National Roundup

South Carolina
FBI: Woman kidnapped, sex assaulted girl she met online

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Federal authorities say a South Carolina woman kidnapped a girl from Minnesota and sexually assaulted her.

Citing an FBI affidavit, news outlets report 23-year-old Katrina Marie Aliff was arrested last month on charges including aggravated child sexual abuse. The affidavit says Aliff met the girl, who’s younger than 12, on the messaging app Amino in March. It says the girl’s father found the messages last month and destroyed the phone, but the girl and Aliff continued to chat through a tablet.

It says Aliff picked up the St. Paul girl days later and drove them to her Greenville home, where authorities say they were found the next day.

A judge ordered Aliff to undergo mental evaluation. Online jail records say she’s being held at a New York corrections center.

State AG: 165 more fetal remains linked to late doctor

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s attorney general said Friday that 165 sets of fetal remains have been found in the Chicago area inside a car owned by a late Indiana abortion doctor, boosting the total number of abandoned sets of fetal remains discovered at properties linked to him to more 2,400.

Attorney General Curtis Hill said the 165 remains were discovered Wednesday in the trunk of a Mercedes Benz parked at a business property in Dolton, Illinois, where Dr. Ulrich Klopfer had kept a total of eight cars.
Those remains are believed to be from abortions Klopfer performed in 2002 at his three Indiana abortion clinics, Hill said.

Last month, 2,246 sets of fetal remains were found in Klopfer’s Will County, Illinois, garage, after relatives stumbled onto them while cleaning out that building after he died Sept. 3 at age 79.

Those remains, which have been returned to Indiana, were determined to be from abortions Klopfer performed from 2000 to 2002 at his clinics in Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend. The Fort Wayne clinic closed in 2014, and the Gary and South Bend clinics closed the next year.

The new discovery brought the total number of sets of fetal remains discovered at properties connected to Klopfer to 2,411.

Hill, a conservative Republican who opposes abortion rights, said the disturbing discoveries represent “uncharted territory for all of us,” adding that his office is committed to ensuring that all of the remains “receive a respectful final disposition here in Indiana.”

“We are following the same protocol for these additional 165 fetal remains that we have already established,” he said in a news release.

Hill’s office is working with Democratic Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul to investigate the fetal remains. That investigation has also uncovered thousands of patient medical records at Klopfer’s former Indiana clinics and other properties. The exact number of medical records found hasn’t been disclosed.

Klopfer was believed to be Indiana’s most prolific abortion doctor, and Hill said Friday that he is believed to have performed tens of thousands of abortions during his career.

Indiana’s Medical Licensing Board suspended Klopfer’s medical license in 2016 after finding numerous violations, including a failure to ensure that qualified staff were present when patients received or recovered from medications given before and during abortions.

Lawyers for marathon bomber say fair trial rights violated

BOSTON (AP) — Attorneys trying to overturn the death sentence of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev say in a new court filing that the 2013 explosions so traumatized the region that it was impossible to get an impartial jury.

The Boston Globe reports that Tsarnaev’s lawyers say his rights to a fair trial were violated because the jury that voted to sentence Tsarnaev to death was from drawn from a pool of people, nearly all of whom were familiar with the broad details of the attack.

They also say 69% of the jury pool believed Tsarnaev was guilty.

Tsarnaev was convicted of carrying out the April 15, 2013, attack with his older brother, who was killed by authorities. He is appealing the death sentence.

Prosecutors maintain an impartial jury was carefully selected.

Defense lawyer for pastor dated client’s accuser

WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) — A Christian radio co-host accused of repeatedly raping a girl at his church has hired as his defense attorney a man who later dated the alleged victim.

The 59-year-old Rev. Bryan Fulwider pleaded not guilty Thursday to 30 counts of child sexual abuse, which allegedly began when the accuser was 14 in 2005 and lasted until 2010.

A judge is now weighing whether to remove one of the pastor’s defense attorneys, Jacob V. Stuart Jr. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the woman’s lawyer, Lisabeth Fryer, filed a motion Tuesday to have Stuart dismissed because, among other things, Stuart was in a romantic relationship with her client for two years.

Stuart could be called as a witness, and has conflicts of interest that violate the Florida Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights and rules of professional conduct for Florida attorneys, the motion says, arguing that Fulwider never should have hired him.

“The defendant created this conflict. Defense counsel has perpetuated it,” the motion said. “The victim is now respectfully asking this court to stop it.”

Stuart filed a petition to strike Fryer’s motion, and issued a statement late Thursday denying any wrongdoing. Stuart described his own relationship with the woman as “brief and casual.” He wrote that Fulwider has been his spiritual advisor for nearly 20 years and has been involved in many of his family’s weddings and baptisms.

Circuit Judge Elaine Barbour said Thursday that she would rule later on the motion to dismiss Stuart, and would decide on Fulwider’s bail later after listening to a phone call Winter Park Police recorded between Fulwider and the woman. Police said the pastor admitted during the call to having a sexual relationship with the then-teenager, according to an affidavit obtained by the Sentinel. Police said Fulwider told her he loved her, and that it would be best for him if she told authorities there was no truth to the allegations.

The affidavit indicates that much of the abuse happened at the First Congregational Church in Winter Park, where Fulwider preached from 1999 to 2012. Authorities say the woman attended the church as a child.

When asked by the woman if she could possibly be found at fault, the affidavit says Fulwider responded: “It would be as if I was a predator and you were victimized by me.”

Fulwider has been one of three co-hosts, with a rabbi and an imam, of the “Friends Talking Faith” radio show broadcast in Central Florida.