Pennsylvania Defending Lawsuit by Blaming Woman for Her Own Rape

A 24-year-old was working at the Rockland state prison in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania prison as a typist when she was attacked and raped by an inmate. Omar Best was convicted of her rape. The victim has sued the state of Pennsylvania, which is defending the lawsuit by claiming that her actions “in whole or in part contributed” to her own rape.

Kathleen Kane’s office was flooded with calls yesterday after the Centre Daily Times initially reported the lawsuit response. The Attorney General’s office says Kane didn’t know about this response to the lawsuit when it was filed, even though her name is on it. Kane spokesman David Tyler talked to the Centre Daily, which explained, “Kane’s name is attached to hundreds of documents every week, most of which she did not author and might not have read.” (I guess “It’s my first day!” or “The dog ate my copy of the filing” sounded worse.)

“This initial filing should not necessarily be interpreted as meaning this defense will be pursued throughout the entire case,” Kane’s office said in a statement sent to media outlets. “Attorney General Kane is disappointed that she was not made aware of this matter prior to the filing, and was saddened to learn that the filing implied that the victim somehow contributed to this crime.”

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Pa. Trooper Shooting Suspect Added to FBI Most Wanted List as Police Close In


[Update, 10 a.m. Saturday] The Morning Call reports that the search intensified last night and shots were reported in the area where police are conducting their search.

Shots reportedly were fired Friday night within a mile of the home of Eric Frein, and police reportedly had a house surrounded and were closing in. Northern Monroe County residents were ordered to get indoors and stay away from their windows.

[Original, 9:40 a.m. Friday] The FBI has added Eric Frein to its 10 most wanted list. Frein is accused of killing Pennsylvania state trooper Byron Dickson and wounding trooper Alex Douglass in a random attack.

A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered by the FBI in the case. If you have any information, the agency asks you contact your local FBI office or the Pennsylvania State Police at (866) 326-7256.

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Funeral Scheduled for Trooper in Barracks Shooting

A funeral for Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II will be held Thursday morning at a Roman Catholic catheral in Scranton. He was the state trooper killed — another was badly injured — during an ambush Friday night at police barracks in Blooming Grove.

Meanwhile, the hunt for the killer continues.
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Pennsylvania Selling 11 Bridges for as Little as $1

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

Okay, not me. But the state of Pennsylvania has 11 bridges for sale, ranging from $1 to $500. And the Federal Highway Administration will likely foot the transportation cost! Imagine: A bridge in your backyard, in your condo, in your bathroom!

There’s a catch. Read more »

Interview: Adam Solow on the Immigration Crisis

Adam Solow, by Dan Doran Photgraphy.

Adam Solow, by Dan Doran Photgraphy.

The debate over illegal immigration has taken a new turn in recent months, as thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America have appeared at the U.S. border — presenting officials here with challenges on how and whether to deport them, and how to humanely hold and track them while awaiting processing.

The crisis has reached into Pennsylvania. Some children have family in the state and are sent here while waiting process. And the federal government, after all, operates only one immigrant family detention center, in Berks County — but it can only house 96 people at most, and only for weeks or months at a time. There’s also been talk of opening a new center in Hazelton, Pa. The whole situation is increasingly becoming a political hot potato in Washington D.C.

Adam Solow is a Philadelphia immigration attorney who has seen the crisis begin to manifest itself in his practice. He spoke to Philly Mag recently about the situation. Some excerpts:

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House Votes to Name Official Pennsylvania ‘State Firearm’

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to name the long rifle the state firearm of Pennsylvania on Monday. That’s right: Soon you’ll be able to take a state gun (the long rifle) and shoot the state bird (the ruffed grouse) before celebrating with the state drink (milk).

The vote prompted an impassioned response from a State Rep. Mark B. Cohen, one of many Philadelphia-area representatives to vote against the bill.

“Having a state gun is deeply offensive to many people in Pennsylvania,” Cohen said on the floor. “We ought not to pass this amendment. We ought to show some sensitivity to the loss of human life.”

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Ruling Expected Today in Challenge to Pennsylvania Same-Sex Marriage Ban

[UPDATE: 2: 41 p.m.] The ban has been overturned. 


Plugged-in local lawyer Adam Bonin — who has worked this election season for Daylin Leach and helped Brian Sims kick Babette Josephs off the ballot — tweeted last night that a ruling is expected today on a challenge in federal courts to Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban.

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Nate Silver Thinks Pennsylvania Is in the Midwest

Political and baseball data journalist Nate Silver recently left the New York Times to launch his FiveThirtyEight brand as a standalone site owned by ESPN. Here’s the site’s latest:

Bah. This is the kind of nonsense I’d expect from Grantland, not FiveThirtyEight!

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