- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 17, 2005

Lawsuit says monitor seduced teen on Web

LOS ANGELES — An Internet chat room monitor hired to keep children safe from sexual predators seduced a California girl online and was about to meet her for sex when he was found out by a co-worker, a lawsuit charges.

According to documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the online relationship began when the girl was 15. She met the AOL employee in a children’s chat room and confided in him.

The lawsuit charges AOL and its parent company, Time Warner Inc., with failing to supervise the employee and of falsely advertising that its online service was safe for children. It also charges the monitor with inflicting emotional distress.

Governor vetoes English-only bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Joe Manchin III yesterday vetoed a bill that would have made English the state’s official language — not because he didn’t like the idea, but because the legislation had a technical flaw.

The Democratic governor, who co-sponsored unsuccessful English-only bills when he was a lawmaker, cited the state constitution, which limits each piece of legislation to one topic. The original bill, on increasing the size of local park and recreation boards, was amended during the final hours of the regular legislative session.

Efforts to make English the state’s official language have been introduced annually since the late 1990s.

Georgia woman’s dogs may have killed her

GLENWOOD, Ga. — A 74-year-old animal lover was found dead in her home after what police think was an attack by the woman’s two mixed-breed dogs.

Neighbors reported a commotion Thursday at the house of Laverne Ford, a retired nurse’s aide who lived alone with the dogs and many cats.

When an officer arrived, the larger dog — estimated at between 50 and 60 pounds — was sitting next to Miss Ford’s body, Wheeler County Sheriff James Peacock said. Both dogs had blood on them and are thought to have taken part in the attack.

“I’ve seen dog bites before, but I’d never seen anything like this,” Sheriff Peacock said.

Suspect arrested in TV-station shooting

DETROIT — A former employee of television station WDIV was in critical condition yesterday after being shot in the station’s entrance by a man who police say had assaulted employees there before.

John Owens, 53, was at Detroit Receiving Hospital after being shot in the upper torso Friday.

The gunman was expected to be arraigned today on charges of assault with intent to murder, said Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. She did not identify the suspect.

Police said the gunman entered an outer set of doors Friday afternoon, but a receptionist refused to let him through an inner set because she recognized him as someone who purportedly had assaulted employees in the past.

Teen admits setting fatal fire

GRISWOLD, Iowa — A teenager told police she poured 2 gallons of gasoline through the house while her family slept, then set it on fire to get back at her stepfather, who was arrested later for purportedly sexually abusing her.

Tracey Dyess, 17, was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and arson in the March 31 blaze that killed her 13-year-old sister and 6-year-old brother.

Her stepfather, Brian Street, 39, and mother, Debbie Street, 37, were awakened by a smoke alarm and escaped the house.

Mr. Street was jailed on 10 counts of third-degree sexual abuse after authorities opened a bedroom safe that Tracey told them contained photos of her taken by her stepfather. They found 65 Polaroid photos of sex acts and nudity, as well as 35 rolls of undeveloped film, court documents said.

Girl learning to park kills mother

MARLBORO, N.J. — A New Jersey teenager accidentally killed her mother while learning how to parallel park.

The Asbury Park Press reported that the 16-year-old was in the car on a quiet street in Marlboro when the accident occurred Thursday afternoon. Monmouth County prosecutor Robert Honecker told the newspaper that her mother had set up cones and was outside the car watching her daughter.

The girl apparently hit the accelerator by mistake and the car lurched forward, hitting her mother.

Local police and the county’s Serious Collision Analysis Response Team were investigating the crash, but Mr. Honecker said he had no reason to suspect anything but an accident.

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