Crimes and Their Punishments – Through the Ages

Punishments for Crimes through the ages – from the bizarre to outrageous, from the sublime to the ridiculous. We don’t know how lucky we are!

Many of us are apt to complain about sentences handed out by our Courts for crimes these days – too harsh, too lenient. But a quick look at some punishments for crimes through the ages, including in some countries today, we should really consider how much we really have to complain about.

Not only have punishments been truly shocking (and in some instances still are), but even some of the crimes are truly unbelievable.

Many Sydney criminal lawyers would have had their work cut out for them if some of these historical crimes were still on the statute books! Lucky for us that our complaints about the justice systems these days are limited to whether an offender should be given a jail sentence or community service, or whether a 2 year sentence is sufficient or whether 5 would have been better, and so on.

Thank goodness we don’t have to contend with crimes for which the penalty is being tortured to death by some truly unimaginable means. Criminal lawyers in Australia, as in Europe, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and others, these days don’t have to plead for the type of mercy that offenders of times gone by had to. And of course, some of these barbaric practices do still exist today in other parts of the globe, as you can see below.

Some Crimes and Some Punishments You Won’t Believe

Take a look …

Crimes and Their Punishments

Brittany Zamora’s Lawyer Suggests Her Teen Sex Abuse Victim Was To Blame, Calls Him ‘Very Agressive’ – Oxygen

The attorney for disgraced former teacher Brittany Zamora suggested her 13-year-old victim shouldered at least some of the blame for their sexual relationship, calling him “very aggressive” in their interactions.

“I have represented Brittany Zamora for almost 16 months and I can tell you that she is not a monster. Brittany is not a predator and this was not between a young child and Brittany. This was a teenager,” attorney Belen Olmedo Guerra said in comments made after the Arizona teacher’s 20-year-prison sentence was handed down last Friday, according to The Arizona Republic.

Police said 28-year-old Zamora repeatedly had sex with her sixth-grade student in the classroom and her car. The pair even touched each other during a class while other students were unknowingly watching a video.

“I want you every day with no time limit,” she texted the boy on one occasion, according to People.

Despite the sordid details of the crime that were made public after Zamora’s arrest, Guerra claims her client is not the monster she has been made out to be.

“The teenage boy was very aggressive,” she said.

Guerra also told reporters that Zamora had “implored” the school’s principal to move the boy out of the classroom because he had “had boundary issues and was obsessed with Brittany” and claimed the victim had “many, many behavioral issues.”

Guerra also read a statement from Zamora herself in which the former teacher claimed she had been “unfairly treated” by the state of Arizona.

“It is shocking to me how others are so quick to judge based off hearing accusations from only one side of the story,” Zamora said in the statement. “It was made clear to me that the state had already made their decision well before I was given a chance to prove my innocence in any way, shape or form.”

Zamora went on to say that risk assessments, psychological tests, evaluations and polygraph tests had all shown her to be of “the highest degree of character,” but that the state decided to “turn a blind eye” to it.

“I am here to tell you that I am not the monster the media has projected me to be,” she said. “I am kind generous, responsible and a caring person.”

The comments attempting to place blame on the teen victim were striking because shortly before, in court, Zamora appeared to take responsibility. 

“I’m ashamed of my actions and completely remorseful and regret what took place,” she told the judge before the sentence was handed down.  

Zamora pleaded guilty to sexual contact with a minor and reduced charges of molestation of a child and public sexual indecency after her arrest and was given a sentence of 20 years in prison with credit for time already served, local station KTVK reports.

She arrived at the women’s state prison, ASPC-Perryville, on Wednesday to serve out her sentence.

While Zamora and her attorney contend she’s no monster, Steven Weinberger, who represents the victim and his family told that the boy was “experiencing behavior issues that he did not have before that are a result of all this.”

The family also worries about how the sexual abuse will impact his views of women in the future.

A civil lawsuit filed by the family against the Liberty School District states that the boy “no longer looks at any female including his mother the same now that Zamora has worked her black magic.”

Guerra declined’s request for additional comments. 

Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen’s original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content. 

