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Archive for May 29th, 2015

Weekend Series on Crime History: Dangerous Women in the Criminal World

Dennis Hastert Accused of Agreeing to Pay Millions to Hush Up Sexual Abuse of Male Decades Ago

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Inside the Beltway, a place where shocking revelations have been a way of life over the decades, this one still sent shock waves.

Michael D. Shear and Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times report that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is accused of paying a man not to say publicly that Hastert had inappropriately touched him decades ago while Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Illinois. The Times cites two unnamed people briefed on the evidence uncovered in an F.B.I. probe.

The feds have accused Hastert of making cash withdrawals designed to hide those payments and for lying to federal authorities about the purpose of the withdrawals.

We’re talking serious money.

The Times reports that the indictment said that in 2010, the man met with Mr. Hastert several times and at some point Hastert agreed to pay him $3.5 million “in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against” the man.

The Times reports that the indictment stunned Hastert’s friends and former Capitol Hill colleagues, and that they were struggling to make sense of it all.

To read the full story click here. 

Help on Way for Alabama Prison Where Female Inmates Raped, Beaten

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has reached an agreement with the state of Alabama to undergo monitoring and serious reforms following years of complaints about female inmates being sexually assaulted by corrections staff, the Washington Post reports.

An investigation by the Justice Department found that female inmates lived in a “toxic environment” at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala., where they have been raped and sodomized.

Prison officials even organized a “strip show” with female prisoners and watched the women use the toilet

Women who complained of the abuse were punished, according to the Justice Department

“Prisoners are entitled to be safe from sexual predation by staff, and to live in an environment free from sexual assault, sexual harassment and the constant fear of these abuses,” said Vanita Gupta, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

The agreement requires the prison to install a “state-of-the-art camera system,” train staff and implement a program to track and analyze complaints.

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Hassles Students for Shooting Video Outside FBI Field Office

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two FBI agents paid a visit to the home of a college student after she and two other journalism students shot video outside of the bureau’s field office in San Diego.

An FBI spokesman said two agents visited the home because they were concerned about people shooting video outside of the bureau without calling ahead like many other journalists do, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. 

First Amendment experts expressed concern with the visit, saying the students did nothing wrong and were intimidated by the agents.

The students said they received permission from a guard to shoot the video, and the guard even took down their drivers’ license information.

But before long, they were told to leave.

FBI Worries about Losing Surveillance Tools Under Expiring Patriot Act

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal investigators are worried they are about to lose surveillance tools that have been valuable in the fight against terrorism.

The Associated Press reports that the surveillance is part of the controversial Patriot Act that offered more investigative tools.

But those tools are at risk because they are set to expire with the Patriot Act on June 1.

Some senators are working on a last-minute agreement that would extend the deadline.

FBI Director James Comey said the surveillance capabilities are important to protect Americans and fight terrorism.

“I sure hope Congress figures out a way to make sure I don’t lose these essential tools,” he said during a visit Tuesday to the New Haven field office.