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Sex In Society

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An appellate court has upheld a lower court ruling that a parentless 16-year-old girl in the Florida Panhandle is not “sufficiently mature” to end her pregnancy while seeking a waiver from a state law requiring minors to get parental consent for an abortion. The teen, known as Jane Doe 22-B in court papers, had told the lower court that her guardian was fine with her ending the pregnancy. But the juvenile court judge in Pensacola found that she didn’t adequately articulate her request. The juvenile judge left open the option for re-evaluating that decision if the teen could return to court and eliminate any doubts.

Jacoby Brissett has jumped ahead of Deshaun Watson on Cleveland’s depth chart. Maybe for a while. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Brissett will take the majority of snaps with Cleveland’s first-team offense starting Sunday. It's a move necessitated by Watson’s pending suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy for sexual misconduct allegations. Watson made his debut with the Browns by starting Friday’s exhibition win over Jacksonville. He has been the No. 1 quarterback throughout training camp. But he’s going to miss at least the first six regular-season games so the Browns need to get Brissett ready for the Sept. 11 opener at Carolina.

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Deshaun Watson’s apologized before his preseason debut with the Cleveland Browns and then got an earful from opposing fans. Watson apologized “to all the women I have impacted” after being accused by two dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions. He spoke before the team’s exhibition opener, a 24-13 victory against the Jaguars in which Watson was roundly booed during three series of work. Fans in one end zone could be heard chanting vulgarities at Watson during his first drive. The three-time Pro Bowler completed 1 of 5 passes for 7 yards in his first game action since Jan. 3, 2021, with Houston.

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has apologized “to all the women I have impacted” after he was accused of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions in Texas. Watson is facing a potential year-long suspension. He spoke before Cleveland’s exhibition opener in Jacksonville, his first game since Jan. 3, 2021, with the Houston Texans. Watson was suspended six games by independent arbiter Sue L. Robinson, who concluded he violated the league’s personal conduct policy and lacked remorse. Watson acknowledged he's made mistakes and that there are decisions he would like to have back.

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The family of a slain Texas soldier has filed a lawsuit seeking $35 million in damages from the U.S. government. Vanessa Guillen, 20, was sexually harassed and killed at U.S. Army base Fort Hood. Her family is seeking damages for sexual harassment, abuse, assault, rape, sodomy and wrongful death. Military officials found Guillen was sexually harassed and leaders failed to take appropriate action. The lawsuit follows a Thursday's decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that a law baring troops from seeking damages over injuries during service did not apply to a sexual assault lawsuit.

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A sheriff in rural southwest Georgia has been arrested on charges of sexual battery and violating his oath of office. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it arrested Miller County Sheriff Richard Morgan after the local district attorney asked its agents to look into allegations of sexual misconduct involving the sheriff. The agency said in a news release that the charges stemmed from an incident that took place during a 911 call, but gave no further details. The sheriff's office said Morgan wasn't available Friday and referred a reporter to an attorney representing him. Attorney Thomas V. Duck III did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. The 54-year-old old sheriff is serving his second year in office.

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Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants taxpayers to foot his legal bills to defend himself against a sexual harassment claim brought by one of his state trooper bodyguards. The Democrat sued Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday, arguing that James violated state law by denying him public assistance for his defense. The unnamed trooper filed the lawsuit earlier this year in a federal court in Manhattan asserting that Cuomo and others on his staff violated her civil rights. The suit says the allegations stem from a time when Cuomo "was acting within the scope of his employment or duties."

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A person with direct knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson would accept an eight-game suspension and $5 million fine to avoid missing the entire season. Watson is facing a potential year-long ban for sexual misconduct. He would agree to a lesser penalty, said the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. An independent arbitrator suspended Watson, accused of lewd sexual behavior during massage appointments with two dozen women, six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The league appealed, seeking a longer ban. Watson is scheduled to start the Browns preseason opener Friday in Jacksonville.

