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California church leader accused of hiding ex-trustee’s sexual abuse of employee

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The head of a San Francisco church is accused of covering up one of his former trustees’ sexual abuse toward an employee, including paddlings and coerced sexual activities, KGO-TV reported on Thursday.

“Many of these sex acts and demands and the spankings occurred inside the shrine premises, in the sacristy of the shrine,” the alleged victim’s attorney, Sandra Ribera, told KGO.

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Ribera’s client, Jhona Mathews, claims that the incidents took place over the course of her year working at St Francis of Assisi Church, saying her supervisor, trustee Bill McLaughlin, forced her to have sex under threat of termination. The suit also accuses McLaughlin of using a paddle given to McLaughlin by Monsignor James Tarantino. Tarantino is also accused of hiding McLaughlin’s alleged activities. McLaughlin is no longer a trustee at the church.

The paddle, Ribera told KGO, bears “the inscription ‘BNO,’ which stands for ‘boys night out.’ And it says, ‘To Bill M. from Father T.'”

According to Ribera, Mathews eventually told McLaughlin she would not comply with his demands, only to be fired. St. Francis of Assisi released a statement saying Mathews was fired “for financial improprieties that are the subject of an ongoing police investigation.” It also called her lawsuit “full of lurid accusations but devoid of the truth.”

Ribera also told KGO she has explicit text messages and photos that McLaughlin allegedly sent Mathews, and also suggested the activities were captured on St. Francis’ security cameras. Asked whether Mathews had ever stolen from the church, she said she was not aware of such an ocurrence.

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“Anything that she has done has been at the direction of Bill McLaughlin as her supervisor,” Ribera was quoted as saying.

[Image via KGO]

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‘Get over it’: Trump’s chief of staff reveals Ukraine quid pro quo — but insists it’s just ‘politics’ as usual

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White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney admitted that President Donald Trump held up Ukraine aid to pressure the country to investigate a conspiracy theory.

Mulvaney, who is also the White House budget director, told reporters Thursday that Trump's desire to investigate his belief that a DNC computer server was hidden in Ukraine was part of the reason congressionally approved military aid was held up.

However, he insisted that did not represent a quid pro quo arrangement.

"We do that all the time, get over it," Mulvaney said. "Politics is going to be involved in foreign policy, elections do have consequences."

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Trump chief of staff announces G7 will be held at Trump’s golf course

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President Donald Trump will have next year's G7 meeting at his own golf course in Doral, Florida, chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday.

In announcing that the G7 meeting will be held at the Trump National Doral Miami, Mulvaney insisted that the president will not personally profit from holding the meeting there and claimed that it was simply the "best" place to hold the summit.

Mulvaney deflected reporters' questions about using the G7 summit to boost the golf resort's brand name by saying that the Trump brand name is already widely known throughout the world and doesn't need a G7 meeting to make it stronger.

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Trump EU ambassador’s testimony was loaded with ‘extra-damning’ omissions: NYU Law professor

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Ryan Goodman, a professor at New York University School of Law, believes that Trump-appointed European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland's prepared testimony before Congress featured several omissions of events that he believes will lead investigators to damaging evidence against President Donald Trump.

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