FindLaw Blotter: August 2009 Archives
FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

August 2009 Archives

Operation Twisted Traveler Nets 3 'Sex Tourists'

Three California men have been arrested and removed from Cambodia for alleged sexual exploitation of Cambodian children. Their arrests represent the fruit of increased efforts to crack down on Americans travelling abroad to exploit children.

According to the Department of Justice, the three are currently in transit back to the US, after being arrested and removed from Cambodia. They will be the first to be charged as a result of Operation Twisted Traveler.

Through Operation Twisted Traveler, the DOJ and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials seek to stamp out the child sex tourism flowing from the US to Cambodia. As part of the operation, ICE and FBI investigators conduct training for Cambodian law enforcement, along with non-profit groups trying to battle the child sex tourism trade in Cambodia.

These three will be charged for violating the PROTECT Act. Congress passed the PROTECT Act in 2003. One way it increased the protection of children from sexual abuse was by beefing up penalties for Americans who travel abroad in order to sexually exploit children.

C.I.A. Double Agent's Son Admits Spying Conspiracy

The son of a former C.I.A. double agent who spied for Russia has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to act an an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy to launder money.

As reported by the AP, Nathaniel Nicholson, son of former C.I.A. agent Jim Nicholson, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges relating to participation in his father's continued espionage activities. In 1997, the father became the highest ranking C.I.A. officer ever convicted of spying. He received 23 years for giving Russian intelligence agents information regarding the C.I.A.agents he trained, along with other secrets.

His son of the former agent would have faced 20 years in prison for helping his father collect money owed to his by the Russians. But prosecutors has recommended a sentence that could include only probation in a plea deal in which 25 year old Nathaniel agreed to testify against his father, if necessary. Both were charged with new counts of conspiracy to operate as an agent of a foreign government and launder money, along with new espionage charges.

Mortgage Fraud Bust: Perhaps Largest in US History

An Ohio man, along with 40 other individuals and four businesses have been indicted in what some are calling the largest mortgage fraud scam in the country's history.

Uri Gofman has been charged as the mastermind of the scheme, which involved 453 homes in and around the Cleveland area, and an alleged $44 million in fraudulent loans. Gofman has been charged with racketeering, theft, tampering with records, wire fraud and money laundering.

As detailed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the scheme allegedly involved Gofman paying straw buyers to purchase foreclosed homes. According to the indictment, a man named Naum Simkhovich recruited the straw buyers from his Cleveland synagogue.

Then, according to the indictment, Gofman and his company (Real Asset Fund) would file fraudulent paperwork stating that they lent the new homeowners money to restore the homes. The straw buyers would then apply for bank loans to refinance the "loans" Gofman made to them.

The problem was, as alleged by authorities, Gofman never made the loans (and the homes were not restored). They maintain that he did, however, keep the proceeds of the loans made by the banks -- to the tune of about $20 million to Gofman and $11 million to co-conspirators, who included a bank loan officer, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and title agents, along with the straw buyers.

C-Murder, a Murder Rap and Two Attempted Murders

On Tuesday, Corey "C-Murder" Miller, rapper and member of his cousin Master P's 1990's southern rap empire, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for the attempted murder of two people in a Baton Rouge night club in 2001. Earlier this month, he got a life sentence for the 2002 murder of a teenager in a Harvey, Louisiana night club.

As reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Miller received the 10 year sentence just weeks after receiving a life sentence for the 2002 murder. One might wonder why another 10 year sentence is needed for a man already sentenced to life. The answer is that prosecutors want to ensure his incarceration even if one or the other of the convictions gets overturned on appeal. And in the case(s) of C-Murder, this concern is particularly apt -- his murder conviction has already been overturned once.

To help sort out C-Murder's murder and attempted murder raps, here is a brief timeline of his cases:

C.I.A. Interrogation Report Draws Investigation

Details from a report by the C.I.A.'s Inspector General in 2004 into detention and interrogation practices in the War on Terror are finally seeing the light of day. What's inside appears to have factored into Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether violations of U.S. law occurred.