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The mysterious foreign passport found in Jeffrey Epstein's mansion was used to enter at least 4 countries in the 1980s, prosecutors say

jeffrey epstein

  • A mysterious foreign passport found inside a safe in Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion had been used to travel to at least four countries in the 1980s, prosecutors said on Wednesday in court documents seen by Business Insider. 
  • They said the expired Austrian passport was found in the locked safe along with more than $70,000 in cash and several loose diamonds.
  • They said that the passport appeared to have a photo of Epstein but a different name and listed a residence in Saudi Arabia.
  • Epstein’s lawyers said in court papers on Tuesday that the passport was for “personal protection” and that prosecutors had offered no evidence that Epstein ever used it.
  • But on Wednesday, prosecutors said stamps in the passport suggested it was used to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A mysterious foreign passport found in Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion had been used to travel to multiple countries in the 1980s, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

It was found in a locked safe along with $70,000 in cash and 48 loose diamonds, prosecutors said. 

They said the expired passport from Austria appeared to have a photo of Epstein but a different name and listed a residence in Saudi Arabia.

“The passport contains numerous ingress and egress stamps, including stamps that reflect use of the passport to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s,” they said in the court documents seen by Business Insider.

Epstein, a billionaire financier and sex offender, was charged earlier this month with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He has pleaded not guilty and faces up to 45 years in prison.

jeffrey epstein house manhattan

Epstein’s lawyers on Tuesday said in court papers filed in conjunction with his bail request that the passport from Austria “expired 32 years ago” and was for “personal protection” against “kidnappers, hijackers or terrorists” who might have wanted to target Epstein because of his Jewish faith.

“The government offers nothing to suggest — and certainly no evidence — that Epstein ever used it,” his lawyers argued.

But prosecutors said on Wednesday that Epstein’s lawyers had not yet addressed how Epstein obtained the foreign passport or whether he is a citizen or resident of other countries.

“The defendant’s submission does not address how the defendant obtained the foreign passport and, more concerning, the defendant has still not disclosed to the Court whether he is a citizen or legal permanent resident of a country other than the United States.”

Read more: Jeffrey Epstein had a foreign passport that listed an address in Saudi Arabia to protect himself from ‘hijackers or terrorists,’ his lawyers claim in new court documents

FILE - In this July 30, 2008, file photo, Jeffrey Epstein, center, appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla. Over the last decade he sought to portray himself as a generous benefactor to children, giving to organizations including a youth orchestra, a baseball league and a private girls’ school a few blocks from his Manhattan mansion. But Epstein’s guilty plea in 2008 for soliciting a minor for prostitution has not made that easy. On July 8, 2019, Epstein pleaded not guilty in federal court in New York to sex trafficking charges. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP, File)

Prosecutors said the discovery of the passport suggested Epstein posed a flight risk and should remain in jail, NBC News reported.

They added that the cash and the loose diamonds found in the safe supported the notion that Epstein was prepared “to leave the jurisdiction at a moment’s notice,” according to NBC News.

Epstein is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. His legal team has asked the court to allow him to surrender his current passport and live under house arrest, Reuters reported.

SEE ALSO: ‘You kissed me on the lips in front of the paparazzi’: New report seems to reveal why NBC was filming Trump and Epstein at 1992 Mar-a-Lago party

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Is 'S.W.A.T.' Coming Back for Season 3 This Fall? –

  • S.W.A.T. has been renewed for season 3.
  • The CBS drama will now air on Wednesday nights.
  • Former Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore recently gave viewers some hints about the upcoming season on Instagram.

    Although it aired months ago, the season 2 finale of S.W.A.T. probably still has viewers feeling on edge. The last episode of the crime drama showed the Los Angeles S.W.A.T. team go head-to-head with a group of twisted crime masters.

    After Hondo, Deacon, Tan, and the rest of the squad attempted to save the lives of L.A.’s top politicians in a chaotic series of events, the finale actually ended on a calm note. Still, it left fans with a lot of questions (like, where are Hondo and Daryll going?!). Luckily, the CBS series has been renewed for a third season—and we will finally get answers this fall.

    Here’s everything you need to know about season 3 of S.W.A.T.

    When does ‘S.W.A.T.’ come back to television?

    S.W.A.T. season 3 officially secured the premiere date of October 2, which is a different day than viewers are used to. The series previously aired on Thursday nights, but will take Criminal Minds‘ usual spot on Wednesdays come fall.

    Who will join the ‘S.W.A.T.’ cast?

