The Shield Stars in Personal Murder

Los Angeles (CNN) —

Michael Jace, who played a Los Angeles cop in TV’s “The Shield,” has been arrested in the fatal shooting of his wife, police said Tuesday.
Police found April Jace, 40, shot to death in her south Los Angeles home Monday night, Los Angeles Police Det. Lyman Doster said.
Michael Jace, 51, called 911 to report that his wife had been shot, Det. Dean Vinluan said, adding that he “was on the phone with the operator.” Neighbors who heard gunshots also called 911, he said.
Shocking showbiz crimes Shocking showbiz crimes
‘Forrest Gump’ actor charged with murder
“At this moment, the motive of the murder is believed to be domestic violence,” a police statement said.
‘Shield’ actor charged in wife’s death
Investigators detained Jace at the couple’s Hyde Park-area home Monday night and booked the actor on a homicide charge early Tuesday, according to Doster.
Jace was booked into a Los Angeles jail with bail set at $1 million.
CNN has been unable to find the name of any lawyer Jace may have hired to defend him in this homicide case. He is not expected to appear in court before Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney said.
Two children were in the home when their mother was shot, Vinluan said. The children, whose ages he would not reveal, were taken to a police station and then handed over to a representative of California’s Department of Children and Family Services, he said.
Investigators have found no reports of domestic violence between the husband and wife at their south Los Angeles residence, LAPD Det. Iasparro said.
A woman described as a close friend of his first wife said in a sworn statement that she witnessed Jace physically abusing his wife in 1997. The declaration was in court records from Jace’s 2005 custody case concerning his son with Jennifer Bitterman.
Jace “choked and hit” his wife and “slammed her against the wall while (their infant son) screamed in his crib next to her,” Maria De Le Vegas said in the sworn declaration obtained by CNN.
Jace “was raging and out of control, and seeing the extent of his anger was one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen,” she said.
Jace appeared to be suffering severe financial strain in recent years, according to court documents obtained by CNN. The actor filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in March 2011, citing $500,000 in debts and an annual income of around $80,000 from residuals from his TV and film work, the documents said.
Jace had defaulted on the $411,000 mortgage on the south Los Angeles home where his wife died, according to the documents. His bankruptcy case is still active, according to his lawyer.
He married April Jace in June 2003, a year after divorcing his first wife, with whom he shared a son who is now a teen.
The FX police drama “The Shield” was the biggest and longest-running role in Jace’s 22-year acting career. He appeared in 89 episodes as Julien Lowe, who started as a rookie officer in an inner-city Los Angeles police precinct in 2002 and rose through the ranks to become a detective before the series ended in 2008, according to the Internet Movie Database.
He acted on several episodes of “Southland,” another TV drama about Los Angeles police, between 2009 and 2012.
Jace often played a law enforcement or military officer on television shows. He is credited with roles in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Private Practice,” “The Mentalist,” “Burn Notice” and “NYPD Blue.”
He had the title role of Michael Jordan in the 1999 TV movie about the NBA star, “Michael Jordan: An American Hero.”
Jace played Officer Brown in Russell Crowe’s 2009 film “State of Play,” and he portrayed a Black Panther member in the 1994 blockbuster movie “Forrest Gump.”
April Jace had worked for the past year as a financial aid counselor at Biola University, a private school in La Mirada, California, according to the school.
“We are obviously shocked and saddened by this terrible news, to lose a wonderful colleague, mother and friend,” Biola President Barry Corey said in a written statement.
“April’s radiant personality brought great energy to the financial aid office,” financial aid director Geoff Marsh said. “Her love for helping students and families and her great work ethic earned the respect and love of her coworkers. Her smiling face and helpful spirit will be missed by all.”
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CNN’s Dottie Evans and Selin Darkalstanian contributed to this report.

Dozens Charged in Child Porn Case

A slice of the New York City area mainstream — a police officer, a fire department paramedic, a rabbi, a nurse, a Boy Scout leader — used the Internet to anonymously collect and trade child pornography, federal officials said Wednesday.

