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Late on Libya

"Late on Libya" Continued...

Issue: "Inside Election 2012," Oct. 20, 2012

‘Fatally flawed’

California Governor Jerry Brown on Sept. 30 vetoed an immigration measure that would have protected illegal immigrants from the federal status checks that often lead to deportation proceedings. California lawmakers approved the bill’s lenient stance toward illegal immigrants, touting it as a left-leaning response to the conservative Arizona bill that cracked down on illegal immigration.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the major elements of that Arizona bill, allowing that state to join Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah in adopting stringent laws aimed at curtailing illegal immigration. But Gov. Brown rejected the California legislature’s efforts to slow deportation checks in the state that has the nation’s largest population of illegal immigrants. He said the bill was “fatally flawed” because the illegal immigrants it sought to shield include those who commit crimes such as child abuse, drug trafficking, and selling weapons: “I believe it’s unwise to interfere with a sheriff’s discretion to comply with a detainer issued for people with those kinds of troubling criminal records.”

Megachurch charges 

Victory Christian Center, a 17,000-member church in Tulsa, Okla., has been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse, with a fourth victim of alleged abuse coming forward to police in late September. Two former employees of the church face charges, and police say they also have a third suspect.

Former employee Chris Denman, 20, is charged with raping a 13-year-old in a stairwell at the church and molesting a 15-year-old. He now faces two new charges of sexual abuse involving minors. Another former employee, Israel Castillo, 23, is charged with making a lewd proposal to a 15-year-old and committing a sex crime using a computer. Five employees of the church, including the son and daughter-in-law of head pastor Sharon Daugherty, are facing charges of failing to report the 13-year-old’s alleged rape until two weeks later.

The church said it suspended the five employees pending disciplinary review. “Every youth pastor knows now, ‘If I suspect abuse, I need to report it,’ because if you don’t report this, you could end up being charged,” Tim Peterson, a 28-year member of the church, told the Associated Press. 

Crime report

Bryan College, an 800-student Christian school in Dayton, Tenn., became the center of a debate about press freedom in September after student journalist Alex Green distributed a story school President Stephen Livesay said should not be published. The story detailed former professor David Morgan’s arrest for attempted aggravated child molestation and child sexual exploitation. In announcing Morgan’s resignation in July, school administrators said only that the assistant professor of Bible studies planned to pursue other opportunities.

In a sidebar that accompanied the story, Green said he didn’t want his school caught in the same kind of cover-up scandal that rocked Penn State last year. A few days after the fliers appeared, media blogger Jim Romenesko posted a copy of the censored story. National news sites soon picked it up. Confronted by reporters a few days later, Livesay acknowledged he might have made a mistake in suppressing the story and that he only wanted to protect Morgan’s privacy. The professor resigned on his own and had not been convicted by a court of law, he said: “Our intent was to look at the situation as Christians and do what was right. As humans, we are fallible. What we can do is learn from our mistakes.”

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