Police seek attacker accused of trying to abduct, rob women in N.J., Pa.

Authorities were searching for a man suspected of trying to abduct women in South Jersey and robbing another woman in Pennsylvania during three attacks over the past month.

The assailant followed a woman into an elevator, pressed a handgun to her back and said, “you know what this is,” in one incident Nov. 4 at the Royal Athena Apartment Complex in the Bala Cynwyd-section of Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania, according to police.

The woman managed to run away and the assailant fled, police said. He was carrying a roll of tape at the time. That incident was being investigated as an attempted robbery, according to Lower Merion Police Superintendent Michael J. McGrath.

Investigators suspect the same man was responsible for two attempted abductions in Cherry Hill.

Police said the assailant started a “friendly conversation” with a woman Nov. 14 at the Plaza Grande Apartments in Cherry Hill before he knocked her to the ground. She screamed and the attacker fled.

At the same apartment complex on Nov. 20, the man struck up a conversation with the victim and followed her to an elevator, authorities said. He pulled a gun and robbed the woman of her bags, led her back outside of the elevator, tried to force her into the trunk of a car and threatened to shoot the victim.

The woman fought back and the robber pistol-whipped her in the face before she was able to escape, police said.

Police released images of the suspect and a Nissan Altima sedan he was driving in the Lower Merion incident. Authorities said the car’s license plate was covered, but they believe it was a Pennsylvania tag.

Cherry Hill police said the suspect was described as 35-to-40 years old, approximately 5-foot, 10- inches tall, with a thin build, and wavy black and gray hair.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Cherry Hill police at 856-432-8825 or [email protected], or Lower Merion investigators at 610-645-6231.

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Noah Cohen may be reached at [email protected].

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Beauty mogul Cassandra House accused of attempted fraud over $1million Airbnb insurance claim

Vegan beauty mogul is accused of fraud after ‘claiming an Airbnb guest who trashed her beachfront home and stole designer clothes and jewellery left her with a $1MILLION damage bill’

  • Beauty businesswoman allegedly made a false insurance claim against Airbnb
  • Cassandra House, 35, claimed guest stole designer clothes and trashed her unit
  • High-ranking marketing guru said she also lost champagne and a silver banana
  • Also claimed for $10,000 worth of luxury jewellery from Gold Coast apartment 
  • She was charged with one count of attempted fraud to face court next month

Vegan beauty magnate Cassandra House (pictured) has been accused of attempted fraud after allegedly lodging a false insurance claim to Airbnb for $1million

Vegan beauty magnate Cassandra House (pictured) has been accused of attempted fraud after allegedly lodging a false insurance claim to Airbnb for $1million

A vegan beauty magnate has been charged with attempted fraud after allegedly inflating an insurance claim with Airbnb after a guest trashed her luxury apartment and stole jewellery, $40,000 worth of designer dresses and 18 pairs of shoes from Gucci and Chanel. 

Cassandra House, 35, will front court next month after allegedly lodging a false insurance claim against the online rental giant for $1million. 

House previously claimed in a lawsuit filed against the accommodation provider’s insurers that the guest at her Gold Coast beachfront home destroyed her luxury Kruger pans and kitchen pots worth more than $1,300.

Ms House – a high-ranking consultant with multi-level marketing giant Arbonne – also claimed the guest stole a $50 silver banana and a $279 bottle of Dom Perignon champagne.

She was charged with one count of attempted fraud earlier this month to appear in Southport Magistrates Court in December, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports. 

In a previous court filing, Ms House claimed the guest destroyed her luxury Kruger pans and kitchen pots worth more than $1,300

In a previous court filing, Ms House claimed the guest destroyed her luxury Kruger pans and kitchen pots worth more than $1,300

The successful consultant with multi-level marketing company Arbonne said a $50 silver banana she alleged was stolen from her matched the 'apple decor' of her two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment (pictured) on Main Beach on the Gold Coast

The successful consultant with multi-level marketing company Arbonne said a $50 silver banana she alleged was stolen from her matched the ‘apple decor’ of her two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment (pictured) on Main Beach on the Gold Coast

Damages were filed after the guest stayed at her apartment on Southport’s Main Beach between April 1 and April 5 in 2018.  

The motivational speaker said in her filing the stolen banana matched the ‘apple decor’ of her two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment – which is available to rent for $700 per week.

Other six-figure valuations in the long list of claims include $10,000 worth of Swarovski jewellery,  $25,000 worth of Tiffany and Co ‘diamond gifts’ from Arbonne and $55,000 in engagement presents.

Police will allege House submitted several insurance claims to Airbnb but the goods claimed to be stolen were overvalued. 

