Tag Archives: law

Brothels Get Raw Deal in Nevada

Even sex is struggling in our economy- and especially in fickle Nevada.  A federal appeals court last week upheld a Nevada law that bars legal brothels that operate in some of the state’s rural areas from advertising by newspaper, leaflets and billboards in Las Vegas, Reno and other places where prostitution is illegal. 

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto hailed the ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in San Francisco, while a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada promised to appeal. 

The laws had been challenged by the ACLU, a Nye County brothel called the Shady Lady Ranch and two newspapers: the High Desert Advocate and Las Vegas City Life. 

Prostitution is illegal in Clark and Washoe counties — which include Las Vegas and Reno — and three other Nevada counties. Ten Nevada counties authorize prostitution by local ordinance. 

The 9th Circuit panel reversed a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James Mahan in Nevada that two 1979 state laws prohibiting brothel advertising in counties where prostitution is illegal were overly broad and unconstitutional.

The laws also prohibit brothel advertising in theaters and on streets and public highways. 

Nevada still seeks to confine the sale of sex acts through licensing and advertising restrictions, the judges said. 

ACLU attorney Allen Lichtenstein said he didn’t immediately know whether he’d seek a hearing before the full 9th Circuit or would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case.

“The key issue is freedom of speech,” he said. 

“It’s a violation of the First Amendment for the state to restrict advertising by a legal industry, and it’s wrong for a court to make exceptions because the state doesn’t want to have it advertised that legalized prostitution exists,” Lichtenstein said. 

Masto called free speech “perhaps our most cherished right.” But Nevada has had restrictions on brothel advertising for 40 years, and the state should have the right to have reasonable limitations, she said. 

The case is Coyote Publishing v. Miller, No. 07-16633.

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Magician Tiff goes Terribly Wrong in Las Vegas

Magicians are a fraternal bunch, and The Amazing Johnathan got a big laugh at a December gathering to honor Lance Burton’s manager, Peter Reveen.

The dark-witted comic strolled out with stage blood on his face, and a made-up black eye: “I’m sorry, Scarlett — I swear I’ll never criticize your dove pull ever again.” 

A big laugh erupted, for the tribute came only days after news that 21-year-old Rachel Jessee, left, known onstage as Scarlett — Princess of Magic, had been arrested for misdemeanor battery. She later pleaded no contest to assaulting her then 67-year-old manager and offstage partner, John Lewis. 

Lewis was sitting next to Jessee at the Reveen tribute, and he was perhaps the only person not laughing. 

“It was like it was a big joke. I don’t find it a joke,” he said. “I was still suffering from a horrible black eye at that point. I let it roll off me, but my face (was) still sore. I wanted to put some makeup on my eye before I went to this, and Rachel said, ‘No, no, I want people to see how you look.’ ” 

Lewis’ attempt to make a Las Vegas star of Scarlett is a cautionary tale of a show business dream that consumed, Lewis claims, nearly a million dollars of he and his wife’s retirement savings and personal effects. 

It is also a sad story of domestic violence and — if Lewis had his choice in the legal system — elder abuse. 

A week ago, Lewis and wife Carolyn filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Jessee, whom Lewis was dating, in Clark County District Court. The lawsuit claims repeated physical abuse and financial improprieties in converting Carolyn Lewis’ assets without her consent. 

In an interview before the lawsuit was filed, Jessee denied any physical abuse beyond the November fight. 

But she now contends Lewis pesters her new manager with e-mails and text messages alleging drug and alcohol abuse, which she calls “crazy.” 

“I’m definitely not a drug addict,” Jessee says. “I did drink heavier than I should have when I was in the relationship because I was not comfortable, and it was kind of a way to cope. I wasn’t an alcoholic but I’d have a few drinks every night.” 

Lewis says there were several escalating attacks. One time she pummeled his rib cage. Another time she hit him in the face and broke a tooth. 

“It’s hard to believe that when you see her onstage, but she would just, like, turn into ‘The Exorcist,’ ” he says.”She’s got a terrible violent temper that just explodes. It’s hard to explain, because she looks small. But she’s extremely strong when she gets mad.”

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Michael Jackson’s Doctor to Face Charges Tomorrow – UPDATE

It appears now that Michael Jackson’s personal doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, with offices in Texas and Las Vegas, will most likely formally face involuntary manslaughter charges tomorrow in Los Angeles, California. 

UPDATE:  Dr. Murray WAS indeed going to face charges today, Feb. 5.  And, in fact, was in Los Angeles waiting – begging – to turn himself in, but Los Angeles authorities refused to act on his pleading, saying they will on Mon.,  Feb. 8.  We apologize for any inconvenience this caused in your day. 

Dr. Murray has been investigated for the past seven months since the pop icon’s untimely death. 

The charge results from improperly administering Michael Jackson the propofyl sleep inducing drug that ultimately ended his life. 

The charge, many feel, is a mere legal wrist slap, probably being a 4-year prison term, if that, if deemed guilty.

Yesterday, Dr. Murray was supposed to appear in a $130,000 civil suit in Las Vegas, but decided not to appear, losing the case. 

Las Vegas Backstage Access has covered the entire Michael Jackson case, with numerous articles posted.

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Boxing Trainer Roger Mayweather Bound Over for Las Vegas Trial on Battery, Coercion Charges

A Las Vegas judge said today that boxing trainer Roger Mayweather should stand trial on three felony charges, alleging he attacked a female boxer he used to train.

