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The Nonconsensual Pornography Act is a D.C. statute drafted in 2014 to address the problem of revenge porn. Recently, a 25-year-old Chicago man was charged under the statute after he posted several images of women without their consent. Several states have moved to criminalize revenge porn. Now, the 25-year-old Chicago man will spend the next five years in prison for unlawfully distributing sexual images of women without their consent. He was further accused of stalking witnesses who were to provide testimony against him.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful publication, two counts of stalking, and a felony count of making threats against a witness. 

Does Illinois Have a Revenge Porn Law?

A defendant has been sentenced to 20 months in federal prison after his role in stalking and harassing an R. Kelly victim and her mother. The man described himself as a manager and advisor for the beleaguered pop star and threatened the mother and her daughter after they filed a civil lawsuit against Kelly. The harassment appeared to be a means of keeping the victim silent on the matter and preventing the lawsuit from moving forward. 

According to investigators, the defendant threatened to publicly release sexual photographs of the victim if she did not withdraw her lawsuit. The defendant allegedly sent the photos to the victim’s lawyer and the victim herself, stating that he “would seek criminal charges.” It is unclear what criminal charges he would seek or what criminal charges were available for him. He is now convicted of stalking. 

The defendant is also accused of setting up a Facebook page called “Surviving Lies,” a play on the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which was broadcast by Netflix and discussed the lives of the survivors. During a podcast interview, the defendant displayed sexually explicit images of the victim on screen. 

Since the late 80s, the United States has shown significant reductions in violent crimes and murders. The numbers continued to decline even as the U.S. population gained 100 million new members. 

In 1960, the violent crime rate was about 160 incidents per 100,0000 people. By the end of the ‘60s, the number would more than double to 328 incidents per 100,0000 people. By the end of the ‘80s, there were almost 700 incidents per 100,000 people. The number peaked in 1991 when the U.S. reported over 750 violent crimes per 100,000 people. 

But after 1991, the number started going down. In 1992, it decreased by only one percentage point, but by the end of the decade, the number had dropped to 523 violent crimes per 100,000 people. By 2009, we were below 500, at 431. In 2014, we hit a 40-year low at 372 violent crimes per 100,000 people. In 2019, we were at 379. 

It is no secret that criminal justice reform feels like a slap in the face to police officers. It stands to reason, then, that some police departments would refuse to implement provisions passed in 2021. 

In 2021, Illinois passed the Pretrial Fairness Act, which extended privileges to those awaiting trial and under electronic monitoring. Among other things, it allowed individuals to leave their houses for essential business. During certain periods of certain days, they were allowed to leave the house to run errands. 

However, Cook County has been denying essential days to those who also work. The measure was implemented unilaterally by the Cook County sheriff, and many believe that it is a violation of the law, if not the letter of the law, then at least the spirit of the law. But perhaps that is the point. 

A man has been sentenced to 90 months in federal prison after eight years as a fugitive in Utah. The man was charged in connection with the theft of over $2.2 million from his employer when he worked as a bookkeeper. The defendant was responsible for paying invoices to vendors, but fabricated duplicate invoices for work already paid and diverted the money into his own account. In 2012, he was caught and charged with wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion, but he fled the police while on house arrest. He was caught eight years later and will now serve eight years in federal prison.

The Crime of Embezzlement

What is embezzlement specifically? Well, you can steal money from anyone, but when you embezzle, you steal from someone with whom you have a duty of service, it is considered embezzlement. Companies and governments can be the victim of embezzlement. Employees and actors who operate on behalf of governments can be the perpetrators of embezzlement. Nonetheless, there is no “crime of embezzlement” under federal law. Instead, you have wire fraud.

A Jefferson Park Smoke Shop owner and operator has defeated charges that he unlawfully sold drugs to undercover officers. The owner was facing four counts, two felonies, and two misdemeanors. The man was accused of selling marijuana from his smoke shop but confessed only to smoking marijuana. 

