National Roundup

South Carolina
Man sues city over former officer charged in sexual assault

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. (AP) — A man who says a former South Carolina police officer told him to “strip or be tased” before sexually assaulting him is suing the city of Travelers Rest.

The Greenville News reports the lawsuit, filed Monday, accuses the city and police department of negligence in letting him take a stun gun home without adequate training and failure to supervise the officer. Travelers Rest Police Chief Ben Ford said the lawsuit had not been served to the city by Tuesday afternoon.

The former officer, Shawn Jenkins, was fired from the police department last year after a Greenville County Sheriff’s Office investigation that led to him being charged with second-degree sexual misconduct.

The plaintiff, who filed the suit anonymously, told investigators Jenkins pointed a department-issued stun gun at him while he was visiting Jenkins’ residence on Aug. 5, 2019, and told him to “strip or be tased,” the arrest warrant states.

The boy tried to run away, but he was locked inside a room at Jenkins’ home in Travelers Rest, according to the lawsuit.

“Jenkins continued to use the threat of the taser before finally engaging in sex acts with the plaintiff,” the lawsuit states.

The sexual misconduct charge against Jenkins is still pending, court records show.

Wrongful death lawsuit filed over Naya Rivera’s drowning

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed over the drowning of “Glee” actor Naya Rivera, who died this summer while boating with her 4-year-old son on a California lake.

The suit, filed Tuesday, blames Ventura County and managers of Lake Piru for her accidental death on July 8 at the lake northwest of Los Angeles. It was filed on behalf of her son, Josey Hollis
Dorsey, by Ryan Dorsey — Rivera’s ex-husband and the boy’s father and guardian — and also on behalf of her estate.

Rivera, 33, had rented a pontoon boat on the lake. Her son was found sleeping and alone on the drifting boat later that afternoon.

Rivera’s body was found floating in a 30-foot-deep area of the lake five days later. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said Rivera’s body was most likely trapped in thick vegetation underwater for several days before floating to the top.

An autopsy report said Rivera was a good swimmer and listed her death as an accident.

But the lawsuit said negligence was involved. It said the pontoon boat lacked a safely accessible ladder, radio, rope, anchor or other equipment to keep swimmers from being separated from the boat.

It also didn’t have a life preserver or other flotation or lifesaving devices, according to the suit.

The man who rented Rivera the boat has said she declined a life vest, but he put one aboard anyway.

The suit also said there weren’t any signs in the area warning “of the lake’s strong currents, low visibility, high winds” and other dangers even though at least 26 people have drowned there since the lake opened in 1959.

“While Naya and Josey were swimming, the boat started to be carried away — likely by the current and wind, which gusted up to 21 mph that afternoon,” according to the lawsuit.

Inaccurate reports had said that Rivera boosted the boy back aboard the boat but he managed to get aboard by himself, according to the suit.

The boy heard Rivera cry for help as she struggled to get back to the boat before she disappeared, the suit said.

Rivera may not have known that her son had made it to the boat “but she surely knew that she was dying and would not make it back to her son,” the suit contends.

A call seeking comment from Ventura County wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday night. A county spokesperson declined to comment to Fox News, saying the county hadn’t been served with the lawsuit.

Jurors to hear texts between woman, husband charged in death

COLUMBIANA, Ala. (AP) — Jurors in the trial of a man charged with murder in the death of his wife, an online adult model, can hear text messages that reveal both tension and a passionate side to their relationship, a judge ruled.

The decision by Shelby County Judge Bill Bostick, sought by prosecutors and opposed by the defense, could give the jury a glimpse into the lives of William Jeffrey West, 47, and Kathleen Dawn West, 42, who was found dead along the street in front of their suburban home in January 2018.

News outlets reported that in one text, read aloud in court Wednesday during a hearing outside the presence of jurors, the woman told West he was “throwing away 14 years of marriage.” She also sent him nude photos of herself and said in one message: “Thank you for making me feel sexy.”

Prosecutors contend the messages reveal tension that led to West killing his wife with a blow to the head from a liquor bottle. Outside court, defense lawyer John Robbins said the texts do not make the case the prosecution claims.

“To me, it’s a bunch of baloney,” said Robbins. “It’s supposed to show the volatile marriage they had. She’s mad at him one minute and sending naked pictures to him and saying she loves him the next.”

Kathleen West publicly posted lingerie photos online and charged viewers to see sexier images. The defense told jurors during opening statements that her adult pictures — posted under the name “Kitty Kat West” — did not cause discord between the couple and that Jeff West assisted her.

New Hampshire
Man pleads guilty to hacking into police accounts

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man has pleaded guilty in federal court to hacking into computer accounts for a New Hampshire town’s police department and offices, and a drug treatment center.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Wednesday that Wayne Kenney Jr., 31, of Hooksett, was arrested by an Auburn police officer in 2015 on a heroin possession charge. He was required to attend drug counseling at the Farnum Center in Manchester.

That year, Kenney “engaged in a retributive course of action” that involved hacking into the computer accounts, prosecutors said in a news release. He deployed malicious “keylogging” software, stole employees’ log-in credentials and defaced their accounts. He also created pop-up messages to “pray for the death” of the officer who arrested him, prosecutors said.

Kenney also disabled a Farnum Center link that would have provided website visitors access to information about alcohol and drug treatment assistance. He also changed their 24-hour emergency drug hotline phone number so that anyone calling for help would be re-routed to a number associated with adult entertainment services, prosecutors said.