The woman, 26-year-old Melissa St. Vil, testified that the 48-year-ld Mayweather punched and choked her during an Aug. 2 confrontation at an apartment he owned. 

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Pro-Tem James Gubler ruled St. Vil’s testimony was sufficient to bind the case over to state court on coercion, battery-strangulation and battery causing substantial bodily harm charges. 

Mayweather, the uncle of trainer of unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., did not testify at the evidentiary hearing, and his lawyers chose not to call witnesses. 

The judge set arraignment for Jan. 26 in Clark County District Court. Mayweather’s lawyers say he’ll plead not guilty.

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Criminal Minds Star Morphs into ‘Allllvinnn!’

CBS’s Criminal Minds very popular actor Matthew Gray Gubler is a Las Vegas product born and bred.  Performing as matthewgublerthe three Ph.D. degree-holding Dr. Spencer Reid on the TV series since 2005,  Gubler was raised in a quiet neighborhood near Bob Baskin Park in Las Vegas, later graduating from the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts High School and later attended a four-year class at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, majoring in drama and graduating in 1998.  

After that “The Gube,” started his “profiling” career by studying at the University of California in Santa Cruz and two year later decided to leave California and move to New York to enroll at  the Tisch School of the Arts, later graduating from that school in 2002.  While in Manhattan he walked the runways for some of the biggest fashion designers including Marc Jacobs, Burrberry, Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger and Sisley. 

Gubler, 29, is now taking a brief television break from his “personal voyage of desperation and tragedy,” to voice Simon in the new Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel movie planned for release on December 25th by 20th Century Fox.

 “I welcome the role with open arms because it’s so fun- not that I don’t love looking at bloody fingerprints,” says a confident and beaming Gubler. 

Okay!

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Junk for some is $900,000 art for others

Two San Francisco artists are suing a Gerlach farm-owner claiming he torched La Contessa, a replica of a 16th century Spanish galleon that often appeared at the annual Burning Man festival.contessa

Simon Cheffins, an artist, and Greg Jones, a mechanical engineer who helped build it, said in their suit that Mike Stewart, owner of Orient Farms, considered their creation “junk” and destroyed it on Dec. 5, 2006.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Reno, claims Stewart violated a federal law that prohibits the destruction of art work and seeks $900,000 in damages and also punitive damages and legal fees.

Although the ship was kept on property that Stewart had later acquired, the “Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990” protects and artist’s work regardless of where it’s housed, said Paul Quade, a Reno lawyer representing Cheffins and Jones.

Stewart, an outspoken opponent of Burning Man, never tried to contact the artists, Quade said, and had the debris left after the burning hauled away for “scrap.”
 
Quaid said that it took about 100 people more than 9,000 hours to build the galleon in 2001 and 2002 using donated funds and grant money.

“Performances of theatre, music and trapeze took place on La Contessa during Burning Man and other festivals,” Quade said. It was also featured as “a significant work of art” in numerous media outlets, he said, including Rolling Stone Magazine, the Discovery Channel, and the San Francisco Guardian.

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Jailbird O.J. Simpson: Busted, Not Broke & Suffering

Unless his planned legal appeals go through, O.J. Simpson, 67, faces the prospect of spending at least 15 years and up to 33 years in jail.  Simpson, as it stands now, will be eligible for parole in 2017.oj

Simpson and Clarence “C.J.” Stewart were found guilty on 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping stemming from their October 2008 case that involved a Palace Station hotel confrontation in Las Vegas over sports memorabilia. Simpson contended the items had been stolen from him.

Simpson, a frequent Las Vegas nightlife visitor before his trial, sat quietly and showed little emotion at the defense table as he listened to the verdicts being read.

Some say the ruling provided fitting justice and a degree of family payback for the verdict that came 13 years earlier to the day when a Los Angeles jury acquitted Simpson of double-murder, in what many called the trial of the century, for allegedly killing his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. 

After the murder trial, Simpson was  then dragged into civil court, where the burden of proof wasn’t as strict, and was found guilty of wrongful death.  Although he was ordered to pay the estates of his victims $33 million, he has only paid the Goldman family $500,000 – the proceeds of an auction of his coveted Heisman Trophy.

Life is not woe and suffering for the gridiron star and actor.

Simpson has the dough- and plenty of it.  While cooling his heels in prison, he still continues to collect his NFL pension, Screen Actors Guild pension, and a private pension, all earning him, depending on the market conditions, anywhere from $15,000 to $60,000 a month, says his lawyer, Yale Galanter. 

The Goldmans and Browns can’t put a lien on Simpson’s money because all his pensions are protected from creditors by federal law.

Simpson now laments (?) and spends his leisure time at the Lovelock Correction Center, a small and relatively new prison located near Reno, Nevada.

Spartan existence you say?  Pshaw!  Simpson now benefits from such amenities as a television in his cell, although he lamented the lack of HBO, and is allowed to play checkers and cards with his fellow convict roomies. “If I have to be in prison,” Page Six recently quoted him as saying, “this is the place to be.”   

And he apparently loves the prison chow, getting back up to “fighting” weight- a whole lot better then his stay at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas where he lost 25 pounds eating ‘mystery’ meat.

Simpson never ceases to amaze and run out of rabbits to pull from his plush, velvet scull cap.

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