Christine Blasey Ford presents award to Larry Nassar victim in first appearance since Kavanaugh hearing

For her first public appearance since she discussed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's alleged sexual misconduct, Christine Blasey Ford presented an award to the first woman who came forward to accuse former sports doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault. Ford introduced Rachael Denhollander, 34, in a video message before the lawyer and former gymnast was presented with … Continue reading “Christine Blasey Ford presents award to Larry Nassar victim in first appearance since Kavanaugh hearing”

For her first public appearance since she discussed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's alleged sexual misconduct, Christine Blasey Ford presented an award to the first woman who came forward to accuse former sports doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault.

Ford introduced Rachael Denhollander, 34, in a video message before the lawyer and former gymnast was presented with the Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year award.

“Rachael Denhollander, I am in awe of you, and I will always be inspired by you,” Ford said. “In stepping forward, you took a huge risk, and you galvanized future generations to come forward, even when the odds are seemingly stacked against them.”

Denhollander sued Nassar in federal court and went public with her allegations during an interview with the Indianapolis Star in 2016. Denhollander said she had issues with her back and wrists as a teenage athlete, and Nassar would position himself so her mother couldn’t see what he was doing while he would assault her.

“Nothing was off-limits for him,” she said then.

CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD EXPLAINS USE OF GOFUNDME MONEY IN RARE PUBLIC STATEMENT

Nassar worked for Michigan State University and the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team. Hundreds of women and girls said Nassar sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment throughout the years. The 55-year-old is serving effective life sentences for child porn possession and molesting young women and girls.

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly identify herself as a victim of sports doctor Larry Nassar, won Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year award. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

While she was the first to publicly come forward, Denhollander was the last person who addressed Nassar during his sentencing hearing, offering her forgiveness.

Just days before the Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation earlier this year, Ford publicly came forward to accuse the judge of sexual misconduct decades ago.

LARRY NASSAR VICTIM TO SPEAK AT HARVARD ABOUT FORGIVENESS

She accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed during a house party in Maryland in the early 1980s, attempting to remove her clothes and putting his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. At the time of the alleged incident, Ford was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17, she said, claiming Kavanaugh was drunk.

Kavanaugh repeatedly denied the allegations, and after a highly publicized and emotional hearing regarding the accusations, he was confirmed to the bench on Oct. 6.

After the allegations, a GoFundMe account set up on Ford’s behalf raised $647,610 before it was closed to further donations. In a Nov. 21 statement posted to the fundraising page, Ford said she used the money “to protect ourselves against frightening threats, including physical protection and security for me and my family, and to enhance the security for our home.”

Any leftover money will be donated to “organizations that support trauma survivors” – which are yet to be determined, Ford said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn.

Collection of nude photos of women found in ex-USC gynecologist’s storage unit

A collection of photographs showing nude women was discovered in a self-storage unit rented by Dr. George Tyndall, the former University of Southern California gynecologist accused of sexually abusing hundreds of students during examinations.

The cache of images appeared to include homemade pornography – some of it decades old and featuring Tyndall with women apparently unconnected to the university – but also photos of unclothed women in what appeared to be a medical exam room, police Capt. Billy Hayes told the Los Angeles Times.

Authorities found the photos last spring after they launched an investigation into Tyndall. They are now being used in the probe.

The investigation is believed to be the “largest sex crimes investigation involving an individual in LAPD history,” the Los Angeles Times reported. The investigation is ongoing and the sex crimes unit of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office will determine whether to file criminal charges.

LAWYERS FOR ALLEGED VICTIMS BLAST USC’S TENTATIVE $215M SETTLEMENT OVER ABUSE CLAIMS

Tyndall, 71, resigned from his position last year. Hundreds of current and former USC students have made allegations against Tyndall to the university, filed police reports or taken part in at least a dozen pending state lawsuits against the school. In October, USC administrators agreed to settle a federal class-action suit on behalf of Tyndall’s patients for $215 million.

Detectives were trying to determine whether nude photographs linked to former USC gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall show any of the hundreds of women who allege he sexually harassed them during examinations.  (AP)

Detectives are trying to determine whether any of the photographs found in the storage facility show patients at campus clinic appointments.

Leonard Levine, the doctor’s lawyer, said in a statement that Tyndall has “never sold, traded or shared any images of patients he examined while conducting medical examinations at USC.”

