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Teacher accused of having sex with 16-year-old student in park

A 28-year-old preparatory school teacher was arrested on Friday for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old student in a park last spring, Solebury Township, Pennsylvania, police say.

>> Watch the news report here

Alyssia Marie Reddy, who taught at the Pennington School located in Pennington, New Jersey, came to the attention of police after the Solebury Township department received a report of an alleged sexual assault that took place in the park in the spring of 2017, multiple news outlets are reporting.

>> Special-education teacher accused of sex with student in her classroom

Authorities said Reddy, who currently lives near Baltimore, had sexual intercourse with the student.

She was arrested on charges of institutional sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of a communication facility and corruption of a minor, according to a release issued by the Solebury Township Police Department.

The Pennington School where Reddy worked sent a letter to parents saying that it had been “recently made aware of an alleged inappropriate relationship involving a former Upper School teacher of The Pennington School in the 2016-17 school year,” according to a report by the Trentonian.

>> Former 'principal of the year' accused of sex with students

WCAU reported that Reddy gave the student her cellphone number in December of last year and that by February 2017 he was getting messages like, “I want your hands on me.”

The school also said that upon hearing the incident, it quickly made contact with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

Reddy had apparently departed from the New Jersey prep school and was employed at The St. Paul’s School for Girls located in Baltimore County. Her Facebook page said that she is a SPIRITUS Scholars Coordinator and History Teacher there.

The school terminated her employment following her arrest and banned her from the campus. It also deleted references to Reddy from its website, but a Google search showed that she was recently in the staff and faculty directory.

>> Read more trending news

“We have just learned that one of our Upper School teachers, Alyssia Reddy, who joined our faculty this year, has been charged with a felony involving sexual assault of a minor,” Head of St. Paul’s Penny B. Evans said in a letter obtained by WPMT.

“The alleged events took place in Pennsylvania this past school year with a male high school student before she came to St. Paul’s School for Girls. Before today, we had no information suggesting any prior improper conduct by Mrs. Reddy.”

On her Facebook page, Reddy has published many pictures of what appear to be her husband and two children, according to the Trentonian.

She is currently awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.

Police investigate door-knocking scam as woman's Facebook warning goes viral

Police in Quincy, Massachusetts, are investigating a disturbing account of an incident one woman had at her front door.

>> Watch the news report here

The woman, whom WFXT is not identifying, says a man knocked on her door saying her tire was slashed and she should come outside to check it, but the man became more aggressive when she refused to come out.

"He knocked on my door and asked to come outside and check the tire that he had been walking by and I just refused to go outside," said the woman.

>> Read more trending news 

She kept telling the man through the door she would check it later.

"He was pretty aggressive trying to get me to come outside," she said. 

Then, she decided she didn't feel safe. 

"I just said thanks for letting me know and I made sure my door was locked and ran up the stairs, made sure my back door was locked and called 911," she said.

When police arrived, the man was gone, but they found the woman's tire slashed. Police are investigating whether the man knocking on the door was the one who actually slashed the tires.

"They informed me that most likely he was waiting for me or had known that I was a woman alone and it would be a lot easier to get me outside," she said.

The woman posted her story on Facebook to alert others. It has been shared more than 31,000 times.

"I guess if I had opened the door he could have pushed his way in. He could have waited until I checked my tire. I'm not sure," she said.

She has already installed a doorbell camera since it happened. Quincy police say they were also going to alert residents. 

Rep. Blake Farenthold says he'll repay taxpayers for sexual harassment settlement

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, Texas, told KRIS-TV Monday that he will reimburse taxpayers following a Politico report that he settled a 2014 sexual harassment lawsuit with $84,000 from the federal government.

>> Read more trending news

“Even though I was completely exonerated by [the Office of Congressional Ethics], and the settlement agreement has been paid, I’m doing my best and am going to hand a check over this week to probably Speaker Ryan or somebody and say ‘look, here’s the amount of my settlement, give it back to the taxpayers,’” Farenthold said in the interview.

