Ben Sasse: DOJ must open investigation into child abuse and rape featured on Pornhub

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Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on Friday called for the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into the pornographic video website Pornhub after a disturbing investigation by a New York Times columnist revealed the website is “infested with rape videos,” some of them include children.

New York Times prize-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof reported that Pornhub, which attracts 3.5 billion visitors a month and is the 10th-most-visited website in the world, profits off videos that depict child rape, revenge porn, voyeuristic videos of nonconsenting women showering, and more explicit and potentially illegal pornographic content.

“Its site is infested with rape videos,” Kristof writes. “It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. A search for “girls under18” (no space) or “14yo” leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos. Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.”

In the course of his reporting, Kristof interviewed several women whose lives were destroyed after degrading videos depicting their rapes were published on Pornhub. Some of them have attempted suicide from the shame and humiliation.

Pornhub and its parent company, MindGeek – based legally in Luxembourg but with offices in Montreal, London, Nicosia and Los Angeles – have come under fire from anti-sexual exploitation activists who accuse the companies of profiting off human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The Traffickinghub campaign, founded by Laila Mickelwait of Exodus Cry, an anti-trafficking group, last March launched a petition calling attention to rape and abusive videos hosted by Pornhub and demanding that the website be shut down and the company’s executives be held accountable.

The movement against Pornhub has attracted the attention of some U.S. lawmakers, including Sasse, who say it is past time for the federal government to act.

“The Department of Justice needs to open an investigation into the scumbags who run Mindgeek,” Sen. Sasse told the Daily Caller News Foundation Friday. “Sexual exploitation and human trafficking are abhorrent, period. A decent society should be working to end this.

“It is completely unacceptable that Pornhub and its parent company Mindgeek make money from rape, sexual abuse, and the exploitation of minors,” Sasse added. “They need to be investigated, and the DOJ needs more urgency about building cases against creeps.”

Sasse was joined by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) who praised Kristof’s reporting and promised to introduce legislation to enable victims of trafficking or sexual exploitation to sue websites like Pornhub.

Pornhub has denied accusations that it allows videos of child rape on its website, calling the accusations “irresponsible and flagrantly untrue.”

“Pornhub is unequivocally committed to combating child sexual abuse material, and has instituted a comprehensive, industry-leading trust and safety policy to identify and eradicate illegal material from our community,” Pornhub said in a statement to Kristof.

Kristof’s article tells horrific stories of child abuse and exploitation hosted on Pornhub’s website. One woman, whose 15-year-old daughter went missing in Florida, reported finding her in 58 pornographic videos featured on the website. In another case of abuse, a 14-year-old girl’s sexual assaults were posted on Pornhub and were not reported to authorities until a classmate saw the videos and took action.

Another woman interviewed by Kristof said, “Pornhub became my trafficker,” after her adoptive family forced her to appear in pornographic videos beginning when she was just 9 years old. She says videos of her abuse were hosted on Pornhub and regularly reappear there. She worries that one day she may have children who will find those videos.

“Pornhub is like YouTube in that it allows members of the public to post their own videos. A great majority of the 6.8 million new videos posted on the site each year probably involve consenting adults, but many depict child abuse and nonconsensual violence,” Kristof writes. “Because it’s impossible to be sure whether a youth in a video is 14 or 18, neither Pornhub nor anyone else has a clear idea of how much content is illegal.”

For now, Kristof notes, Pornhub has “escaped responsibility for sharing the videos and profiting from them.” Sasse and other lawmakers seek to change that.

Ben Sasse: DOJ must open investigation into child abuse and rape featured on Pornhub

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Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on Friday called for the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into the pornographic video website Pornhub after a disturbing investigation by a New York Times columnist revealed the website is “infested with rape videos,” some of them include children.

New York Times prize-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof reported that Pornhub, which attracts 3.5 billion visitors a month and is the 10th-most-visited website in the world, profits off videos that depict child rape, revenge porn, voyeuristic videos of nonconsenting women showering, and more explicit and potentially illegal pornographic content.

“Its site is infested with rape videos,” Kristof writes. “It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. A search for “girls under18” (no space) or “14yo” leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos. Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.”

