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2016 Top National Crime Reporting Awards

Beth Schwartzapfel of The Marshall Project, and an investigative reporting team from the Belleville News-Democrat—Beth Hundsdorfer, George Pawlaczyk and Zia Nizami—are the winners of the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim 2016 Awards for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting. “The impressive work of these journalists illustrates why reform of our criminal justice system has risen to the top of our national agenda,” said Jeremy Travis, president of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in the prize announcement this week. “We […]


FBI Hacking In Child Porn Investigation Called Unprecedented, Troubling

The FBI is conducting a sweeping national investigation into child porn on what is known as the dark Web, a universe of sites that are off Google's radar where users can operate with anonymity, reports the Washington Post. As criminals become more savvy about using technology such as Tor to hide their tracks, investigators are turning to hacking tools to thwart them. In some cases, law enforcement agencies are placing malware on sites that might have thousands of users. Some […]


More Than 10% Of Undergraduate Women Report Sexual Assaults At 9 Schools

More than 10 percent of undergraduate women at nine institutions in a new federal survey said they were sexually assaulted during the 2014–2015 academic year, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today. The rates of assault ranged from 4.2 percent at one school to 20 percent at another. Some 4.1 percent of women said they were raped, ranging from 2.2 percent at one school to 7.9 percent at another. The survey was undertaken after a White House Task Force […]


Sexual Assault Reports At U.S. Military Academies Up 50% In Last Year

Reports of sexual assaults at the three military academies surged by more than 50 percent in the 2014-15 school year, and complaints of sexual harassment spiked, reports the Associated Press. A senior defense official says the sharp increases were due largely to students’ growing confidence in the reporting system and expanded awareness programs that over the past several years have included training, videos and information sessions. The programs are aimed at making victims more aware of the reporting process and […]


Both Sides Face Complexities In Bill Cosby Sex Abuse Case

A trial in the Pennsylvania sex abuse case against Bill Cosby would put on display the complexities involved in reviving an old case in which the basic facts remain unchanged, says the New York Times. “This is a curious case for the prosecution to bring since nothing has really changed other than these other women came forward,” said Isabelle Kirshner, a criminal defense lawyer, referring to women who have made accusations against Cosby similar to the one that led to […]


Cosby Charges Could Lead To Biggest Celebrity Trial In Mobile-News Era

Entertainer Bill Cosby has long maintained that his extramarital conquests were consensual. A jury may ultimately decide if that's true after the 78-year-old actor was arrested yesterday on felony assault charges in suburban Philadelphia stemming from a 2004 encounter with a former Temple University employee less than half his age, reports the Associated Press. The case marks the first time Cosby has been charged criminally with sexual misconduct despite years of lurid allegations, and it sets the stage for perhaps […]


Cosby Named In PA Criminal Case Over 12-Year-Old Sex Assault Charge

Bill Cosby was charged today in Philadelphia’s suburban Montgomery County with felony indecent assault, reviving a decade-old allegation that he sexually attacked a former Temple University employee, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The charges against the 78-year-old, a television celebrity once celebrated as “America’s Dad,” followed more than a year of claims by scores of women that Cosby had sexually assaulted them over the past four decades. Cosby has repeatedly denied sexually assaulting anyone, including Andrea Constand, the woman at the […]


PA’s Kane May Name Ex-MD Counterpart Gansler To Probe “Porngate”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane will use the backdrop of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia today to announce special prosecutors to conduct a broader investigation into pornographic emails exchanged on government computers, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Kane is expected to announce a team of lawyers to review the email scandal known as Porngate, and detail the scope of the inquiry, as well as what powers the special prosecutors will have in pursuing any violations of “criminal, civil, or ethics […]


Feds Probe Whether Texas A&M Discriminates Against Men In Sex Cases

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is investigating whether Texas A&M University went too far when it suspended a male student accused of assaulting a female classmate. The Texas Tribune says that focus surprised officials at A&M, a university that has been praised by student groups for its work to curb sexual violence on campus. The Tribune learned specifics of the Texas A&M investigation through a trove of documents released by the university under the state's open […]