FORMER USC GYNECOLOGIST HAS LICENSE SUSPENDED

John Manly, an attorney representing many former Tyndall patients, told the Times that between 10 and 20 of his clients were asked questions by police that seemed designed to identify them in photos.

"This plays into the worst nightmares of women," Manly said.

USC said it was cooperating with the investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kathleen Joyce is a breaking/trending news producer for FoxNews.com. You can follow her at @Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.

Man with child porn stash in treehouse in woods gets nine months in jail

A man from Washington state was sentenced to nine months behind bars last week after federal officials found a child pornography stash in his illegally built "fairy" treehouse on federal land.

Daniel Wood, 57, pleaded guilty Nov. 20 to one count of second-degree possession of child pornography and one count of second-degree attempted viewing of child pornography, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

A U.S. Department of Natural Resources employee had heard rumors in the hiking community about a cabin built illegally in the Snoqualmie National Forest, about 50 miles east of Seattle. The federal employee tried unsuccessfully to locate the cabin himself five times in 2016, according to an FBI report.

The home was known to the U.S. Forest Service for seven years and had last been examined by the agency three years earlier.

After finding the tree house in November 2016, the employee found framed images of child pornography mounted on the walls, including a montage of five large photos displayed across a bed.

He took some photos and brought them to the King County Sheriff’s Office, according to the PI.

The remote structure featured a porch surrounding the home and a ladder that hung about 8 feet off the ground. In 2017, the FBI searched the cabin and found dozens of photos of young girls fastened to the walls. Several items were taken that contained DNA samples and fingerprints that matched Woods.

Authorities seized thousands of child porn images and videos at Wood’s home in Mill Creek in February of this year. Many matched photos that appeared to be printed out, taped together and hung in the cabin.

One sheriff’s detective described the cabin as an "an elaborate treehouse that resembled a fairy or gingerbread house.”

As part of his sentence, Woods will not be allowed to have contact with children without supervision for 10 years, must register as a sex offender and undergo sexual deviancy treatment.

Judge recalled by voters after Brock Turner sex assault case seeking donations to pay off legal fees

A former California judge who was ousted from the bench amid a successful recall effort over what many perceived to be a light sentence for a Stanford University student convicted of sexual assault, is asking for donations so he can pay off $135,000 in court-ordered attorney’s fees.

In a recent email titled “A Final Ask,” former Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky asks supporters to help him pay off the fees, as he has no money left in his campaign account, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Santa Clara County voters threw Persky, the first California judge to be recalled in nearly a century, out of office in June over the six-month sentence he handed down to Stanford swimmer Brock Turner for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015 outside a campus fraternity party.

“My campaign committee has spent all its resources fighting the recall, and now must pay $135,000 to satisfy the attorney fees order, which is due by December 31,” Persky writes in the email. “I am writing to ask you to make a contribution to that effort.”

Video

Critics — led by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber — launched the recall effort in mid-2016 following the Turner sentence.

Persky had cited Turner’s age and lack of criminal history for what many viewed as a lenient decision.

“A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. … I think he will not be a danger to others,” Persky said at the time.

The case gained national attention after the victim read a statement in court before Turner's sentence. The statement made the rounds online and was read on the floor of the U.S. Capitol during a congressional session.

The recall election was viewed as one of the first electoral tests of the #MeToo movement's political strength.

The judge's campaign committee collected more than $840,000 in donations but spent it all fighting to keep his seat, the Mercury News of San Jose reported.

“If my campaign committee is unable to raise the money to pay the amount ordered, I will be personally liable for any balance owed,” Persky wrote.

“If my campaign committee is unable to raise the money to pay the amount ordered, I will be personally liable for any balance owed.”

— Aaron Persky, former judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court

Video

The recall campaign spent around $1.4 million to put a measure on the ballot.

Persky waged a legal battle where he argued that because judges are state officers, California’s secretary of state – not the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters – should have overseen the petition drive for it to qualify as a ballot measure.

A Santa Clara County court rejected his argument and ordered him to pay more than $163,000 in legal fees to lawyers representing the recall campaign. A settlement reduced the amount to $135,000.

Attorney James McManis, whose law firm represented Persky for free during his court battle against the recall, criticized Dauber for going after attorney fees.

Video

“It’s not enough she took his job away and took his pension away and left him out on the street,” McManis said. “She wanted attorneys’ fees too.”

Dauber said that Persky brought the legal expense on himself when he “made the bad decision to repeatedly file frivolous lawsuits and appeals with the goal of stalling and causing expense.”

