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Video: Sex offender attacked in courtroom by another inmate

A convicted sex offender was attacked inside a New Hampshire courtroom Thursday as he sat down after being sentenced for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl.

Christopher M. Elwell’s attacker was not a parent or family member of the girl, however. His attacker was a fellow inmate.

Video shot by WMUR News 9 shows Elwell, 29, sitting down on a bench at the back of the Dover courtroom following his sentencing hearing, during which he was sentenced to 7½ to 15 years in prison. As soon as Elwell sits, a shackled inmate next to him stands and starts head-butting Elwell.

The other inmate, Josiah Davies, was awaiting arraignment and a probation violation hearing, WMUR said

The video shows a deputy grab Davies and shove him away from Elwell, who appears to shake off the attack. 

Assistant Strafford County Attorney Emily Conant told the news station that the two men did not appear to know one another. She said details of Elwell’s case apparently upset Davies.

“They described him showing them videos of sexual acts similar to the ones that (the victim) had done,” Conant said

>> Read more trending news

Elwell initially denied the allegations against him, which stemmed from an alleged sexual assault that took place in June at a Dover apartment where Elwell sometimes stayed. Investigators said the victim was one of three young children who were at the home when the assault occurred. 

NH1, which obtained a copy of the arrest affidavit in the case, reported that Elwell’s own 9-year-old daughter was among the children and witnessed the assault. 

The New Hampshire Union Leader reported that the children were participating in a sleepover that night. The girl’s mother called police the following morning when her daughter told her what Elwell had done to her during the sleepover. 

The defendant admitted that the accusations were true in court Thursday, WMUR reportedAccording to the Union Leader, Elwell admitted to police the day he was arrested that he watched pornography on his cellphone while in a bedroom with the three children.

He claimed that the 4-year-old wanted to imitate what she saw on the video, the newspaper reported.

He also pleaded guilty Thursday to failing to register as a sex offender prior to the assault. His sex offender status was the result of a similar conviction in 2008.

According to New Hampshire Department of Public Safety records, Elwell was convicted in September 2008 of two counts of felonious sexual assault of a 14-year-old. As of March 2016, he was registered as living at a home in Winchester. 

At the time of his June arrest, he was living in Somersworth, the Union Leader said.

Conant told WMUR that Elwell was living intermittently at the home where the assault took place, but had not changed his registration to reflect the move. 

In court, Conant said that the victim’s mother would have liked to see Elwell receive a longer sentence. His punishment was part of a plea deal designed to save the girl from having to recall the assault in court. 

When Elwell is released from prison, he will not be allowed unsupervised contact with minors, WMUR reported

Police: Father thwarts attempted abduction of 2-year-old son

A Texas man found himself in a struggle over his 2-year-old son Tuesday evening after a stranger tried to grab the boy and run off with him, police said

Haltom City police officers were called just before 6:30 p.m. to the scene of the attempted abduction, where the father, identified by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as Hector Alvarez, met with them. Alvarez said he and his son were walking trash to the curb in front of their home when a man grabbed his son’s arm. 

“The father also grabbed onto his son and started to struggle with the male suspect,” police officials said in a news release. “The father yelled at neighbors to call the police, and the suspect let go of the boy and fled the scene on foot between the houses into a nearby creek.”

Alvarez told the Star-Telegram Thursday that he never saw the man coming as he and his son made several trips to the curb with trash bags.

“I had grabbed (my son’s) hand and we were going back inside the house,” Alvarez said. “Then this young guy comes out of nowhere and grabbed his arm.”

The stranger never said a word as he struggled to gain control of the toddler, Alvarez said. The man only let go and ran when Alvarez began screaming at a neighbor for help.

“I picked (my son) up and ran inside of the house and put him down,” Alvarez told the newspaper. “I ran back outside to see if I could find him, but he was gone.”

Police officers were also unable to find the man, despite setting up a perimeter around the area and searching with a K-9 unit, the department’s news release said.

The man was described as a Hispanic man with a thin build and standing between 5 feet, 5 inches and 5 feet, 7 inches in height. He was wearing a black hat, a white shirt and shorts.

He also had short facial hair, possibly a goatee.

>> Read more trending news

Residents in Alvarez’s neighborhood reported seeing a red, early 2000s model Dodge pickup truck driving slowly through the area earlier in the day Tuesday, but investigators are unsure if the vehicle was connected to the attempted abduction, the news release said.

Alvarez told the Star-Telegram that his son never realized the danger he was in, because he never cried or struggled to get away from the man. 

“He must have thought (the man) was someone from the neighborhood,” Alvarez said. “He doesn’t understand what happened.”

The father expressed worry that the man could try to grab someone else’s child.