>> On Statesman.com: U.S. Rep. Farenthold of Texas used taxpayer money to settle sex harassment claim, reports say

“I want to be clear that I didn’t do anything wrong, but I also don’t want the taxpayers to be on the hook for this, and I want to be able to talk about it and fix the system without people saying Blake, you benefited from the system, you don’t have a right to talk about it or fix it.”

Farenthold used a Congressional Office of Compliance account to pay former staffer Lauren Greene, according to the Friday Politico reportNBC News subsequently confirmed the report.

In the lawsuit, Greene presented “allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment,” according to Politico.

Greene had alleged that a male employee told her that their boss said he had sexual fantasies about her. She also claimed that Farenthold once told her he was “estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years,” according to the report.

Greene also claimed she was fired after complaining about those comments.

The revived conversation around Greene’s lawsuit comes after numerous accounts from men and women throughout the country and across industries of sexual harassment and assault at the hands of powerful and high-profile men.

>> On MyStatesman.com: Amid harassment complaints, Texas House panel adopts new policy

Farenthold’s colleague, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan and the longest serving member of the House, is facing allegations of sexual misconduct. In the Senate, embattled lawmaker Al Franken of Minnesota is having the fight of his political life after several women have claimed he touched them inappropriately.

In Texas, The Daily Beast and The Texas Tribune last month detailed claims of sexual harassment and assault by male lawmakers and others over the years at the statehouse. The reports mostly relied on anonymous sources.

Farenthold’s district includes parts of Bastrop and Caldwell counties.

Special-education teacher accused of sex with student in her classroom

A special-education teacher at a Butler County, Pennsylvania, school is accused of having sex with a student in the classroom

>> Watch the news report here

Police say Jordan Dominique Ondish, 23, a teacher at Summit Academy in Herman, is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 19-year-old student.

State police said school officials contacted them on Nov. 27 after obtaining a cellphone with sexually explicit text conversations between the victim and Ondish. She is also accused of buying the victim that cellphone, which is against school rules.

Ondish began working at the school, a rehabilitation facility for juvenile offenders, in June.

>> Former 'principal of the year' accused of sex with students

The victim told investigators he and Ondish began talking outside class, and their interaction progressed until they had sex in a classroom twice in November, investigators said. 

"State police investigated this," said Trooper Dan Kesten. "It wasn't a relationship that the two were supposed to have; this was institutional sexual assault."

Police said Ondish admitted to the relationship. School officials had previously issued a warning to her about the victim, including having the victim in her classroom after hours.

>> Read more trending news 

Summit Academy released this statement Monday afternoon.

"The administration at Summit Academy was made aware of an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student and it was immediately reported to the state police. The teacher was then terminated."

Troopers said Ondish told them she was in an abusive relationship at home and developed an emotional attachment to the student.

She is charged with institutional sexual assault and faces a preliminary hearing in February.

Remains of Army vet, dog found in California desert, ex-husband charged with murder

California law enforcement officials on Friday found in a shallow grave the bodies of a missing U.S. Army veteran and her beloved dog, both of whom had been missing since Labor Day weekend.

The bodies of Julia Beth Jacobson, a 37-year-old retired Army captain, and her Wheaten terrier, Boogie, were found in the desert in Cactus City, an unincorporated community near Interstate 10 in Riverside County, south of Joshua Tree National Park. Ontario police officials said the remains were found with the help of a cadaver dog.

They were also found with the cooperation of Jacobson’s ex-husband, Dalen Larry Ware, who was arrested on suspicion of murder Oct. 13 at his home in Laveen, Arizona. Ware, 39, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail in the San Bernardino County Jail.

Jacobson and Boogie were found during the third day of searching, police officials said. A total of 120 officers and deputies from four different agencies scoured an area that was about 6 square miles in size. 

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Ware’s lawyer wrote in an email that his client voluntarily led investigators to “the place he had buried (his ex-wife)” without cutting a deal for leniency with prosecutors. 

The bodies were found the same day that Jacobson’s family held a memorial service for her in her native North Dakota. Her sister, Casey Jacobson, wrote on Justice for Julia, a Facebook page set up in her memory, that police officials informed the family of the discovery as they were saying goodbye to the mourners who had attended the funeral. 

