War veteran, 97, ‘sexually assaulted five women’

Exeter Crown Court

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image captionThe nonagenarian defendant is on trial at Exeter Crown Court

A 97-year-old war veteran sexually assaulted five women after abusing their sympathy, a court heard.

Richard Staves talked about being lonely after the death of his wife before allegedly groping or kissing his victims in an Exeter alleyway.

The former Royal Marine, of Hoopern Street, Exeter, denies five counts of sexual assault at Exeter Crown Court.

One alleged victim reported it directly, but others went to the police after seeing reports on social media.

The five alleged incidents happened between June 2016 and February 2017.

‘Alarmed and confused’

Mr Staves targeted the women while walking up a steep alley near his home, known as Prison Lane, after they stopped to help him while he was struggling up the hill or holding onto a railing for support, the court heard.

Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said the victims were left shocked, frightened, alarmed and confused.

He told the court Mr Staves had befriended the strangers and engaged them in conversation “in order to attract their sympathy”, arguing he “should have known better than to behave in this way”.

Mr Crabb said: “He told them how old he was, that his wife had died, and how lonely he was.

“He abused any sympathy they might have felt by touching them in an inappropriate manner and sexually assaulting them.”

The court also heard Mr Staves had received a police caution for sexually assaulting a woman on a bus not long before the first incident.

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Brett Hankison, the ex-Louisville detective charged in Breonna Taylor shooting. sexually assaulted women, lawsuit claims

But when they got to Borders’s apartment, he didn’t leave, according to a lawsuit obtained by The Washington Post. Instead, she alleges, he followed her into her apartment, waited until she passed out on her bed, and then sexually assaulted her.

In the lawsuit filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Tuesday, she said the man — former Louisville detective Brett Hankison — left her “physically injured and mentally battered.” And her attorneys allege that Hankison had a long history of preying on women.

Hankison, 44, made national headlines this year as one of three Louisville police officers directly involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black emergency medical worker who was killed while police raided her home in March. In September, a grand jury in Jefferson County indicted Hankison, who was fired in June from his job as a detective, with three charges of wanton endangerment in the first degree, alleging that he had endangered the lives of Taylor’s neighbors None of the officers faced charges connected to Taylor’s death.

Hankison has pleaded not guilty to the wanton endangerment charge. His criminal defense attorney, Stew Matthews, didn’t immediately return a message regarding the sexual assault lawsuit. It’s not clear who is representing him in civil court.

Borders said she first met Hankison in 2017 as he worked security at several bars in the area and they had a mutual friend.

On April 20, 2018, Borders joined a group of friends at a bar, where she had several drinks and spent some time talking with Hankison, who was in his Louisville Metro Police Department uniform and working security at the bar.

“Given that Margo was alone and that Hankison was sober and the police, she liked having that protection,” the lawsuit says. “The two looked over social media and laughed over the actions of some other patrons of the bar.”

As last call approached, the suit claims, Hankison dissuaded Borders from calling an Uber and offered to drive her home. He walked her to her door and then “invited himself inside her apartment and sat on her couch,” according to the lawsuit.

Borders then went into her bedroom to change and fell asleep. She alleges that Hankison then “went into her room, stripped off his clothes and willfully, intentionally, painfully and violently sexually assaulted Margo.” When Borders came to, she yelled at him to get off her, to which he then scooped up his uniform and left.

Later that day, Borders said Hankison messaged her and suggested the sexual act was consensual.

The incident left her in pain, both physically and emotionally, she said, and left her sheets and mattress covered in blood. She “remained in extreme emotional duress over both the assault and the feeling that any efforts made to hold Officer Hankison accountable for his actions would backfire,” the suit claims.

Hankison has a history of allegations of misconduct while with the LMPD, the suit notes, including 50 internal incident reports on his record — none

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Fall River police seeking women who allegedly assaulted President Trump supporter

Fall River police released a surveillance camera image of a gray Nissan Altima whose occupants allegedly assaulted a woman whose car was adorned with flags that said, “Trump.”
Fall River police released a surveillance camera image of a gray Nissan Altima whose occupants allegedly assaulted a woman whose car was adorned with flags that said, “Trump.”Fall River Police Department

Fall River police are looking for two women who allegedly assaulted a third woman who was showing her support for President Trump last week, according to a statement posted Thursday on Facebook.

Several people placed 911 calls to police on Oct. 8, after two women who were seen in a gray Nissan Altima allegedly confronted a driver whose vehicle was adorned with flags that said “Trump,” police said.

The alleged assault took place near the intersection of South Main and Hall streets, according to police.

“At some point, she was trying to attempt to de-escalate the situation by telling the two females to get away from her car,” Lieutenant Jay D. Huard, a Fall River police spokesman, said in an interview with WHDH-TV. “She put her window down, I guess to communicate in a better fashion, and at that point she was punched through the open window.”

An investigation is ongoing.

Fall River police ask that any witnesses or others who have information about the incident contact Detective Luis Vertentes at 508-324-2796. Those who want to share a tip with Fall River police anonymously can call 508-672-8477.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.

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