National Roundup

University looking into into law prof’s porn email

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia university says it’s investigating a respected law professor who allegedly emailed students a link to a pornographic video.
Drexel University says professor Lisa McElroy’s email last week “erroneously included a link to inappropriate material.”

The university says federal law requires it investigate all reports of inappropriate behaviors of a sexual nature.

McElroy did not immediately respond to an email sent to her university account.

The associate professor teaches legal writing and teaching methods at Drexel’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law.

She’s known for her writings on the U.S. Supreme Court and has written several children’s books about the court’s justices and other officials.

Drexel says an employee under investigation may be put on administrative leave but wouldn’t say if that applies to McElroy.

New York
Barneys seeks dismissal of civil rights lawsuit

NEW YORK (AP) — Barneys says in court papers that a black customer’s lawsuit should be dismissed because his civil rights were not violated when he was detained by police after buying a $349 designer belt.

The Daily News says the men’s retailer recently filed the papers in Manhattan federal court.

Trayon Christian filed a lawsuit against the retailer last year charging he was the victim of racial profiling. His allegations led to an overhaul of Barneys practices.

Christian was detained for two hours by police on suspicion of credit card fraud without being charged.

In their papers, Barneys said that “simply providing information to the police ... does not subject the informant to liability for false arrest.”

New Jersey
Prosecutor says 100-year-old man killed wife with ax

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. (AP) — Prosecutors say a 100-year-old man apparently killed his wife with an ax as she slept in their home, then killed himself in the bathroom with a knife.

But it’s still not clear what sparked the murder-suicide late Sunday in Elmwood Park.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli says there was a “history of domestic issues” between Michael Juskin and his 88-year-old wife, Rosalia. But he said a motive for the attack remains under investigation.

Police officers found the couple in their Spruce Street home after relative — who was not in the home — called authorities. The deaths were made public Monday.

Authorities do not believe anyone else was in the home when the attack occurred.

Neighbors told The Record newspaper that they often saw the couple out and about — Michael Juskin walking a dog and his wife tending to her garden — but
said they kept to themselves.

Man gets 4 years for guitar-string beheading

LYNDON, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man was sentenced Monday to four years and two months in prison for beheading another man with a guitar string after a plea deal that prosecutors said they accepted because of problems with the case.

James Paul Harris originally was charged with first-degree murder in the 2011 death of James Gerety, but pleaded no contest in December to involuntary manslaughter.

The victim’s brother, Tom Gerety, called the justice system “a joke” after learning how long Harris would serve, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports. But Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones said pursuing the more serious charge posed challenges because of problems with evidence and witnesses.

A former girlfriend testified last year that Harris told her he shot Gerety in the stomach, tortured him for two days, then cut off his head. Prosecutors allege Harris kept Gerety’s head for months for some type of religious practice. Part of the skull was found in March 2012 in rural Osage County on land where Harris’ father lived.

Other than a portion of the victim’s skull, prosecutors didn’t have the victim’s body, the murder weapon hadn’t been recovered, not all of the prosecution’s witnesses were available, and prosecutors faced “credibility issues” with a major witness, Jones said.

Man pleads guilty in $70M phone cramming case

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering after prosecutors said his companies ran up $70 million in unauthorized charges on phone bills across the nation in a “cramming” scheme.

Cramming involves tricking customers into paying for services they didn’t authorize or receive, prosecutors said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged the case against 59-year-old Steven Sann of Stevensville involved voicemail accounts and fax services people may have unwittingly signed up for while answering questions on websites offering free products or job-search assistance.

Hundreds of complaints about monthly charges from $9.95 to $24.95 led Sann’s companies to return more than $40 million, authorities said.

Data collected by the Federal Trade Commission found many customers didn’t know they were being charged. From March 2010 to April 2012, less than 1 percent of the people purportedly with voicemail accounts through the companies actually accessed them.

The FTC brought civil action against Sann, his wife, his son, Nathan, their accountant and nine companies in January 2013, asking a federal court to shut down the operation. The agency said companies run by the Sanns started tacking on unauthorized phone charges in 2008.

The companies listed were: American eVoice, Ltd.; Emerica Media Corp.; FoneRight Inc.; Global Voice Mail, Ltd.; HearYou2, Inc.; Network Assurance, Inc.; SecuratDat, Inc.; Techmax Solutions, Inc.; and Voice Mail Professionals, Inc.

Nathan Sann has said they stopped charging customers in April 2012. He reached an agreement with the FTC in November that bans him from placing charges on consumers’ phone bills. It called for a $21 million judgment, but that amount would be suspended if Sann surrendered precious metal coins to the agency. The value of the coins was unclear.

Steven Sann was initially charged with 32 counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy. He pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud and money laundering last Friday during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen.

His attorney, Peter Lacney, said the plea agreement recommends a two-year prison term when Sann is sentenced on July 17.

The FTC case against Steven Sann was put on hold pending the outcome of the criminal case.