“While it was gut-wrenching news, it was the first time that my father and my two brothers and I were all in the same place and could receive the news immediately, face to face with each other,” Casey Jacobson wrote. “That was a blessing.”

Jacobson and her dog were initially reported missing Labor Day weekend in San Diego. Investigators with the San Diego Police Department conducted an extensive search, which led them more than 100 miles north to Ontario.

NBC News reported in October that Jacobson was last seen, with Boogie, on the security footage from a store in Ontario.  

Ontario detectives, who took the lead on the case, found forensic evidence in Jacobson’s white Chevy Equinox that led investigators to believe she had been slain, according to a news release from the Ontario Police Department. Investigators believe she was killed the day after she went missing. 

Jacobson’s SUV was found abandoned Sept. 7 in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego, not far from her home, the Union-Tribune reported. The keys were inside. 

NBC News reported that the SUV, Jacobson’s company car from her job with 7-Eleven corporate, was tracked through its OnStar program. The vehicle was unlocked, with the windows partially rolled down. 

Detectives from both San Diego and Ontario met with San Bernardino County prosecutors who, based on the evidence gathered in the case, obtained a warrant for Ware’s arrest, Ontario police officials said. Ware was taken into custody by agents from the FBI’s Arizona Violent Crimes Task Force and the Phoenix Police Department.

He was booked into the San Bernardino County Jail on Oct. 27, jail records show. 

Investigators have not made public a possible motive for the homicide. The Union-Tribune reported that Jacobson, who married Ware in February 2014, separated from him in March 2016. She filed for divorce, which was granted that December. 

KGTV in San Diego reported that another ex-wife requested a domestic violence restraining order against Ware in April 2014. The woman wrote that he had not “accepted (the) divorce and (her) moving on with (her) life.”

The woman wrote that she had numerous saved texts and voicemails from Ware and that his harassment was making her life “miserable.” She told the court she feared for her safety.

“It has now escalated to him stalking me and popping up at any time,” the woman wrote, according to the news station

Jacobson, a native of Dickinson, North Dakota, served in the Army ROTC in college and, upon her graduation, was appointed a second lieutenant in the Army, according to her obituary. She was deployed twice to Iraq and once to Bosnia.

Her obituary said she was well-respected by supervisors, peer and subordinates.

“She served our country honorably and bravely for over five years and separated in 2009 as a captain,” the obituary read. “She was awarded the Bronze Star medal for her service in a combat zone.”

>> Read more trending news

The obituary said that Jacobson and her three siblings lost their mother to breast cancer earlier this year. She was making plans to have their father spend part of the year with her in California. 

She was described as an adventurer with a “big heart, razor sharp wit and candor,” who adored her family and friends. 

“She will be missed by all who knew and loved her. Julia left this earth too early, but Julia believed God always has a purpose,” the obituary read. “Even though Julia is no longer physically with us, she will live on in our hearts and minds.”

$1M bond set for man charged in 3-year-old NC girl's death

The man charged in connection with the death of North Carolina 3-year-old Mariah Woods made his first court appearance Monday morning in Onslow County. 

>> Read more trending news

A judge read the charges against 32-year-old Earl Kimrey and ordered him to be held on a $1 million bond.

The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI believe they found Mariah's body Saturday in Shelter Creek, along Shaw Highway in Pender County. The medical examiner’s office is tasked with confirming the body’s identification, officials said.

According to arrest warrants, officials believe Kimrey "secretly disposed" of the toddler's body because he knew she did not die of natural causes.

FBI officials said they are investigating the case as a homicide.

"We've had a tremendous amount of people (who) came out from the community willing to assist, not only with their support, but (with) their willingness to help and with their prayers for this community,” district attorney Ernie Lee said.

Kimrey was arrested after several days of exhaustive searches for the girl. He is charged with multiple offenses, including concealing a death, obstruction of justice and burglary.

Officials told WSOCTV that Kimrey was the boyfriend of Woods's mother and lived with them in the home. Woods’s mother first reported her missing Monday morning. 