First, if this report is from 2004, why is it just being acted upon now? As described by Human Rights Watch attorney Joanne Mariner, who wrote a breakdown of the report's contents and importance, the report was classified "Top Secret" in 2004. In 2008, the ACLU got a very heavily redacted version released through a Freedom of Information Act request. More litigation finally resulted in the release of this lesser redacted version (with still 35+ pages blacked out).

But the report is not new to the Department of Justice (DOJ) or Congress. As the Wall Street Journal reports, in 2004, the C.I.A. gave the full report to the Bush administration's DOJ, and both Senate and House Intelligence Committees. At that point, DOJ prosecuted (and won conviction of) only one person -- a C.I.A. contractor who reportedly beat a detainee to death.

Yesterday, Attorney General Holder appointed special prosecutor John Durham to conduct a preliminary investigation into other potential federal crimes connected to detainee interrogations overseas.

See the full (but redacted) report below.

AP: Michael Jackson Death Ruled a Homicide

The AP, citing a law enforcement official, is reporting that the King of Pop's death was ruled a homicide by the LA County Coroner. While no official ruling from the coroner's office has been released, statements in a search warrant affidavit that Jackson died of lethal levels of propofol have eyes focused on Jackson doctor Conrad Murray.

As the AP reports, the search warrant affidavit was recently unsealed. In it, the LA County Coroner states that a deadly level of the anesthetic propofol killed Michael Jackson. The affidavit does not state that Jackson's death was a homicide. For this, the AP cites an unnamed law enforcement official.

As discussed in the LA Times, it appears increasingly likely that one of Jackson's doctors, Conrad Murray may face charges over the death.

That makes this a good time to remember that there are many types of homicide. None of what's been reported today has anything to do with murder.

The charge (if any) Dr. Murray would likely face is at the other end of the homicide spectrum -- involuntary manslaughter.

High Value Detainee Interrogation Group Created

President Obama has signed an executive order creating a new group to oversee the interrogation of high value detainees. The High-value Detainee Interrogation Group will be housed within the FBI and will be overseen by the National Security Administration.

Back in January, President Obama signed an important executive order. Most importantly, it mandated that the interrogation of all detainees held by the US Government must follow the U.S. Army Field Manual. This is important because the Army Field Manual forbids torture. Actually, it specifies accepted methods of interrogation, along with specifically disallowing forbidden methods (including water-boarding).

In that executive order, Obama also created the Special Task Force on Interrogations and Transfer Policies to evaluate US policies on interrogating and transferring detainees. Specifically, it's mission was to analyze whether use of the U.S. Army Field Manual by departments and agencies outside the Army would adequately protect US security, and evaluate US practices on transferring detainees to ensure that those policies don't violate US law or international obligations by handing detainees over to countries where they will face torture

For interrogations in general, the task force concluded that the Army Field Manual is good enough. Going forward, it is to be used as the guide to how interrogations are conducted by other military and intelligence agencies and departments (this will include the C.I.A.).

Blottdown: Big Guns, Tasers, Children and Love

The weekly rundown of crime stories that blur the lines between idiot and genius, justified and not so much, freedom and incarceration... you be the judge.

Not so smart to very stupid. So we've seen that assault rifles at protests where the President speaks are kosher. What about an assault rifle in the hands of a scantily clad waitress in the "Twin Peaks" restaurant parking lot, sprawled across the hood of a police cruiser for a photo-op? Not quite so cool, in the opinion of the sheriff of the Midland County (Texas) officers involved in the incident. Sheriff Painter understands someone having a drink to unwind, but "in this particular instance, people got stupid real quick... It went from not very smart to very stupid in about 30 seconds."

Get the Guns, Junior. How do you know that mommy loves you? When you're 60 and she's 80, and you're hiding from the cops in the closet of her mobile home, she'll start a shootout with her rifle and/or side arm blazing.

Like taking candy from a kid in a wheelchair and protective medical halo. According to the police report from an incident at a Dallas children's hospital, a Waco woman either intentionally hit a 13 year old boy in a wheel chair and medical halo, or she hit him inadvertently while struggling to grab a ball out of his lap. Ownership of the ball is still under debate. His visiting uncle says he brought the ball to the boy. In her words, "[m]y sister got that ball, she said like 10 o'clock that morning from a center where you can go get, like, sports balls and stuff." Apparently, the woman saw evidence of her vindication in the boy's attempt to turn the other cheek during the dispute between her and his uncle. As she put it, "[t]hen that little boy in the wheelchair with the halo over his head, I recall [him] saying, 'Just let it go, give them the ball.'"