The guest was reportedly charged with theft, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin. 

Ms House is a high-ranking consultant with multi-level skincare marketing giant Arbonne

Ms House is a high-ranking consultant with multi-level skincare marketing giant Arbonne

Ms House's business profile boasts that after nine months of working in network marketing she owned her own Mercedes Benz car

Ms House’s business profile boasts that after nine months of working in network marketing she owned her own Mercedes Benz car

Pictured: The bathroom in the apartment - which was allegedly subsequently trashed - which is available to rent for $700

Pictured: The bathroom in the apartment – which was

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Cal soccer coach Neil McGuire accused of bullying by ex-players

Several former members of the Cal women’s soccer team said Golden Bears coach Neil McGuire created an atmosphere of bullying, fat-shaming and intimidation that led to mental and emotional distress during their years with the program.

In a KTVU report aired Sunday, former Bears players — including some with Bay Area ties — described a toxic environment within the women’s soccer program that McGuire has led since 2007, recording the most wins in school history and reaching the NCAA Tournament 12 times in 13 years.

“I’m mentally tough and this was the first time I had been broken down,” Hannah Koski told KTVU. Koski is a Danville native who was on the Bears roster for three seasons from 2013 to 2015.

A statement sent to this news organization by the Cal athletic department did not address the allegations, citing privacy concerns, but noted there is “nothing more important to us than the health and well-being of our student-athletes.”

The allegations come in the wake of several public scandals for Cal athletics, including accusations last year by a sports medicine intern that football coaches and players had sexually harassed and assaulted her.

Former Bears goalkeeper Olivia Sekany, a Livermore native, said McGuire would hound her about her weight, and she went on several crash diets to try and end the criticism.

“I was just trying everything in my power to fix whatever was wrong with me so that he would stop coming after me and he would just let me play soccer,” Sekany said in the interview with KTVU.

Sekany graduated early to get away from Cal, KTVU reported. She’s now on the roster at the University of Washington.

Caroline Clark, a Lafayette native, was a regular starter for the Bears in 2017 and 2018. But she quit the team after her sophomore season, giving up her scholarship.

Clark told KTVU “any love that I had for soccer he completely took away. I just wasn’t happy anymore.”

Sekany and Clark detailed an incident the Bears players later called “Raingate.” McGuire called off practice due to rain one day in March 2018. But the players trained outside anyway.

McGuire found out, and the players were made to run and work out again.

“I ran until I couldn’t feel my arms anymore,” Sekany said. “On the last lap that we were doing, my vision went black as I crossed the finish line. I just started saying, ‘I can’t see, I can’t see.’” Sekany then said McGuire had an assistant coach help her to the trainers’ room.

Koski and Sekany told the station they met with Cal athletic department officials to detail their issues with McGuire. They said they felt their complaints fell on deaf ears.

“When we used terms like ’emotional abuse,’ they were condescending in a way, as if we didn’t understand the implications of using terminology like that, which we very much did,” Sekany said. “We had discussed it at length and decided that that is absolutely an appropriate term to

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US Congress members demand halt to deportations of women who accused gynecologist of abuse

A group of 30 US senators and 75 congressmen and women have demanded an immediate halt to deportations of women who claim they were abused by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) gynecologist, as the furore over alleged abused in Ice custody continues to grow.



a sign on the side of a building: Photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

The development comes as some of the women recounted their experiences to the Guardian, two of them detailing the painful and invasive procedures they were subjected to by Dr Mahendra Amin in Georgia. Both women were then listed for deportation days after they spoke out against the doctor, in what their lawyers say is a “pattern of intimidation” designed to silence abuse claims.



a sign on the side of a building: The Department of Homeland Security flag flies outside the Ice headquarters in Washington DC. In the last month seven women were threatened with deportation days after it emerged they had spoken out against Amin.


© Photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
The Department of Homeland Security flag flies outside the Ice headquarters in Washington DC. In the last month seven women were threatened with deportation days after it emerged they had spoken out against Amin.

Related: Trans women in Ice custody already suffered sexual harassment and abuse. Then came Covid-19

The members of Congress, including Senators Richard Blumenthal, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, signed a petition to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, seeking to prevent Amin’s accusers from being deported.

At least 43 women at Irwin county detention center (ICDC), in Georgia, have now alleged misconduct by Amin. He is accused of operating on migrant women without their consent or performing procedures that were medically unnecessary and potentially endangered their ability to have children.

Amin’s lawyer denies the doctor did anything wrong.

Six of the 43 women have been deported since they spoke out about abuse. Another seven women have been listed for deportation.