In the course of his reporting, Kristof interviewed several women whose lives were destroyed after degrading videos depicting their rapes were published on Pornhub. Some of them have attempted suicide from the shame and humiliation.

Pornhub and its parent company, MindGeek – based legally in Luxembourg but with offices in Montreal, London, Nicosia and Los Angeles – have come under fire from anti-sexual exploitation activists who accuse the companies of profiting off human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The Traffickinghub campaign, founded by Laila Mickelwait of Exodus Cry, an anti-trafficking group, last March launched a petition calling attention to rape and abusive videos hosted by Pornhub and demanding that the website be shut down and the company’s executives be held accountable.

The movement against Pornhub has attracted the attention of some U.S. lawmakers, including Sasse, who say it is past time for the federal government to act.

“The Department of Justice needs to open an investigation into the scumbags who run Mindgeek,” Sen. Sasse told the Daily Caller News Foundation Friday. “Sexual exploitation and human trafficking are abhorrent, period. A decent society should be working to end this.

“It is completely unacceptable that Pornhub and its parent company Mindgeek make money from rape, sexual abuse, and the exploitation of minors,” Sasse added. “They need to be investigated, and the DOJ needs more urgency about building cases against creeps.”

Sasse was joined by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) who praised Kristof’s reporting and promised to introduce legislation to enable victims of trafficking or sexual exploitation to sue websites like Pornhub.

Pornhub has denied accusations that it allows videos of child rape on its website, calling the accusations “irresponsible and flagrantly untrue.”

“Pornhub is unequivocally committed to combating child sexual abuse material, and has instituted a comprehensive, industry-leading trust and safety policy to identify and eradicate illegal material from our community,” Pornhub said in a statement to Kristof.

Kristof’s article tells horrific stories of child abuse and exploitation hosted on Pornhub’s website. One woman, whose 15-year-old daughter went missing in Florida, reported finding her in 58 pornographic videos featured on the website. In another case of abuse, a 14-year-old girl’s sexual assaults were posted on Pornhub and were not reported to authorities until a classmate saw the videos and took action.

Another woman interviewed by Kristof said, “Pornhub became my trafficker,” after her adoptive family forced her to appear in pornographic videos beginning when she was just 9 years old. She says videos of her abuse were hosted on Pornhub and regularly reappear there. She worries that one day she may have children who will find those videos.

“Pornhub is like YouTube in that it allows members of the public to post their own videos. A great majority of the 6.8 million new videos posted on the site each year probably involve consenting adults, but many depict child abuse and nonconsensual violence,” Kristof writes. “Because it’s impossible to be sure whether a youth in a video is 14 or 18, neither Pornhub nor anyone else has a clear idea of how much content is illegal.”

For now, Kristof notes, Pornhub has “escaped responsibility for sharing the videos and profiting from them.” Sasse and other lawmakers seek to change that.

Two gun-toting Detroit homeowners open fire on intruders in separate incidents. One of the suspects is armed — and ends up dead.

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Once again we have another example of criminals not getting the picture that everyday folks in growing numbers are armed and ready for them.

And this time the tale concerns a pair of Detroit homeowners with concealed pistol licenses who successfully used their guns to protect themselves after intruders invaded their residences.

What are the details?

The first incident happened around 7 p.m Monday when police said a suspect armed with a long gun entered a home on Fenton, just west of Telegraph between McNichols and 7 Mile, WJBK-TV reported.

The suspect then confronted the homeowner, pointing his gun at him, police told the station.

But the homeowner was able to arm himself, too, and shot the 22-year-old intruder several times with a handgun, WJBK said, adding that the suspect died at the scene.

Officers recovered both guns, the station said, adding that the CPL-holding homeowner was detained for questioning.

The circumstances are still being investigated, WJBK reported.

The second incident took place Wednesday night at a home in the 16600 block of Fairmount Drive when police said the 39-year-old homeowner heard a strange noise above her, WDIV-TV reported.

When she went to investigate the noise, police told the station she discovered a 19-year-old male in her attic — and officials believe the suspect was hiding there as part of an attempt to burglarize the home.