"Time out" in Germany. A German police chief did not appreciate the way a five year old girl was playing with his son. So he drove her home "under arrest." After she allegedly flipped him the bird a few days later, he dispatched officers to her house to warn her parents that she would be charged with anti-social behavior. Those in fear of their own tikes getting sent to the clink, rest easy -- giving a police officer the finger is constitutionally protected free speech in the good old U.S. of A. (at least according to one federal court opinion).

More Women Driving Drunk as Crackdown Begins

FBI statistics show that arrests of female drunk drivers have risen by almost 30% between 1998 and 2007. Though drunk driving is still dominated by men, the same time period saw a decrease in males arrested for it.

Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood kicked off a nationwide crackdown on impaired driving. In particular, he drew attention to the rise in arrests of female drunk drivers over the past decade.

According to the FBI's numbers, in 1998, 126,119 women were arrested for driving under the influence. By 2007, that number grew to 162,493. On the male side, the number of drunk drivers arrested shrunk from 676,911 to 626,371 (about a 7.5% decrease).

Some states experiencing an uptick in the number of women driving drunk have begun educational campaigns, such as the "Women drive drunk too" campaign in New Mexico.

UBS to Give IRS the Names of 4,450 Account Holders

After months of negotiating, an agreement has been reached by which Swiss Bank UBS will hand over thousands of account holders' names and account information to the IRS. The move is the latest in attempts by US authorities to crack down on tax cheats hiding assets overseas.

First of all, what's so special about Swiss banks? In a word, privacy. Swiss banks have long reputation for guarding the privacy of account holders. Though Switzerland became an international banking capital long before, in 1934 it codified the practice of bank secrecy into law. This made it a crime for bankers to release certain information regarding bank clients.

As reported by the LA Times, last year US authorities requested from Swiss bank UBS information to identify the holders of 52,000 accounts. Authorities believed that these accounts may have been used to hide assets in order to avoid paying taxes.

This put US attempts to track down tax cheats in direct conflict with centuries of banking secrecy in Switzerland. The Swiss government intervened, stating that it would not allow UBS to hand over the information.

DOJ: Hacker Stole 130 Million Credit Card Numbers

A Miami hacker, along with two others "in or near Russia," was indicted for conspiring to steal approximately 130 million credit and debit card numbers. The group's sophisticated attacks targeted Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. along with large retailers including 7-Eleven, the Hannaford Brothers grocery store chain and two unnamed corporate victims.

According to the indictment, 28 year old Albert Gonzalez (aka "soupnazi," "segvec," and "j4guar17") orchestrated a coordinated operation which scouted victim companies and proceeded to hack their way to more than 130 million card numbers. A vast majority of those numbers came from Heartland Payment Systems, a national credit card processing company. According to Wired, the group captured credit card numbers, expiration dates, and in 20% of cases, the cardholder's name.

Gonzalez faces up to 35 years in prison.

According to his indictment, Gonzalez played a primary role in a vast scheme to infiltrate victim companies, steal credit and debit card information, and leave "sniffers" within victim systems so that the group's programs could continue sending credit card info to the hackers. The DOJ described the group's work as highly sophisticated, using malware to prevent detection and disable host systems' anti-virus software.

Supreme Court: Troy Davis Gets Evidentiary Hearing

Georgia death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis got a win today from the US Supreme Court. The Court ordered an evidentiary hearing on Davis' claim that he is innocent of the murder of a Savannah police officer in 1989. The case may force clarification of federal courts' power to intervene in state court convictions based on claims of actual innocence, rather than an improper trial.

In 1991, Troy Davis was convicted of murdering off duty Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. MacPhail was shot as he attempted to aid a man being beaten in a Burger King parking lot. Davis was at the scene of the skirmish; however, he has always claimed that another man -- Sylvester "Redd" Coles -- was the shooter.

No physical evidence connected Davis to the murder. His conviction was based in large part on the testimony of nine eye witnesses, including Redd Coles, who initially fingered Davis. Seven of those eye witnesses have since recanted their testimony.