The 105 members of Congress said the deportation of alleged victims and witnesses in an ongoing investigation into Amin amounted to a “destruction of evidence”, and urged federal agencies to stop deportations.

“At least 18 women who were patients of Dr Mahendra Amin remain detained at ICDC,” the officials said. “Any deportation of these witnesses constitutes interference with the investigation.”

An spokesperson said: “Ice is fully cooperating with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigation … Any implication that Ice is attempting to impede the investigation by conducting removals of those being interviewed is completely false.”

Allegations of abuse by Amin, who served as a gynecologist for the Irwin center for several years, have rocked Ice and shocked America since a whistleblower filed a complaint in mid-September.

Since then a number of women allegedly abused by Amin have come forward. But lawyers for the women say they have been subjected to a “pattern of intimidation” by Ice after speaking out.

In the last month seven women, all long-term detainees at the Irwin center, found they were threatened with deportation days after it emerged they had spoken out against Amin.

One of those women, Yanira Yesenia Oldaker, told the Guardian she was taken to Columbus airport,

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Democrats say ICE must not deport women at Georgia facility who accused gynecologist

Attorneys for the women allege that ICE has been trying to deport many of them before they can finish helping investigators, including as recently this week. At least three federal lawsuits have been filed on behalf of three of the women who say they were nearly deported, arguing that ICE would be retaliating against them and violating their First Amendment rights if the deportations are carried out.

“Deporting these witnesses — especially when none of them have received independent physical or mental health evaluations by medical experts — amounts to a de facto destruction of evidence,” wrote the lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The letter was addressed to acting ICE director Tony Pham as well as the three federal offices — the Justice Department, FBI and Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General — conducting the probe, which was first opened in September.

ICE spokeswoman Danielle Bennett said in a statement to The Washington Post that ICE was “fully cooperating” with the investigation, including accommodating interviews for the probe and notifying the investigators about any plans to deport or transfer Amin’s former patients. She added that the agency does not comment on ongoing litigation and responds to congressional letters through official channels.

“Any implication that ICE is attempting to impede the investigation by conducting removals of those being interviewed is completely false,” Bennett said.

A request for comment to DOJ was referred to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of Georgia, which declined to comment. Neither the FBI nor DHS’s Office of the Inspector General responded to emails seeking comment.

The U-visa program, first created in 2000, is open to undocumented immigrants who cooperate with law enforcement after witnessing or being victim to a violent crime. Individuals can receive temporary legal residency and a path to U.S. citizenship, though in recent years the program has seen a growing backlog and a decline in applications.

Elora Mukherjee, a Columbia Law School professor, said that certification for such a visa is the “basic minimum protection” that federal investigators can grant to the detainees who are willing to cooperate with their probe.

“These women are taking enormous risks to try to do justice to what happened to them,” she said in an interview, “and everyone in the investigation team should make sure that as many women as possible come forward and speak out.”

The letter from congressional Democrats also demanded that investigators establish a “clear and transparent process” for women detained at Irwin to identify themselves as witnesses and commit to interviewing all women who “credibly” allege medical abuse. In addition, the lawmakers wrote, any woman making allegations to investigators should be allowed to reenter the country and apply for a U-visa as well.

National attention descended on Irwin in September, after a whistleblower report by a nurse at the facility, Dawn Wooten, alleged that a doctor — later identified as Amin — was subjecting immigrant detainees to unwanted hysterectomies.

Her claims about widespread forced

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Man accused of shooting pastor, bride at New Hampshire wedding to change attorneys

The man accused of shooting a pastor and bride during a wedding at a New Hampshire church and later attacking his lawyer has received permission to switch attorneys.

In a written order Tuesday, Hillsborough Superior Court Judge Charles S. Temple “reluctantly” granted Dale Holloway’s request for newly appointed contract counsel.

“However…it is imperative for Mr. Holloway to develop a trusting relationship with his new counsel and rely on their
knowledge, training, education and experience in the pursuit of his defense,” Temple wrote in his order. “Defense counsel are not in any way obligated under the applicable case law or the existing rules of professional conduct to blindly follow the directives of their client…Mr. Holloway simply needs to be open to taking the advice and direction of counsel after meaningful exchanges with them as this case moves forward.”

Holloway, 38, was indicted in January on two counts each of attempted murder and first-degree assault, and one count each of second-degree assault and being a convicted felon in possession of a gun – a .380-caliber pistol – in connection with the Oct. 12, 2019, shootings at a Pelham, N.H. church.

He pleaded not guilty and was later charged with first-degree assault after he was accused of hitting his public defender in the head in a jail interview room in Manchester, causing him to suffer a hemorrhage.

