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Man accused of raping 2 women claims he's innocent because he's gay

A Fayette County, Pennsylvania man accused of raping two women, ages 66 and 75, declared he’s innocent outside of court Tuesday, claiming he’s gay.

"I'm an innocent gay guy,” Earl Maust, 49, said.  

Police said Maust was already awaiting trial for sexually abusing a 66-year-old woman at knifepoint when he was charged with the second crime, in which he allegedly raped a 75-year-old woman 10-15 times over a three-month period.

>> Read more trending stories    

The 75-year-old testified Tuesday that she allowed Maust to stay with her at her North Union Township home while he got back on his feet, but she said he quickly became physically and verbally abusive. She told investigators that Maust would not let her leave her home, took her keys and raped her 10 to 15 times.  

Authorities said earlier this year in April, Maust raped a 66-year-old woman at knifepoint in Hopwood.  

Maust said that both women accusing him of rape are lying.   Meanwhile, the 75-year-old victim’s neighbors are sickened by the allegations and the abuse she suffered.  

“If she took him in, she was doing it out of the kindness of her heart,” the victim’s friend, Earl Bowlen, said.  

Maust is facing several felony charges, including rape and unlawful restraint. The judge held all of his charges for trial.  

Maust’s defense attorney asked for bail to be lowered, but the judge denied the request.

Sailor reportedly under investigation for sitting during national anthem

A sailor is under investigation by the U.S. Navy for sitting during the national anthem.

U.S. Navy Sailor Janaye Ervin taped herself sitting during the national anthem during a recent morning flag-raising.

Troops who don’t stand for the national anthem could face prosecution under the uniform code of military justice, which states that troops can be punished for failing to obey a lawful general order.

 

>> Read more trending stories  

The petty officer said she was threatened with jail time by the Navy in response to her actions. She also lost her security clearance, she said. 

Evrin showed herself in the video sitting during the flag. She was seen in the video getting emotional when she talked for several minutes about why she protested during the anthem. >> Read prior story: Sailor 'sits with' Kaepernick during morning colors

Ervin posted a message on her Facebook page explaining her actions, which reads in part, "I feel like a hypocrite singing about the 'land of the free' when I know that only applies to some Americans. I will gladly stand again, when all Americans are afforded the same freedom."

he Facebook post has now been taken down. 

However, many people disagree. There’s a Facebook page called Hold Janaye Ervin Accountable where people call her a traitor and said she brings discredit to the U.S. Navy for her actions.

Some people have started a petition called Keep Black Soldiers Out of Jail for Choosing Not to Stand for National Anthem. It said the sailor should not be punished by jail time or a dishonorable discharge for what she believes in. 

The Navy’s protocol handbook said sailors in uniform must salute during the anthem. They must face the flag,  if they don’t see the flag they have to face the direction of the music. 

Breastfeeding mom claims deputy threatened to arrest her for being 'offensive'

A woman who was breastfeeding in Columbus, Georgia, took to Facebook after claiming a deputy threatened to arrest her for doing so, saying some may find it “offensive.”

Savvy Shukla uploaded a lengthy post to Facebook on Sunday explaining the incident. Shukla said she was at Piggly Wiggly with her sister and two children when a deputy came up to her.

>> Read the Facebook post here

Posted by Savvy Shukla on Sunday, September 25, 2016

Shukla said she told the deputy that Georgia law allows her to breastfeed in public. The deputy then fired back, she said.

“You just THINK you know what the law says and if your nipple becomes exposed I really don’t want to have to arrest you or you be arrested for being offensive. This isn’t like the first amendment where you can say something offensive,” Shukla claimed the angry deputy told her.

>> Read more trending stories

“I’m so upset about it and I understand why this type of harassment can cause moms to stop,” she added.

Muscogee County Sheriff John T. Darr wrote about the incident on his Facebook page Monday morning and clarified that breastfeeding is legal in Georgia.

"We are currently looking into this incident, and it will be addressed," Darr wrote. "Our office does not condone these actions and will ensure all officers know and understand the law. On behalf of the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office, I would like to personally extend an apology to the woman involved, and we hope that she knows that these are not the opinions or practices of the office as a whole."

>> Read the full post here

Good Morning, I have seen and am aware of a post circulating Facebook, regarding a situation between a Muscogee County...Posted by Sheriff John T. Darr on Monday, September 26, 2016

Later, Darr told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that he talked to the deputy, who said he only told Shukla that she might want to "cover up" after customers approached him.

“I think she had the mindset that he said that she couldn’t (breastfeed), and that’s so far from the truth,” Darr told the Ledger-Enquirer. “That’s my problem. People put that stuff out there on Facebook without getting all the facts.”

Shukla took to Facebook again to respond to the article.

"I am FURIOUS!" she wrote. "No the Deputy didn't just tell me to cover and leave it at that. He ARGUED with me about the law and told me I just 'THINK' I know the law and THREATENED TO ARREST ME or that I'd be ARRESTED IN THE FUTURE. Are you kidding me!?"

