Categories
National news

Man sentenced to 56 months in jail after faking his own death over Covid-19 relief scam

Man sentenced to 56 months in jail after faking his own death over Covid-19 relief scam

A man from Massachusetts, USA who tried to scam the US government using a Covid-19 business aid scheme and faked his own death to evade authorities has been sentenced to 56 months in prison.

David Staveley falsely claimed to co-own four large businesses in need of nearly $544,000 (£399,000) so he could get financial support from a federal government programme that helped out businesses affected by covid-19.

Advertisement
Categories
National news

Texas man sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for posting Covid-19 hoax on social media

Evidence confirmed Christopher Charles Perez, 40, posted two threatening messages on Facebook in April 2020, falsely claiming he paid somebody contaminated with Covid-19 to “lick items at grocery stores in the San Antonio area to scare people away” from the companies, the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas stated in a news release Monday.

Categories
Uncategorized

Bill Cosby freed from prison after sexual assault conviction overturned

Bill Cosby is set to be a free man today after nearly three years in prison following a decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacating his 2018 conviction on three charges of aggravated indecent assault.

The American comedian and actor have long maintained his innocence until he was charged in late 2015 when a prosecutor armed with newly unsealed evidence Cosby’s damaging deposition from her lawsuit arrested him days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.

The trial judge had allowed just one other accuser to testify at Cosby’s first trial, when the jury deadlocked. However, he then allowed five other accusers to testify at the retrial about their experiences with Cosby in the 1980s.

On Wednesday June 30, Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction after finding an agreement with a previous prosecutor prevented him from being charged in the case.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that testimony tainted the trial, even though a lower appeal court had found it appropriate to show a signature pattern of drugging and molesting women.

Cosby was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era, so the reversal could make prosecutors wary of calling other accusers in similar cases. The law on prior bad act testimony varies by state, though, and the ruling only holds sway in Pennsylvania.

According to reports, the justices voiced concern not just about sex assault cases, but what they saw as the judiciary’s increasing tendency to allow testimony that crosses the line into character attacks. The law allows the testimony only in limited cases, including to show a crime pattern so specific it serves to identify the perpetrator.

In New York, the judge presiding over last year’s trial of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose case had sparked the explosion of the #MeToo movement in 2017, let four other accusers testify. Weinstein was convicted and sentenced to 23 years in prison. He is now facing separate charges in California.

In Cosby’s case, one of his appellate lawyers said prosecutors put on vague evidence about the uncharged conduct, including Cosby’s own recollections in his deposition about giving women alcohol or quaaludes before sexual encounters.

“The presumption of innocence just didn’t exist for him,” Jennifer Bonjean, the lawyer, argued to the court in December.

In May, Cosby was denied paroled after refusing to participate in sex offender programs during his nearly three years in state prison. He has long said he would resist the treatment programs and refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing even if it means serving the full 10-year sentence.

https://cse.google.com/cse.js?cx=748c01c09655f7506

This is the first year he was eligible for parole under the three- to 10-year sentence handed down after his 2018 conviction.

Cosby spokesperson Andrew Wyatt called the parole board decision “appalling.”

Prosecutors said Cosby repeatedly used his fame and “family man” persona to manipulate young women, holding himself out as a mentor before betraying them.

Cosby, a groundbreaking Black actor who grew up in public housing in Philadelphia, made a fortune estimated at $400 million during his 50 years in the entertainment industry.