“The court has concluded that he should be required to pay for that decision, and we are happy that our lawyer will be getting paid for his outstanding work in defending our constitutional rights, and those of the voters of Santa Clara County,” she told the L.A. Times.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Air Force lieutenant colonel faces child exploitation charge after FBI sex sting

An FBI sting has snared a high-ranking lieutenant colonel in the Air Force who was accused of trying to meet a girl at a hotel in Georgia after the two spoke online.

LT. Col. Willie Newson, 47, was arrested Tuesday at a hotel in Marietta, Ga., on charges of child exploitation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. He was placed on leave pending the investigation’s outcome. It was not immediately clear if he has a lawyer.

GEORGIA MURDER SUSPECT TAUNTS ALLEGED VICTIM’S FAMILY, ‘DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOD?’

Authorities said Newson was trying to meet with a teen girl he met on a dating app but she was really an undercover officer working for the FBI Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force. An arrest warrant stated the officer “gave Newson the opportunity to stop communicating several times,” Channel 2 Action News reported.

Georgia Department of Defense spokeswoman Desiree Bamba said Newson is on the command staff of the state Air National Guard.

FORMER IRS EMPLOYEE IN GEORGIA SENTENCED FOR IDENTITY THEFT

“Lt. Col. Newson’s alleged actions do not reflect the values we uphold in the Georgia National Guard,” Bamba said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kathleen Joyce is a breaking/trending news producer for FoxNews.com. You can follow her at @Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.

R. Kelly’s wife thinks ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ gun threat was linked to singer

R. Kelly’s ex-wife Drea says that she believes a gun threat that caused an evacuation at a New York City screening for Lifetime's upcoming documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly" was connected to the singer.

"I can't speak to what he would or would not do because I don't know what his mindset is right now," she told Variety. "But I would say that I don’t believe in happenstance, I don’t believe that anything is a coincidence. I do believe that in some shape, form or fashion it is connected to him. Now, whether he orchestrated it or not, that I cannot say. But I just do not believe in coincidences. Of all the theaters, of all the nights, of all the premieres, it happened with us."

The evacuation took place around 15 minutes into a talk that followed the screening, in which the seven accusers featured in the film were to speak about their experiences with the singer, who has been accused of sexual misconduct multiple times over the past 20 years. The venue received two anonymous, threatening calls in which the caller claimed someone had a gun in the theater; the calls were routed to local police, who suggested the evacuation.

Among the seven accusers was Drea Kelly, who has claimed in recent months that he beat and bound her, among other abuses, during their 10 years of marriage; the pair separated in 2005 and divorced the following year. The other accusers are Kitti Jones, Asante Jones, Faith Rodgers, Lizzette Martinez, Lisa Van Allen and Jerhonda Pace. Drea Kelly spoke with Variety around four hours after the evacuation; a rep for R. Kelly did not immediately respond to Variety's request for comment. "Surviving R. Kelly" premieres on Lifetime Jan. 3, 2019.

Video

Did you anticipate any kind of incident like this tonight?
Not in a million years. I did not think anything remotely close to this would happen.

What was the reaction of the other accusers?
First of all, I would have to correct you in saying "accusers": It's survivors. But we were all blindsided. It's a little disheartening, but at the same time there's a little victory behind it. And what I mean by that is, you feel like after all the pain — reliving the memories, dealing with the PTSD, pouring your soul out into this documentary to help save lives — you kind of feel like this is my night of vindication, people are going to hear about it… and then the disappointment of feeling the rug has been pulled out from under you.

But I will say that whomever is behind it and whatever their goal was, if they thought it was something that was going to dismantle us or crush us in any way it actually did the opposite. All they did is unite even more than we already were, and all they did was let us know that we are doing a mighty work and we will not be stopped.

Have fans made threats that were this extreme before?
I don't know of any superfans who have done things like this, but you just have to look at the temperature of the world right now — the craziness and the killings. Where humanity is right now, I don't put anything past anybody.

It’s more about society. At the end of the day we're women of color. This would not be happening if I was a 17, 18, 25 or 40-year-old Caucasian woman in America. He would not have gotten more than one chance to do this.

If all or even some of the accusations are true, how does he get away with it?
I can't speak to that because I'm not in his camp, but when you have a team of enablers anything is possible. He is one person: he doesn't have a doppelganger, he hasn't been cloned, so he is not working alone. If he's on the basketball court then we also need to look at the man who's booking the hotel rooms; if he's on the stage singing we have to look at the person who's driving the bus. It's a team that’s helping facilitate and keep him sick and make more victims.