Holloway denied he assaulted Michael Davidow and said he got an officer’s attention after noticing the lawyer had a nosebleed.

Attorneys Donna Brown and Brian Lee were then assigned to represent him. But in May, Holloway asked to represent himself, citing an “irretrievable breakdown” with them.

After a hearing last week, however, Temple wrote that it was “quite evident that Mr. Holloway desires appointment of new contract counsel. He does not want to represent himself.”

In April, a judge denied his request to be released to house arrest due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Texas cop accused of sexually assaulting two women on duty

The Department of Justice seal (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The Department of Justice seal (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

AP

A former police officer in Texas accused of sexually assaulting and kidnapping two women while on duty has been indicted on federal charges, prosecutors announced Monday.

Hector Aaron Ruiz, 25, who worked for the Arcola Police Department, was indicted Nov. 10 by a federal grand jury on two counts of “depriving two separate victims of their right to bodily integrity.”

“The charges allege he committed aggravated sexual abuse and kidnapping while serving in his official capacity as a law enforcement officer,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas.

Ruiz is no longer employed by the police department in Arcola, a town of about 2,500 southeast of Houston.

Ruiz is also facing state charges of sexual assault, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The federal and state cases revolve around accusations of sexual assaults of two woman, the first in August 2019 and the second in November 2019, the Chronicle reports.

In the state case, which is being prosecuted by the Fort Bend County district attorney, Ruiz faces charges of sexual assault and official oppression after investigators say he “threatened one of the female victims on Aug. 11, 2019, that she would be deported if she did not comply with his demand for oral sex, according to court records,” the Chronicle said. “Prosecutors said Ruiz then forced the woman on the bed and sexually assaulted her.”

In the second case, Ruiz told a woman he had pulled over in his patrol car to follow him to a secluded area where he “pressured her into oral sex,” prosecutors said, the Chronicle reported.

The federal case revolves around accusations of sexual assaults of two woman, the first in August 2019 and the second in November 2019, the Chronicle reports.

If convicted of federal charges of depriving two separate victims of their right to bodily integrity, Ruiz faces up to life in prison, according to the news release.

Ruiz also faces federal charges of “two counts of carrying and using a firearm in a crime of violence as well as falsifying dashboard camera and body microphone recordings with the intent to obstruct the federal investigation.,” the release said.

If convicted of the latter, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Texas officials are seeking other possible victims and anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI at 713-693-5000.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

TJ Macías is a Real-Time national sports reporter for McClatchy based out of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Formerly, TJ covered the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers beat for numerous media outlets including 24/7 Sports and Mavs Maven (Sports Illustrated).

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Store Accused of Fat Shaming for Calling Large-Size Women’s Clothing ‘Rotten’

HONG KONG — “Slim.” “Beautiful.” “Rotten.” “Extra Rotten.” “Rotten to the Core.”

Those were the size descriptions for women’s clothing, ranging from small to XXL, that a Taiwanese chain, RT-Mart, slapped on a chart measurements in one of its superstores in China.

It set off a furor this past week in a country where fat shaming is common on the internet and in advertising, and institutionalized definitions of beauty and femininity are narrow.

The chart was first noticed by a customer who took to Weibo, a Chinese microblogging platform, to criticize the retailer, according to local news reports. “Help!” the customer wrote. “I was stupefied when I saw this at an RT-Mart location today. I feel rotten to the core.”

Soon, photos of the chart, which specified that the clothes were for women between the ages of 18 and 35, began circulating online on Nov. 11, China’s Singles’ Day, an annual online shopping extravaganza concocted by the e-commerce behemoth Alibaba as an alternative to Valentine’s Day. Alibaba is a major shareholder of RT-Mart.

Dismay and anger over the size descriptions erupted in China over the chart. “We shouldn’t elevate thinness as the beauty standard,” a blogger who uses the handle “Is This a Joke?” wrote. “Even if someone’s weight is perhaps in the highest category, you can’t just put them in the ‘rotten to the core’ category.”

The issue of body shaming has drawn scrutiny globally as, more and more, women have emphasized fitness and acceptance of their bodies, as well as pushed back against impossible beauty standards. Numerous female entertainers have appeared on magazine covers without makeup. Stars like the singer Lizzo have celebrated their curves. And in China, many are starting to challenge an aesthetic that has been held up as the ideal for Chinese women — “pale, thin and youthful.”

In 2016, after women — and some men — on social media began posting photographs of their waists behind a vertical piece of A4 paper to boast of their small sizes, others mounted a different campaign. One social media user named Zhai Ruoyi wrote on Weibo: “How can you have an A4 waist? I have A4 legs!” And Zheng Churan, a feminist, posted a photo with the paper held horizontally and the message, “I love my fat waist.”