So what does today's Supreme Court order mean? For Troy Davis, it means a federal hearing to determine whether evidence unavailable at the time of trial clearly establishes his innocence.

Though Davis' case, like most death penalty appeals, has a long and complicated history, it now poses a question that can be stated simply, but will perhaps be more difficult to answer: Can federal courts do anything if someone convicted in state court can prove actual innocence, but can't prove that their trial was unconstitutional?

Blottdown: "Nurses," Judges, Hotheads and Idiots

The weekly rundown of crime stories that blur the lines between idiot and genius, justified and not so much, freedom and incarceration... you be the judge.

Live your dreams. Betty Lichtenstein just wanted to thank all the little people that made this possible. She's not a "licensed" or "trained" nurse, but she was the "Connecticut Nursing Association"'s 2008 Nurse of the Year. Just ask anyone who attended the awards dinner Betty spent $2,000 staging for the group she invented.

Judge not. Under those robes, judges are just people. They put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you and me. Sure, some judges might deflate a tire on someone's car over a parking peeve. And occasionally one might have to do a little jail time for recruiting defendants in his court as prostitutes and driving them across state lines in an RV for parties with his creepy old secret society brethren. But hey, it's not like they sit in judgment of us, right?

The intern did what? Police interns are not allowed to arrest people. Particularly if they are drunk on a Friday morning and pretending their index finger and thumb are a gun.

Street Racers Sentenced for Crash Killings

Two men whose street race claimed the lives of a mother and her two children in 2007 were sentenced today. On charges including gross vehicle manslaughter and second degree murder of each victim, Robert Canizalez, and Martin Ariel Morones received sentences of 48 and 45 years to life, respectively.

As reported by the LA Times, these sentences relate to street race that occurred between 5:15 and 5:45pm on Monday afternoon in October of 2007. Then 18 year old Canizalez and the 21 year old Morones were racing as Dora Groce pulled out of the mobile home park in which they all lived. She, her 8 year old son and 4 year old daughter were blindsided by Canizalez.

Canizalez, who stayed at the scene unlike Morones, was also convicted of witness intimidation using the threat of force or violence. According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Canizalez threatened a young witness at the scene before being arrested.

This case illustrates a trend in prosecutors charging street racers with murder when someone dies as a result of a race crash.

Hate Crime Protection for the Homeless?

Years of unprovoked attacks on homeless people have prompted some states and Congress to consider passing hate crime legislation that includes the homeless.

As reported by the New York Times, this October, Maryland will become the first state to include its homeless population in protections provided by laws against hate crimes. The Times reports that California, Florida, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas are considering doing the same thing. The District of Columbia recently passed a similar measure, and a federal bill was introduced in Congress last week.

The National Coalition for the Homeless recently released its annual report on hate crimes and violence against people experiencing homelessness. It found that in 2008, 27 people were killed by attacks on the homeless.

Over the past decade, there have been more than 2 1/2 times more unprovoked killings of homeless people than homicides based on race, religion, national origin, disability and sexual orientation combined, according to criminal justice professor Brian Levin.

Crack and Powder Cocaine to Get Equal Sentences?

The House Judiciary Committee has approved legislation that would finally level the punishment for possession of crack versus powder cocaine. The Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009 now goes to the full House for vote.

In the late 1986 and 1988, Congress enacted harsh penalties for possession of crack cocaine (a freebase, smokable form of cocaine). Under those guideline, still in effect today, the sale of 500 grams of powder cocaine draws a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years. The same minimum sentence applies for sale or possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine.

This 100/1 disparity also applies to the sale of crack versus powder cocaine. The sale of 50 grams of crack draws the same mandatory 10 year minimum sentence as selling 5,000 grams (5 kilos) of powder cocaine.

Though some degree of discretion has been created in which prosecutors and judges can evade the harsh crack sentences, the sentencing disparity remains part of the guidelines at the base of federal drug crime sentencing.

Parties with Prostitutes Land Jester Judge in Jail

Former New York judge Ronald H. Tills was sentenced to a year and half in jail for transporting a group of prostitutes across state lines in an RV. Amongst those he recruited as prostitutes to participate in debauched parties of the "Royal Order of Jesters" were women who appeared as defendants in his court.