“If he does this one time, he might do it again,” Alvarez said. “I hope another family doesn’t have to go through what we went through.”

Guilty: Michael Flynn admits in court to lying about Russian communication

Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty Friday morning to lying to FBI investigators probing the Trump presidential campaign’s ties to Russia. 

Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to federal investigators. His plea was entered before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras in Washington, D.C.

Flynn entered and left the federal courthouse without speaking to reporters waiting outside.

In a statement he issued in conjunction with his plea agreement, Flynn said he is “working to set things right” by accepting responsibility for his actions. He admitted he is cooperating fully with special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election.

“After over 33 years of military service to our country, including nearly five years in combat away from my family, and then my decision to continue to serve the United States, it has been extraordinarily painful to endure these many months of false accusations of ‘treason’ and other outrageous acts,” Flynn said in his statement. “Such false accusations are contrary to everything I have ever done and stood for. 

“But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right. My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

Flynn is the fourth person -- and the first White House aide -- charged in Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russian connections. Charges were filed last month against former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his business associate Rick Gates and former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos. 

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty Oct. 5 to making false statements to federal investigators.

Court documents released Friday accused Flynn of making false statements to FBI investigators in January, just days after Trump was sworn into office. Flynn resigned Feb. 13 amid the allegations that he lied about communications with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.

Reports from the Associated Press and ABC News indicate that part of Flynn’s plea deal includes his promise to testify that Trump’s transition team directed him to make contact with Russian officials.

A White House lawyer said in a statement that Flynn’s guilty plea does not implicate anyone other than the retired general.

“The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year,” attorney Ty Cobb said. “Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn.”

Cobb described Flynn as a “former Obama administration official” who was “at the White House for 25 days” during Trump’s administration. 

The indictment made public Friday stated that Flynn lied about conversations he had with Kislyak in December, during the Trump administration’s transition and before he officially became Trump’s national security advisor. Investigators state that Flynn lied about asking Kislyak on Dec. 22 to “delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution.”

Read the indictment against Michael Flynn

Flynn also lied about his request to Kislyak on Dec. 29 that the ambassador “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day,” the indictment read. 

“Flynn did not recall the Russian ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request,” the court document said

Flynn is also under fire for a 2015 speaking engagement in Russia. He was paid $45,000 for the event, but it was not clear if he received the required permission from U.S. officials or whether he reported being paid for the speech, as mandated by law. 

Flynn resigned after reports surfaced indicating that he lied to then-Vice President Elect Mike Pence about his communications with Russian officials. His 24-day tenure as national security advisor was the shortest in the office’s history.

>> Read more trending news

Lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee said in April that Flynn failed to register as a lobbyist while working on Turkey’s behalf. Flynn's consulting firm accepted $530,000 for work with a firm that is associated with Turkey's government, according to the Associated Press.

The AP reported that Flynn’s lawyer filed paperwork with the Justice Department in February disclosing that he had done lobbying work that “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey” between August and November 2016. 

The New York Times reported in August that investigators working for special counsel Robert Mueller asked the White House for documents related to Flynn. They also questioned witnesses about whether he was secretly paid by the Turkish government, according to the Times.

Former FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress over the summer that he felt the president tried to pressure him into dropping the investigation into Flynn.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said, according to a memo written by Comey, the New York Times reported. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Trump denied that he asked Comey to drop the investigation.

Debbie Lord and Theresa Seiger contributed to this report.

Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI in Russia probe: Live updates

President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty Friday to "willfully and knowingly" lying to the FBI in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.

>> Read more trending news

>> More on Robert Mueller’s investigation

Flynn lied to investigators in January about conversations he had in December 2016 with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, according to court documents released Friday.

Read the document released Friday:

Missouri couple accused of putting infant in microwave

An eastern Missouri couple faces child abuse charges for allegedly putting their infant son into a microwave, in addition to other abuses, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, citing a report from the Park Hills Daily Journal, said Derick Boyce-Slezak and Mikala Boyce-Slezak, both 22 and from Park Hills, were charged Tuesday in circuit court in St. Francois County with felony abuse or neglect of a child.

The injuries were discovered when the infant, a boy who was younger than 4 months, was taken to a hospital in April for a rash on his face that turned out to be second-degree facial burns and head wounds, according to court documents.

A state social worker said at a hearing Monday that the mother blamed the head wounds on the father for dropping the baby while imitating a TV commercial.

The social worker, a member of the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services, said Mikala Boyce-Slezak believes the burn occurred when her husband put the baby in a microwave and briefly turned it on.

At the hospital, the parents claimed the burns were caused by a cleaning agent,

Both parents are being held in the St. Francois County Jail. Bail for each has been set at $500,000.