>> Read the post here

I am FURIOUS! No the Deputy didn't just tell me to cover and leave it at that. He ARGUED with me about the law and...Posted by Savvy Shukla on Monday, September 26, 2016

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Yankee fan pops question during game, loses ring

It was his big moment, but one New York Yankees fan dropped the ball, or make that the ring. 

Andrew Fox made the biggest error of his life, and it was all broadcast on the diamond vision at Yankee Stadium.

>> Read more trending stories  

The New Castle, Pennsylvania man dropped to one knee, ready to propose during the fifth inning of Tuesday's Yankee/Red Sox game, and he dropped the ring, The Associated Press reported

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The crowd of more than 35,000 fans made a collective gasp, then booed the drop as Fox and his potential fiancee Heather Terwilliger searched for the ring. For five minutes, the couple and surrounding fans frantically searched.

Finally Terwilliger noticed something shining in the cuff of her pants, the ring!

>>Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

So Fox dropped to his knee a second time, hopefully holding onto the bauble tightly, asking Terwilliger to marry him. She did say yes. 

They were also named fans of the game during the seventh-inning stretch.

7 things to know now: Peres dies; California police shooting; Mary J. Blige

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Peres dies: Shimon Peres, a founder of the state of Israeli who later became its prime minister and its president, died Wednesday, two weeks after suffering a massive stroke. Peres served in his country’s government in some capacity for decades. In the 1990s, he brokered the Oslo Peace Accords, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Israeli President Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.

2. Police shooting in California: Police shot and killed a man Tuesday who was reported to have been acting erratically at a strip mall in suburban San Diego, Calif. Police say the man pulled an object from his pocket and “assumed a shooting stance” facing officers. According to El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis, one officer tried to use a Taser on the man before he was shot by another officer.

3. Saudi bill veto: The Senate is set to vote Wednesday to override a veto by President Barack Obama of a bill that would have allowed families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. Obama vetoed the bill saying it would interfere with a president’s ability to set foreign policy.

4. Government shutdown: A funding bill meant to stave-off a federal government shutdown Friday, failed to clear a procedural hurdle that would limit debate on the bill and move it to the floor of the Senate for a vote. The continuing resolution (CR) got only 45 of the 60 votes needed to move the bill along. The services of the federal government are funded only through midnight Friday. The  CR would keep the government running until Dec. 9.

5. Marijuana on the ballot: Americans in nine states will see a measure on their ballots in November that addresses expanding access to legalized marijuana. Voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada  will consider legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota are looking at using it for medical purposes. Montana voters will consider easing restrictions an existing medical marijuana law.

And  one more

Teasers  from singer Mary J. Blige’s interview with Hillary Clinton for an Apple Music show  has tongues wagging on  social media. One clip from “The 411” shows Blige singing to the Democratic nominee for president then clasping her hands. The second clip shows Blige telling Clinton that "a lot of people in my community think Obama was blocked in congress because he was black." According to the Associated Press, Apple is billing the interview as "an intimate conversation" featuring Blige. ''The 411 with Mary J. Blige" airs Friday.

In case you missed it

Surveillance video from convenience store appears to show man beating child

A man who says he witnessed an older man beating a child in the parking lot of his New Kensington motorcycle shop is hoping surveillance video of the incident helps police track down the man responsible. 

 Chad Razor said he was sitting at his desk at his shop around noon Tuesday when he heard a car pull into the parking lot.  

“When I stood up, I thought it was two men in the parking lot fighting,” Razor said.  

He said he was in disbelief when he realized the person being beaten was a child. 

>> Read more trending stories    

“He couldn’t have been no more than between 8 and 9 years old. He was screaming for all he had,” Razor said.  

The Stop N Go convenience store next to Razor’s shop captured the entire altercation on video.  

“(The child) was screaming for all he had. He was definitely terrified,” Razor said.  

In the surveillance video, the child is struck at least 15 times with what appears to be a belt. The child takes a couple steps, is hit again and then punched, which knocks him to the ground.  

“At that moment, he had struck the child one last blow in the face. I screamed at the person. He threw the child into the car,” Razor said. “That’s all he pulled in here for. He pulled in, done it and left.”  

Razor said he called police, showed them the surveillance video and filed a report. He said he’s hoping someone will recognize the man or the car in the video.  

“It was inhumane. It was savage, and they need to get him,” Razor said.   WPXI contacted both New Kensington police and neighboring Arnold police to learn whether an investigation is underway. As of Tuesday night, authorities had not responded. 

Report: Woman threw hot grits at boyfriend during fight

An argument over cheating led a Columbus, Georgia, woman to throw hot grits at her boyfriend as he held her baby, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported Monday.

Monique Altouise Bennett, 33, admitted in court she threw the grits during a fight, the paper reported. The victim told police the woman also threatened him with a knife.