After a brief standoff, the intruder reportedly made a sudden move — and that’s when the CPL-holding homeowner fired a shot at the suspect, WDIV reported.

Police arrived at the scene, and the suspect was taken to a hospital, the station said. He was in stable condition, WDIV reported — but police said once he’s well enough he’ll be taken into custody.

The homeowner is cooperating with police and their investigation, the station noted.

Detroit homeowner shoots teen intruder hiding in attic

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‘Daily Show’ host Trevor Noah sounds off on Democratic leaders like Gov. ‘hair gel’ Gavin Newsom over COVID hypocrisy

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“Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, usually a friend to progressives, blasted “hypocrite” Democratic leaders Thursday for not “practicing what they preach” as it pertains to abiding by coronavirus restrictions.

A slew of Democratic officials from the Golden State and Texas have been caught redhanded of late urging constituents to stay home and avoid large gatherings while flaunting such restrictions themselves.

Among the recent offenders are Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was caught dining maskless with a group of 12 at The French Laundry in Napa last month; Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who ironically was also caught dining maskless with a large group at the same fancy restaurant; Democratic San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who told constituents to “cancel” Thanksgiving gatherings precisely one day before he attended one; and of course, Democratic Austin, Texas, Mayor Steve Adler, who urged constituents to “stay inside” in a video he recorded while vacationing in Mexico with his family and others.

“Oh man, come on! What is it with these Democrats?” Noah exclaimed.

The comedian went on to mimic Adler’s video message: “This is your mayor here, telling you to stay home, and stay safe. Do the right thing … All my boys in the pool know what I’m talking about! Say what’s up, everybody!”

Fmr. Presidents to Get Vaxxed on Live TV & Dems Break COVID Rules | The Daily Social Distancing Show

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“I’m sorry, man. Everyone has given up their lives and then you’ve got these politicians who are just hypocrites out here,” he continued.

“What, you guys think, corona respects your office too much to come after you? Because don’t forget: It got the president of the United States, it’s not going to be star-struck by Governor ‘hair gel,'” he joked, in reference to Newsom.

Noah even went so far to say he’s more disappointed with these Democrats than he is with some Republicans in regard to mask-wearing and social distancing.

“In a way, these Democrats are even worse than the anti-maskers, because of their hypocrisy,” he said. “At least when those dudes break the rules they’re open about it.”

Rep. Maxine Waters’ campaign paid her daughter $240K

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The daughter of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) enjoyed another very prosperous election cycle. Karen Waters was paid approximately $240,000 by her mother’s campaign, according to federal election records.

The newest Federal Election Commission filings show that Karen Waters received five payments from the Citizens for Waters campaign between October and November that totaled $28,150.

There are another 26 disbursements from Maxine Waters’ campaign to her daughter between March 2019 and September 2019 that total $212,600.

The descriptions of the payments include “slate mailer management fees,” “office expenses,” “reimbursement for canvassing,” and “GOTV,” which may refer to “Get Out the Vote” services.

Karen Waters has been raking in the money from her mother’s political office for years. A report from the Washington Free Beacon found that the daughter had been compensated more than $200,000 from the Citizens for Waters campaign committee during the 2018 election cycle.

“Gavin Newsom, who was elected governor of California, gave the Waters campaign $27,000 from his own campaign to appear on the slate mailer while Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s campaign added $27,000 in slate mailer payments,” according to the report, adding that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) paid $63,000 to appear on the mailers twice.

Karen Waters has reportedly been receiving payments from her mother’s campaign since 2006. Karen, along with her firm Progressive Connections, has received over $600,000 from the campaign as of the end of the 2016 election year. A 2019 Fox News report stated that Karen Waters had received nearly $1 million from her mother’s campaign.

A 2004 report from the Los Angeles Times claimed that Maxine Waters’ family members pocketed more than $1 million over eight years “by doing business with companies, candidates and causes that the influential congresswoman has helped.”

“Daughter Karen Waters has charged candidates for spots on her mother’s ‘slate mailer,’ a sample ballot that many voters in South Los Angeles use to guide their choices,” the report claimed.

Maxine Waters dismissed the accusations by saying, “They do their business, and I do mine.”