    No new additions to the S.W.A.T. cast have been announced for season 3, but it appears that all of show’s fan-favorites will be coming back. Shemar Moore, who plays Hondo on the show, recently shared a photo of himself and his fellow cast members filming for an upcoming episode.

    The star-studded shot included Chris (Lina Esco), Tan (David Lim), Luca (Kenny Johnson), Deacon (Jay Harrington), and Street (Alex Russell)—and they all look ready for action!

    Are there any spoilers?

    We don’t know exactly what’s next for S.W.A.T.‘s fictional Los Angeles heroes, but we do know the title of the first episode of season 3. In another revealing Instagram post, Shemar shared a video of himself holding his script for the show as he practiced getting into character.

    “Three-oh-one. ‘Fire in the Sky.’ Season 3, episode one. It’s going down,” he said. “Now I gotta get my Hondo voice back together. . . Because S.W.A.T. is coming.”

    If you need us, we’ll be spending the next three months trying to figure out what “Fire in the Sky” could mean!

    Content Strategy Editor
    Kelly O’Sullivan is the content strategy editor for and also covers entertainment news, from standout moments on “The Voice” to the latest drama on “Chicago Fire.”

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    New Charges in Stormy Daniels Hush Money Inquiry Are Unlikely, Prosecutors Signal – The New York Times

    [What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]

    Federal prosecutors signaled in a court document released on Thursday that it was unlikely they would file additional charges in the hush-money investigation that ensnared members of Donald J. Trump’s inner circle and threatened to derail his presidency.

    In the document, the prosecutors said they had “effectively concluded” their inquiry, which centered on payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to buy the silence of two women who said they had had affairs with Mr. Trump.

    The outcome appeared to be a legal victory for Mr. Trump, whom prosecutors implicated last year in directing the payments. Mr. Trump had denied the affairs and any wrongdoing, but his aides considered the inquiry a greater threat than even the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the election.

    At the same time, other documents released on Thursday offered the government’s most detailed account yet of Mr. Trump’s involvement in the hush-money payments, showing he was in close touch with Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, while the payments were being arranged. The day before paying $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress, in October 2016, Mr. Cohen spoke on the phone with Mr. Trump twice. Less than 30 minutes later, Mr. Cohen took steps to open a bank account to pay the woman, the documents showed.

    Read About Trump’s Involvement in the Hush Money Investigation

    An F.B.I. document details the president’s close contact with Michael Cohen.

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    Mr. Cohen also spoke with President Trump the day after wiring the money to the woman’s lawyer, the documents said. Although it is not known what was said during the phone calls, the new disclosures seem to contradict repeated statements by Mr. Trump, and those close to him, that they were unaware that Mr. Cohen had arranged the payments.

    The documents did not address what led the prosecutors with the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan to conclude their inquiry, but people briefed on the matter said that earlier this year investigators had encountered obstacles to filing additional charges.

    With Mr. Trump, the prosecutors were limited by more than just a Justice Department policy that bars charging a sitting president with a federal crime, one of the people said. Prosecutors also grappled with whether they had enough evidence to show that Mr. Trump had understood campaign finance laws and had intentionally violated them.

    The investigators also struggled to gain access to at least one encrypted electronic device that may have contained additional evidence, the people said. It is unclear who the device belonged to and whether the investigators ultimately reviewed its contents.

    On Thursday, the prosecutors revealed for the first time that they had expanded their investigation from campaign finance violations to include whether “certain individuals” lied to investigators or tried to obstruct the inquiry.

    A brief report filed by prosecutors did not identify the subjects of those investigations, although it contained redactions of what appeared to be at least one name. That investigation has also ended, prosecutors said, although they did not explicitly say that charges would not be filed.

    As recently as this spring, prosecutors were still considering whether one Trump Organization executive was untruthful when testifying before the grand jury, according to people briefed on the matter.

    The Trump Organization reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the hush money he paid to Ms. Daniels. Mr. Cohen also urged American Media Inc., which publishes The National Enquirer, to buy the rights to a former Playboy model’s story of an affair with Mr. Trump. Both deals effectively silenced the women in the run-up to the 2016 election.

    A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment. Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, said simply, “Case closed.”

    Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty in the case. He has said he helped arrange the hush money at the direction of Mr. Trump, and prosecutors have since repeated the accusation in court papers. Mr. Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence.

    In a statement from a federal prison in Otisville, N.Y., Mr. Cohen criticized the decision to end the inquiry.

    “The conclusion of the investigation exonerating the Trump Organization’s role should be of great concern to the American people and investigated by Congress and the Department of Justice,” Mr. Cohen said.

    The president’s critics in Congress, citing the new disclosures about Mr. Trump’s contact with Mr. Cohen around the time of the payments, argued that there was sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Mr. Trump but for the Justice Department policy.

    “The inescapable conclusion from all of the public materials available now is that there was ample evidence to charge Donald Trump with the same criminal election law violations for which Michael Cohen pled guilty,” Representative Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

    The documents released on Thursday were related to a 2018 raid on Mr. Cohen’s home and office. The prosecutors initially had released the documents in March, with nearly every detail of the campaign finance evidence redacted.

    On Wednesday, a federal judge in Manhattan, William H. Pauley III, had ordered prosecutors to release the records without redactions.

    The search warrant documents shed light on the breadth of evidence the prosecutors amassed against Mr. Cohen even before searching his property and interviewing a number of witnesses. The prosecutors had access to many of his text messages with American Media executives and a lawyer for the two women as well as records of his calls with Mr. Trump.

    The documents detail the lengths Mr. Cohen and Trump campaign aides went — in the final stretch of the campaign — to prevent the public from learning about Ms. Daniels and Karen McDougal, the Playboy model.

    Hope Hicks, who was Mr. Trump’s campaign spokeswoman and a trusted aide, had a more substantial role in discussions about the hush money payments than had been previously known.

    In October 2016, in the days leading up to the payments to Ms. Daniels, Ms. Hicks took part in a series of telephone calls, text messages and email messages. They were with Mr. Cohen, Mr. Trump, Ms. Daniel’s lawyer and two American Media executives — including the head of the company, David J. Pecker, Mr. Trump’s longtime friend.

    “Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned the need to prevent Clifford from going public,” an F.B.I. agent wrote in one of the documents, using Ms. Daniels’s real name, Stephanie Clifford.

    A lawyer for Ms. Hicks declined to comment.

    The day after Mr. Cohen sent the $130,000 payment to the lawyer for Ms. Daniels, he spoke to Mr. Trump for about five minutes. That evening, the lawyer, Keith Davidson, texted Mr. Cohen that “all is AOK,” assuring him that Ms. Daniels would sign a nondisclosure agreement soon.

    “I hope we are good,” Mr. Cohen wrote to Mr. Davidson, who responded: “I assure you. We are very good.”

    In early November 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported on American Media’s arrangement with Ms. McDougal, who received $150,000 from the tabloid company. The next day, Mr. Cohen texted Ms. Hicks that the story was “Getting little to no traction.” Ms. Hicks responded, “Keep praying!! It’s working!”

    Later that day, Mr. Trump spoke with Mr. Pecker, according to one of the documents. Mr. Pecker cooperated with prosecutors, earning American Media a nonprosecution agreement.

    Mr. Trump won the election three days later.

    Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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    The copyright lawsuit accusing Gigi Hadid of posting a paparazzi photo she didn't have the rights to has been thrown out

    Gigi Hadid

    • Gigi Hadid was sued earlier this year over a paparazzi photo she posted to Instagram that she was accused of not having the image rights to.
    • The lawsuit was dismissed on Thursday because the paparazzi agency that took the photo hadn’t received a copyright registration by the time it had filed the lawsuit against Hadid, according to court documents viewed by Business Insider.
    • Hadid’s argument that the photo was an example of “fair use” had the potential to shake up the legality of celebrities and fan accounts using the Instagram reposting feature.
    • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

    A lawsuit involving the model Gigi Hadid and whether she had the right to post a paparazzi photo to her Instagram has been thrown out.

    The copyright-infringement suit against Hadid was dismissed on Thursday, according to court documents viewed by Business Insider. The New York district judge dismissed the case because the plaintiff — a paparazzi agency called Xclusive-Lee — failed to secure the official copyright registration for the photo by the time it filed the lawsuit.

    The ruling was based on a US Supreme Court case that was decided in March, WWD reported. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled a copyright registration officially goes into effect when the federal Copyright Office grants the registration.

