American Scene: Court rules child-porn victims can sue viewers for damages

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NEW ORLEANS — Child-pornography victims can recover money from people convicted of viewing their abuse without having to show a link between the crime and their injuries, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The decision conflicts with rulings by several other federal circuits, possibly setting the stage for a Supreme Court challenge.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a woman, identified as “Amy” in court documents, was entitled to restitution from Texas resident Doyle Randall Paroline and New Orleans resident Michael Wright, both of whom pleaded guilty in separate cases to possessing child pornography that included images of Amy.

OREGON

Boy Scouts to open secret ‘perversion’ files to police

PORTLAND — The Boy Scouts of America plan to begin doing what critics argue they should have done decades ago — bring suspected abusers named in the organization’s so-called “perversion” files to the attention of police departments and sheriff’s offices across the country.

The Scouts have, until now, argued they did all they could to prevent sex abuse within their ranks by spending a century tracking pedophiles and using those records to keep known sex offenders out of their organization. But a court-ordered release of the perversion files from 1965 to 1985, expected sometime in October, has prompted the organization to go back into the files and report any offenders who may have fallen through the cracks.

The review could prompt new criminal prosecutions.

The Scouts began keeping the files shortly after the organization’s creation in 1910, when pedophilia was largely a crime dealt with privately, not publicly. Some of the files released in 1991, detailing cases from 1971 to 1991, showed repeated instances of Scouts leaders failing to disclose sex abuse to authorities, even when they had a confession.

OHIO

Woman charged with dragging man with car

CINCINNATI — A southwestern Ohio woman has pleaded not guilty to dragging a man with her car Saturday for three-quarters of a mile and running over his ankle.

Donald Brownlee, 53, says he was in his friend’s truck at a stop sign when a car driven by Brandi Lynn Stuntebeck, 31, hit them.

After cornering the fleeing driver in a cul-de-sac, both men got out. Mr. Brownlee says he had no choice but to grab the woman’s open passenger-side window when she took a sharp turn. He says she kept driving as he clutched the window and begged her to slow down. Mr. Brownlee was able to let go when Ms. Stuntebeck hit a speed bump. He suffered minor injuries.

Ex-Ohio State star charged in road rage shooting

COLUMBUS — Former Ohio State football star Jim Stillwagon is suspected of shooting at a pickup truck on a highway ramp and later striking the driver with a handgun, causing it to fire a bullet that grazed the man’s head, after a road-rage incident on Sunday that spanned about 14 miles, police said Monday.

The college Hall of Famer, a guard who helped the Buckeyes to a national championship in 1968, was jailed on a felonious assault charge and had bond set at $350,000 in municipal court in the city of Delaware, Ohio, north of Columbus.

CALIFORNIA

$2 million in jewelry stolen in daylight museum heist

MARIPOSA — California investigators searched Monday for thieves who made off with an estimated $2 million in precious gems and gold from a Central Valley museum during a brazen daytime robbery.

At least two robbers wearing hoods and armed with pickaxes threatened workers during the heist Friday at the California Mining and Minerals Museum in Mariposa, the California Highway Patrol said.

WWII gun to be displayed at San Francisco Bay site

SAN FRANCISCO — A massive gun that was on the battleship Missouri when the Japanese surrendered at the end of World War II will soon be installed on a cliff at the entrance to San Francisco Bay.

The 68-foot-long, 236,000-pound gun will be refurbished and painted over the coming months then displayed at the Battery Townsley fortification in Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

NEW YORK

Online effort raises $1.3M to restore historic Tesla lab

MINEOLA — A six-week Internet effort has raised $1.3 million to restore a New York laboratory once used by visionary scientist Nikola Tesla.

The rival of Thomas Edison imagined a world of free electricity and conducted experiments in the early 20th century at his Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham, on the north shore of Long Island.

Volunteers on eastern Long Island had struggled for nearly two decades to raise money to acquire the property with little success — until they encountered an unexpected benefactor this summer. Seattle cartoonist Matthew Inman started promoting a fundraising effort on his website, theoatmeal.com.

Within hours of posting an appeal last August on the fundraising site Indiegogo.com, donations began to accumulate by the hundreds of thousands. By Saturday, more than $1.3 million was collected from 33,000 donors in the U.S. and 108 countries.

KENTUCKY

Kentuckian arrested in N.Y. bailout fraud probe

NEW YORK — Authorities say a Kentucky businessman and two others are charged in New York in a $100 million scheme that contributed to the collapse of a bank.

Prosecutors say Wilbur Anthony Huff’s arrest was part two in an investigation of a Park Avenue Bank collapse. The government says Mr. Huff evaded more than $50 million in taxes and diverted millions for his homes, farm, designer clothing, jewelry and luxury cars.

TENNESSEE

Testimony: Man plotted kidnapping for a year

BOLIVAR — A Mississippi man’s infatuation with a 12-year-old Tennessee girl led him to plot her abduction for a year and kill her mother and sister, according to testimony in court Monday.

The abduction of the girl and another sister spurred a manhunt in the northern Mississippi woods that ended when Adam Mayes fatally shot himself May 10 as authorities closed in. Alexandria Bain, 12, and her sister Kyliyah, 8, were rescued.

According to a statement from Mayes’ widow, the 35-year-old man was in love with Alexandria. “Adam said he couldn’t live without her,” Teresa Mayes was quoted as saying.

CONNECTICUT

Dad who shot masked son ‘broken in half,’ lawyer says

NEW HAVEN — A lawyer says a popular Connecticut teacher who fatally shot a knife-wielding prowler in a ski mask and then learned it was his 15-year-old son says he’s devastated.

Jeffrey Giuliano’s attorney said Monday the family is “broken in half” by the tragedy.

Tyler Giuliano died outside his next-door neighbor’s house in New Fairfield. His father went outside with a gun Thursday when his sister called to say someone was trying to break into her house.

Jeffrey Giuliano saw a masked person holding a weapon. Police say the person came toward Mr. Giuliano, and Mr. Giuliano shot him, only to be told later that it was his son.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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