FBI officials said in a release Saturday that they have evidence to believe Mariah is deceased, but that her body has not yet been found.

The agency is transitioning from search operations to recovery operations, officials said.

Hundreds joined search for Mariah

Officials said more than 700 people turned up Friday to join the search for the toddler. Dozens had to be turned away.

Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller said volunteers came from as far away as Raleigh, which is 120 miles southeast of Jacksonville.

On Thursday, Miller called on civilians to join law enforcement officers in the land and air search for Mariah.

FBI officials said the agency sent "items of interest" to its lab in Quantico, Virginia, for priority testing in the case.

The sheriff said Wilmington Police Department officers and New Hanover County sheriff's deputies were searching on horseback, and boats from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries were also in on the search.

Woods's mother, Kristy Woods, told WITN-TV in Greenville that she last saw her daughter at about 11 p.m. on Nov. 26, when she checked on her. She said Kimrey saw the child at about midnight when she got up and he told her to go back to bed. Once they realized she was missing, the couple said they called authorities.

Kristy Woods made a plea for the girl's safe return on Nov. 27.

"This is my world. This is my angel," the mother said. "She was sent to me for a reason. This is my everything besides my boys, the love that I have for this girl."

But the girl's biological father, Alex Woods, said he doubted Mariah's mother's story.

"Someone just walked right up in there, grabbed the 3-year-old out of the bed and she didn't cry? She didn't scream?" the father told WCTI-TV in New Bern on Tuesday. "Nobody heard anything? Four people in the house, two adults and two kids, someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?"

Four volunteer fire departments, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department and K-9 units searched in the wooded area behind the girl’s home and in surrounding wooded areas, WCTI reported. They also used a helicopter and drones to aid in the search.

"I don't believe she would go out by herself, especially in the dark," said the girl’s grandmother, Anne Edwards. “She's a sweet child but she's shy with strangers, so she wouldn't just go with a stranger."

Edwards said the 3-year-old struggled to get around on her own and wore leg braces for assistance.

"It's really tough because it's just like everybody says: 'I didn't believe this could happen to me,'" Edwards said.

Neighbors have started a makeshift memorial for Mariah and have dropped off flowers and stuffed animals in memory of the little girl. 

Police: California man, 18, accused of molesting ‘more than’ 50 children

An 18-year-old California man was arrested Saturday, accused of allegedly molesting more than 50 children over the past eight years, police said.

>> Read more trending news

Joseph Hayden Boston of Lakewood allegedly admitted to his mother he had molested 8- and 4-year-old boys in a motel, KTLA reported.

Since he was 10, Boston had allegedly admitted to molesting dozens of children in Riverside, Lakewood and Buena Park, the Riverside Police Department told KTLA.

Discovery of the alleged abuse came to light after Boston spoke with his mother, police said.

At about 3 a.m. Saturday, Boston's mother went to the police and said she wanted to turn in her son after he allegedly confessed to molesting 4- and 8-year-old boys at a local motel, police officials said. The two children were staying with their parents at the motel, police said.

She later picked up her son and took him to the police station, where he allegedly confessed, KTLA reported.

“The children were allowed to go into the suspect’s room last night when the molestation occurred,” police said in a news release Saturday.

Just “hours later,” police said, Boston called his mother and admitted to sexually assaulting the two boys inside his motel room, police said. When speaking with police, Boston allegedly told them he had molested “upwards of 50 children,” police said in a news release.

Riverside detectives arrested Boston, charging him with counts of oral copulation on a child under the age of 10. His bail was set at $1 million after he was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, KTLA reported.

The County of Riverside Child Protective Services responded and took custody of both children allegedly victimized Saturday, police said.

Man fatally shoots brother, self in front of mother, police say

An Alabama mother is grieving two sons after a fight between the men turned into a murder-suicide before her eyes, investigators said.

Birmingham police officials said that Jeremiah Price, 24, and his brother, Dewayne Price, 22, were arguing in their apartment around 12:30 p.m. Thursday when the fight turned physical. 