    So although the paparazzi agency behind Hadid’s photo had filed their copyright registration with the copyright office by the time the lawsuit was filed, the copyright registration had yet to be officially secured.

    Read more: Gigi Hadid says she has rights to paparazzi photos with an argument that threatens to change the way Instagram reposting works

    If the case had not been thrown out, the lawsuit had the potential to shake up the social-media community surrounding celebrities and the paparazzi who photograph them.

    The paparazzi agency had alleged that Hadid didn’t have the right to one of its photos that she had posted on her Instagram, which has 48.7 million followers. The lawsuit alleged that Hadid committed copyright infringement by posting the picture.

    In turn, Hadid’s lawyers argued that the model had the rights to the photo because she contributed to it: She posed and smiled for the paparazzi, chose her outfit that day, and cropped the picture before posting it. This constituted a “fair use” defense, her lawyers said, which wouldn’t require her to own the image copyright or license it.

    The photo in question has since been deleted from Instagram, but it showed Hadid posing in a denim outfit on a New York City street, according to The Verge.

    We are pleased that the Court granted our motion to dismiss this meritless case,” Hadid’s lawyers wrote in a statement to Business Insider. “The Court’s decision recognized this case for what it was — an effort to extract a settlement from Ms. Hadid with little regard for the basic requirements of copyright law.”

    Pictures of high-profile celebrities, singers, and actors are highly coveted and can rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars for well-placed photographers. These photos are often shared on Instagram and other platforms by celebrities and fan accounts, who themselves draw thousands of followers who want to see their favorite personalities’ every move and outfit.

    Making coveted celebrity photos “fair use,” as Hadid’s lawyers argued, would open the field for who can repost certain photos and could breathe new light into popular fan accounts that have thus far been limited in what they can post because of copyright claims.

    It’s the reason why Kim Kardashian said in February that she hired her own personal photographer to take photos of her that she has the full rights to, and that her fans could repost on social media without fear of receiving a takedown notice or getting hit with a lawsuit.

    Hadid had been sued before over suspected copyright infringement after sharing a paparazzi photo, and she isn’t the only one: Ariana GrandeKhloé Kardashian, 50 Cent, and Jennifer Lopez have all been sued after posting paparazzi photos on social media.

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    Don't Worry, Your BAU Faves Are Back For the Final Season of Criminal Minds – POPSUGAR

    After 15 seasons, the flagship Criminal Minds show is finally gearing up for its final bow. The long-running crime procedural is set to debut its 15th and final season this Fall, packed with plenty of your favorite returning characters. Over the years, cast members have come and gone — only a couple of the original cast members from season one still remain — and while there’s no word yet on any cameos from old favorites, we have a pretty good idea of who the main cast will be for the final season. Find out who you can expect to see returning for one final run when Criminal Minds kicks off its final season.

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    House Passes Criminal Contempt Resolution For Two Cabinet Officials – NPR

    Attorney General William Barr speaks as he stands with President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross during an event about the census in the Rose Garden at the White House earlier this month.

    Carolyn Kaster/AP

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    Carolyn Kaster/AP

    The House of Representatives escalated its confrontation with the executive branch Wednesday by holding two Trump administration officials in criminal contempt for not providing complete copies of subpoenaed documents related to the 2020 census.

    The resolution named Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for failing to cooperate with a congressional oversight investigation.

    In a deeply divided House, Wednesday’s criminal contempt measure passed on a mostly party-line vote of 230-198. The House’s lone independent, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, backed the measure. Four Democrats broke with their leaders and opposed it. The rebuke of Trump Cabinet officials comes just a day after the House passed another resolution condemning the president himself for racist tweets over the weekend.

    The move marks the second time a sitting attorney general has been found in criminal contempt by the House. The first time was back in 2012, when the House voted to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over his failure to turn over documents for the chamber’s “Fast and Furious” probe. Seventeen Democrats joined with what was then a Republican majority to secure that outcome.

    In a sign of how long these actions can take, the House and Justice Department engaged in a legal battle that took seven years to resolve — and without any criminal penalty for Holder.

    Shortly before the vote, Barr and Ross sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging her to postpone the House action and arguing their departments had made efforts to cooperate with the committee. They also said some of the materials requested were withheld because of the president’s decision to assert executive privilege.

