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RAPE KITS

Campaign announced to raise funds for untested rape kits in Wayne Co.

Leaders in Wayne County announced Tuesday morning the launch of a new campaign to help gather the funds to test the thousands of untested rape kits in Wayne County.

The new campaign is called Enough SAID, standing for Enough Sexual Assault in Detroit. The campaign was formed to help fund rape kit testing, as well as fund the investigation and prosecution of the criminals still on the street.

Back in 2009, more than 11,000 untested rape kits were discovered in a storage unit at the Detroit Police Department.

Since then, 2,000 kits have been tested through funding obtained by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. Of those tests, 670 matches were found in the national DNA database. These matches link to other crimes committed in 26 other states and the District of Columbia.

“One-hundred-eighty-eight serial rapists were identified, and this is just from 2,000 [kits] of the overall 11,000. We have 15 convictions so far, and many, many investigations and prosecutions that are waiting to be had,” says Worthy.

Officials provided a sample of some of the resulting convictions:

• Reginald Holland -Serving a life sentence; abducted and raped four women before being identified through DNA testing.

• Shelly Andre Brooks -Serving a life sentence; raped and murdered seven women.

• Gabriel Cooper – Serving a sentence of 30-70 years; raped three women.

• Eric Eugene Wilkes – Serving a sentence of 32-75 years; raped four women.

• Deshawn Starks – Serving a sentence of 45-90 years; raped four women.

The issue of untested rape kits is not exclusive to Detroit. Across the country, more than 400,000 rape kits are untested. For example, Memphis has more than 12,000 untested kits and is also undergoing efforts to reduce its backlog.

If you want to help fund the testing of these rape kits, or to learn more about the initiative, visit http://www.EnoughSaidDetroit.org. The campaign is a collaboration between Michigan Women’s Foundation, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Detroit Crime Commission.

Detroit man convicted in 2011 rape, killing of 5-year-old girl given life in prison

A Detroit man convicted in the abduction and slaying of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old niece has been sentenced to life in prison.

Darnell Cheatham, 23, appeared in court Tuesday to learn his punishment. A jury in December found him guilty of second-degree murder, arson, torture and other crimes in the July 2011 death of Mariha Smith.

Authorities have said Mariha was taken from her east side home, raped and strangled. Her body was set afire on a mattress in a vacant house about a mile from her home.

A judge declared a mistrial in late July 2014 after a jury deadlocked during deliberations.

Defense lawyer Kareem Johnson has said witnesses that testified at the first trial offered different recollections during the second trial.

The break down by charges of Cheatham’s sentence:

-Second-degree murder: Life in prison

-Felony murder: Mandatory life in prison without parole

-Arson: 7-20 years in prison

-Torture: Life in prison

-Child abuse: 10 to 15 years in prison

-Disinterment, mutilation of a body: 23 months to 10 years

No-parole sentences again for men in 2009 sub shop murder

A judge is sticking with no-parole sentences for two young men convicted of abducting and killing a Detroit-area sub shop customer whose body was found in an abandoned home in 2009.

Ihab Masalmani and Robert Taylor were granted a second hearing because the U.S. Supreme Court says convicted killers under 18 can’t automatically be given a life sentence. But after hearing evidence about their troubled childhood and other issues, a Macomb County judge says a no-parole sentence still fits the crime.

Judge Diane Druzinski announced the sentences Tuesday.

Matt Landry was abducted from a sub shop parking lot in Eastpointe. Masalmani now is 23 years old, and Taylor is 22.

Defense lawyers argued for a chance at parole. Prosecutors argued the opposite.

Source: Rape suspect arrested

A person suspected of abducting and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl on her way to school is in police custody, a source tells Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit.com.

The attack happened in the morning Wednesday, December 10th. The suspect abducted the girl at gunpoint and forced her into a vacant house.

More information on the arrest is expected to be released later today.

Boston Off-Duty Cop Arrested For Allegedly Beating 2 Minorities While Yelling Racial Slurs

Boston police officer Michael Doherty (pictured) is facing assault, battery, and using a motor vehicle without authority charges for allegedly beating up a Hispanic and Black man during an incident while off-duty, according to the The Boston Globe.

Doherty reportedly boarded an Uber vehicle, a ride-sharing service, when he instructed the unidentified driver to take him to a specific location. On arrival, the 16-year veteran insisted they had arrived at the wrong address and reportedly yelled, “What? You think I’m stupid, you f*cking sp*c?” After Doherty instructed the driver to continue driving, he then allegedly began assaulting him, allegedly forcing the operator out of the vehicle.

