Join us on the HBR News show as we look at the honks of the week, including an attempted spousal murder story you won't believe, a college board that is going to include an "adversity score" in order to make SATs more inclusive, Harvard fires their first black dean for a reason you have to hear in order to believe, and more! Tune in @6pm Eastern!
Forgetting to Remember
By Mike J.
A man in Queensland Australia was charged with, but then exonerated of, rape after the victim realized she forgot she had consented to sex with him. Justin Banham, age 49, was charged with rape following a fight with an unidentified woman which occurred in October of 2017. Banham had entered the woman's house with a remote she had given him and at some point during the encounter he pushed her "backwards on to the couch, which hurt her back" some time after the two had consensual sex as they had done many times before. But the next day the woman, not remembering the consent, approached police claiming she was raped.
According to Crown prosecutor Matthew Hynes, the one who dropped the initial rape charges, the woman has a history of post-traumatic stress and personality disorders. On top of this the woman is also an alcoholic who drinks daily which, according to Hynes, "plays a part in why she might forget things at times."
Despite being innocent of the rape charge, Banham has pleaded guilty to common assault for pushing the woman onto the couch. According to Banham's lawyer, Banham had no recollection of the assault but plead guilty in order to prevent the woman from having to testify. Banham, who previously had no criminal record, was given a $300 good behavior bond for one year and has lost his job with Uber.
By Mike J.
Las Vegas police have realeased the shocking footage of an elderly man being pushed out of a bus by an angry woman, who now faces murder charges after the man later died. The victim, Serge Fournier age 74, had initially survived being pushed back in March, but eventually died of his injuries at the hospital on April 23rd. The video shows the female suspect, Cadesha Bishop age 25, pushing the elderly man out of the bus and then calmly walking away with her son in hand, offering no help to the fallen Fournier. Witnesses on the bus say that Bishop was being argumentative with people inside the bus and that Fournier told her to "be nicer to the passengers" as he left.
The Clark County Coroner states that Fournier died of blunt force torso injuries and that his death will be ruled a homicide. Bishop was arrested without incident on May 6th, she was charged with one count of murder of an elderly or vulnerable person. Bishop's bail was set at $100,000 and her preliminary hearing is set for May 23rd. The Las Vegas Metro Police are currently looking for witnesses to testify about the incident.
Columbia Anti-Male Lawsuit
By Mike J.
Ben Feibleman, a former journalism student at Columbia University, is suing the institution after being expelled for sexual assault. The incident between him and an another, unidentified fellow student at Columbia occurred in October of 2016. Despite him being the one charged and expelled with sexual assault, Feibleman alleged that not only is this not true, but that the female student was the aggressor in the situation.
Feibleman's version of events has the two meeting at an event where she began to peruse him sexually for several hours. He eventually relented and joined her atop of a water tower for foreplay and then made their way to the female student's room to continue, but this, according to Feibleman, is where his consent ended. The female student then began begging him for sex saying, "Please because I can’t let you go without it." She then attempted to forcibly perform oral sex on Feibleman, despite his protests. The female student began to berate Feibleman after continued refusals and even bit him. Expecting that this incident would lead to a charge of sexual misconduct, Feibleman began recording and when she did come forward he had a thirty minute recording rebuffing her claims. Despite his evidence, the investigators ruled that he was responsible for the incident as she was too drunk to consent. Feibleman was then expelled from Columbia and his degree was withheld despite the fact that he had already technically graduated.
With the help of attorney Kimberly Lau, Feibleman plans on suing Columbia for what he calls anti-male gender bias and for violating Title IX. His attorney has made the following statement, "Columbia University grievously mishandled this case. Columbia discriminated against Mr. Feibleman on the basis of his gender in violation of Title IX. The events of the evening in question and Columbia’s numerous missteps are clearly detailed in our lawsuit. Mr. Feibleman did not violate Columbia’s Gender Based Misconduct policies. In fact, Columbia acknowledged that she begged him for sex, he refused, and no sex occurred. Yet, Columbia continues to withhold his degree, despite the fact that he has met all the requirements for its conferral."
Police Officer Hires Hit-man
Valerie Cincinelli, a New York City police Officer, arranged to kill her estranged husband and her boyfriend’s school-age daughter. Mr. Carvalho and Officer Cincinelli had filed for divorce about five months earlier and after a messy custody battle, the matter appeared almost settled.
Apparently not to Cincinelli. She plotted a scheme with her boyfriend and asked him to hire the hitman, suggesting to make the death of her husband look like a robbery and for the killer to run over the girl with a car near her school. Instead of going along with the scheme, her boyfriend contacted the FBI.
On Feb. 18, 2019, Officer Cincinelli withdrew $7,000 and her boyfriend bought five ounces of gold coins worth $6,935 to pay the killer. On May 13, the couple met and their discussion was recorded as the boyfriend was wearing a wire. “According to court documents, Officer Cincinelli had [...] used social media to track the whereabouts of her boyfriend’s daughter.” She also “offered a warped explanation of why the murders would not appear linked: They would take place on different days, and the attack at Mr. Carvalho’s workplace in Holtsville, N.Y., would not arouse suspicion “because the murder would take place in ‘the hood’ or ‘the ghetto.’”