What happens next?
I know some people might think a situation like being evacuated is the worst thing that could ever happen, but this is the best thing that could happen to us. We are united and we're not going anywhere. That documentary was not done in vain. And now people will want to know, "What was it they did not want to be seen?"

Bad Santa: Florida deputies arrest registered sex offender accused of working as Santa for hire

Deputies in central Florida say a registered sex offender posted advertisements online as a professional Santa Claus.

WOFL reports that 48-year-old Robert Kendel used the name “Santa Bob” in ads on Craigslist, with a photo showing him dressed up as Santa Claus with a child on his lap.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Kendel is a registered sex offender, convicted of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 12 back in 1993.

TEEN RESCUED AFTER GETTING TRAPPED IN ABANDONED BANK VAULT

Orange County Sheriff’s deputies said they received a tip that Kendel was dressing up as Santa for holiday parties.

One investigator posed as someone interested in hiring Kendel for an event. Deputies arrested him once he arrived to the staged party, wearing his full costume of a red suit, black boots and a fake white beard.

Click for more from WSVN.

South Carolina megachurch camera caught man performing sex act on 3-year-old: cops

Surveillance video caught a South Carolina church volunteer performing a sex act on a 3-year-old child on Sunday, authorities said.

Jacop Robert Lee Hazlett, 28, a volunteer at NewSpring Church in North Charleston, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, South Carolina's WCSC-TV reported. A judge denied bond.

Hazlett was supervising a group of children, ages 3 to 5, in "the Tree House" room, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported.

The volunteer escorted the boy to a restroom in the church and performed oral sex on him before pulling up the 3-year-old's pants, the station reported, citing the affidavit. The act was caught on a camera positioned outside the bathroom, an investigator said.

Suzanne Swift, a church spokeswoman, told the station that there were no cameras inside the bathrooms at the church. The door reportedly could have been open.

A statement from the church said it was made aware of the concern and possibility of Hazlett's "inappropriate interaction with children," according to the station.

A letter was sent to parents of preschool children who attend the North Charleston campus, The Post and Courier reported.

“NewSpring is steadfastly committed to safety and security, and because of this commitment, we have an extensive screening process for all adults before they are allowed to volunteer with children, birth through 12th grade,” the letter said.

Hazlett faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of a life sentence if convicted, the paper reported. No probation or parole may be granted for the offense, the report said.

Former Ohio State coaches defend Rep. Jim Jordan against claims he ignored sexual abuse

A group of former Ohio State wrestling coaches is defending embattled Republican Rep. Jim Jordan amid reports that he failed to report sexual abuse against students by a team doctor when the lawmaker coached at the university more than two decades ago.

“What has been said about Jim Jordan is absolutely wrong,” the coaches, which include former OSU wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson, said in a joint statement Monday.

“We all worked on the wrestling coaching staff during Jim’s tenure at The Ohio State University. None of us saw or heard of abuse of OSU wrestlers. The well-being of student-athletes was all of our concern. If we had heard of any abuse, we would have spoken up.”

Former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato discusses abuse he says he suffered at the hands of a late Ohio State team doctor in the 1990s, on Monday, July 2, 2018, in Dublin, Ohio. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

Jordan, who worked as an assistant wrestling coach at the school between 1986 and 1994, was accused by former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato of having known about alleged abuse of athletes by Dr. Richard Strauss, who worked as the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s.

DiSabato, who was one of the first victims to report the alleged abuse that prompted Ohio State to open its own investigation, said he was disappointed by Jordan’s response since and charged that the lawmaker was more interested in his own personal gain than the safety of the athletes.

“He knew, did know, and it’s very disappointing that he has now denied knowledge, not once, but twice,” DiSabato said, according to the Dayton Daily News.

Jordan has vehemently denied the claims by DiSabato and other former athletes that he knew of Strauss’ sexual misconduct, calling the allegations “bogus” during an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier last Friday.

“I never saw, never heard of, never told of any kind of abuse," Jordan said. "We would’ve dealt with it if we knew of anything that happened.”

Several former wrestling coaches at OSU and other schools released their own statements backing Jordan on Monday.