    “By this action, the House is both unnecessarily undermining inter-branch comity and degrading the constitutional separation of powers and its own integrity,” they wrote.

    Wednesday’s vote was a largely symbolic gesture; it’s unlikely that the Department of Justice would move to prosecute the attorney general. The House had previously threatened to pursue a vote on civil contempt against Barr but backed off after the Justice Department made some concessions.

    But the symbolism represents a substantial escalation: These would be the first criminal contempt citations passed since Democrats took control of the House in January.

    The secretary dismissed the vote as “just more political theater” and noted that his department had handed thousands of pages of documents over to the committee already.

    “We are not stonewalling. But we are also not yielding on the very, very important matter of executive privilege … we are not going to be frightened into changing that position just because of some action the House might take,” Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, told Fox Business on Wednesday morning.

    House Democrats had demanded information about why the administration sought to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census and were not satisfied with the response, saying that neither Barr nor Ross responded to a legitimate congressional subpoena.

    The Trump administration had earlier told Democrats that it was asserting executive privilege over the requested documents about addition of a citizenship question. Democrats on the House oversight committee say they need these documents as part of their probe into the origins of the citizenship question among Trump administration officials.

    Democrats have been feuding with the Trump administration over the citizenship question since it was announced last year that the federal government was seeking to add it to the 2020 census.

    In recent days, following a Supreme Court decision that stalled the administration’s efforts, President Trump announced that he’s no longer pushing for the question to be included in the census.

    Shortly after, administration officials were formally accused of improperly covering up the question’s origins.

    Commerce and Justice department officials “obscured evidence suggesting that the true purpose of Secretary Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census — suppressing the political power of minority immigrant communities,” alleged lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups challenging the question in court.

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    Elon Musk once reportedly introduced Mark Zuckerberg to Jeffrey Epstein at a dinner hosted by LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman (FB, TSLA)

    U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019.  New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Handout via REUTERS

    • Elon Musk introduced Mark Zuckerberg to Jeffrey Epstein at a dinner a few years ago, Vanity Fair reported.
    • The incident illustrates how the disgraced financier rehabilitated his image in high society after he went to jail in 2008.
    • Epstein was recently arrested on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy.
    • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

    Before his recent arrest, the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was welcomed in high society — and that includes Silicon Valley.

    According to a Vanity Fair report published on Wednesday, the disgraced financier once met Mark Zuckerberg at a dinner organized by Reid Hoffman, the cofounder of LinkedIn, “a few years ago” — well after he went to jail in 2008 on charges including procuring a minor for prostitution.

    Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, made the introduction, according to Vanity Fair.

    Ben LaBolt, a spokesperson for Zuckerberg, confirmed that the meeting took place and said it was the only time the Facebook CEO and Epstein met. In a short statement, he told Business Insider: “Mark met Epstein in passing one time at a dinner honoring scientists that was not organized by Epstein. Mark did not communicate with Epstein again following the dinner.”

    The anecdote illustrates how in the years after his conviction and imprisonment for sex crimes, Epstein was able to continue to move in rarified circles. The 66-year-old multimillionaire was recently arrested on sex-trafficking and conspiracy charges.

    It’s not clear what relationship Epstein has or had with Musk or Hoffman; spokespeople for the two high-profile tech figures did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.

    Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

    Read more:

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    NYPD Officer Will Not Face Federal Criminal Charges In Eric Garner's Death – NPR

    Members of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York and allies hold a protest rally last month in New York City’s Times Square demanding justice for Eric Garner, who died after he was put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer in 2014.

    Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

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    Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

    Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

    The Department of Justice will not bring criminal charges against the New York City police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, citing insufficient evidence, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

    “Let me say as clear and unequivocally as I can that Mr. Garner’s death was a tragedy,” Richard Donoghue, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said at a news conference. “But these unassailable facts are separate and distinct from whether federal crime has been committed. And the evidence here does not support charging police Officer Daniel Pantaleo with a federal criminal civil rights violation.”

    Donoghue said none of the officers involved in Garner’s death in 2014 on Staten Island, N.Y., would face charges. That decision, he said, is the result of a years-long and “exhaustive” investigation.

