Charges dismissed against Navy commander accused of rape

first_imgCharges dismissed against Navy commander accused of rape KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Acting on a motion by prosecutors, a judge Friday dismissed all charges against a Navy commander who was accused of trying to rape a junior officer in her Valencia Park home in 2016.John Michael Neuhart II had been facing a third trial after two previous juries deadlocked on multiple charges.Last month, Judge Laura Halgren dismissed a charge of assault with intent to commit rape during a burglary, but said prosecutors could retry Neuhart on charges of attempted forcible rape and assault with intent to commit rape.Deputy District Attorney Patrick Espinoza said the Navy will now assume jurisdiction of the case.Defense attorney Kerry Armstrong, who has been working on the case for 21 months, said Neuhart could face potential charges in the Navy, but “he’s a happy man today.”Armstrong said he was “pleasantly surprised” when Espinoza told the judge that the District Attorney’s Office was moving to dismiss the case.In the retrial, prosecutor Jennifer Tag told jurors that Neuhart, who was the alleged victim’s helicopter squadron commander in Guam before she was transferred to San Diego, was physically aggressive with the woman once they arrived at her home and pulled off her jeans.The prosecutor said the woman, identified in court as Kristin B., has no memory of the limousine ride home from the downtown hotel to her home, but remembers pushing the defendant out the door after the alleged assault on Sept. 12, 2016.Neuhart, 41, came around to a back door and decided to videotape the encounter with his cell phone, Tag told the jury.“I’ve wanted you for awhile,” the defendant tells Kristin through the closed door.“No! Stop,” she replies.“Is that your safe word?” the defendant says.“Yes,” says Kristin.Once she opens the door, Neuhart tells her to get a condom.“It’s not what I want,” she says. “Spike stop! Spike stop!”When called as one of the first witnesses at the retrial, Kristin testified that Spike was Neuhart’s call sign and stands for “Sweaty palms, I know everything.”A neighbor heard the woman’s screams and called 911, then confronted Neuhart, forcing him to gather up his clothes and run away, Tag told the jury, adding that Neuhart ran so hard through two canyons that he broke his leg before officers caught up to him and took him into custody.During the ordeal, Kristin told the defendant “no,” “stop” “get out” or “get off” at least 90 times in less than 15 minutes, the prosecutor said.Armstrong told jurors that Neuhart, a married Iraq War veteran and father of six, and his client had a mutual attraction to each other. He said things might have been misconstrued that night, and both of them were drunk.Neuhart thought Kristin, a helicopter pilot and a lieutenant, had been flirting with him while they were in Guam, Armstrong said.The attorney showed jurors hotel surveillance video in which the two are seen hugging and kissing at the bar and in an elevator the night of the incident in San Diego. At the end of the evening, he said, they debated where to go and decided to get a ride to her house.The limousine driver thought Kristin was flirting with the defendant, the defense attorney said.Neuhart asked her in the limo, “Does no mean no tonight?” and she said no, according to Armstrong. Once at her home, Neuhart was confused because she was giving him mixed signals, his attorney said.Neuhart decided to record the event because it was getting “so weird” and he wanted to protect himself, according to Armstrong.The attorney said his client never touched Kristin’s private parts that night.The defendant was relieved as commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 based at Anderson Air Force on Guam after his arrest.He is still a Navy commander working a desk job in Coronado, Armstrong said. June 1, 2018 Posted: June 1, 2018last_img read more

Robbery suspect hits two more banks

first_imgA man believed to have robbed two banks this month, apparently struck two more Thursday.The latest took place at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the First Independent Bank branch at 4500 N.E. St. Johns Blvd.He allegedly robbed a Chase Bank branch, 7515 E. Mill Plain Blvd., at about 1:45 p.m.At each bank, the man has shown a note, but no weapon.During Thursday’s robberies, the man was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt and jeans, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian. The alleged robber is believed to be in his early 20s, 5-feet 6-inches tall, with dark hair. The sweatshirt appeared to be new, and had black lettering, though what it says wasn’t immediately known.Police searched for the man following the Chase incident at Highlands Apartments, 7401 Delaware Lane. At about 2:45 p.m., a police officer was heard shouting, “We got nothing.”Then he hit again.Police are searching for the man now in Portland’s Jantzen Beach area.The robberies matched descriptions of other recent heists, including one Wednesday at First Independent Bank, 6501 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd.The other similar robbery occurred Oct. 2 at another Chase Bank branch in Vancouver. In that case, a man with the same general description entered the bank at 11:52 a.m. and presented a demand note indicating he was heavily armed, had a bomb and wanted cash.last_img read more

