- - Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NEW YORK — An off-duty police officer was convicted Tuesday of grabbing a schoolteacher off a street and sexually assaulting her, and jurors have been told to keep deliberating on some unresolved counts, including rape.

The jurors found Michael Pena guilty of criminal sex act and some counts of predatory sexual assault. The latter charge carries the potential for life in prison.

The woman testified that Pena grabbed her off the street, forced her into an Upper Manhattan apartment building courtyard and raped her at gunpoint in August. She was on her way to her first day of work at a teaching job.

The defense said Pena acknowledges attacking the woman but never had intercourse with her.


Governors to tour plant where ‘pink slime’ is made

SIOUX FALLS — The leaders of five states plan a visit to the only place where a beef product known as “pink slime” is still made, an effort aimed to support its embattled manufacturer, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Texas Gov. Rick Perry will visit the one Beef Products Inc. plant that’s still in operation to combat misconceptions and misinformation about the company and its “lean, finely textured beef” product, company spokesman Rich Jochum said.

They’ll be joined at the South Sioux City, Neb., plant on Thursday by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy and South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels.

Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based Beef Products said Monday it is suspending operations at plants in Texas, Kansas and Iowa where it makes the low-cost beef ingredient from fatty bits of meat left over from other cuts.


Former abortion doctor dumps files in school bin

OVERLAND PARK — More than 1,000 private abortion records from a defunct clinic have been found discarded in a recycling bin outside an elementary school near Kansas City, prompting a police investigation and outrage from people on both sides of the abortion debate.

The patient records found Saturday came from Affordable Medical and Surgical Services, which closed after its doctor, Krishna Rajanna, lost his medical license in 2005. The records detail names, birth dates, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers and the patients’ health histories, including whether any abortions were performed, the Kansas City Star reported.

From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Rajanna was either fined or disciplined four times by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts and inspectors who visited his clinic in 2005 and reported it was not clean.

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