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Deshaun Watson will start Cleveland’s exhibition opener at Jacksonville while waiting to learn if the NFL will succeed in keeping him off the field much longer. Watson is potentially facing a year-long suspension for alleged sexual misconduct. He's playing Friday night against the Jaguars. It’s the quarterback’s first game since Jan. 3, 2021, his final one with the Houston Texans. The three-time Pro Bowler sat out last season after demanding a trade and before he was accused of assault and harassment by two dozen women during massage therapy sessions in Texas. Watson was suspended six games last week for violating the personal conduct policy, but the league wanted a tougher penalty and appealed. An arbitrator chosen by Commissioner Roger Goodell is reviewing the case.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has announced he will not call a special session of the Legislature to try to enact an abortion ban because the measure doesn’t have enough votes to break a filibuster. Ricketts is a Republican who has said he wants to ban all abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. He said in a statement Monday that he had nixed plans for a special session after learning from Speaker of the Legislature Mike Hilgers that only 30 lawmakers would support a proposal to ban abortions starting at 12 weeks of pregnancy. Thirty-three votes are needed to break a filibuster.

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A lawyer representing two dozen women who have accused Deshaun Watson of sexual assault or harassment says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has a chance to “do the right thing” now that the league has appealed a six-game suspension for the quarterback. Attorney Tony Buzbee says “Every victim of sexual assault is watching Roger Goodell and the NFL right now.” The NFL’s appeal of an independent disciplinary officer’s decision gives Goodell or someone he designates the authority to increase Watson’s penalty. Goodell has named former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey as his designee to hear the appeal.

A Los Angeles judge has ruled that Kevin Spacey and his production companies must pay the makers of “House of Cards” nearly $31 million because of losses brought on by his firing for the sexual harassment of crew members. The ruling Thursday from Judge Mel Recana confirms a decision by a private arbitrator last year in favor of the production companies behind the Netflix series. Spacey was fired from the show in 2017 amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. He is also facing criminal charges of sexual assault in London. He has denied the allegations in both cases.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has chosen former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to hear the appeal of the six-game suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson has been suspended by independent disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, who concluded he violated the league’s personal conduct policy after being accused of sexual misconduct by two dozen women in Texas. The league wants further discipline and appealed Robinson’s ruling. The appeal gave the power back to Goodell to hand down punishment but he instead chose Harvey to hear the appeal.

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A transgender child and her parents are suing the Tennessee Department of Education over a law that prohibits transgender students and staff from using school bathrooms or locker rooms that match their gender identities. The suit was filed Thursday in federal court in Nashville by a student identified only as D.H. It claims Tennessee's law violates D.H.'s Constitutional rights under the Equal Protection Clause and also violates Title IX, the 1972 federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Whether Title IX protects transgender students is a subject of fierce debate. The U.S. Department of Education issued guidance in June that it did apply, but a federal judge temporarily blocked that interpretation last month.

A former police chief was able to take postings at multiple successive U.S. Army bases despite allegations that he sexually harassed women at one base. The Wisconsin State Journal obtained documents from an Army investigation into Ryan Cunningham. He became police chief at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin in 2016, months after an investigation at Fort Wainwright in Alaska found he sexually harassed a female Army sergeant and made unwanted advances toward her and other women while he was the acting police chief there. Cunningham resigned while the investigation was ongoing. He left Fort McCoy in January 2020 to become temporary police chief at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Cunningham no longer works there, and he has declined comment.

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The Associated Press has obtained nearly 12,000 pages of sealed records from a child sex abuse lawsuit against the Mormon church. The documents offer the most detailed and comprehensive look yet at the church's so-called “help line” for dealing with child sex abuse accusations against officials and members. Families of survivors who filed the lawsuit said they show it’s part of a system that can easily be misused by church leaders to divert abuse accusations away from law enforcement and instead to church attorneys who may bury the problem, leaving victims in harm’s way. One victim was 5 when her father told his bishop that he was sexually abusing her. The abuse went on for seven more years, while the bishop failed to report it to authorities.

