Four Men Indicted for Child Pornography
LOS ANGELES — On Aug. 26, three men were taken into custody after being indicted by a federal grand jury on a host of federal charges related to the sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old girl.
The indictment alleges that the defendants participated in the production of child pornography involving the 15-year-old victim. The three arrested are:
• Darrius Marques Sutton, also known as “Biz,” 25, of Compton;
• Darius Dajohn Burks, 26, of Los Angeles;
• Edwin Donnell Franklin, 28, of Bellflower.
These defendants are expected to be arraigned on the federal charges this afternoon in U.S. District Court.
A fourth defendant – Leprinceton Dewon Burks, also known as “Dapper P” and “Pete Williams,” 31, of Carson – was expected to be taken into custody Aug. 26 and arraigned Aug. 27 in federal court.
The indictment alleges four counts of conspiracy to produce child pornography. Those charges relate to four incidents:
• Sutton and Franklin are charged in a conspiracy to produce child pornography of the victim on July 18, 2011 in an incident in which both men “directed” and engaged in sex acts with the victim that were recorded;
• All four defendants are charged in a conspiracy count in which all four of them filmed the victim participating in various sex acts on July 25, 2011;
• Sutton and Darius Burks are charged in a third conspiracy in relation to an incident the night of August 16, 2011 in which they filmed “themselves and each other performing sexual acts on [the] intoxicated and unconscious [victim],” which included an act that involved an empty liquor bottle; and
• All four defendants are charged in a conspiracy to produce child pornography related to the filming of sexually explicit conduct involving the victim on August 20, 2011.
The indictment also alleges 12 substantive counts of producing child pornography involving the 15-year-old victim. Each of the four defendants is charged in at least two of these substantive counts.
The child pornography production charges alleged in the first 16 counts of the indictment each carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
In addition, Sutton and Leprinceton Burks are each charged with one count of possession of child pornography, an offense that carries a potential penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
The indictment follows a state court prosecution of the men, who were convicted of charges that include conspiracy to pimp a minor, sexually assaulting an unconscious victim and statutory rape. They previously received sentences of up to four years and four months in state prison.
LA Surpasses State Water Conservation Target
LOS ANGELES — On Aug. 27, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city has succeeded in meeting the state’s water conservation goals for the second straight month, achieving a 21 percent reduction in water use in July 2015 compared to the 2013 baseline, and a cumulative reduction of 18 percent since June 2015.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power General Manager Marcie Edwards praised Los Angeles residents and businesses for stepping up to meet the state’s mandatory conservation targets. The city previously surpassed Garcetti’s first benchmark goal of 10 percent water reduction by July 1, 2015 and is on track to meet the goals set forth by the mayor in his executive directive.
Customers have been taking advantage of LADWP’s many rebate and incentive programs, which help reduce customers’ costs and save water.
Under the State’s mandated conservation targets, LADWP must reduce water consumption by 16 percent each month over a nine-month period, from June 2015 through February 2016, as compared to the amount of water use during those months in 2013. In July, Los Angeles’ customers used more than 2 million gallons less than the state target.
LADWP is also on track to meet the Mayor’s Executive Directive No. 5, which calls for a 20 percent reduction in water use per capita by 2020. Water use for the year ending June 30, 2015 was 113 gallons per capita per day (GPCD), compared to 131 GPCD for the year ending June 2014, a reduction of more than 13 percent. LADWP is on track to meet the mayor’s next benchmarking goal of 111 GPCD by Jan. 1, 2016.
LADWP attributes the water conservation achievements to a combination of incentives and mandatory watering restrictions. LADWP residential and commercial customers have removed a total of 23.5 million square feet of turf, saving about 850 million gallons per year of water, through the “Cash in Your Lawn” Turf Replacement Rebate Program from 2009 through the end of fiscal year 2014/15.
Customers are also largely following the mandatory three-days-per-week, 8 minutes per station watering restrictions required by Phase 2 of the Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance. The mayor has called on Angelenos to voluntarily reduce their watering to two days per week, 8 minutes per station. In July, LADWP received 1,990 reports of water waste and only 10 violations that escalated to monetary fines.
