Orange Is the New Black Actress Laverne Cox Speaks Against Phoenix Prostitution Ordinance

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Ashley Cusick
Laverne Cox and Monica Jones at yesterday's press conference.

Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox came to Phoenix to speak on behalf of Monica Jones, a transgender Phoenix student convicted on charges of manifesting prostitution in April.

Cox, Jones, and Jones' attorneys all claim that the Phoenix city ordinance under which Jones was arrested is unconstitutional and discriminatory. Jones' attorneys filed an appeal of her conviction this week.

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Mesa Cop Charged with Sex Crimes in the Line of Duty

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A Mesa police officer has been indicted on three felony sex-crime offenses, all of which allegedly occurred while he was on duty.

Justin Cherry, 34, is charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual molestation of a child.

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"High-Jump" Bank Robbery Suspect Turns Out to be Twins -- Cops Nail Them in Action

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Images: Phoenix police
The "High-Jump Bandit," seen here with bundles of cash, is actually two twin brothers, police say.
Phoenix police arrested twin brothers on Wednesday in connection with a series of Valley bank robberies, including one committed under police surveillance.

The arrest appears to solve the case of the so-called "High-Jump Bandit," whose prolific robberies prompted authorities to seek help from the media in late July. Alan Michael Bain and Neal Martin Bain, both 51, were booked into jail on July 30 -- immediately after robbing an Ahwatukee bank.

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Jarrett Maupin, Congressional Candidate, Takes Partial Credit for Shanesha Taylor's Plea Deal

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Image: maupinforcongress.com
Jarrett Maupin
Jarrett Maupin, an Arizona Congressional candidate, reverend and community advocate, is taking some of the credit for Shanesha Taylor's money-for-freedom deal with prosecutors.

A controversial figure, Maupin -- president of the Phoenix-based Progressive Christian Coalition -- nevertheless was seen to be working closely in the highly publicized criminal case of the underemployed mom who left her kids in a car while at a job interview. While admitting Taylor made a mistake, Maupin says he's pleased at how well things turned out.

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Daniel Gray Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Leaving Kid in Hot Car While High

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Daniel Gray, the Phoenix dad who left his 3-month-old baby to die in a hot car last year, received a four-year prison sentence.

On August 28, Gray drove with little James in the car to the sports bar where he worked. A manager, Gray had the day off that Wednesday but wanted to check on things.


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Israel Lomeli Receives Probation in 1998 Phoenix Cold-Case Slaying of Pete Cadriel

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By Yumi Kimura [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Israel Lomeli, arrested last year for the 1998 slaying of a Phoenix teenager, has received probation and will be released from jail in March.

Lomeli's high-publicity March 2013 arrest marked the end of tragic saga for the family of victim Pete Cadriel, who disappeared without a trace in 1998. The missing-persons case was solved partially in 2009 after police matched DNA from an unidentified body to Cadriel, and a new criminal investigation began that later led to Lomeli.


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Florence Cops Failed a Victim of Alleged Rape While Ohio Pursues Justice in Similar Case

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Illustrations by Brian Stauffer
Florence Exposed: Our three-part series on law enforcement, or the lack thereof, in the Pinal County prison town.

Imagine the horrific scenario.

Members of a football team in a small community are involved in the alleged rape of a 16-year-old high school girl at an alcohol-drenched party.

The intoxicated victim can't remember anything, but her attack is captured on video by other students with cell phones.

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Mesa Mormon-Scammers Duane Slade, Brent Williams and Guy Williams Sentenced to Prison

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Image: mathonconservatorship.com
Duane Slade
A trio of top-tier scam artists from Mesa who preyed on wealthy Mormons will spend a large part of their lives in prison.

Duane Hamblin Slade and his pal Guy Andrew Williams, both in their mid-40s, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary on September 30th to 15 and 12.5 years, respectively. Williams' father, Brent Williams, received a 7.5-year sentence.

While these are relatively hefty prison terms for white-collar criminals, the damage they did was tremendous: Most of the $160 million investors trusted with these high-rolling confidence men has disappeared.


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Richard Chrisman Guilty of Aggravated Assault, but Jury Can't Decide on Murder

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In another incident (shown above), Officer Richard Chrisman (the one wielding a club) planted a crack pipe on that woman.


A jury found former Phoenix Police Officer Richard Chrisman guilty of aggravated assault, but the jurors couldn't decide on two other charges, including second-degree murder.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says he has not ruled out a retrial on charges of murdering Phoenix resident Daniel Rodriguez in 2010, and killing his dog in the process.

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Brian Fortner and Graham Drewes Cases Highlight Sentencing Disparities in Child-Porn Cases

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Arizona AG's Office
Contents of Brian Fortner's duffel bag.
Brian Fortner, a Peoria man whose duffel bag with child porn and his wallet was found in a dumpster last year, was sentenced last week to 14 years in prison.

Meanwhile, a plea agreement guarantees that another Valley resident, Graham Roberts Drewes, will serve only two-to-four years in prison for what amounts to the exact same crime.

The difference is that Fortner was caught and tried by the state, while Drewes lucked out, you could say, because his case was handled by federal authorities.


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