Lawyer: Man tries to pay ticket with pennies, is choked by court officers

A Michigan man is suing court officers who were caught on video choking him after he was turned away for trying to pay a parking ticket with pennies, his attorney said.

Anthony Sevy went to the 44th District Court in Royal Oak in February to pay a $10 parking ticket, attorney Jonathan Marko told Fox 2 in Detroit. When he was told that a $1.75 surcharge would be charged to his credit card, he became upset and left.

Sevy returned to the courthouse with rolls of pennies to pay the $10 fine, and that’s when the trouble began, Marko said.

“He wasn’t happy about (the surcharge) so, in symbolic protest, he brought back penny rolls to pay for his ticket,” Marko told the news station. “The clerk wasn’t too happy about that, (and) they refused to allow him to pay with penny rolls.”

Sevy again became upset and exchanged words with court officers. Marko said his client was asked to leave. 

“As he was leaving the courthouse with his back to the officer, the court officer began to choke him out, grabbing him, brought him to the ground,” Marko said. “Mr. Sevy passed out and defecated (on) himself.”

>> Read more trending news

The entire exchange was caught on surveillance video, which Marko shared with Fox 2. In the footage, Sevy can be seen walking toward the courthouse door with a court officer right behind him. As he reaches the door, the officer appears to grab him and take him down to the ground as a second officer comes to assist him in subduing Sevy.

Sevy was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace and assaulting or obstructing a police officer, Fox 2 reported. He later pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace, and the assault/obstruction charge was dismissed.

Marko said the video shows that his client was the victim in the situation. 

“I don’t think anyone paying in penny rolls, whether it’s a preferred thing to do for a court clerk, warrants this type of this assaultive behavior and violation of constitutional rights,” Marko told the news station

Good Samaritan shot 5 times trying to stop gas station robbery

A 32-year-old man is recovering after being shot when he said he tried to help a man he saw being robbed at a gas station in Atlanta.

>> Watch the news report here

Atlanta police said a man pulled into the Texaco gas station in the 2000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive early Wednesday.

The man, who family members only identified by his nickname “Rambo,” was inside at the counter when he said he saw a white four-door sedan pull up, at which point three men jumped out and started to rob a man who was in the parking lot.

Rambo tried to help the 55-year-old victim and ended up getting in a shootout with the robbers, police said.

They said more than 20 bullets were fired in all. The good Samaritan was shot approximately five times, police said.

"That man was trying to be a good citizen, trying to help the other citizen that was being robbed," Cpt. Brian Schiffbauer said.

>> Read more trending news 

The victim was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon. Doctors expect him to recover.

“Someone tried to take my son away from me,” the victim’s father said.

“All these other young fellas been getting their life taken away and God spared him,” the victim’s mother said.

Family members said Rambo is the father of five young girls. They said he has a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone, so when they learned he was trying to protect someone else when he was shot, they were not surprised.

Police released surveillance photos that show the suspected gunman.

Police said the robbers got into the car and left.

They are not sure if any of the robbers were shot. Police are looking for at least two robbers.

Police said the robbery victim also left the area, unharmed.

Who is Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, suspect in Tampa serial killer case?

Police have arrested a man in connection with four deadly shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa, Florida, police said Tuesday.

>> Tampa serial killer case: Man arrested, faces 4 1st-degree murder charges in fatal shootings

>> Visit WFTV.com for complete coverage

Here's what we know about the suspect, Howell Emanuel Donaldson III:

>> Click here or scroll down for more

>> Read more trending news 

Here’s what to do if you are sexually harassed at work

Sexual harassment is not uncommon in the workplace. In a 2015 survey of 2,235 full-time and part-time female employees, Cosmopolitan found 1 in 3 women experienced sexual harassment at work at some point in their lives.

Here’s what you should know about sexual harassment in the workplace, according to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Labor:

What is sexual harassment?

Generally, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. It violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion.

Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

According to the Department of Labor, there are two forms of sexual harassment:

  • Quid pro quo: Involves an employment decision based on submission to the sexual harassment, such as promotion, assignment or keeping your job
  • Hostile work environment: Sexual harassment makes workplace hostile, intimidating, abusive or offensive

Are there state laws with more protections against sexual harassment in addition to Title VII?

Some states have adopted stronger protections. Harassment can include, but is not limited to:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances;
  • Requests for sexual favors;
  • Other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature;
  • Non-sexual but offensive remarks about a person’s sex.

Harassment is illegal when:

  • Conduct is unwelcome;
  • Conduct is “based on the victim’s protected status”;
  • Subjectively abusive to person affected;
  • “Severe and pervasive” enough to create a work environment that a “reasonable person” would find hostile.