Clothing brands have long been accused of fueling unattainable beauty standards. J. Crew’s XXXS and triple-zero sizes for women were criticized for normalizing an unrealistic and unhealthily thin look. The company said in 2014 that the sizes had been created because of growing customer demand from its Hong Kong stores, both of which closed this year.

Some social media users questioned why RT-Mart would want to sabotage its sales with such polarizing language. Others saw the chart as a failed attempt at humor. Still others saw it as emblematic of a larger issue about body standards.

“Two of society’s most nauseating standards: women’s figures and men’s heights,” a blogger named Laphro said on Weibo.

Jen Chen, a reporter in

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James Charles and Jeffree Star accused of ‘exploiting animals’ to promote a clothing brand

Celebrity influencers including James Charles and Jeffree Star are under fire for posing with live monkeys.

The influencers posted videos of themselves greeting capuchins and baboons after being sent the animals by clothing brand Bananas Monkey to promote their launch. They were met with instant backlash and accusations of enabling animal cruelty.

Other monkey recipients included reality star Michael Yerger and YouTuber Daisy Keech, who have since apologised for their involvement in the stunt.

Austin and Catherine McBroom, who run the controversial Ace family YouTube channel, have also promoted Bananas Monkey clothing (although they didn’t include any live animals in their posts).

Because it is not yet clear who owns Bananas Monkey, most of the backlash to its method is currently aimed at its celebrity endorsers.

Despite claiming his cosmetics are cruelty free, Star has posed with an alligator to promote his makeup as well as the monkey.

Animal rights charity Peta also opposed the stunt.

A charity representative, Tara DiMaio, wrote in a blog post:

Clothing brand Bananas Monkey carted two live monkeys – a baboon named Mickey and a capuchin named Chiquita – to the Los Angeles homes of influencers. Videos posted on social media show this bizarre and cruel promotion stunt. 

PETA submitted a complaint urging the US Department of Agriculture to investigate the incidents, as they’re apparent violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. 

The use of baboons, the world’s largest monkey, sparked particular confusion and outrage.

While capuchin monkeys generally weigh around 3kg, baboons can weigh up to 10 times that.

Another concern is that influencers posing with monkeys could potentially encourage their fans to buy pet monkeys and in doing so support the illegal wildlife trade.

Michael Keech responded to a request for comment from Indy100 on behalf of himself, and his girlfriend Daisy Keech. He said:

For myself and Daisy, it was one of those things that we didn’t really think about prior to sharing on our platforms. Our doorbell rang and we had monkeys outside of our door! We cherished the interaction with them before quickly realizing what we were entertaining and therefore supporting.

My grandfather, who lived in Africa for many years, dedicated a large part of his life trying to free silverback gorillas from zoos across the country. While his efforts didn’t ultimately result in them being freed, he still managed to provide them far better living conditions than ever before. Having a man like him as my grandfather has taught me many things about animals, nature, and the way we as humans should treat both.

So, I am ashamed to have supported or encouraged this behavior and we both apologize for carelessly posting.

Indy100 have also contacted James Charles and Jeffree Star and we will update you if they respond.

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Techno DJ Derrick May accused of sexual assault by four women

Techno DJ and producer Derrick May has been accused of sexual assault by four women, which he denies.

In testimonies to DJ Mag, the women, speaking under pseudonyms, tell of attacks beginning in the early 2000s. May is accused of groping the women, exposing himself and making sexually harassing phone calls. He is also accused of physical and verbal abuse.

Among the numerous incidents, one woman alleges “persistent bait-and-abuse behaviour”, while another claims May assaulted her when she was working as an intern at a boutique hotel in Amsterdam: “I tried to get past him to get to the exit, but he grabbed me and threw me against the wall. He kept me there and put his knee between my legs, pinning me against the wall,” before groping her.

May has made a statement denying the allegations:

As a black man working in a white-dominated and openly biased industry, am I expected to have learned the painful lesson that there is no such thing as truth, fairness, or due process? When will the long, storied history of weaponising the sexuality of African American men end? Must I collaborate under duress with my own victimisation at the hands of an openly hostile press that amplifies the so-called fears of privileged, anonymous women in an internet-mediated lynching? I have no interest in legitimising these distortions. Women are the conduit of life, and as such, are to be protected, and not exploited. I live by those words.

May became famous in the late 1980s as one of the Belleville Three, a trio of producers from Detroit who pioneered the sound of techno. His track Strings of Life, released under the name Rhythim Is Rhythim, became a major hit in the UK’s rave scene of the time. He has had an international DJ career ever since, and founded the label Transmat.

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