Exparamedic who groped women gets sentence extended

first_imgPORTLAND — A former Vancouver paramedic who is already in prison for the attempted sexual abuse of four female patients was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for inappropriately touching three other women.Lannie L. Haszard, 65, pleaded no-contest Thursday morning to three counts of attempted first-degree sexual abuse as part of an agreement with prosecutors. His plea resolves the outstanding charges against him stemming from a criminal investigation that dates back to 2007.Criminal and civil-litigation investigators uncovered allegations by as many as 19 women who said Haszard, a former employee for the American Medical Response ambulance company, groped them while they were being transported to the hospital for medical care. The women ranged in age from 28 to 72 and were in some cases semiconscious or incapacitated.The sentence handed down Wednesday by Multnomah County Circuit Judge Julie Frantz is to run concurrently with the prison term imposed in 2008 for fondling four other women. Once that sentence expires in December, Haszard will still have about 33 months left to serve. He was also sentenced to post-prison supervision and must register as a sex offender.None of the three victims in Thursday’s case wanted to attend the sentencing, said Multnomah County senior deputy district attorney Donald Rees. But the victims and their attorney, Greg Kafoury, reviewed the plea agreement and are “pleased with this resolution,” Rees said.last_img read more

High court takes on digital privacy

first_imgWASHINGTON — Two Supreme Court cases about police searches of cellphones without warrants present vastly different views of the ubiquitous device.Is it a critical tool for a criminal or is it an American’s virtual home?How the justices answer that question could determine the outcome of the cases being argued Tuesday. A drug dealer and a gang member want the court to rule that the searches of their cellphones after their arrest violated their right to privacy in the digital age.The Obama administration and California, defending the searches, say cellphones are no different from anything else a person may be carrying when arrested. Police may search those items without a warrant under a line of high court cases reaching back 40 years.What’s more, said Donald Verrilli Jr., the administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer, “Cellphones are now critical tools in the commission of crimes.”The cases come to the Supreme Court amid separate legal challenges to the massive warrantless collection of telephone records by the National Security Agency and the government’s use of technology to track Americans’ movements.Librarians, the news media, defense lawyers and civil liberties groups on the right and left are trying to convince the justices that they should take a broad view of the privacy issues raised when police have unimpeded access to increasingly powerful devices that may contain a wealth of personal data: emails and phone numbers, photographs, information about purchases and political affiliations, books and a gateway to even more material online.last_img read more

Papa Murphys reports jump in first quarter earnings

first_imgVancouver-based Papa Murphy’s Holdings, parent of Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza chain, on Thursday issued its first quarterly earnings report since becoming a publicly traded company on May 2. Total revenue increased 18.9 percent year-over-year to $25.1 million in the three months ending March 31, the company reported. Domestic comparable store sales increased 3.3 percent for all stores, while net income rose to $819,000 from last year’s $711,000. However, Papa Murphy’s stock has declined from an initial price of $11 per share to Thursday’s closing price of $9.05, the lowest since the company’s public debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol “FRSH.”The company has issued 5.8 million shares of common stock, generating total net proceeds of approximately $55.8 million from the offering after deducting expenses. The net proceeds were primarily used to pay down existing debt, Papa Murphy’s Chief Executive Officer Ken Calwell and Mark Hutchens, the company’s chief financial officer, said in a conference call Thursday after the market closed.Calwell said Papa Murphy’s would continue through 2014 to roll out new “core product” offerings, which his company views as long-term additions to the menu that are more valuable than limited-time offers.last_img read more

