Kentucky court session planned in former women's coach case
Court News | 2015/09/07 18:06
A pretrial conference is planned in the case of a former college women's basketball coach accused of groping a player.

The session has been scheduled for Tuesday morning in a Kenton County court for Bryce McKey. McKey's attorney has entered a not-guilty plea for him on a charge of third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor.

Hours after his arraignment Aug. 14, the University of Maryland announced that he had resigned as an assistant women's basketball coach.

According to a sworn affidavit, a player McKey coached as an assistant at Xavier said McKey asked her to come to his home in Covington, Kentucky, in May. She said during the evening, he repeatedly touched her inappropriately.

McKey has been ordered to stay away from her, and from Xavier's campus and events.




U.S. military chooses rarely-used charge for Bergdahl
Court News | 2015/09/05 18:06
Military prosecutors have reached into a section of military law seldom used since World War II in the politically fraught case against U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier held prisoner for years by the Taliban after leaving his post in Afghanistan.

Observers wondered for months if Bergdahl would be charged with desertion after the deal brokered by the U.S. to bring him home. He was -- as well as misbehavior before the enemy, a much rarer offense that carries a stiffer potential penalty in this case.

Bergdahl could face a life sentence if convicted of the charge, which accuses him of endangering fellow soldiers when he "left without authority; and wrongfully caused search and recovery operations."

Observers say the misbehavior charge allows authorities to allege that Bergdahl not only left his unit with one less soldier, but that his deliberate action put soldiers who searched for him in harm's way. The Pentagon has said there is no evidence anyone died searching for Bergdahl.

"You're able to say that what he did had a particular impact or put particular people at risk. It is less generic than just quitting," said Lawrence Morris, a retired Army colonel who served as the branch's top prosecutor and top public defender.

The Obama administration has been criticized both for agreeing to release five Taliban operatives from the Guantanamo Bay prison and for heralding Bergdahl's return to the U.S. with an announcement in the White House Rose Garden. The administration stood by the way it secured his release even after the charges were announced.

The military has scheduled an initial court appearance hearing for Bergdahl on Sept. 17 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Afterward the case could be referred to a court-martial and go to trial.



Burkina Faso court rejects candidate of former ruling party
Court News | 2015/08/27 06:35
A court in Burkina Faso on Saturday rejected the chosen presidential candidate of the former ruling party, prompting threats of a boycott of the vote in October.

The presidential and legislative elections scheduled for Oct. 11 are intended to end one year of transitional rule imposed after longtime President Blaise Compaore was ousted in a popular uprising triggered by his attempt to alter rules that would have prevented him from seeking a third term.

The candidate list published Saturday included 16 of the 22 proposed candidates. The list is still provisional and appeals can be filed until Sept. 6. Most of the rejected candidates were disqualified for failing to pay the necessary fees.

But Eddie Comboigo, the chosen candidate of Compaore's Congress for Democracy and Progress, was barred under a new electoral code passed earlier this year that disqualifies candidates who supported Compaore's bid to stay in office. Earlier this week, the court rejected more than 40 candidates for the legislative vote including former ministers and lawmakers close to Compaore.

The United States has expressed concern about the code, which was denounced by a regional court. The country's interim leader, Michel Kafando, initially said the country would abide by the regional court's ruling, but transitional authorities have more recently called for the High Court's decisions to be respected.

Compaore's party will boycott the elections "and resort to civil disobedience" if its candidates are blocked from running, said Jonathan Yameogo, a communications official with the party.



Man charged with killing Memphis officer to appear in court
Court News | 2015/08/12 15:38
An ex-convict charged with fatally shooting a Memphis police officer during a struggle is scheduled to appear in county court Wednesday.

Twenty-nine-year-old Tremaine Wilbourn is being held on $10 million bond on a first-degree murder charge in the Aug. 1 death of Officer Sean Bolton. It's not clear whether Wilbourn has an attorney to contact for comment on the case.

Wilbourn's sister, Callie Watkins, told The Associated Press last week that her brother told her during a phone conversation after the shooting that he was forcibly pulled out of a car by Bolton.

Police have said that Bolton approached the 2002 Mercedes Benz on foot after pulling up in his squad car and that he interrupted a drug deal.

Police say Wilbourn took out a gun and shot Bolton multiple times. Wilbourn was arrested after a two-day manhunt.


Penn State ex-officials' case heads to appeals court hearing
Court News | 2015/08/11 15:46
The criminal case against three former high-ranking Penn State administrators is headed to a Pennsylvania appellate courtroom, nearly four years after two of them were first charged. A decision against them could clear the way for trial.

The group of Superior Court sessions in a state Capitol courtroom on Tuesday will address the actions of Penn State's then-general counsel, Cynthia Baldwin, as the men were being investigated for an alleged cover-up of child sex abuse complaints against Jerry Sandusky.

The judges are expected to conduct three separate half-hour sessions, one each for former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.

The appellate court file is sealed, so the precise nature of the legal dispute is somewhat clouded. But the appeals were launched after a January order by Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover that rejected their arguments attacking the fairness and legality of the process that led to charges.


UK jury says trader guilty of manipulating key interest rate
Court News | 2015/08/03 22:27
A British jury has found a former Citibank and UBS trader guilty of being the ringmaster in the manipulation of a key interest rate, the London Interbank Lending Rate, or Libor.

The jury on Monday found 35-year-old Tom Hayes, who specialized in products pegged to yen-denominated Libor, guilty of manipulating the rate from 2006 to 2010. He was charged with conspiring with other traders — but he says he was made a scapegoat for a common practice.

Libor is a key rate that banks use to borrow from each other. Revelations that it was rigged shook the markets because the rate affects what people pay when they take out loans, such as a car loan.

Hayes is the first to be convicted by a U.K. jury of Libor rigging.



Appeals court revives challenge to consumer agency
Court News | 2015/07/27 15:39
A federal appeals court on Friday revived a legal challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal office created to protect consumers in financial dealings with banks, lenders and credit card companies.
 
The federal appeals court in Washington ruled that a Texas bank could challenge the constitutionality of the watchdog agency's powers even though the bank's conduct has not been subject to any enforcement.

A federal district judge had dismissed the lawsuit in 2013 after finding the bank had no legal standing to bring the claims.

The independent agency was created in 2010 by a sweeping law that overhauled financial regulations following the 2008 financial crisis. Wall Street interests and Republicans in Congress fiercely opposed the agency.

The appeals court sent the case back to the lower court to consider the challenges.

Eleven states had joined the lawsuit filed by State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, to argue that Congress delegated too much power to the bureau. They also argue that it should not be headed by just one person and that President Barack Obama illegally appointed the agency's director, Richard Cordray, during a congressional recess. Cordray was later confirmed by the Senate.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court said those arguments could proceed. Judge Brett Kavanaugh said the bank did not have to intentionally violate the law in order to launch a constitutional challenge.

But Kavanaugh said the bank could not challenge the constitutionality of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, created by the financial overhaul law to designate certain financial companies deemed "too big to fail" for additional regulatory oversight.

The court also rejected the bank's challenge to part of the law that allows the Treasury secretary to order liquidation of a failing financial company that poses a risk to the financial stability of the U.S. government.

The government has argued that the bureau's structure and powers are constitutional.



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