“We don’t have to answer your questions,” Rep. Waters told the Los Angeles Times. “We are not bad people.”

Recent FEC filings state that the Citizens for Waters campaign paid $480,380 in disbursements this election cycle and had $324,637 on hand.

Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, has been representing California’s 43rd Congressional District since 1991. In the November election, the 82-year-old congresswoman coasted to another easy victory, capturing over 71% of the vote against her Republican challenger Joe Collins.

Rep. Maxine Waters’ campaign paid her daughter $240K

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The daughter of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) enjoyed another very prosperous election cycle. Karen Waters was paid approximately $240,000 by her mother’s campaign, according to federal election records.

The newest Federal Election Commission filings show that Karen Waters received five payments from the Citizens for Waters campaign between October and November that totaled $28,150.

There are another 26 disbursements from Maxine Waters’ campaign to her daughter between March 2019 and September 2019 that total $212,600.

The descriptions of the payments include “slate mailer management fees,” “office expenses,” “reimbursement for canvassing,” and “GOTV,” which may refer to “Get Out the Vote” services.

Karen Waters has been raking in the money from her mother’s political office for years. A report from the Washington Free Beacon found that the daughter had been compensated more than $200,000 from the Citizens for Waters campaign committee during the 2018 election cycle.

“Gavin Newsom, who was elected governor of California, gave the Waters campaign $27,000 from his own campaign to appear on the slate mailer while Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s campaign added $27,000 in slate mailer payments,” according to the report, adding that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) paid $63,000 to appear on the mailers twice.

Karen Waters has reportedly been receiving payments from her mother’s campaign since 2006. Karen, along with her firm Progressive Connections, has received over $600,000 from the campaign as of the end of the 2016 election year. A 2019 Fox News report stated that Karen Waters had received nearly $1 million from her mother’s campaign.

A 2004 report from the Los Angeles Times claimed that Maxine Waters’ family members pocketed more than $1 million over eight years “by doing business with companies, candidates and causes that the influential congresswoman has helped.”

“Daughter Karen Waters has charged candidates for spots on her mother’s ‘slate mailer,’ a sample ballot that many voters in South Los Angeles use to guide their choices,” the report claimed.

Maxine Waters dismissed the accusations by saying, “They do their business, and I do mine.”

“We don’t have to answer your questions,” Rep. Waters told the Los Angeles Times. “We are not bad people.”

Recent FEC filings state that the Citizens for Waters campaign paid $480,380 in disbursements this election cycle and had $324,637 on hand.

Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, has been representing California’s 43rd Congressional District since 1991. In the November election, the 82-year-old congresswoman coasted to another easy victory, capturing over 71% of the vote against her Republican challenger Joe Collins.

Georgia election officials refute claims made about viral video with ‘suitcases’ of ballots

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The Georgia secretary of state’s office on Friday reportedly said they’ve investigated claims of voter fraud made in a viral video shared by the Trump campaign and others, and found that the claims were not true.

According to Fox News, senior officials in Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office have investigated and debunked claims that Fulton County election officials illegally counted ballots without poll watcher supervision.

The Trump campaign and various political commentators and media figures on Thursday claimed that video footage taken by security cameras showed “suitcases filled with ballots” being counted at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Nov. 3 after election supervisors were told to leave the room. The video was first presented as part of testimony from the Trump campaign at an election integrity hearing held by state lawmakers. Those that testified were not asked to swear under oath.

The narrator of the video is Jackie Pick, an attorney who said she was not acting as a lawyer for the Trump campaign but rather presented testimony as a volunteer. She claimed that the video showed “four people” staying behind to count “suitcases” of ballots after “Republican observers and the press” were told to leave. Trump’s legal team asserts that something fraudulent or nefarious may have occurred while these ballots were allegedly counted without supervision and at the very least complains that what occurred in the video was against protocols established by Georgia state election law.

An official from Raffensperger’s office told Fox News an investigation showed these claims were unfounded. According to the official, Fulton County election officials had a designated observer watching the votes being counted the entire time. Additionally, the official said there was nothing suspicious about the “suitcases” of ballots that were pulled out from beneath a table and that those cases on video are the cases ballots were supposed to be kept in.

