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Victim-blaming judge calls girls the ‘aggressors’ in sex assault case against 67-year-old man

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A Kansas judge has called a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old the “aggressors” in an encounter with a 67-year-old man, the Kansas City Star reports.

This occurred after the man reportedly solicited the young girls on the Internet. District Judge Michael Gibbens sentenced Raymond Soden to five years and 10 months in prison, eight years less than Kansas sentencing guidelines.

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He noted that the girls had voluntarily gone to his house and had taken money for sexual favors. The age of consent in Kansas is 16.

“I do find that the victims in this case, in particular, were more an aggressor than a participant in the criminal conduct,” Judge Gibbens said before sentencing Soden. “They were certainly selling things monetarily that it’s against the law for even an adult to sell.”

He also wondered how much the children had really been harmed.

“I wonder what kind of trauma there really was to this victim under those peculiar circumstances,” the judge said.

Prosecutors are considering an appeal of the decision.

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“We always try to zealously advocate for the victims and community safety in every case we pursue,” Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson told the Kansas City Star.


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‘Pure retaliation’: Former House national security official slams Trump for firing inspector general

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On Friday evening, President Donald Trump stunned observers by announcing he would be dismissing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who first relayed the whistleblower complaint about Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine.

Daniel Goldman, a national security advisor for the House Intelligence Committee, slammed the decision on Saturday, calling it "pure retaliation" and noting that his only offense was following the law when the president did not.

I saw Michael Atkinson up close. He followed the law with the utmost integrity. He did nothing to lose Trump’s confidence other than lawfully and properly expose Trump’s misconduct and the ensuing efforts to cover it up. This is pure retaliation, retribution and reprisal. https://t.co/GStcTOJn4J

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Trump’s new plan for covering COVID-19 patients has administration officials scrambling once again: report

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According to Politico, President Donald Trump's decision not to reopen the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges, and to instead pay hospitals to treat uninsured coronavirus patients, blindsided not just insurance companies, but his own health officials — and left everyone scrambling to implement his orders.

"The rollout of the new hospital pay program capped a frenetic several days within the administration, prompted by a White House official’s confirmation Tuesday that there would be no reopening of the Obamacare markets," wrote Adam Cancryn, Nancy Cook, and Susannah Luthi. "That declaration surprised even some officials in the Health and Human Services Department, who believed the concept was still under consideration. And amid a crush of criticism from Democrats led by 2020 front runner Joe Biden, it worried officials who viewed the verdict as an unforced error in the middle of a historic pandemic."

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2020 Election

Trump is preparing the ground for a totalitarian dictatorship

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We're all going to know someone who has died of the coronavirus when this is over. The tragic news is all over Facebook and Twitter already. My friend Patricia Bosworth, the actress and biographer, died on Friday of the virus. Everyone has friends and acquaintances who have the virus, family members who have died, favorite musicians or actors and friends of friends who are sick and dying. The virus has taken them from us, but so has Donald Trump with his inaction and lying and childish finger-pointing and failure to take responsibility.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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