Cosby's fall prompts sex crimes bill

Aug 31, 2016

The downfall of Bill Cosby amid multiple sexual assault allegations has inspired new legislation: the removal of time limits on bringing cases to prosecution, essentially making the statute of limitations on felony sex crimes obsolete.   


L.A. Times' Sophia Bollag reports: "In the wake of sexual assault accusations against comedian Bill Cosby, California may soon end the statute of limitations for prosecuting rape and other felony sex crimes."


"The state Senate on Tuesday sent the governor a bill to end time limits for prosecuting crimes including rape and child sexual abuse."


"Under existing law, such crimes generally must be prosecuted within 10 years unless DNA evidence emerges later. Sex crimes against minors must be prosecuted before the victim’s 40th birthday."


The fatal police shooting of Joseph Mann in July and the lack of transparency regarding the use of force in this case has drawn the interest of the Sacramento City Council over the police bodycam footage of the deadly gun battle -- but now the city council has been legally advised to halt its pursuits.


Anita Chabria reporting for Sac Bee: "Members of the Sacramento City Council backed down Tuesday from a request to view video footage of the police shooting last month of a homeless black man."


"Sacramento Police shot Joseph Mann, 51, more than 16 times on Del Paso Boulevard on July 11, according to a lawsuit filed by Mann’s family."


"Mann was acting erratically and had a knife, according to police reports. Mann’s family said he suffered from mental illness and officers should have worked to de-escalate the situation rather than confront Mann."


Legislation seeking job security for employees-turned-new-parents sees a strong revival in the Assembly.


Sac Bee's Jeremy B. White says: "New California parents would be able to take unpaid time off without losing their jobs under revived legislation that cleared the Assembly on Tuesday."


"The 43-15 vote for Senate Bill 654 marked a critical step in the once-dead measure’s revival. A nearly identical bill fell in the Assembly Labor Committee in June."


"That vote came after the bill’s author, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, hadpublicly called for the committee’s chairman to take a leave given the domestic violence allegations leveled by his ex-wife. Some saw the earlier bill’s failure as an act of reprisal by the committee’s chairman, Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-Baldwin Park (he has denied having the power to block the bill)."


Sacramento City Council members, including Mayor Kevin Johnson, will receive a 2% pay raise bump -- regardless if they've actually attended council meetings or not.


Sac Bee's Anita Chabria reporting: "Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and City Council members will receive a 2 percent raise after the city’s compensation committee granted them a pay bump Monday night."


"But one committee member questioned whether pay could be docked for council members – including the mayor – for leaving meetings early."


"He knows what the schedule is like,” said committee member David Bach, referencing Johnson’s recent spotty attendance at council meetings. “I mean, can’t he work around it somehow?"


Speaking of job security and pay raises, farmers and farm hands alike are laying in anxious wait as AB 1066 -- a bill ensuring upwards of double overtime pay for agricultural laborers -- awaits Gov. Brown's signature.


Peter Hecht reports for Sac Bee: "Florentino Reyes had stood in the warm sun outside the Capitol, joining scores of farmworkers who gathered to persuade lawmakers to approve unprecedented overtime pay legislation for California’s agricultural laborers."


"On Tuesday, Reyes, 48, of Madera returned to his back-bending job picking tomatoes in the broiling heat of the lower Central Valley. He had forfeited a day’s income to come to Sacramento on Monday. But the farmworker, who has spent decades harvesting California produce, was feeling hopeful even as his body ached."


"The Legislature on Monday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a potential historic expansion of overtime rules for farmworkers. Assembly Bill 1066 would provide time-and-a-half pay for farm laborers working more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week, and double pay for those working more than 12 hours a day."


Donald Trump has accepted an invitation for a face-to-face sitdown meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico -- just one day shy of a scheduled immigration speech the Republican nominee has planned for Arizona on Wednesday night.


Kate Linthicum with L.A. Times writes: "Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will travel to Mexico on Wednesday to sit down with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, both politicians confirmed Tuesday night. "


"I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow," Trump said in a Tweet."


"Pena Nieto's office said in its own Tweet that the two will meet privately Wednesday. Pena Nieto's office said in a statement Tuesday that the Mexican president extended an invitation for a meeting Friday to Trump as well as his rival, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton."


READ MORE related to Beltway: State Department says Benghazi emails involving Clinton recovered by FBI -- AP in L.A. Times


California homeowners familiar with the costs of adding secondary housing units to their property soon sing hallelujah if Gov. Brown signs off on SB 1069 -- a bill aimed at reducing costs for 'granny flat' construction.


L.A. Times' Liam Dillon writes: "It might soon be easier for California homeowners to build convert garages into new residences or build additional freestanding structures in their backyards after lawmakers approved a measure to streamline restrictions on the units statewide."


"The state Senate approved SB 1069 from Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) late Tuesday, the first of two measures pending in the Legislature designed to force local governments to approve the secondary housing units, often known as “granny flats."


"People are shocked and frustrated when they see the enormous fees and requirements that are preventing them from adding a small unit or converting a room in their house,” Wieckowski said in a statement. “SB 1069 will eliminate unnecessary fees and reduce requirements to give homeowners more control over their home."


Mercy San Juan is receiving criticism for denying a hysterectomy to a transgendered individual with gender dysphoria based on religious grounds. 


Sammy Caiola & Claudia Buck in Sac Bee write: "Tuesday was supposed to be a big day for Evan Michael Minton. The Fair Oaks resident packed his bags for the hospital, said a prayer and counted down the hours until he would undergo the hysterectomy that would take him one step further in his transition from female to male."


"Instead he spent the day on the phone with doctors and lawyers after Mercy San Juan hospital in Carmichael abruptly canceled the procedure on religious grounds."


"The surgery, part of Minton’s transition to a fully male body, had been scheduled for three weeks but was called off Monday as hospital officials were preparing his admissions paperwork."


And now for a page from our "Cry Now, Laugh Later" file ...


If you have a fear of clowns, this next extremely bizarre story may give you the creeps: reports are coming in from South Carolina about a 'band of scary-looking clowns' that are trying to lure children into isolated wooded areas.


L.A. Times: "Halloween is still more than a month away, but the haunting is starting already in South Carolina, where children have reported that scary clowns have tried to lure them into a forest."


"The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said that several reports had come in about the costumed characters who have been “appearing in the woods” behind an apartment building, where they try to entice youngsters by showing them large amounts of money."


"ABC News reported that police wrote in a report that the children believe the "the clowns stay in a house located near a pond at the end of a man-made trail in the woods.”"


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