As reported by The Buffalo News, 74 year old Tills is the first to receive jail time following a federal probe into weekend blowouts held by the Royal Order of Jesters. The Jesters are a division of the Shriners. The group's national leadership assured the Buffalo News that hiring prostitutes for their parties is not condoned. Its national spokesman told the paper that this was a practice strictly confined to the Buffalo chapter.

Now, some old-timers in that Buffalo chapter are paying the price under a fairly old-fashioned law -- the Mann Act.

Texas Disabled School Fight Club Trial Begins

Today trial begins for one of six former employees of a Texas school for the disabled where staff allegedly organized a fight club of developmentally disabled residents.

As discussed in March, cell phone videos captured 20 fights orchestrated at the Corpus Christi State School, dating back to 2007. What they show is disturbing -- developmentally challenged residents being cajoled, even kicked in order to incite fight club style battles for the amusement of some of the school's staff (now ex-staff).

As reported by the AP, the first trial in the fight club fiasco begins today. 25 year old Jesse Salazar, one of six charged, begins trial for causing injury to a disabled person.

Under Texas law, intentionally or knowingly causing injury to a disabled person, an elderly person or a child is either a first or third degree felony, depending on the gravity of the injury caused. This portion of Texas law defines disabled to mean a person "older than 14 years of age who by reason of age or physical or mental disease, defect, or injury is substantially unable to protect himself from harm or to provide food, shelter, or medical care for himself."

As noted by the AP, the prosecution's case against Salazar was likely bolstered on Friday when one of his co-defendants pleaded guilty to a lesser offense. Vincent Johnson, who was to stand trial with Salazar, pleaded guilty to negligently or recklessly injuring a disabled person. He received a 2 year suspended sentence and 5 years of probation in exchange for agreeing to testify against other defendants.

California Prison Riot Injures 250

A riot over the weekend at the prison in Chino, California injured 250 inmates and caused the lockdown of 9 other prisons.

The news regarding California's prisons continues to be bleak. Last week came the ruling that the state must trim its prison population by more than about 40,000 inmates. On Saturday night, one of those overpopulated prisons experienced a riot involving a reported 1300 inmates.

As the Chico Enterprise Recorder reports, the California Institute for Men in Chino currently has approximately 5,900 inmates. It was designed to contain 3,160.

The paper reports that this was the largest disturbance in a California prison since 2006. The riot engulfed 7 dormitory barracks, with one building heavily damaged by a fire set during the melee.

Blottdown: Guns, Glue, Tasers, Cats & Vigilantes

The weekly rundown of crime stories that blur the lines between idiot and genius, justified and not so much, freedom and incarceration... you be the judge.

Sports bars + guns + kids = trouble. Last week, we saw a scooter-jacking by a kid with a fake gun. This week, we have a skateboard-jacking by a grown man with a real gun. Cincinnati sports bar proprietor Jack Connerton does not appreciate kids cutting through his parking lot. So he robbed an 11 year old girl of her skateboard at gunpoint. She lives a half block away from the bar and has to pass by to get to the local rec center. He's now looking at a felony armed robbery charge.

And then there were none. By week's end, an entire Wisconsin love quadrangle plus one has been arrested. Last week, the male of the group showed up to a motel expecting a romantic evening with one ladyfriend. Allegedly blindfolded and waiting for a for a "rub down," he soon found out that a quiet evening this would not be. Four women (including his wife and two mistresses) allegedly tied him up, hit him, taunted him and krazy-glued his penis to his stomach. This led to four false imprisonment charges and one charge of fourth degree sexual assault. Wednesday, the man was arrested for alleged child abuse, theft, unlawful phone use, and harrassment with a death threat.

This week in tazings...

William Jefferson Convicted on Corruption Charges

Former Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson was convicted yesterday on an assortment of bribery related charges. He faces a maximum sentence of 150 years in prison and forfeiture of almost half a million dollars plus stock certificates. His lawyer says he will appeal the decision.