Separately, building inspectors shut down the building that the owner was operating out of. As of right now, the smoke shop is shut down and will not be reopening. The landlord claims that he tossed the tenant due to his legal troubles. The tenant claims that building inspectors shut down the building due to rotten columns. As it stands, the tenant is correct. The building was cited for rotting or broken columns, a lack of smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, and improperly stored flammable materials. All of that would be on the landlord and not the tenant. 

Suspect Victim of Hate Crime

A Chicago woman is being charged with murder after stabbing her boyfriend to death. According to police, the incident was related to a dispute over who could use the microwave first. The woman was eight months pregnant at the time of the stabbing, and she and her boyfriend were living together, according to police. 

According to the press release, a dispute broke out over who was going to reheat their leftovers first, which turned into a shoving match. The boyfriend went to lie down in his room, but the girlfriend continued to argue. Eventually, she approached his bedroom with a knife. An uncle attempted to prevent her from getting closer, but she reached around him and stabbed the boyfriend in the thigh. He died after bleeding out from his femoral artery. She then dropped the knife and fled the scene, according to reports. 

The woman is facing one charge of first-degree murder and is being held without bond. As of the stabbing, police were called to five reports of domestic violence, with the defendant listed as the aggressor. All of these incidents occurred over a four-month period between June and September. In one incident that occurred in late August, the defendant was listed as the aggressor in an incident that left her boyfriend with a stab wound to the neck. The boyfriend refused to press charges over the incident. 

The Justice Department announced charges against 21 individuals involved in an organized theft of catalytic converters. From 2018 to 2020, catalytic converter thefts skyrocketed by nearly 700%. Catalytic converters are now big money due in large part to the precious metals used in the manufacture of devices. They are designed to convert harmful gas emissions created by your vehicle into non-harmful gas emissions that reduce smog and protect the environment. Without a catalytic converter, your car will not run properly, either. As the value of these precious metals has increased over the past few years (think inflation), catalytic converters are becoming a prime target for thieves. 

As of right now, some states have moved to place catalytic converters on a list of restricted items that require ownership documentation and provenance to exchange. Others have yet to pass legislation addressing the thefts of catalytic converters, but as the situation worsens, chances are likely that more states will join in to include catalytic converters on lists of restricted items. 

The 21 individuals charged in the ring lived in nine separate states. 32 search warrants were executed, and millions in assets were seized as a part of the investigation. 

A Chicago man was arrested after the attempted rape of a female postal worker in Little Village over the weekend. According to the police report, the postal worker found the man waiting for her in her truck. An altercation ensued, and the postal worker was able to escape. However, the man then stole the mail truck. He has since been charged with attempted criminal sexual assault and vehicular hijacking. The postal worker was taken to a hospital and released.

The Post Office offered a $50,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the man’s arrest. The surveillance video image shows a clear shot of the defendant’s face. 

The defendant faces a litany of charges, any one of which could put him behind bars for decades or more. With the volume of major felonies he is facing, the defendant is unlikely to see the outside of a prison cell again. They have him at least on grand theft of government property and battery on a government employee. The victim will provide testimony as to the rest of the elements of the prosecution’s case involving attempted sexual assault. 

Police have elected not to press charges against a 17-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed an 8-year-old boy while handling a gun. In cases like these, it is often the gun owner who faces charges for failing to properly secure the gun in a locked safe unloaded as the law requires. However, no one will face charges related to this incident. In some cases, the outcome of an event is tragic enough that the law does not see fit to punish those responsible further. In this case, the gun should not have been accessible to the 17-year-old, and it should not have been loaded. 

Is it Illegal to Improperly Store a Gun?

Yes, but the penalties for this crime are closer to a traffic violation than an actual crime. You can face a $10,000 penalty if a minor gains access to your gun and harms themselves or someone else. Generally speaking, you can also face civil penalties related to injuries suffered by a victim of an accidental gunshot wound.

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