“The mom is heartbroken,” Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper told AL.com. “She said they got to scuffling in the house and they got separated, and once they went outside, she heard the gunshot.”

“She walked out there, and one son is lying on the ground, and the other son committed suicide right in front of her.”

Jeremiah Price shot his younger brother before killing himself, police officials said.

Roper said the brothers were apparently arguing over money one owed the other. 

“It’s really a tragedy that we have two brothers, arguing over money, one brother shoots the other and then commits suicide right there in front of the mother,” Roper said at the scene Thursday. “The mother now has to deal with both sons being dead. It’s a tragedy for the family and it’s a tragedy for our community.”

The police chief said it was “absolutely mind-boggling how cheap life has become,” even within a family.

“When it’s all over, both are lying there, side by side, dead in the front yard,” Roper said. “That’s not a police issue. That’s one that’s bigger than the police department. That’s a community issue and one that we won't solve just relying on the police department alone.”

>> Read more trending news

Family and friends mourned the brothers on social media, where their mother, Consuelo Price, posted a photo captioned, “My boys. Brotherly love.”

The grieving mother also posted a link to a GoFundMe page she created on Sunday to raise money for her sons’ funeral arrangements.

“This is to help bury my sons,” Price wrote. “Whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated.”

As of Monday morning, the fund had raised just $5. 

Supreme Court rejects Texas case on gay-marriage benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a Texas ruling that said the right to a marriage license did not entitle same-sex couples to spousal benefits under employee insurance plans.

>> Read more trending news

Houston city officials asked the high court to overturn last June’s Texas Supreme Court decision that determined all marriage-related matters were not decided when the U.S. Supreme Court found a right to same-sex marriage.

The federal court’s decision, issued without comment, allows the Texas court’s ruling to stand.

Lawyers for Houston argued that the Texas court’s ruling was wrong and short-sighted.

“Equal recognition of same-sex marriage requires more than a marriage license; it requires equal access to the constellation of benefits that the state has linked to marriage,” the city’s lawyers told the court.

Based on a lawsuit that was all but dead a year ago, the Texas case was a surprising addition to the fight over gay marriage.

The controversy began in 2013, when Houston began offering employee benefits to the same-sex spouses of employees who had been legally married in other states.

Opponents of gay marriage sued, prompting a district judge to block the benefits, ruling that they violated a state law and constitutional amendment barring government recognition of same-sex marriages. While Houston’s appeal was pending, however, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned state bans on gay marriage in June 2015, ruling that they violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection by treating gay couples as second-class citizens.

Saying the ruling ended the controversy in the Houston case, the 14th Court of Appeals allowed the city to begin offering spousal benefits to same-sex couples.

The Texas Supreme Court apparently agreed, rejecting the case in September 2016.

But opponents of gay marriage launched a pressure campaign to get the all-Republican court to reconsider. A barrage of emails warned the nine judges of retribution in the GOP primaries, and Republican leaders — including Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton — argued that the case offered an opportunity to limit the impact of the high court’s ruling on gay marriage.

In a rare reversal, the Supreme Court relented, accepting the case and eventually ruling that there is no established right to spousal benefits in same-sex marriages.

Body of missing Florida girl, 4, found in retention pond

4-year-old Florida girl’s body was found in a retention pond early Monday about one-half mile from where her family said she’d walked away more than 24 hours earlier, Port St. Lucie police said.

Chelsea Noel’s family told police that shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday the girl walked out of a home in the 4600 block of Southwest Keats Street, east of Interstate 95 off of Becker Road. They noticed she was gone “only a few minutes” after they last saw her, according to a statement from police.

>> Read more trending news 

A U.S. marshal in a kayak looking for the girl in the retention pond at SW Halmark Street and SW Abacus Avenue saw what he thought as a body at about 11 p.m. Sunday, police said.

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Dive Team removed the lifeless 4-year-old from the water at about 1 a.m. Monday.

Patrol officers, St. Lucie County’s helicopter and Martin Correctional bloodhounds helped in the search for Chelsea.

The girl is at least the sixth child to have drowned in St. Lucie County this year, according to Florida Department of Children and Families data.

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