National Roundup

Maine

Hypnotist sentenced for sex with teen-age girl

AUBURN, Maine (AP) -- A Maine hypnotist accused of using his craft during sexual encounters with a teen-age girl is going to prison for six years.

The Sun Journal of Lewiston says 38-year-old Aaron Patton of Jay was sentenced Monday by Superior Court Justice Donald Marden.

Patton as sentenced to six years in prison for each of four counts of gross sexual assault, four years each for one count of unlawful sexual contact and counts of sexual abuse of a minor. All but the initial six years were suspended.

Patton began treating the girl, now 17, with hypnotism when she was 12 to break her of a nail-biting habit. Prosecutors said Patton would hypnotize her after their sexual encounters to make her feel more comfortable about their trysts.

Puerto Rico

Man claims he was abused by priest

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- A Puerto Rican man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest affiliated with a Minnesota abbey filed a lawsuit Monday against his alleged abuser and the religious order that runs the abbey.

The anonymous plaintiff alleged he was abused around 1978, when he was 14, by the Rev. Francisco Schulte when the priest worked at San Antonio Abad, a boarding school in the southeastern city of Humacao operated by St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota.

According to the lawsuit, the accuser "did not discover that he had been injured by the sexual contact" until last year, when he was interviewed by an investigator probing the priest's past and was required to describe what had allegedly happened to him in an affidavit.

"After (he) completed the affidavit, in June 2010, (he) began to think about the sexual abuse by Fr. Schulte and the ways that these acts had injured him," alleges the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico.

The complaint demands a trial by jury and a judgment against the defendants, including the abbey, of more than $75,000, plus lawyers fees and other costs.

Paul Richards, spokesman for the Minnesota abbey, wouldn't comment on the lawsuit's specifics but said the abbey takes issues of sexual misconduct very seriously.

"Over many years the abbey has worked to ensure that policies concerning human rights are enforced. Saint John's policies are clear and longstanding: We do not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form," Richards said in an e-mail.

The Order of St. Benedict operates the abbey in central Minnesota.

Schulte was the chaplain of the Minnesota school from 1977 to 1981 and the principal from 1979 to 1981, according to defense lawyer Patrick Noaker. Schulte now lives at St. John's Abbey, Noaker said.

Besides his time in Puerto Rico, the lawsuit says Schulte also represented St. John's in North Carolina, Mexico, the Bahamas and Rome.

Noaker said attorneys settled two cases involving Schulte a month ago but provided few specifics in an email.

Another defense attorney, Jeff Anderson, said in late March that nine men who filed lawsuits claiming sexual abuse at the hands of monks or priests have reached settlements with St. John's Abbey.

The accused clergy all taught at St. John's Preparatory School or were assigned to parishes, according to Anderson, who has filed thousands of lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests. All the alleged abuse cases occurred from the 1960s to 2004.

Infomercial host pleads guilty to fraud

BOSTON (AP) -- A Massachusetts man known for his infomercials touting the purported health benefits of Coral Calcium and Supreme Greens has pleaded guilty to tax and consumer fraud charges.

Federal prosecutors say Donald Barrett of Plymouth pleaded guilty on Monday to failing to report $573,000 in income from one of the products he sold on television and for marketing a product touted as a preventative for cancer and arthritis without approval of the Food and Drug Administration.

The 36-year-old Barrett faces up to three years in prison at sentencing scheduled for July 27, but The Salem News reports he is only expected to receive a year under terms of a plea agreement.

Louisiana

Laywer wants some charges tossed in evidence case

NAPOLEONVILLE, La. (AP) -- A judge has been asked to throw out 14 firearms charges against a former Assumption Parish sheriff's lieutenant accused of tampering with evidence in hundreds of drug cases.

Louis B. Lambert, 48, of Labadieville, was arrested June 11 on suspicion of tampering with drug evidence in the sheriff's evidence vault. He later was indicted on 337 malfeasance counts, as well as other drug and weapons charges.

The weapons charges allege that Lambert had his service revolver while he was committing criminal acts.

Defense attorney Beau Brooks argued Monday that those charges should be dismissed because Lambert was a police officer at the time. But Assistant District Attorney Robin O'Bannon said appeals courts have said the exemption cannot be used by officers when they are breaking other laws.

According to The Advocate, State District Judge Jane Triche-Milazzo said she would rule within 10 days. Lambert is free on bond. No trial date has been set.

At the time of his arrest, state police accused Lambert of tampering with nearly 540 envelopes in the sheriff's evidence locker.

Sheriff Mike Waguespack fired Lambert, a 17-year veteran of the agency, in June.

Prosecutors said the arrest capped a three-month investigation that also turned up tampered evidence envelopes at Lambert's home. The sheriff's office internal investigation found evidence from numerous cases had been switched before being submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, troopers have said.

Ohio

Boy murder defendant to get competency hearing

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) -- A 12-year-old Ohio boy charged with murdering his mother's boyfriend has entered the juvenile court equivalent of a not guilty plea.

According to media reports from Monday's arraignment, the judge explained court terms to the young defendant during the proceeding in central Ohio's Delaware County. At the request of the boy's court-appointed guardian, the judge ordered that a hearing be held to determine if the youth is competent to stand trial.

The boy is charged with using a .22-caliber revolver to fatally shoot 38-year-old Jeffrey Reece on April 23. He told a 911 dispatcher he shot Reece because the man had threatened him and his mother.

The boy has been held in juvenile detention since the shooting.

Published: Wed, May 4, 2011

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