National Roundup

Florida
Woman gets 7 years for forcing ­surrogate pregnancy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A woman in Florida has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for the forced labor of a Mexican woman she hired as a pregnancy surrogate.

Esthela Clark also faces deportation to Mexico after serving the sentence she received Thursday in federal court in Jacksonville.

Clark pleaded guilty last year.

Federal prosecutors say she traveled to Mexico where she met the victim in 2012, promising her thousands of dollars once a baby was born.

The woman was smuggled into the United States, and after she arrived in Jacksonville, Clark repeatedly tried to inseminate her with sperm retrieved from her boyfriend’s condoms with a syringe.

Prosecutors say when that method failed, Clark forced the woman to have unprotected sex with strangers.

Massachusetts
Satanic Temple says Twitter discriminated against it

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Salem, Massachusetts-based organization called The Satanic Temple is accusing Twitter of discriminating against it on religious grounds.

Satanic Temple founder Lucien Greaves filed a complaint in March with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, saying Twitter wrongly suspended its accounts after someone tweeted a threat to the organization. The Boston Globe reports Twitter has restored the accounts but without the “verified” status Greaves wants.

An attorney for Greaves says the standards used by Twitter to determine its suspensions and verifications of users is colored by its favoritism toward groups that share the social network’s views.

Twitter says an account is verified if it’s determined to be of public interest.

The Satanic Temple’s building is zoned as an art gallery and is open to the public with art installations, lectures and film screenings.

Massachusetts
Former dean convicted of shooting ­student over marijuana

BOSTON (AP) — The former Boston high school dean and anti-violence advocate convicted of shooting and nearly killing a student has been sentenced to up to 26 years in prison.

Shaun Harrison, 58, was found guilty of all charges, including armed assault with intent to murder, by a Suffolk Superior Court jury in its second day of deliberations.

“Shaun Harrison was really a fraud, he was living a lie, and it was clearly exposed in this case,” District Attorney Dan Conley said. “Not only was he not a man of God or a role model for young people, he manipulated them in a way that was terribly offensive.”

Harrison, who had worked as a dean at Boston English High School for five years, recruited 17-year-old Luis Rodriguez to sell marijuana for him at the school and shot him on March 3, 2015, because he believed the student was not generating enough sales and withholding money.

Rodriguez, now 20, testified that he came from a dysfunctional family and trusted Harrison, who students nicknamed “Rev.”

“He was my counselor. I went to him for everything,” Rodriguez said during the two-week trial.

On the day of the shooting, the pair arranged to meet at a gas station where Harrison was supposed to hand over some drugs.

Harrison shot the student in the back of the head and fled on foot, prosecutors said.

The bullet entered Rod­riguez’s head just under his right ear. It just missed his carotid artery, broke his jawbone and caused nerve damage and hearing loss.

Rodriguez said he was saved by occupants of a passing car, who called 911.

Bruce Carroll, Harrison’s attorney, asked why Rodriguez did not immediately identify his client as the shooter even though he was conscious and alert.

Rodriguez had told hospital staff he was shot by one of  his marijuana customers during a botched drug deal, Carroll said.

“It took me a while to get all my thoughts back together after being shot in the head, sir,” Rodriguez said during cross-examination. “I was in such denial. I knew who did it. Of course I knew who did it.”

Florida
Jury awards 4 cents to family of black man killed by deputy

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — The jurors who awarded only 4 cents to the family of a black man fatally shot by a deputy in Florida struggled to reach consensus in the hours before their verdict.

Jury notes show the foreperson wrote the federal judge to say they couldn’t reach a unanimous decision before finally deciding on the family’s lawsuit against the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office last week.

The jury found 30-year-old Gregory Hill Jr. 99 percent responsible for his death because he was drunk when he was shot by a deputy responding to a noise complaint.

Hill opened his garage door to answer the deputy, who fired as the door came down again. A gun was found in Hill’s pocket.

The jury awarded Hill’s relatives $4, of which they get 1 percent.

Washington
Woman shocked with stun gun settles lawsuit for $50K

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — A woman who was shocked with a stun gun and injured in the Kitsap County Courthouse has settled a lawsuit against the county and the corrections officer involved for $50,000.

The Kitsap Sun reported this week that 41- year-old Mary Gomez settled with the county and Corrections Officer Michael Turso.

She sued in U.S. District Court following the Dec. 11, 2013 incident.

The suit says Gomez went to a hearing on a theft charge and was told she was would be taken into custody unless she could post bail.

Instead, the suit says she ran and that Turso shot her in the back as she was descending a staircase, causing her to fall. Gomez sustained broken bones, cuts and bruises.

Kitsap County Chief General Counsel Ione George said the settlement wasn’t an acknowledgment of liability but was made to compensate Gomez for her injuries.

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