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Teen rapist gets zero jail time because the judge was impressed with his athletic ‘talents’

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A New Zealand teenager who admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl won’t be able to erase the charges from his record, but that’s the only punishment he’ll receive, according to the New Zealand news outlet Stuff.

The teenager, who is now 18 and was not identified by name, has plans to become a “professional sportsman” and has already “represented New Zealand on the world stage.” After the judge learned of his athletic accomplishments, it apparently contributed to his decision to allow the teen to avoid jail time.

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The rape allegedly took place during a school trip where the teen was drinking alcohol with the 14-year-old victim and began to kiss her. The girl then said she felt uncomfortable with the ordeal and went to bed. It was then that the teen went to her room and performed oral sex on her. The next day, he allegedly forced the girl to perform oral sex on him, saying that she “owed” it to him.

During a party 5 months later, the teen was kissing another girl who this time was his own age. When he tried to forcibly remove her clothes, the girl tried to resist him and he forced her to perform oral sex and then raped her on the hood of a car.

Despite acknowledging the horrific nature of the attacks during the teen’s sentencing, the judge made a point to mention his athletic accomplishments.

“You are an avid and talented [sportsman, having competed] at a high-level and that includes representing New Zealand overseas,” Judge Tony Fitzgerald reportedly said. “Your goal is to be a professional [sportsman] and compete internationally. References provided tell of your outstanding talent and your potential bright future.”

Judge Fitzgerald gave the teen credit for his “talents,” the remorse he allegedly showed, his participation in a rehabilitation course, the 200 hours of community service he completed, and his lack of a criminal past. Ultimately, the teen’s only punishment will be a blemish on his record.

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Speaking to Stuff, sexual abuse victims’ advocate Kathryn McPhillips said that while she recognizes that youth courts should primarily give children second chances, the judge’s ruling ignores the rights of the victim.

“But where are the rights of the victim in that?” she said. “How does the victim get their life back? They don’t.”

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GOP minority leader Kevin McCarthy fumes at reporter for asking if he still believes Trump was paid by Putin

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House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Thursday was asked about his previous comments suggesting that Donald Trump was on Vladimir Putin’s payroll.

"In 2016, you said then-candidate Trump was one of two people who are paid by Putin, the other being former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher," said Breakfast Media correspondent Andrew Feinberg. "Do you still believe that?"

"It was a joke. That's embarrassing that you would even ask that," McCarthy quickly shot back.

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A censure compromise is the GOP’s best option – but Trump is making it impossible: conservative columnist

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In an op-ed for the conservative outlet The Bulwark, Benjamin Parker argues that when it comes to censure as a "compromise" to impeachment, that potential compromise is a model that President Trump himself has taken off the table.

Just like during the Bill Clinton era, party members leading the impeachment effort know that they won't get the Senate votes to convict. "The censure compromise was an effort by the president’s defenders to end the impeachment process early. It failed in 1998 because Republicans were determined to demonstrate their fidelity to the rule of law and to enforce a high standard of conduct for public officials," Parker writes, adding that Democrats today find themselves in a similar position. "At this point, Trump’s defenders should be suggesting a censure measure as a possible compromise just as Democrats did in 1998. ... Even if a compromise on censure appears unreachable, the Republicans should make the offer on the off chance that it works."

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Fresno Bee burns Nunes to the ground in scathing editorial

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The editorial board of the Fresno Bee has written a scathing takedown of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his extraordinary fealty to President Donald Trump, which the editors say is harming the country.

Specifically, the editorial accuses Nunes of forsaking his oath of office as a congressman to serve as Trump's most loyal toady on the House Intelligence Committee.

"As has been true for nearly all of Trump’s first term, Nunes has relinquished his proper role as an independent representative of Congress and has instead acted like a member of the Trump 2020 re-election team," the editorial states.

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