Saturday's Headlines & Surprises: Pampering Predators
- To Catch--and Pamper!--a Predator: Where the hell is Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC? Why do I ask? Well, in Orange County, authority figures--particularly cops--nabbed for outrageous sexual conduct either get re-elected, promoted or pampered.
The latest example is Jason David Rosewarne. The married Anaheim police officer used his job to meet and molest an underage girl, skipped bail to flee to England, lived as a felony fugitive for three years and returned to the U.S. in July 2006. Though obviously untrustworthy, the 36-year-old Rosewarne was then immediately re-released from custody after paying a near meaningless $2,000 bond.
It gets better.
Rosewarne committed two felonies. He orally copulated, kissed, fondled and sent sexual text messages to a minor about half his age and he ran from the law. Deputy District Attorney Kal Kaliban--a veteran sexual assault prosecutor not prone to ridiculous observations--believed Rosewarne's crimes called for state prison time.
But yesterday, Superior Court Commissioner Maria Hernandez--until last year, a longtime public defender--continued to prove that dirty police officers get special treatment in these parts. Hernandez refused to send Rosewarne (pictured) to prison for even a single day. She refused Kaliban's request that the convicted cop be forced to register as a sex offender. Instead, she's letting Rosewarne serve less than a year in the local jail and--incredibly--agreed to give him the next six weeks to prepare for incarceration.
When does this clown get his taxpayer-funded body massage gift certificate, your honor?
- High, ya: This week reporter Lou Ponsi profiled Jasmine Nguyen, an 11-year-old Orange County girl who won first place at the USA National Karate Federation Nationals held in July in West Virginia. The sixth grader said she was inspired by the martial arts discipline in House of Flying Daggers.
This girl can kick. Nguyen trains six days a week for three-hour sessions at Nihon Karate Dojo in Buena Park. "I love the sport," Jasmine told Ponsi at the Reg. "My goal is to train every single day and get better." Her father, Charlie, is a acclaimed independent film director who doesn't respond to emails.
- Munchkenman Returns: According to an upcoming issue of Investor's Business Daily, “Islamofascists are teaming up with Mexican drug cartels to finance their terror networks.” Scared? How about: “In what may be the perfect storm of terror, reports from the Drug Enforcement Administration indicate that al-Qaida-linked terrorist cells and Mexican drug cartels have joined forces to make money and wreak havoc, even to the point of facilitating and financing the next terrorist attack on the U.S.”? Shaking? How about: “An El Paso, Texas, law enforcement report tells of 'approximately 20 Arab persons a week utilizing the Travis County Court in Austin to change their names and driver's licenses from Arabic to Hispanic surnames.'”? Wait! Look! Up in the sky! It's Munchkenman! Pint-sized OC Congressman Ed Royce to the rescue! Last month, Royce demanded that Japan apologize again for sex crimes committed by its soldiers during World War 2. Now he's calling for congressional hearings into the suspected sinister name change plot. Hey, Royce: If a terrorist was dumb enough to change his last name at a government agency, he was probably unaware that Homeland Security folks would be watching until your PR stunt. Thanks for nothing. Now we won't be able to figure out what's suspicious about the likes of a Mohammed Sanchez.
- Aiding U.S. Soldiers: H.G. Reza at the Times reports today on www.websitesforheroes.com, an Irvine-based subscriber website that “keeps [military] families in touch with loved ones stationed overseas.” Though stationed at Camp Pendleton, Marine Capt. Patrick Byrne uses the site to see family photos his wife Kursten posts for him. The woman told Reza, "It keeps [Patrick] connected to what we're doing back home. He doesn't miss out on anything." The Pentagon has previously balked at such services because of military bandwidth concerns, but is warming to the idea because of suspected improved morale.
- Our Cursed Mall: The new owners of Triangle Square in Costa Mesa announced plans Friday to “usher in a new era,” according to the Daily Pilot's Michael Miller. A dark cloud has hovered over the place for more than a decade as one shop after another escaped dismal foot traffic: Niketown, Barnes & Noble, Ralphs, Virgin Megastore etc. Greenlaw Partners of Newport Beach plans to demolish the Edwards movie theater to build 120 housing units, a pool, fitness center and lounge. The company claims its “concept” will increase pedestrian traffic for future shops and anchor tenants Sutra Lounge and the Yard House restaurant. Best wishes.
- Gangster Rap:This week I reported on the case of Paul Javier Martinez, the LA gangster convicted last year for attempted murder. Martinez has managed to stall his possible life sentence by claiming his right to a public trial had been denied. He says it was unfair that an investigator with the Orange County district attorney's office tossed two of his gang pals from the courtroom during closing arguments. Oh, one little detail: Prior to the expulsions, Martinez had asked his gang to find "rats" or prosecution witnesses in his case. Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue has seemed sympathetic to the gangster's claims. He was scheduled to rule yesterday on a defense request to overturn the jury's guilty verdicts. But with reporters now watching Donahue changed his mind. He now says he'll announce his decision on September 7. If the judge sides with Martinez (a cocky lad who sucked on either a mint or his teeth throughout the hearing), expect the DA's office to appeal the ruling.
- And finally: The Nick Schou Talks: Watch OC Weekly troublemaker Nick Schou this afternoon at 3:45 on CSPAN2. In a 14-minute interview taped at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Schou discusses his Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb.