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Ohio church ordered teen to apologize to youth pastor’s wife after he raped her, mom says

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An Ohio judge sentenced a “delusional” former youth pastor to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage member of the church where he served as a volunteer.

Brian Mitchell pleaded guilty Thursday to four counts of sexual battery, and a Cuyahoga County judge rejected his attorney’s recommendation for house arrest but did not impose the maximum 20-year prison term, reported the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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The 31-year-old Mitchell, a father of three children under age 8, began sending text messages to the victim, then 16 years old, that quickly turned to complaints about his marriage.

The girl, who told the judge in a letter that she had sought spiritual guidance from Mitchell, said she was afraid to ask the volunteer to stop sending the texts because he was a respected and powerful member of Columbia Road Baptist Church in North Olmsted.

Church leaders heard from a congregant about the texts, which stopped for awhile, but Mitchell eventually resumed his messages and then kissed her after driving the girl home in August 2015.

The next time he drove her home, she said, he began sexually abusing her, and the abuse continued for another month.

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“I did not give him permission,” the girl told the court in her letter. “I clearly said ‘no, didn’t want to.’ I felt like he tricked me.”

The girl became lost interest in school, sports and work, and she was too depressed to get out of bed.

She told the court she still suffered from nightmares and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Church leaders spoke to Mitchell the day after learning of the sex abuse in November and then reported the case to police.

The girl’s mother testified during the sentencing hearing that church leaders also told the family not to come back to church until her daughter had apologized to Mitchell’s wife.

The family stopped going to the church, and Mitchell’s attorney said he had not heard that until the hearing.

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The defense attorney, Ian Friedman, said Mitchell had been caught up in “an adrenaline- and lust-filled situation” after whirlwind of secret text and social media messages, but the judge sternly lectured the former church volunteer.

“Your delusional excuse — that there were emotions and love involved — is troubling,” said Judge Patrick Corrigan. “That’s extremely delusional.”


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Turkey quickly undermines Trump as he boasts about his deal-making: ‘This is not a ceasefire’

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According to Turkey, President Donald Trump's so-called ceasefire in Syria isn't actually a ceasefire.

"Turkish FM Çavu?o?lu just now: 'We will suspend the Peace Spring operation for 120 hours for the PKK/YPG to withdraw. This is not a ceasefire,'" tweeted Turkey correspondent for The Economist.

https://twitter.com/p_zalewski/status/1184894093639475201

According to Vice President Mike Pence, the ceasefire will take place for just five days. It's unclear what will happen after those five days are up.

CNN's Matt Hoye noted the Turkish foreign minister's comments came around the same time that Trump was praising the deal.

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EU and Britain just struck a Brexit deal — here’s what’s in it

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"Fair and reasonable." That's how both Britain's Boris Johnson and the EU describe the new draft Brexit deal reached Thursday after days of intense haggling.

Here's what's in the accord -- and what each side gave up to get there.

- Northern Ireland -

Arrangements for the UK province of Northern Ireland were the trickiest part of the new deal, and the core of what has changed since last year's withdrawal agreement, which was rejected by British MPs.

The new protocol stipulates that Northern Ireland remains in Britain's customs territory, but in practice there would be a sort of customs border between the province and the mainland.

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Expect exodus of high-ranking Trump officials because they ‘no longer have anything to gain’ by staying: columnist

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Writing for the conservative Bulwark, columnist and author Robert Tracinski said Donald Trump's Syria debacle is likely the turning point for even the most hardened of his most avid defenders in the White House. Many of them, he said, will likely start leaving.

As Tracinski began, "Donald Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds is a moment that might be more important than it seems—one that is likely to have a far-reaching impact that goes well beyond what happens in Syria."

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