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A person familiar with the filing told The Associated Press that the NFL is seeking an indefinite suspension of at least one year plus a fine in appealing a disciplinary officer’s decision to suspend Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter isn’t public. The NFL’s appeal gives Commissioner Roger Goodell or someone he designates authority to impose a stiffer penalty. League spokesman Brian McCarthy said it’s still to be determined whether Goodell or someone else will hear the appeal.

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Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has defeated scandal-scarred former Gov. Eric Greitens and 19 others in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. He will face Trudy Busch Valentine, a nurse and philanthropist who defeated Marine veteran Lucas Kunce and nine others in the Democratic primary. Republican leaders have long feared that a Greitens win would jeopardize a red state Senate seat in the November general election. Greitens resigned four years ago. His resignation followed a sex scandal, two criminal charges that were eventually dropped, and a risk of impeachment. This year, his ex-wife accused him of abuse. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt’s announcement last year that he would not seek a third term set off a frenzy for his job.

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Businesswoman and conservative commentator Tudor Dixon has won the Republican primary for Michigan governor. The win Tuesday sets up a tough general election race against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has millions in her campaign fund. Dixon defeated four male candidates in a race between little-known Republicans. Dixon was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and the family of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, as well as the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and several anti-abortion organizations. The mother of four made education a top issue of her campaign, saying she wants to keep drag queens and talk of sex and gender out of elementary schools. She opposes abortion, except to save the life of the mother..

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was suspended for six games after being accused by two dozen women in Texas of sexual misconduct during massage treatments, in what a disciplinary officer said was behavior “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.” The punishment handed out by the game’s disciplinary officer, former federal judge Sue L. Robinson, fell well short of what the NFL had asked for: an open-ended suspension of at least a year for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Watson, who played for four seasons with Houston before being traded to Cleveland in March, recently settled 23 of 24 lawsuits filed by women alleging sexual harassment and assault during the treatments in 2020 and 2021.

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An Iowa-based youth basketball league has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by former players whose coach secretly recorded them undressing or obtained nude photos of them. Gregory Stephen is now serving a lengthy prison sentence for sexual exploitation of minors. Guy Cook, the lawyer for boys who played Barnstormers Basketball of Iowa games from 2005 to 2018, said the league has agreed to settle the case by establishing a fund of more than $1 million to compensate victims. A judge must sign off on the agreement before it's finalized.

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Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns found out the severity of the quarterback's punishment when he was suspended for six games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson made the decision after the NFL pushed for an indefinite suspension of at least one year and Watson’s legal team argued for no suspension during a three-day hearing. A player doesn't have to be convicted or even charged with a crime to be disciplined for conduct detrimental to the league, per the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association. Ezekiel Elliott, Ben Roethlisberger, Jameis Winston and Kareem Hunt are among players who have received suspensions despite not being charged criminally.

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A special prosecutor says he won't bring charges against a former Oklahoma judge accused of sexual misconduct with several women, including two prosecutors who practiced in his court. The Oklahoman newspaper reports District Attorney Jason Hicks confirmed last week there wasn't enough evidence to support criminal charges against 63-year-old former Oklahoma County Judge Tim Henderson. Henderson resigned after being accused of sexual misconduct last year. The married judge later acknowledged having a sexual relationship with two prosecutors, but insisted both were consensual. Hicks was named a special prosecutor in May 2021. Henderson's attorney, Tracy Schumacher, says it “was a very expensive investigation" that should have been conducted by the Oklahoma Bar Association.

Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson was suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following accusations of sexual misconduct made against him by two dozen women in Texas when he played for Houston. Here are some other notable player suspensions under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

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A decision on discipline for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson following accusations of sexual misconduct is coming Monday. Two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that retired judge Sue L. Robinson has informed the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association she’s ready to issue a ruling on Watson’s disciplinary hearing that concluded a month ago. Watson was accused of sexual harassment and assault by 24 massage therapists in Texas and has settled 20 of the civil lawsuits filed against him. Four lawsuits remain pending and the attorney representing the women has said he hopes to take them to trial sometime next spring. However, Watson agreed to settle three of the four, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee told ESPN early Monday.

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