National Roundup


University rape r­eport has cops ch­ecking online  
ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Pictures posted on social media in disbelief by witnesses of a sidewalk sexual encounter near Ohio University could hold the key to a rape investigation after a college student told police she was the victim of an assault.
The explicit photos tweeted then quickly reposted across the Internet were being examined by police after the student reported “unconsenting sexual conduct” with a man on Sunday.
Sharing such images may seem despicable, but the photos are helping police in their investigation, Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle said.
Pyle told the Athens News for a story Wednesday that the witnesses may not have understood what they were seeing.
“It may have looked consensual to them,” he said.
According to a police report, the student said the contact happened between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. that day on a street near the university’s campus, about 70 miles southeast of Columbus.
The photos show the couple against a bank window. Pyle told WBNS-TV in Columbus that the images and a video posted that night are essential to the investigation.
“While it certainly to the lay person would appear to be despicable that they’re posting this information, it also assisted us in our investigation,” Pyle told the station. “So a real double-edged sword.”
Pyle declined further comment Wednesday when contacted by The Associated Press. He told the newspaper the woman who made the report and the man seen in the postings are cooperating with police.
Ohio University said in a statement it is assisting the investigation and providing support to the student who made the report.
Police in Steubenville in eastern Ohio used widely circulated photos of a 16-year-old girl raped by two high school football players last year in their investigation. A judge convicted the teens of rape in March.
Law school grad gets boot camp in Vegas bird death 
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A University of California, Berkeley, law school graduate was handcuffed and taken to a Nevada prison boot camp Wednesday for beheading an exotic bird during a drunken chase at a Las Vegas Strip resort.
Justin Alexander Teixeira, 25, said nothing as he was sentenced as expected to a little more than six months in the camp.
He could serve another three to five years of probation before he can ask to have his felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor, prosecutor Frank Coumou said.
The judge scheduled a probation sentencing hearing for April 14. Teixeira could face up to four years in state prison if he violates terms of the deal.
His attorney, Michael Pariente, called Teixeira extremely remorseful and said the incident happened while Teixeira was “heavily intoxicated.”
Teixiera has been volunteering in recent months for the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in California, Pariente said, and was grateful to have an opportunity to avoid a felony conviction under his plea agreement.
Outside court, Coumou noted that Teixeira should learn next month whether he passed the California State Bar exam he took in July. He’ll be serving his boot camp sentence at High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs, outside Las Vegas.
Whether Teixeira is admitted to practice law in California could on depend on whether a felony remains on his record. A statement on the bar website notes that people convicted of violent felonies or felonies involving moral turpitude “are presumed not to be of good moral character.” But it allows room for a pardon or “a showing of overwhelming reform and rehabilitation.”
Coumou said Teixeira has been undergoing substance abuse counseling.
Teixeira, of Placerville, Calif., pleaded guilty in May to one felony charge of killing another person’s animal. That avoided trial on that charge and two other felony counts that could have gotten him up to eight years in prison in the October 2012 death of a helmeted guineafowl named Turk at the Flamingo hotel-casino.
Security video showed Teixeira and two other Berkeley students laughing and chasing the chicken-sized bird the morning of Oct. 12, 2012, to the horror of hotel guests having breakfast nearby.
Teixeira wrung the animal’s neck, tossing the bird’s body one way and the head into some nearby rocks in a wildlife habitat garden area.
The other students — Eric Cuellar, 25, and Hazhir Kargaran, 26 — entered pleas to reduced misdemeanor charges, were fined, and sentenced to community service.
State high court set to hear case in drug buy death 
Kentucky Supreme Court justices are weighing whether state troopers violated their legal duties in handling an informant who was killed during an undercover drug buy gone wrong.
The justices on Thursday heard an appeal from the family of LeBron Gaither, who died in July 1996 on a drive between Taylorsville and Casey County.
An attorney for Gaither’s family argued that troopers continued to use the teen as an informant, even though his work had become known to dealers in the area.
An attorney for Kentucky State Police told the justices the man who shot Gaither and a grand juror who revealed his identity were responsible for the death.
The Kentucky Board of Claims awarded Gaither’s family $168,000.
A Franklin County Circuit Court judge overturned that decision in 2011.
South Dakota
What is hookah smoke? Judge to decide definition
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Rapid City judge who will decide whether hookah consumption falls under South Dakota’s ban on smoking in public places sampled the product.
Judge Jeff Davis is presiding over a trial that will determine whether Ifrits Hookah Lounge can sell alcohol. The statewide  ban prohibits businesses that sell tobacco from also selling alcohol.
Ifrits stopped selling alcohol in 2010 after authorities told the business it would be cited for violating the law. The business then sued.
Assistant City Attorney Carla Cushman says hookah smoke is tobacco smoke. Ifrits attorney Steven Wesolick says hookah smoke is different from cigarette or cigar smoke.
Davis will decide. On Wednesday he went to the lounge and took a draw from a hookah pipe himself.