But the alleged assault didn’t stop there.

Doherty then began chasing the driver around the vehicle. In a fit of despair, the driver reportedly flagged down an African-American motorist for help. When the man who stopped to offer some assistance tried to reason with Doherty, the 40-year-old police office reportedly yelled, “What do you want, you f*cking n*gger?” and began to attack the Black man as well.

As the men wrangled, with Doherty pummeling the Hispanic driver as he lay on the ground with the Black man reportedly trying to pry the law enforcer away, a police cruiser approached the fracas. Once Doherty saw the flashing lights, he reportedly stopped his actions and quickly removed himself from the scene, states a police report.

The two police officers initially focused their attention on the two victims while Doherty attempted to flee the scene.

However, police were reportedly able to track Doherty down and he was later arrested at his home and taken in to custody. The Uber company has reportedly banned Doherty from ever using their services again, and he is scheduled to be arraigned Monday at a South Boston District Court.

Doherty has denied all of the charges against him.

Respected Catholic Priest Admits To Molesting Boys For Two Decades

Father Robert Harrison (pictured left), who has taught for 26 years and coached basketball for 20 years at the renowned Cardinal Hayes High School (pictured) located in the Bronx, N.Y., has reportedly admitted to sexually abusing minors throughout the ’70s and ’80s, sending shock waves throughout the community, according to NBC 4.

Father Joseph P. Tierney, the president of the academic institution, sent home a letter to parents on Monday revealing how the highly regarded and popular priest had openly admitted to his deviant behavior during an investigation of his personal finances.

“As of now, we have not received any allegations from victims/survivors, and based upon information that we have received from Father Harrison thus far, it does not appear that any of the abuse involved students from Cardinal Hayes,” said Tierney.

It has not been revealed why Harrison was being investigated financially.

According to Tierney, Harrison has never been accused of any type of misconduct during his years as a teacher and he urged parents to contact the prosecutor if they wanted to discuss any incidents or concerns involving the priest.

“The safety of your children is our highest priority, and we strive to maintain the safest environment possible for our students,” he said. “We will continue to cooperate with the civil authorities as they investigate this matter.” The letter then goes on to apologize for the upsetting admission, “We are deeply saddened and sorry for what has occurred.”

Joseph Zwilling, the spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, told NBC 4 that Tierney also gathered the students, divided them into two groups, and explained Harrison’s activities to them. He also advised any youth who had experienced sexual assault at the hands of Harrison to come forward.

The high school, which goes from grades 9 through 12, is the alma mater of such notables as talk show host Regis Philbin, NFL Jets offensive guard Willie Colon, and NBA Dallas Mavericks’s and Miami Heat’s Jamal Mashburn.

Upon learning about the sexual abuse, the high school and Catholic Archdiocese reportedly fired Harrison then referred the matter to the district attorney offices in two boroughs and in Milwaukee as well where the priest also taught. Harrison is being allowed by the local district attorneys to leave New York City to begin “risk assessment” under the supervision of his religious community, the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph, based in Detroit. He has also been banned from having any contact whatsoever with any minors.

Harrison’s case is still being investigated.

Georgia Deputy, Three Relatives Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide

A sheriff’s deputy and three members of his family were found shot to death Tuesday at the deputy’s suburban Atlanta home in an apparent murder-suicide carried out by the deputy’s stepson, authorities said.

Paulding County sheriff’s deputies found the four bodies when they went to check on the house in Hiram, in the western suburbs of Atlanta, after Detective Cpl. Sam Driskell failed to show up for court, Sheriff Gary Gulledge told reporters.

Besides Driskell, 52, also killed were his wife, Muachin; his stepson, Felix Almonte, 21; and the Driskells’ 12-year-old daughter, Carolyn. All had gunshot wounds to the head. State and local authorities said Almonte was believed to have been the gunman.

Gulledge and Gary Ramey, special agent in charge for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said evidence at the scene indicated that Almonte shot Driskell with a .45 caliber Glock pistol overnight while Driskell was asleep, then his stepsister and his stepmother, and then himself.

Driskell was a decorated 10-year veteran of the sheriff’s department who worked in the crimes against children unit. Gulledge called him “one of the best guys we’ve ever had.”

“Somebody asked me how we’re going to replace him. I’ve got a whole office full of people who are distraught,” Gulledge said. But “we’ll continue to do our job and go on. We’ll be OK.”

Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Digital Producer of The Morning Heat and Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit

Keep up with the Morning Heat on Instagram and Twitter at @hiphopdetroit

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