Although the state targets have been met so far, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners and the city council have taken steps to enable the city to go to Phase 3 of the Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance the first time a monthly target is missed. Phase 3 would reduce outdoor watering to two days a week as well as invoking additional water restrictions.
Garcetti To Issue Executive Directive On Gender Equity In City Operations
LOS ANGELES — On Aug. 26, Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated Women’s Equality Day by signing an executive directive calling on city departments to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which the city adopted in 2004.
The directive requires each general manager or head of department to submit a Gender Equity Action Plan by February 1, 2016 to implement a gender-equity strategy that:
• upholds an inclusive work environment that promotes fairness and fosters the equal participation of women in leadership positions at all levels;
• tracks recruitment in fields where women remain underrepresented (such as public safety, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and addresses such underrepresentation;
• tracks contracts and promotes ways to ensure equal contracting opportunities for women-owned business enterprises;
• evaluates city services to discover ways to increase gender parity and to promote equal opportunities for, and the advancement of, women and girls;
• provides any raw data regarding sex and gender on the city’s open-data portal;
• identifies and develops baseline metrics regarding the status of women and girls; and
• publishes to the online Gender Equity Dashboard metrics and indicators related to the status of women and girls.
The directive also creates a Gender Equity Coalition, made up of liaisons from each department, that will coordinate with the Commission on the Status of Women to fulfill the city’s responsibilities under the CEDAW ordinance, review and monitor all plans and dashboards and identify additional goals and critical areas that require focus, including targeting women from particularly vulnerable groups such as transgender women, women living with HIV/AIDS, undocumented women, women of color, seniors, and young women and girls.
Garcetti also announced final results of The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in Los Angeles, the first-ever study focusing on the issues and trends affecting the women and girls in the city of Los Angeles.
In line with his commitment to delivering solutions for Los Angeles that are based on the best possible information, Garcetti asked the City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women to commission the report to guide policymaking to address economic, social and other inequalities facing women.
The five-part report was researched by Mount Saint Mary’s University. The first two parts, released in March, examined gender equity in the areas of demographics and leadership. The final three parts focus on Veterans, Education and Workforce Development, and Public Safety.
Key findings of the final three parts of the report include:
• Los Angeles is home to roughly 108,000 veterans, 6 percent of whom are women, compared with 8 percent at the national level.
• In Los Angeles, female veterans are more diverse and younger than their male counterparts. Fifty-six percent of female veterans are people of color, compared with 47 percent of male veterans. Twenty-five percent of female veterans are under the age of 35, compared with 9 percent of male veterans.
• Employed female veterans in Los Angeles earned a median income more than $9,000 greater than non-veteran females in 2012.
• Los Angeles women with year-round, full-time jobs earn 97 cents for every $1 earned by men. However, for the pool of all employed women, including those with temporary or part-time jobs, 11 percent have salaries below the poverty line, and women working year-round, full-time jobs in Los Angeles.
• Twenty-five percent of Los Angeles’ women lack a high school degree. An additional 20 percent have a high school degree but no additional educational attainment.
• Overall crime rates in the City of Los Angeles decreased for 12 consecutive years, yet 2014 and the first half of 2015 saw an increase in reports of violent crimes, including aggravated assaults and domestic violence crimes. In 2014, reports of violent crime in Los Angeles increased 14.3 percent from the previous year, with reports of spousal abuse increasing 27.7 percent.
• In 2014, women comprised 19 percent of the Los Angeles Police Department’s about 10,000 police officers. Out of a total LAPD workforce of 12,711 people (including both civilian and sworn staff police officers), 28 percent are women.
• Out of 3,244 total firefighting positions in 2014, women made up just under 3 percent of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s force of firefighters. Out of a total LAFD workforce of 3,470 people (including both civilian and sworn staff firefighters), 7 percent are women.
The report can be viewed at www.lamayor.org/statusofwomen