The six were among at least 70 men and one woman charged in a five-week operation by the Homeland Security Investigations arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Federal officials, who planned to announce the arrests a news conference later Wednesday, call it one of the largest local roundups ever of people who collect images of children having sex — and a stark reminder that they come from all segments of society.

Consuming child porn “is not something that is just done by unemployed drifters who live in their parent’s basement,” said James Hayes of ICE’s New York office. “If this operation does anything, it puts the lie to the belief that the people who do this are not productive members of society.”

Authorities say an alarming number of the defendants had access to young children, though there were no reports of abuse. The Boy Scout leader also coached a youth baseball team. The rabbi home-schooled his children and others. Another person had hidden cameras used to secretly film his children’s friends.

One defendant was already on bail following his arrest last year on charges he used the Internet to direct women to record sex acts with young children. Court papers allege he “indicated the last video he had downloaded and viewed depicted a mother sexually abusing her 3- or 4-year-old child.”

Authorities say advances in technology and computer capacity have allowed child-porn collectors to more easily amass vast troves of images and to exchange files with each other directly. The New York effort resulted in the seizure of nearly 600 desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices containing a total of 175 terabytes of storage.

Agents are still examining the devices to locate and catalog evidence, an arduous task that could result in more arrests. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also will use its analysts to review the images to see whether it can identify children using databases of known victims.

“We refer to each of these images as a crime scene photo because that’s exactly what they are,” said John Ryan, the organization’s chief executive officer.

Authorities decided to launch the operation after the arrest in January of the Mount Pleasant, New York, police chief, Brian Fanelli, who pleaded not guilty this week to federal charges of knowingly receiving and distributing child pornography. Court papers allege that Fanelli told investigators he began looking at child porn as research before it grew into a “personal interest.”

In May, agents on computers created a digital dragnet with the same tactics used in the Fanelli case: Agents posed as collectors of child porn who wanted to anonymously trade it through file-sharing programs. Once given access to shared child porn photos and videos, the agents identified the numeric IP addresses of the sources of the material.

The next step as was to subpoena Internet service providers to obtain about 1,000 names associated with the IP addresses. The investigators narrowed the list down to 100 people who were the most active and recent traders, and obtained search and arrest warrants.

The agents who fanned out to do the searches claim they encountered many people who not only offered to show them what was on their computers, but also seemed eager to admit their guilt. One who had downloaded a video gave a written statement saying “he knew what he knew he should not be doing it and he thought no one would know what he was doing,” court papers said.

“We had some individuals tell us, ‘I know why you’re here. I was waiting for this. I knew this would happen someday,'” Hayes said. “That’s not something you find from someone who’s trafficking cocaine or money-laundering.”

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Follow Hays on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APtomhays