TheBlaze has contacted the Georgia secretary of state’s office requesting comment on Fox News’ reporting.

Other Georgia officials have stated on the record that the claims made about the video were false.

Gabriel Sterling, a Republican in charge of implementing Georgia’s voting system, told Lead Stories that nothing in the video appeared “bizarre or odd” and that what is seen looks like normal election procedure. He disputed allegations that Republican poll watchers were told vote counting had ended and they were to go home.

He explained that the election workers who went home are known as “cutters,” because their job was to open absentee ballot envelopes and verify ballots for eventual scanning and counting. He said they were dismissed sometime after 10 p.m. on Nov. 3, as shown in the video, because their work for the evening had been finished. The four workers who remained behind were responsible for scanning the ballots.

“If you look at the video tape, the work you see is the work you would expect, which is you take the sealed suitcase looking things in, you place the ballots on the scanner in manageable batches and you scan them,” Sterling told Lead Stories.

The chief investigator for the Georgia secretary of state, Frances Watson, also spoke to Lead Stories and he said that the “suitcases” seen in the video were standard containers.

“There wasn’t a bin that had ballots in it under that table,” Watson explained. “It was an empty bin and the ballots from it were actually out on the table when the media were still there, and then it was placed back into the box when the media were still there and placed next to the table.”

Watson said that there was never an announcement made to the media or to partisan election observers about the counting being done for the night or telling them to go home.

TheBlaze has previously reported that Fulton County officials explicitly denied that anyone from the Trump campaign was ever told vote counting was finished for the night. Multiple requests made to the Trump campaign for response were unanswered.

Additionally, Lead Stories obtained comments from the state election board monitor who was present for the vote counting on Nov. 3. He explained that at no point was the ballot counting unobserved by elections officials, as Pick and others have claimed:

A state election board monitor, who asked for his name not to be used due to safety concerns, told Lead Stories on the phone on December 3, 2020, that he was present at the vote counting location beginning at 11:52 p.m., after leaving briefly at earlier in the evening. He then stayed until about 12:45 a.m., when the work that night was completed.

The deputy chief investigator for the secretary of state’s office was present beginning at 12:15 a.m. November 4, he said.

Georgia officials are responding to other “concerning” allegations made during Thursday’s testimony.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday called on the secretary of state to conduct a signature audit of absentee ballots to verify the election results.

However, a signature audit presents difficulties because when absentee votes are first counted on Election Day, they are separated from the signed envelopes they came in, WXIA-TV explained. To preserve the secrecy of ballots, ballots are not signed by voters, just the envelopes they are delivered in. So there is no way to retroactively match votes that have already been counted with the signatures of the voters who sent those ballots.

The Georgia secretary of state’s office has not yet responded to the governor’s request.

Longtime adviser to Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom accused of trying to suffocate 4-year-old with pillow, shoving woman into glass doors

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A longtime adviser and friend to Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom was arrested and jailed after he was accused of trying to suffocate a 4-year-old with a pillow and shoving a woman into glass doors, Politico reported.

What are the details?

Nathan Ballard, 51 — a prominent California Democratic strategist — was booked Oct. 18 on two felony charges of domestic violence and willful cruelty to a child with possible injury and death, the outlet said, citing Napa County Sheriff’s Office documents.

Napa County authorities filed the charges Thursday, KGO-TV reported.

Ballard served as Newsom’s spokesperson when he was San Francisco’s mayor, Politico said, adding that Ballard also was a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, the California Democratic Party, the Getty family, the Golden State Warriors, the Super Bowl, and for the presidential campaigns of former Sen. John Kerry and Gen. Wesley Clark. Ballard also is a former San Francisco deputy city attorney, KGO said.

And until Oct. 19 — the day after the alleged incident — Ballard sat on the board of The Representation Project, a nonprofit founded by Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, to advance women’s rights, Politico said.

“I’ve spent my career in crisis communications fighting on behalf the wrongfully accused, and now for the first time I really know what it feels like to be in their shoes,” Ballard told the outlet in a text message. “I will be exonerated. I love my children more than anything on earth, and we will be reunited.”