Free Thanksgiving meals offered in Vancouver

first_imgThere’s no shortage of generosity in Southwest Washington. That’s good, because there’s no shortage of hunger either. Here’s our annual roundup of free Thanksgiving meals. • Chronis’ Restaurant, free dinner, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, 819 Main St., Vancouver. All are welcome. For approximately 30 years, restaurateur Chuck Chronis has opened his doors to anyone who wants to eat. The event is organized by Chronis and Rich Melnick, a former longtime local attorney and later a judge who is now a justice on the state Court of Appeals. Last year, about 500 meals were served.• Vancouver Eagles’ eighth annual free breakfast. Evergreen Aerie No. 2158 will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thanksgiving morning at 107 E. Seventh St., Vancouver. Breakfast will include ham, eggs, biscuits and gravy, and beverages. If you are interested in contributing or volunteering to serve, call 360-693-8119.• Da Kine’s Cafe’s fifth annual outreach: “Where we are all Ohana (Family).” 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving at Christ Community Church, 11700 N.E. 95th St., Suite 440, Vancouver. Reservations are requested; call 360-798-7622.• Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater, dinner, noon to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, 218 W. 12th St., Vancouver.last_img read more

Daily Fantasy Sports giant DraftKings goes live in Australia

first_imgThe world’s largest Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform, DraftKings, has officially launched operations in Australia.The DFS giant went live and began accepting its first Australian-based customers on Sunday, allowing players to take part in competitions against those from other regulated markets in which DraftKings operates including the United States and parts of Europe.“DraftKings’ DFS product takes sports fans’ game experience to another level, keeping them more engaged with their favorite athletes, teams and codes,” said DraftKings Chief International Officer, Jeffrey Haas.“Australia is home to some of the most passionate sports fans in the world and that’s a key reason why DraftKings decided to open there. We’re confident Australians will enjoy the exciting and innovative competition formats we have available across 10 international sports, and their ability to compete against other people, both local and international.”DraftKings’ Australian expansion marks the eighth country where DraftKings is available to consumers. The company said it expects its football product to prove popular given Australia’s qualification for the FIFA World Cup 2018. Load More “Only a matter of time before online gambling becomes legal in Australia” Fantasy sports gaining Japan foothold with basketball the first stepcenter_img RelatedPosts The Only Way is Uplast_img read more

Goodman Masson and SAS Software shortlisted for alignment of benefits to business

first_imgGoodman Masson, SAS Software, and Taylor Wimpey are among the organisations that have been shortlisted in the best alignment of benefits to business strategy category at the Employee Benefits Awards 2017.This award recognises employers that have successfully aligned their employee benefits offering with their organisation’s overall business strategy and goals.The full category shortlist is:BDO, Flexcel (Entered by Vebnet)Goodman Masson, Benefits BoutiqueMundipharma, Flex (Entered by Thomsons Online Benefits)Old Mutual, Financial Education For Your Future (Entered by Nudge)SAS Software, My Choice (Entered by Aon)Taylor Wimpey, My Place (Entered by Mercer)The winners will be announced during a lunch-time ceremony at the Employee Benefits Awards and Summer Party 2017, held at The Artillery Garden at the HAC, London, on Friday 9 June 2017.See the full shortlist.For more information or to book your table.last_img read more

Creditspring gains living wage accreditation

first_imgPersonal finance organisation Creditspring has been accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation.The living wage accreditation confirms Creditspring’s commitment to pay both direct employees and third-party contractors at least the voluntary living wage rate.The living wage is an independently set hourly rate of pay that is calculated according to the basic cost of living. It is paid on a voluntary basis by employers and updated annually. Currently, the living wage rate is set at £8.45 an hour for employees across the UK, and £9.75 an hour for staff who work in London. The higher London living wage rate reflects the increased costs associated with living in the capital.The voluntary living wage is distinct from the statutory national living wage that is paid to employees aged 25 and over. The national living wage rate is currently set at £7.50 an hour.Neil Kadagathur (pictured), co-founder and chief executive officer at Creditspring, said: “We decided to become a Living Wage employer because [its] values and ideals perfectly match ours. We also believe that investing in our employees is the highest return investment we can get.”last_img read more