“I fully believe that Jim did not know of any allegations of sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss at the Ohio State University. Jim is a leader that was very protective of his athletes,” Rex Holman, a former OSU assistant coach, said in a statement.

But Jordan’s denial has been met with incredulity from some former wrestlers at Ohio State.

“I remember I had a thumb injury and went into Strauss’ office and he started pulling down my wrestling shorts,” Dunyasha Yetts, who wrestled at Ohio State in 1993 and 1994, told NBC News. “I’m like, what the f— are you doing? And I went out and told Russ and Jim what happened. I was not having it. They went in and talked to Strauss.”

Dr. Richard Strauss, who worked as the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s, is accused of abusing student-athletes at Ohio State University. (The Associated Press)

Yetts added that the student athletes approached Jordan numerous times about Strauss.

“For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s and Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him,” Yetts said.

Male athletes from 14 sports at Ohio State have reported alleged sexual misconduct by Strauss, who was on the faculty and medical staff and published a variety of research.

Ohio State has not released details about the claims but said more than 150 former students and witnesses have been interviewed so far. The school has urged anyone with information about Strauss to contact the independent investigators from Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie.

A statement from the school said it is "deeply concerned for everyone who may have been affected by his actions" and remains "steadfastly committed to uncovering the truth."

Strauss died in 2005, and his death was ruled a suicide.

Fox News' Matt Richardson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Former Ohio State coaches defend Rep. Jim Jordan against claims he ignored sexual abuse

A group of former Ohio State wrestling coaches is defending embattled Republican Rep. Jim Jordan amid reports that he failed to report sexual abuse against students by a team doctor when the lawmaker coached at the university more than two decades ago.

“What has been said about Jim Jordan is absolutely wrong,” the coaches, which include former OSU wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson, said in a joint statement Monday.

“We all worked on the wrestling coaching staff during Jim’s tenure at The Ohio State University. None of us saw or heard of abuse of OSU wrestlers. The well-being of student-athletes was all of our concern. If we had heard of any abuse, we would have spoken up.”

Former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato discusses abuse he says he suffered at the hands of a late Ohio State team doctor in the 1990s, on Monday, July 2, 2018, in Dublin, Ohio. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

Jordan, who worked as an assistant wrestling coach at the school between 1986 and 1994, was accused by former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato of having known about alleged abuse of athletes by Dr. Richard Strauss, who worked as the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s.

DiSabato, who was one of the first victims to report the alleged abuse that prompted Ohio State to open its own investigation, said he was disappointed by Jordan’s response since and charged that the lawmaker was more interested in his own personal gain than the safety of the athletes.

“He knew, did know, and it’s very disappointing that he has now denied knowledge, not once, but twice,” DiSabato said, according to the Dayton Daily News.

Jordan has vehemently denied the claims by DiSabato and other former athletes that he knew of Strauss’ sexual misconduct, calling the allegations “bogus” during an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier last Friday.

“I never saw, never heard of, never told of any kind of abuse," Jordan said. "We would’ve dealt with it if we knew of anything that happened.”

Several former wrestling coaches at OSU and other schools released their own statements backing Jordan on Monday.

“I fully believe that Jim did not know of any allegations of sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss at the Ohio State University. Jim is a leader that was very protective of his athletes,” Rex Holman, a former OSU assistant coach, said in a statement.

But Jordan’s denial has been met with incredulity from some former wrestlers at Ohio State.

“I remember I had a thumb injury and went into Strauss’ office and he started pulling down my wrestling shorts,” Dunyasha Yetts, who wrestled at Ohio State in 1993 and 1994, told NBC News. “I’m like, what the f— are you doing? And I went out and told Russ and Jim what happened. I was not having it. They went in and talked to Strauss.”

Dr. Richard Strauss, who worked as the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s, is accused of abusing student-athletes at Ohio State University. (The Associated Press)

Yetts added that the student athletes approached Jordan numerous times about Strauss.

“For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s and Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him,” Yetts said.

Male athletes from 14 sports at Ohio State have reported alleged sexual misconduct by Strauss, who was on the faculty and medical staff and published a variety of research.

Ohio State has not released details about the claims but said more than 150 former students and witnesses have been interviewed so far. The school has urged anyone with information about Strauss to contact the independent investigators from Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie.

A statement from the school said it is "deeply concerned for everyone who may have been affected by his actions" and remains "steadfastly committed to uncovering the truth."

Strauss died in 2005, and his death was ruled a suicide.

Fox News' Matt Richardson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.