>> Read more trending stories

“He used my son as a shield, because he knew I wasn’t going to hit him with the grits if he was holding my son,” Bennett testified in court Monday. “So out of anger when he got in the car and closed the car door, I threw the grits at the car.”

Bennett pleaded guilty to simple assault and reckless conduct, the paper reported. She is being held in the Muscogee County jail on $2,000 bond.

Read more of the story here.

In heartwarming video, dad hospitalized after cancer diagnosis welcomes baby boy

An emotional video that shows a dad with cancer experiencing the birth of his son is going viral.

According to the Huffington Post, doctors diagnosed Cagney Wenk with stage-four gliboblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, three weeks before his fiancee, Jessica Li, was due to give birth to their son, Levon. As the Colorado man recovered from surgery in the ICU at Boulder Community Hospital, his nurses wanted to do something nice for the couple.

That's when they contacted an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep to document Wenk welcoming his baby boy.

On Sept. 18, Sarah Boccolucci, a photographer and videographer, captured the emotional moment Wenk was brought from the ICU for Levon's birth. Her heartwarming video has been viewed more than 24,000 times.

>> Click here to watch

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.7";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>I was recently connected with this amazing family via Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. While this type of session isn't what...Posted by Sarah Boccolucci Photography + Birth Services on Monday, September 19, 2016

“There is a point during the birth where Cagney tells Jessica that they are surrounded by all the love in the world right now,” Boccolucci told the Huffington Post. “It is my hope that people will see the video, feel the love this family shares, and help lift them up and make a donation if they are able.”

>> Read more trending stories

She added, "My hope is that the family gets all the support they can and remain hopeful that Cagney will beat this cancer."

If you would like to donate to the family to help cover their medical costs, visit their GiveForward page.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.7";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Posted by Cagney Wenk on Sunday, September 25, 2016

El Cajon, California, police shooting: What we know now

Police shot and killed a black man Tuesday afternoon at a shopping center in a San Diego suburb, prompting protests.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the man has been identified by demonstrators as as Alfred Olango, a refugee from Uganda. Police have not officially released the man's identity.

Olango was described as "well-educated but mentally ill," by Agnes Hassan. She said she spent time in a refugee camp with Olango.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, El Cajon police responded to multiple reports of an "erratic" pedestrian walking in traffic near a strip mall around 2 p.m. PDT Tuesday. Police said late Tuesday that it took them 50 minutes to respond after receiving the first call, presumably from a woman who said she was the man's sister, KNSD reported. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that police shot the man a minute after arriving to the scene.

Officers said they used a Taser and opened fire after the man failed to follow their commands and appeared to pull an object out of his pocket, holding it in an apparent shooting stance, KMFB reported.

At a news conference late Tuesday, police confirmed that "no firearm was recovered" from the scene, according to KMFBKSWB reports that a witness said the man was unarmed and mentally ill.

>> PHOTOS: Protests after El Cajon, California, police shooting

KMFB initially reported that the man was critically injured and taken to the hospital, although the woman who identified herself as the man's sister said he died at the scene. Police said late Tuesday that the man was dead, KMFB tweeted.

Here's what we know so far:

>> Read more trending stories

1. Some bystanders said the man had his hands up. While describing the incident to KNSD, witness Michael Ray Rodriguez said, "The man's hands are up. No shirt. He didn't have no shirt."

El Cajon police denied those claims in a tweet Tuesday night, saying that in "video voluntarily provided by a witness, the subject did NOT have his hands up in the air."

2. A now-viral Facebook Live video captured the aftermath of the shooting. In the 25-minute video, posted by Rumbie Mubaiwa, a woman cries that she had called police to help the man, who she said was her brother.

"I just called for help, and you came and killed him," she says.

She later asks, "Don't you guys have crisis communications teams to talk to somebody mentally sick?"

The video has been viewed more than 33,000 times.

>> Watch the video here (WARNING: Graphic content and language)

3. Police have denied claims that officers confiscated cellphones from people at a nearby restaurant. A woman identified only as Maria told KNSD that police took cellphones from employees at Los Panchos restaurant and told workers "not to talk to anyone."

El Cajon police tweeted, "We ask that the community please be careful about reacting to inaccurate information. No phones were confiscated from anyone at the scene."

During the Tuesday night news conference, Police Chief Jeff Davis said a witness voluntarily handed cellphone video over to police. 

"That witness voluntarily provided their phone to the police department and gave written consent for the officers to view the video," the department said in a press release. "Investigators have been able to download the video. This was the only phone provided to officers in this investigation."

4. The officers involved are being placed on administrative leave. According to KMFB, that includes the officer who fired at the man and the one who used a Taser. Each officer has at least 20 years of police service, KMFB reported.

5. El Cajon police do not yet wear body cameras. KNSD reported that the City Council recently approved a plan to buy body cameras, but Davis said they likely won't be used until next year.

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