    Garner’s dying words, “I can’t breathe,” became a national rallying cry and a flashpoint in the Black Lives Matter movement. Garner was black, and Pantaleo is white.

    The Justice Department’s decision drew immediate criticism.

    Eric Garner’s daughter, Emerald Garner, reacted to the announcement in an emotional video captured by Spectrum News NY1.

    “Fire him,” she said, noting that she has continuously watched footage of her father dying over the past five years.

    “This man choked my father outside on the street. Choked him with no remorse,” she declared.

    She added: “The federal government does not want to prosecute Pantaleo for killing Eric Garner. … Nobody wants to hold nobody accountable?”

    “Today’s inaction reflects a DOJ that has turned its back on its fundamental mission — to seek and serve justice,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “In memory of Eric Garner and all others who have lost their lives unjustly, we will continue to fight for reforms to a criminal justice system that remains broken.”

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement: “With the fifth anniversary of the tragic death of Eric Garner less than 24 hours away, federal law enforcement agencies have just announced they will not pursue charges against Officer Pantaleo. Years ago, we put our faith in the federal government to act. We won’t make that mistake again.”

    On July 17, 2014, police officers approached Garner out of suspicion that he was selling untaxed cigarettes on the sidewalk outside a Staten Island convenience store. The encounter was captured on bystander cellphone video, showing officers taking Garner to the ground. Pantaleo applied a chokehold, and Garner later died. The fatal altercation became central in debates about the use of excessive force by police and the treatment of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement.

    NYPD policy prohibits use of the chokehold technique. Garner’s death was ruled a homicide, though none of the police officers involved has been charged with a crime.

    Investigators were not able to establish that Pantaleo willfully used excessive force in his struggle with Garner, Donoghue said.

    Pantaleo’s initial maneuvers in trying to take Garner to the ground were in line with “established police tactics and procedure,” Donoghue said, given that Garner was resisting arrest and significantly larger in size than the officers. He also noted that the situation quickly deteriorated, including when Pantaleo wrapped his left arm around Garner’s neck for about 7 seconds.

    However, Donoghue said cast doubt on whether the chokehold caused Garner’s breathing problems.

    “It has been widely reported Mr. Garner stated, ‘I can’t breathe,’ but I would point out that he made this statement only after he fell to the sidewalk and after Officer Pantaleo released his grip from Mr. Garner’s neck,” Donoghue said.

    In declaring the death a homicide, New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner found that Garner’s death was caused by “compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”

    Donoghue said top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General William Barr, agreed with the assessment that federal prosecutors did not have enough evidence to bring a criminal case against Pantaleo to a grand jury.

    “The law recognizes that police are often forced to make split-second judgment in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving,” Donaghue said.

    Federal authorities’ announcement Tuesday came up against a legal deadline — there is a 5-year statute of limitations to charge a law enforcement officer when they are accused of committing “serious bodily injury,” Donoghue noted.

    The Justice Department announcement marks the second time in which Pantaleo has avoided criminal charges in Garner’s death. In 2014, a Staten Island grand jury declined to criminally indict him, which de Blasio called “very painful.”

    A year later, New York City officials agreed to pay nearly $6 million to Garner’s family in a settlement to head off a civil lawsuit.

    Pantaleo is still facing an internal disciplinary proceeding over whether he should be fired by the NYPD. The department had postponed the move out of deference to the Justice Department inquiry and said last summer that it planned to move ahead with its own proceedings in early September.

    Since Garner’s death almost five years ago, Pantaleo has been on desk duty in the New York Police Department.

    WNYC reporter Cindy Rodriguez contributed to this story.

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    6 UnSubs 'Criminal Minds' Should Revisit in the Final Season (PHOTOS) – TVInsider

    Criminal Minds is saying goodbye with its upcoming 15th season, and what better way to celebrate the series as a whole than revisiting some UnSubs from the past 14 years?

    In a couple cases, the UnSubs made it personal for the team, targeting one or more of them and even claiming the life of a loved one in an unforgettable sequence in the 100th episode.

    In some cases, these are UnSubs who are still out there — serial killers the BAU wasn’t able to put away like they did so many others.

    Click through the gallery above to see the UnSubs we’d like to see the series at least mention in a significant manner at some point in its final season.

    Criminal Minds, 15th and Final Season, Coming Soon, CBS

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