That day, the authorities worked to convince Officer Cincinelli that her plot had succeeded, spurring her on to contact her boyfriend to align their alibis. She was taken into custody by the FBI and charged with use of “interstate commerce for murder for hire” and is being held without bail.
From the NY Times: “Officer Cincinelli worked in the 106th Precinct in Queens as a domestic violence officer until 2017, when she was placed on modified duty and reassigned to a unit that monitors surveillance feeds in public housing developments”. She was no longer permitted to carry a gun after being disciplined for sharing confidential information with a boyfriend.
“According to the detention memo, her first husband had obtained a restraining order against her; she and Mr. Carvalho, her second husband, had restraining orders against one another.
And she had sought a restraining order against her current boyfriend, the memo said.”
Is this a buzzfeed quiz to see how privileged you are?
No. And don’t worry, the College Board will calculate an “adversity score” for you. That is, every student taking the SAT. It will be a number ranging from 1-100 calculated from 15 factors such as neighborhood crime rates, poverty levels and family environment. 50 is the average score, above 50 reflect more hardship and under 50 degrees of privilege. “SAT officials indicated that students would not be informed of their adversity scores, but colleges will have access to them as they make admission decisions”.
From Forbes: “The obvious intent of this adversity score is to increase the diversity of students admitted to college and to improve the perceived fairness of admissions at a time when they have come under heavy fire for being subject to bias, privilege and in the case of the college admissions scandal, outright fraud. Whether the adversity score will do the trick and also be able to withstand legal challenges and public scrutiny remains to be seen.”
Michael T. Nietzel, author of the Forbe’s article, thinks we should be skeptical because:
“1. The College Board has not revealed the factors or their weights in calculating adversity scores beyond claiming that some of the data are from public sources and some are proprietary. […] If it refuses to disclose how adversity scores are calculated, the College Board should not expect the public to accept them.
2. At a time when standardized testing is under increased scrutiny and is even being discontinued or minimized as an admission tool by hundreds of colleges, one must wonder whether adversity scores are primarily an attempt to protect the SAT’s market or to promote social mobility. Colleges that are genuinely concerned about the bias built into the tests or the cheating associated with the SAT or the ACT, have a simpler choice: don’t require students to take them.
3. Measuring neighborhood adversity is not the same as assessing an individual student’s resilience or grit.[…] There’s not a straight line from socioeconomic background to SAT performance; assigning an adversity number suggests an influence that may not be operating for individual students, and it probably overlooks influences that are.
4. The fact that the College Board does not want students to know their adversity scores reflects their own discomfort with the concept. […] It’s a potential source of self-handicapping and self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Unproven Guilt by Association
For most me-too “witches”, guilt has already been established. And, as in any good witch-hunt, the mob should treat association with witches suspicious.
In our super progressive view of law and order, a Harvard Dean has been fired for becoming Harvey Weinstein's lawyer. Let me say this a different way... a lawyer was fired for doing their job for someone who has yet to be proven guilty. Even if guilt is proven, what kind of backwards society stains him/her with their client’s actions?
In clown world, Harvard law students do…
From The New York Times:
“A law professor who has represented Harvey Weinstein would not continue as faculty dean of an undergraduate house after his term ends on June 30, bowing to months of pressure from students.
The professor, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, who is a lecturer at the law school, have been the faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of Harvard’s residential houses for undergraduate students, since 2009. They were the first African-American faculty deans in Harvard’s history.”
Last week, Mr. Sullivan had come out to say he was no longer representing Mr. Weinstein stating that the rescheduling of the trial to September had created a conflict with his teaching obligations at Harvard. “My decision to represent Mr. Weinstein sparked considerable discussion and activism around issues of sexual violence, the appropriate role and responsibilities of Harvard and its faculty in addressing those issues, and the tension between protecting the rights of those criminally accused and validating the experience of those who are survivors of sexual violence. My representation of those accused of sexual assault does not speak to my personal views on any of these matters.”
Although Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Robinson will no longer be faculty deans, it does not affect their positions at the law school, where Mr. Sullivan is the Jesse Climenko Clinical Professor of Law and the director of the Criminal Justice Institute.
About 52 Harvard professors signed a letter supporting Mr. Sullivan, saying that “his commitment to representing unpopular clients was fully consistent with his roles as law professor and faculty dean, and that Harvard should not pressure him to resign.”
However, many students were happy with the outcome:
“Danu Mudannayake, a junior who took a leading role in organizing the protests, said on Saturday afternoon that she had not expected the college to act so definitively or so quickly.
“My honest reaction is just completely gobsmacked, but in the best way,” she said. “I’m very proud today of our college and our college’s administration for finally choosing to do the right thing.”