More from Politico:

Sources say the events occurred at the swanky Carneros Resort and Spa where, according to victim statements, Ballard reportedly “had consumed a large amount of alcohol and some marijuana.”

The adult victim told authorities that Ballard “charged her and pushed her with both hands into the glass doors,” causing her to fall and hit the back of her head on the door. Ballard also stumbled and fell onto the ground, bleeding, according to documents on file with the Napa County Sheriff’s Department.

Then Ballard “attempted to suffocate the child victim with the pillow,” the adult victim told the police. “Ballard grabbed the pillow from the bed, placed it onto the child victim and laid on top of the pillow, placing his weight on the child victim who was under the pillow,” according to the report.

The adult victim said “she was able to remove the child victim from the room,” and locked herself and another child in a separate room away from Ballard.

She reported the alleged attack to police the next morning, and when officers arrived, Ballard had gone, according to the report. The Napa County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for Ballard’s arrest and, on Oct. 20, he was arrested and transported to the county jail, authorities said.

Ballard paid his set bail of $75,000 and was released later on Oct. 20, KGO reported, citing sheriff’s department documents.

imageNathan BallardImage source: Napa County Sheriff’s Office

What did Ballard’s lawyer say?

Anthony Brass, Ballard’s lawyer, said in a statement to the station that he’s “confident” that his client “will be fully acquitted of these charges after the District Attorney’s Office has a chance to review the facts and learn all sides of the story. Nate is a well-respected professional and a member of the bar with a spotless ethical record. He has no criminal history.”

Brass told KGO that “after nearly eight years of continuous sobriety, Nate resumed drinking in April, after his father died. He is now clean and sober again, and he is currently in a residential recovery program to deal with his drinking problem in a responsible, comprehensive manner. He is a good father, he has his children’s best interests at heart, and he wants to resolve this matter privately, quickly, and fairly for their sake.”

Politico reported that Brass on Thursday said Ballard’s former wife “would testify under oath that he has never been violent toward her, their minor son, nor their minor daughter” — but the outlet added that hours later Brass said he had to retract that statement.

Newsom’s spokespeople have not responded to questions about Ballard’s arrest, the outlet reported.

Politico also said Ballard — a father of four young children — was profiled in a
November 2019 story in Better magazine as one of “the Bay Area’s most successful dads” and that he called his home in Kentfield “a special place for my wife Mara and me.”

Longtime adviser to Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom accused of trying to suffocate 4-year-old with pillow, shoving woman into glass doors

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A longtime adviser and friend to Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom was arrested and jailed after he was accused of trying to suffocate a 4-year-old with a pillow and shoving a woman into glass doors, Politico reported.

What are the details?

Nathan Ballard, 51 — a prominent California Democratic strategist — was booked Oct. 18 on two felony charges of domestic violence and willful cruelty to a child with possible injury and death, the outlet said, citing Napa County Sheriff’s Office documents.

Napa County authorities filed the charges Thursday, KGO-TV reported.

Ballard served as Newsom’s spokesperson when he was San Francisco’s mayor, Politico said, adding that Ballard also was a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, the California Democratic Party, the Getty family, the Golden State Warriors, the Super Bowl, and for the presidential campaigns of former Sen. John Kerry and Gen. Wesley Clark. Ballard also is a former San Francisco deputy city attorney, KGO said.

And until Oct. 19 — the day after the alleged incident — Ballard sat on the board of The Representation Project, a nonprofit founded by Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, to advance women’s rights, Politico said.

“I’ve spent my career in crisis communications fighting on behalf the wrongfully accused, and now for the first time I really know what it feels like to be in their shoes,” Ballard told the outlet in a text message. “I will be exonerated. I love my children more than anything on earth, and we will be reunited.”

More from Politico:

Sources say the events occurred at the swanky Carneros Resort and Spa where, according to victim statements, Ballard reportedly “had consumed a large amount of alcohol and some marijuana.”

The adult victim told authorities that Ballard “charged her and pushed her with both hands into the glass doors,” causing her to fall and hit the back of her head on the door. Ballard also stumbled and fell onto the ground, bleeding, according to documents on file with the Napa County Sheriff’s Department.

