social contributions, any future contributions by people who quite reasonably decide to avoid a toxic culture, and even beyond that, the quiet erosion of trust among bystanders. Complicity leaves a stain on us all.
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Morgan Spurlock comes out as a serial sexual abuser of women in weird online confessional

New York-based filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, best known for his 2004 indie documentary Super Size Me, admitted Wednesday in a long online confessional that he has a history of sexual abuse towards women.

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Dylan Farrow wonders why Woody Allen still gets away with it

So much for the Weinstein Moment: Woody Allen is still too powerful and too well-connected for people in Hollywood to speak ill of. Victim Dylan Farrow (whose sibling's reportage brought Harvey Weinstein down and seemed to open a floodgate) wonders why:

A prosecutor took the unusual step of announcing that he had probable cause to charge Allen but declined in order to spare me, a “child victim,” from an exhausting trial.

It is a testament to Allen’s public relations team and his lawyers that few know these simple facts. It also speaks to the forces that have historically protected men like Allen: the money and power deployed to make the simple complicated, to massage the story.

In this deliberately created fog, A-list actors agree to appear in Allen’s films and journalists tend to avoid the subject.

Farrow names names, too: Kate Winslet, Blake Lively and Greta Gerwig each denounced Weinstein but hedge their bets for good old Woody: "Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person," Winslet said. "Woody Allen is an incredible director."

Farrow:

It isn’t just power that allows men accused of sexual abuse to keep their careers and their secrets. It is also our collective choice to see simple situations as complicated and obvious conclusions as a matter of “who can say”? The system worked for Harvey Weinstein for decades. It works for Woody Allen still.
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5 women accuse Louis C.K. of sexually abusive behavior in NYT report

“He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating,” says one victim. Five women who spoke to the New York Times say comedian and filmmaker Louis CK's behavior with them crossed a line to sexual misconduct.

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Roy Moore, GOP Senate nominee in Alabama, accused of sex acts with girls as young as 14

Ultra right-wing Christian GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore is accused of having sexually abused four underage girls, the youngest of whom was 14 at the time. .

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Kevin Spacey made 'House of Cards' set 'toxic' with sexually 'predatory' behavior, sources say

Eight current or former "House of Cards" employees claim they were sexually harassed and/or physically sexually assaulted by Kevin Spacey.

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Lawsuit: sicko Sheriff ordered 900 teens groped in illegal mass-frisking at school

A lawsuit is underway in Worth County, Georgia, where Sheriff Jeff Hobby is defending a mass-frisking of 900 high school students, performed in public without warrant or even the pretense of probable cause, during which cops reportedly manipulated student's breasts, inserted fingers inside bras, exposed bare breasts and reached into underwear and cupped and groped kids' genitals. This ostentatious display of power, by cops armed with guns and dogs, was supposedly a drug search. No drugs were found. Not a scrap.

[Interim Worth County Superintendent Lawrence] Walters said in March Sheriff Jeff Hobby told him his department was going to do a drug search at the school after spring break.

"We did not give permission but they didn't as for permission, he just said, the sheriff, that he was going to do it after spring break," said Walters. "Under no circumstances did we approve touching any students," explained Walters. ...

In the student handbook it says school officials may search a student if there is reasonable suspicion the student has an illegal item. Hobby says he was able to search every student, simply because he had an administrator with him.

The intimidatory purpose of this unconstitutional search is made disgustingly clear by the sexualized quality of the touching, as reported by the victims and their parents. From the lawsuit:

The purported justification for the mass search was to discover drugs. To that end, Sheriff Hobby had a list of thirteen students on a “target list” that he suspected of possessing drugs.

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'A Border Agent Took My Sister and Me Into a Closet and Sexually Assaulted Us,' say teen sisters

Two sisters who were trying to escape violence and poverty in Guatemala for a better life “became so desperately lost trekking across the Texas desert that when they saw a U.S. Customs and Border Protection truck, they waved for help,” reports the Los Angeles Times. An officer in that truck later confined them by force, and sexually assaulted them, one by one.

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Former Uber engineer alleges sexist abuse in workplace, CEO Travis Kalanick responds

Updated with response from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, below.

Susan Fowler Rigetti, a former engineer at Uber, describes in a blog post her experience in a workplace where sexual harassment takes place with impunity, and people who are abused at work are further abused by the organization for which they work.

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I can't wait for Kellyanne Conway to spin the latest accusations of sexual abuse by Trump

Tonight the New York Times published two women who claim to have experienced acts of sexual abuse by the Republican candidate for President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. With great speed the Trump campaign declared these claims "fiction."

This "fiction" claim seems to spit in the face of his soul-less, truth-allergic campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. Conway has been clear, pounding the networks over and over, justifying Trump's shockingly ugly display at the second Presidential debate, that all women accusers must be heard. Even when presented with sworn depositions by the women that said events never occurred! Conway has also falsely accused Hillary Clinton of trying silence these women.

Will it be that Kellyanne only thinks long debunked allegations need to be heard? Will Kellyanne call for Trump to explain these allegations, or that of his raping a 13 year old? Will Kellyanne now try to silence these women? How can they blame Hillary?

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Minuteman co-founder gets 19½ years for sexually abusing 5-year-old. All 3 of his daughters say they're also victims.

Christopher Simcox, who co-founded the now-disbanded Minuteman Civil Defense Corps white supremacist militia group, received a prison sentence of over 19 years today from an Arizona court. Read the rest

America's biggest health crisis? Not gun violence but porn and gays, GOP says

The Republican party platform is veering to the right as GOP delegates descend on Cleveland to produce the party’s principles document. Several positions about same-sex marriage and scientifically debunked “gay conversion therapy” passed preliminary votes today.

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US Secret Service agent charged with sexting teen girl while at White House now faces Florida child porn charges

Former US Secret Service agent Lee Robert Moore was indicted in a Florida federal court Thursday on child porn and teen sex charges. He is being held in federal custody in Delaware on separate charges that while he was on White House duty, Moore sexted a Delaware Child Predator Task Force undercover officer, whom he believed to be a teenage girl.

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Elijah Wood says Hollywood has a major pedophile problem

Before we knew him as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's blockbuster Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Elijah Wood was a child actor. In a recent interview with Britain's Sunday Times, Wood spoke out on sexual abuse of young actors in Hollywood, and says “a lot of vipers” roam the upper echelons of the entertainment biz, preying on naïvete and eagerness for fame.

“Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” he told the Times.

“There is darkness in the underbelly. What bums me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power. That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people: they can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”

“If you’re innocent, you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed,” he added. “People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey. What upsets me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power.”

Wood is now 35. As a child, he performed with fellow child star alongside Macaulay Culkin in “The Good Son,” and had a part in the “Flipper” remake. He said his mother, Debra, protected him from predators back then, and he “never went to parties where that kind of thing was going on.”

Here's a non-paywalled report that quotes extensively from the Times: Elijah Wood Calls Out Hollywood's Pedophile Problem [the daily beast]

The paywalled Sunday Times interview was booked to promote his latest film The Trust, which tells the tale of corrupt cops who plan to steal drug money. Read the rest

Christian teacher arrested for sex in cemetery with 16 year old student

A subsitute high school teacher in Easton, Pennsylvania was taken into police custody Tuesday and charged with institutional sexual assault after admitting to a judge that she had been having sex with a student since 2015.

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