The 11 charges on which Jefferson was convicted included solicitation of bribes, honest services wire fraud, money laundering, racketeering and conspiracy. "Honest services fraud" is when an employee fraudulently deprives his employer of the employer's right to honest services. For public officials, this means denying their constituents the right to honest services by their elected or appointed officials. The "wire" part of any fraud charge simply means utilizing electronic communications to further the fraudulent scheme.

Jefferson was acquitted of three other counts of honest services wire fraud, an obstruction of justice charge and of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FRCPA).

The FRCPA basically forbids the bribing of foreign officials. Though he was acquitted of violating it, as reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Jefferson's case will always be remembered for the $90,00 in cash found in his freezer in 2005, and that money was where feds thought they had him on an FRCPA charge.

The $90,000 was from $100,000 given to Jefferson by a Virginia businesswoman who wanted him to bribe the then Vice President of Nigeria in order to facilitate a telecommunications deal. Though it proved to be the prosecution's most attention-getting piece of evidence, the cash from the freezer did not lead to a FRCPA conviction because the bribe didn't get to the foreign official, and there was no evidence of an actual offer from Jefferson to the Nigerian Vice President.

California Ordered to Trim Prison Population

A federal court has ordered California to cut its prison population by over 40,000 in the next two years. The state faces the prospect of fixing long known prison problems or perhaps appealing the order to the Supreme Court.

The scathing opinion by a panel of federal judges came to the following conclusions:

  • Woefully inadequate medical and mental health care in California prisons are caused by unprecedented prison overcrowding; and
  • Court ordered reduction in prison population is required to make the prisons comply with the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

What happens now? The court gave the state 45 days to submit a plan to reduce its prison population (down to a mere 137.5% of intended capacity) within two years. In theory, after a plan is finalized, there would be a final order by the court to implement it.

The head of California's Department of Corrections said today that the state would appeal any final ruling requiring the release of over 40,000 inmates. According to his press release, getting to 137.5% capacity would require releasing 40,591 inmates. According to the LA Times, California Attorney General Jerry Brown said the state will cooperate in drafting a plan, but feels the court is overstepping its bounds.

Mark Madsen, P2P.com & the 1st Domain Theft Arrest

A New Jersey man has become the first to be criminally charged with theft of an internet domain. He allegedly stole the P2P.com domain, and subsequently sold it, oddly enough, to Los Angeles Clipper Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen.

Domain theft has been going on for a while. Perhaps the most famous case was the theft of the highly valuable sex.com, which was accomplished through some old fashioned forgery and fake letters. As the domain name might connote, the sex.com story is a bit more spicey, including years on the run and an alleged shoot-out between bounty hunters and Mexican police. While the thief was eventually arrested, it was not for theft of the domain.

However, according to Domain Name News, Daniel Goncalves of Union City, New Jersey is the first to be criminally prosecuted for domain name theft.

How did he allegedly do it? By hacking into one of the domain owner's email accounts, finding the login information for the owner's GoDaddy.com account (the domain registrar for P2P.com), and then transferring the domain to his own GoDaddy account (under a false name -- a mash-up of his and his fiancé's names, which likely will not help his defense).

He also allegedly fudged PayPal records to make it appear that the domain was purchased.

Then he simply auctioned it on eBay, with LA Clipper Mark Madsen winning with a bid of $111,000. What did "Mad Dog" Madsen want with it? Ends up that in addition to playing tenacious defense, the Stanford economics grad is a domain investor. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing regarding the domain.

"Lyin' Marv" and the "First Twitter Rape Case"

Cousin of M.C. Hammer, and presence on Hammer's reality show Hammertime, Marvin Grant has been accused of raping a woman he met via Twitter. Getting to the bottom of Mr. Grant's case will need investigation and, should he be charged, trial. Discussion of this as the first "Twitter rape case," however, has been immediate.

As we've explored in relation to many "Craigslist crimes" and "Facebook divorces," social media tools have been tied to an ever increasing array of crimes and lawsuits. We've seen alleged murderers finding their victims via Craigslist, and law enforcement portraying Craigslist as an enabler of prostitution, just to name the most discussed examples.

Now enters Twitter, into the case of Marvin Grant, known as "Lyin' Marv" on M.C. Hammer's Hammertime. As the AP reports, a San Francisco Bay Area woman has accused Grant of raping her in a Livermore hotel room.