Then Ballard “attempted to suffocate the child victim with the pillow,” the adult victim told the police. “Ballard grabbed the pillow from the bed, placed it onto the child victim and laid on top of the pillow, placing his weight on the child victim who was under the pillow,” according to the report.

The adult victim said “she was able to remove the child victim from the room,” and locked herself and another child in a separate room away from Ballard.

She reported the alleged attack to police the next morning, and when officers arrived, Ballard had gone, according to the report. The Napa County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for Ballard’s arrest and, on Oct. 20, he was arrested and transported to the county jail, authorities said.

Ballard paid his set bail of $75,000 and was released later on Oct. 20, KGO reported, citing sheriff’s department documents.

Nathan BallardImage source: Napa County Sheriff’s Office

What did Ballard’s lawyer say?

Anthony Brass, Ballard’s lawyer, said in a statement to the station that he’s “confident” that his client “will be fully acquitted of these charges after the District Attorney’s Office has a chance to review the facts and learn all sides of the story. Nate is a well-respected professional and a member of the bar with a spotless ethical record. He has no criminal history.”

Brass told KGO that “after nearly eight years of continuous sobriety, Nate resumed drinking in April, after his father died. He is now clean and sober again, and he is currently in a residential recovery program to deal with his drinking problem in a responsible, comprehensive manner. He is a good father, he has his children’s best interests at heart, and he wants to resolve this matter privately, quickly, and fairly for their sake.”

Politico reported that Brass on Thursday said Ballard’s former wife “would testify under oath that he has never been violent toward her, their minor son, nor their minor daughter” — but the outlet added that hours later Brass said he had to retract that statement.

Newsom’s spokespeople have not responded to questions about Ballard’s arrest, the outlet reported.

Politico also said Ballard — a father of four young children — was profiled in a
November 2019 story in Better magazine as one of “the Bay Area’s most successful dads” and that he called his home in Kentfield “a special place for my wife Mara and me.”

Leaked audio reportedly shows Hillsong Church founder accusing disgraced ex-pastor of serial infidelity

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Disgraced former pastor Carl Lentz — who was fired from Hillsong Church in November after reportedly engaging in immoral behaviors — is reportedly a serial cheater as well as a lying manipulator and abuser.

Following the firing, Lentz admitted that he’d cheated on his wife and asked for forgiveness and understanding as the story unfolded.

What are the details?

According to a Friday report in the Daily Mail, Lentz was reportedly guilty of having more than just one extramarital affair.

The outlet cited audio purporting to feature Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston who can be heard saying that Lentz was also guilty of exhibiting “general narcissistic behavior, manipulating, and mistreating people.”

According to the audio, Lentz was also “constantly lying.”

On the audio, Houston says that Lentz was found out after staff discovered “compromising” messages on the ex-pastor’s computer.

“It was more than one affair,” Houston says. “They were significant. And at least some bad moral behavior had gone back historically.”

“I can honestly say before God the first time I heard any moral complaint against Carl was when [Hillsong East Coast Chief Operating Officer Tolu Badders] contacted me,” Houston said. “‘Tolu had a conversation with one of the staff members, and that staff member had found a very compromising chain of text messages on Carl’s laptop or computer. And so that person went straight to Tolu. And Tolu, to her credit, the first thing she did was call me.”

In the audio, Houston also says that Lentz was also a “difficult man to have any kind of direct conversation with, because it was always defensive. It would always be put back on the other person, as though they’re the ones with the problem.”

Lentz’s alleged behaviors were reportedly fairly well known.

“Other [anonymous] Hillsong members,” the Daily Mail reports, said that “Lentz used women he met backstage at church for affairs.” Other members reported that Lentz had been sleeping with other women “for at least seven years.”

What else?

The outlet also reported that the church may give Lentz a “golden parachute” despite his alleged behaviors.

“‘We’re working on a severance package which we’re negotiating with them on,” George Aghajanian, general manager and a director of Hillsong Church Australia said in the meeting,” the outlet reported. “‘We are trying to care for them as far as they are letting us care for them. And certainly our heart is to look after the children, to look after [Lentz’s wife] Laura, and even Carl who needs a lot of help.'”