55 schools face US federal sex assault probe

By KIMBERLY HEFLING
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Fifty-five colleges and universities — big and small, public and private — are being investigated over their handling of sexual abuse complaints under Title IX, the Education Department revealed Thursday.
The Education Department’s decision to release the list is unprecedented and comes as the Obama administration seeks to shed greater transparency on the issue of sexual assault in higher education and how it is being handled.
Going forward, the department said, it will keep an updated list of schools facing such an investigation and make it available upon request.
The schools range from big public universities like Ohio State University, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Arizona State University to private schools like Knox College in Illinois, Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and Catholic University of America in the District of Columbia. Ivy League schools like Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth are also on the list.
The agency previously would confirm such an investigation when asked, but students and others were often unaware of them.
“We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue,” Catherine E. Lhamon, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, said in a statement.
Lhamon said a school’s appearance on the list does not mean that it has violated the law but that an investigation is ongoing.
Some investigations were prompted by complaints directly to the department; others were initiated by the department after a regular compliance review. That was the case at Dartmouth, where investigators visited the Hanover, New Hampshire, campus in late January to speak with students, faculty and alumni.
“We are hopeful at the end of this there will be a resolution that will strengthen our internal processes and result in a safer community,” Dartmouth spokesman Justin Anderson said Thursday. “There’s always something we can learn and ways to get better.”
Title IX prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds. It is the same law that guarantees girls equal access to sports, but it also regulates institutions’ handling of sexual violence and increasingly is being used by victims who say their schools failed to protect them.
Ada Meloy, general counsel for the American Council on Education, a higher education group, said most of the schools were probably aware there was such an investigation. “I think that every college and university in the current environment is concerned about the need to be very attentive to what they are doing with regard to policies and procedures” related to sexual assault on campuses, Meloy said.
Citing research, the White House has said that 1 in 5 female students is assaulted. President Barack Obama appointed a task force comprised of his Cabinet members to review the issue after hearing complaints about the poor treatment of campus rape victims and the hidden nature of such crimes.
The task force announced the creation of a website, notalone.gov, offering resources for victims and information about past enforcement actions on campuses. The task force also made a wide range of recommendations to schools, such as identifying confidential victims’ advocates and conducting surveys to better gauge the frequency of sexual assault on campuses.
The department publicized guidance on Title IX’s sexual assault provisions in 2011, and complaints by students have since increased. Complaints, however, don’t always lead to an investigation.
The department can withhold federal funding from a school that doesn’t comply with the law, but it so far has not used that power and instead has negotiated voluntary resolutions for violators.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., have said non-compliance under the law is “far too common.” They say a lack of federal resources is partly to blame for that, and they’ve sought more money to ensure timely and proper investigations.
Another law that campus sexual assault cases fall under is the Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to report crime statistics on or near their campuses. It also requires schools to develop prevention policies and ensure victims their basic rights. Investigations under this law are not included in the list that was released.
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Associated Press writer Holly Ramer in Concord, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.
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Follow Kimberly Hefling on Twitter at http://twitter.com/khefling
Copyright The Associated Press

234 Nigerian Girls Missing….

LAGOS, Nigeria — Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civil society group reported Wednesday.

Parents say the girls are being sold into marriage to Boko Haram militants for 2,000 naira ($12), Halite Aliyu of the Borno-Yobe People’s Forum told The Associated Press. She said the parents’ information is coming from villagers in the Sambisa Forest, on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, where Boko Haram is known to have hideouts.

“The latest reports are that they have been taken across the borders, some to Cameroon and Chad,” Aliyu said. It was not possible to immediately verify the reports.

The Nigerian government needs to get international help to rescue the more than 200 missing girls kidnapped in the northeast by the Boko Haram terrorist network two weeks ago, said a federal senator for the area in northeastern Nigeria. The government must do “whatever it takes, even seeking external support to make sure these girls are released,” Sen. Ali Ndume said. “The longer it takes the dimmer the chances of finding them, the longer it takes the more traumatized the family and the abducted girls are.”

About 50 of the kidnapped girls managed to escape from the captors in the first days after their abduction, but some 220 remain missing, according to the principal of the Chibok Girls Secondary School, Asabe Kwambura. They are between 16 and 18 years old and had been recalled to the school to write a physics exam.

The mass kidnapping came hours after a massive explosion in Abuja, the capital in the center of the country, killed at least 75 people and wounded 141.

The failure to rescue the girls is a massive embarrassment to Nigeria’s government and the military, already confronted by mounting criticism over its apparent inability to curb the 5-year-old Islamic uprising despite having draconian powers through an 11-month state of emergency in three northeastern states covering one-sixth of the country.

The military trumpets a success in its “onslaught on terrorists” but then the extremists step up the tempo and deadliness of their attacks. More than 1,500 people have been killed in the insurgency so far this year, compared to an estimated 3,600 between 2010 and 2013.

Jonathan, who is from the predominantly Christian south of Nigeria, has been accused of insensitivity to the plight of people in the north, who are mainly Muslims.

The military’s failure to rescue the girls also highlights that large parts of northeastern Nigeria remain beyond the control of the government. Until the kidnappings, the air force had been mounting near-daily bombing raids since mid-January on the Sambisa Forest and mountain caves bordering Chad.

Aliyu said that in northeastern Nigeria “life has become nasty, short and brutish. We are living in a state of anarchy.”

She said she will be among women marching in Abuja on Wednesday to protest the failure to rescue the kidnapped girls.

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