What factors are used to determine of harassment is “severe and pervasive” enough?

  • Frequency of unwelcome conduct;
  • Severity of conduct;
  • Whether conduct was physically threatening/humiliating or “mere offensive utterance”;
  • Where conduct “unreasonably” interfered with work performance;
  • Effect on employee’s psychological well-being;
  • Whether harasser was a superior at the organization.

From the Department of Labor:

Each factor is considered, but none are required or dispositive. Hostile work environment cases are often difficult to recognize, because the particular facts of each situation determine whether offensive conduct has crossed the line from “ordinary tribulations of the workplace, such as the sporadic use of abusive language . . . and occasional teasing,” to unlawful harassment.

However, the intent of the Department of Labor's Harassing Conduct Policy is to provide a process for addressing incidents of unwelcome conduct long before they become severe and pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment under the law.

Does the gender of the victim or harasser matter?

No. Both the victim and harasser can be either a woman or a man — or both can be the same sex.

Does the title of the harasser matter?

No. The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another department, a coworker, an employee of a separate employer, a client or a customer.

What about teasing?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments or isolated incidents that are “not very serious.”

However, teasing becomes illegal when:

  • The behavior becomes frequent or severe;
  • The behavior creates a hostile or offensive work environment;
  • The behavior results in an adverse employment decision (victim is fired or demoted).

What if you weren’t directly harassed but you feel affected?

You do not have to be the victim of direct harassment to be affected by the offensive conduct. It is still considered sexual harassment, according to the EEOC.

What should you do if you experience sexual harassment?

Inform the harasser at once that the behavior is unwelcome, then directly use “any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available.” 

This may include reaching out to your direct manager or employer or talking to your company’s human resources department. Check your employee handbook for more information.

If you really can’t find someone you trust, labor and law employment attorney Nannina Angioni suggests you contact the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Experts also recommend filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Find directions on the EEOC’s website.

You may also want to continue keeping a record of the discriminatory activity and seek support from friends and family.

What if speaking out is too difficult?

“Some victims will never report abuse, and they have that right,” psychologist Nekeshia Hammond told NBC News. “It’s a case by case thing, and sometimes there’s a reason for staying silent — if you feel your safety is threatened, or if you’re literally on the verge of having an emotional breakdown and will be unable to function. But you need to reach out to someone.”

Hammond recommends calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), which includes free services and confidential support.

Can staying silent work against me, legally?

According to the Department of Labor, “the department cannot correct harassing conduct if a supervisor, manager or other Department official does not become aware of it.”

In fact, when an employee “unreasonably fails to report harassing conduct,” the department can use this as a defense against a suit for harassment.

Additionally, if you file a complaint with the EEOC, it’s recommended you do so within 180 days of the discriminatory activity.

» RELATED: Woman says she lost work hours after reporting sexual harassment

How does the EEOC investigate allegations of sexual harassment?

The department looks at the circumstances of the misconduct, the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the incidents allegedly occurred.

“A determination on the allegations is made from the facts on a case-by-case basis,” the EEOC website states.

How can companies stop sexual harassment from occurring?

According to the EEOC, prevention is the best tool. Employers should be vocal about the intolerance of sexual harassment and establish a complaint and grievance system.

Learn more about workplace sexual harassment at dol.gov and eeoc.gov.

Watch: Dashcam video shows troopers, passersby rescue driver from burning car

Connecticut state troopers and passersby are being hailed as heroes after footage from a dashboard camera captured their rescue of a New York driver from a burning vehicle. 

The rescue happened around 2:35 p.m. Monday on Interstate 84 in Middlebury, where troopers were called to the scene of a single-vehicle crash. Connecticut State Police officials reported that a sergeant on his way home from training was near the scene and arrived shortly after the call was received.

The trooper found passersby trying to remove the trapped 26-year-old driver from the car, which was sending a large amount of smoke into the air, the statement from troopers said. The trooper tried to extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher from his police cruiser, but the fire continued to burn. 

Two additional troopers arrived at the scene and helped those already trying to pry the door of the car open. By breaking a window, the rescuers were able to remove the injured driver from the vehicle.

The dashcam video shows troopers carrying the driver, who sustained minor injuries, from the wreckage.

Two of the troopers suffered cuts to their hands from the broken window, the statement from state police officials said

The agency shared the video in two parts on Facebook, where commenters praised those who saved the driver. 

“Heroic efforts by all,” one woman wrote. “He’s a very lucky guy right there!”

“Troopers are the best,” one man wrote. “Awesome job.”

Another man praised the civilians involved in the rescue, as well.

“The trooper has the resources available, but he/she can’t always do it alone,” the man wrote. “Thanks to the other motorists for all their help, too!”

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