R. Kelly Associate Michael Williams Admits To Setting Accuser’s SUV On Fire In An Attempt To Silence Her

An R. Kelly associate took a plea deal Monday for trying to silence a witness in the R&B singer’s racketeering case by setting her SUV on fire.

Michael Williams, 38, copped to one count of arson for destroying the vehicle, rented by the woman’s father, which was parked in front of the Kissimmee, Florida, home where she and her family were staying.

In exchange for his plea in Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors have agreed to drop the witness tampering charge against him. He faces a minimum of 60 months in prison and a maximum of 71 months under federal sentencing guidelines.

“The plea agreement is fair in that the witness tampering charge as it relates to R. Kelly will be dismissed at sentencing,” said defense lawyer Todd Spodek.

Two hours before the June 11 blaze, Williams, a longtime friend of the jailed “Ignition” crooner, used his cellphone to search for the Florida address.

After the car was set alight, there was an explosion. A witness stepped outside and saw “an individual fleeing from the scene whose arm appeared to be lit on fire,” the complaint alleges.

Fire investigators also found accelerant on the edge of the property, court papers charge.

Williams’ distinct GMC Yukon, which has damage to the front and side and no front license plate, was captured on toll plaza cameras traveling from his home state of Georgia to Florida before the arson, then returning, the complaint states.

Ten days later, Williams Googled “How do fertilizer bombs work?” The purpose of that search wasn’t immediately clear.

He also searched the phrases “witness intimidation” and “case law for tampering with a witness,” according to court papers.

Kelly is locked up awaiting trial in Brooklyn federal court on more than a dozen criminal counts of sex trafficking, racketeering, coercion and other raps related to the abuse of six women and girls.

The three-time Grammy Award winner faces a separate indictment in Chicago, where he is charged with producing child pornography and destroying evidence.

Source: Page Six

The Women Who Brought Down Burger Records – Culture Of Sexual Abuse In SoCal’s Indie Rock Scene That Has Remained Largely In The Shadows

Casey Redd was 14 when she began going to shows put on by popular indie-rock label Burger Records. The concerts, featuring contemporary garage and punk bands, were often all-ages, and a swell of excited teenage girls would be in attendance.

Three years later, when Redd was 17, she says Phil Salina, the then-29-year-old singer of the Portland-based goth-pop duo Love Cop, had sex with her in the back seat of her car. He told her to meet him at the far corner of the parking lot at the Burger Records store in Fullerton, she says, then instructed her to drive a few blocks away to a darkened neighborhood where she alleges the statutory rape took place. (The age of consent in California is 18.)

A few days later, they again had sex outside of a house show in Pomona, she says.

“I felt confused and violated,” she says, adding that it took time, reflection and therapy to come to terms with what happened to her in 2013. “For years, many years, I didn’t really talk to anyone about it — I felt really ashamed — I felt like it was my fault for engaging with him in the first place.”

She did tell one of her close friends about her sexual encounters with Salina. That friend, who regularly attended Burger Records shows with Redd, corroborated Redd’s story to The Times in a phone interview.

The Times, however, reviewed texts that Salina sent to Redd after she went public with her accusations. In them, Salina apologizes and expresses remorse, writing, “I won’t ever be allowed to play music again and that is fair.” He also wrote that he didn’t think of their relationship as abusive at the time but that he now understands that it was wrong.

Redd went public with her experience last summer, sharing her story on her personal Instagram page and soon after on a page she created called Lured_By_Burger Records, which posted accusations about men in the Burger scene from other female fans and artists. The page quickly accumulated thousands of followers, spurring online outrage, national media coverage and public apologies from many of the accused musicians.

Within a week, the label ceased operations completely, prompting a long-overdue reckoning about the prevalence of sexual abuse in Southern California’s underground/DIY music scene.

One of Burger’s owners, Sean Bohrman, declined to be interviewed for this story. The other, Lee Rickard, did not respond to a request for comment. But Bohrman acknowledged in an interview with Seattle radio station KEXP after Burger’s collapse that the label — which published recordings by nearly 1,200 bands during its 13 years in existence, in addition to hosting concerts and festivals and running a record shop in Fullerton — did not scrutinize the personal behavior of the musicians with whom it worked. And it’s not clear that management was paying attention to the exploitative sexual dynamics of the scene Burger fostered.

As the allegations emerged, the label issued a statement that read in part: “We extend our deepest apologies to anyone who has suffered irreparable harm from any experience that occurred in the Burger and indie/DIY music scene.”

But the problems did not involve Burger musicians alone. The Times interviewed nearly two dozen women who detailed varying degrees of sexual abuse and harassment by musicians in Southern California’s indie rock scene during the past 15 years.

A number of women spoke on the record; others chose to remain anonymous, either because they feared reprisal or had already experienced it after posting their experiences online.

Burger Records was founded in 2007 by Bohrman and Rickard, in part to release music from their own band at the time, Thee Makeout Party. Burger championed catchy, homemade power-pop, surf-rock and bubblegum punk. It opened a record shop in Fullerton in 2009 and Bohrman and Rickard lived there, washing their hair under a spigot in the alley and running the label out of the back. The shop soon became a popular gathering spot for music fans.

As Burger grew, the label hosted a slew of popular shows and festivals around Southern California including Burger-a-Go Go, which paid tribute to all-female-fronted bands, and the two-day Burgerama, which annually drew thousands of fans and featured eclectic lineups of dozens of underground garage bands and indie rock giants including Weezer, Ariel Pink, Fidlar, the Spits, Ty Segall, Roky Erickson and Gang of Four.

Burger’s reputation was burnished internationally in 2014 when fashion design house Yves Saint Laurent featured the label’s music in Paris runway shows.

An all-ages ethos was key to Burger’s identity. Young fans, including those in high school, often mingled with older fans and musicians. Many women interviewed by The Times described rampant drug and alcohol use, even at shows where alcohol was not for sale.

The label did not follow a traditional business model. It didn’t sign bands or negotiate contracts. It just reached out to bands it loved and released mostly limited-edition runs of cassette tapes, leaving it to other labels to court the musicians it championed. It also made money from the concerts and festivals that it convened.

At first, Redd felt at home among Burger fans and bands, and in the spaces they occupied. All-ages shows were held in warehouses, the record shop and a large venue called the Observatory in Santa Ana. The Fullerton store was painted a bright key-lime green and featured a highly cultivated sense of graphic design characterized by a zany, cut ‘n’ paste punk aesthetic in bold primary colors (Bohrman minored in graphic design and cranked out the labels’ merch). The store was filled with buttons (“I’m a Burger Girl,” was one), stickers and posters, many featuring vintage-inspired, punk-themed cartoons. There was a back room where musicians, staff and customers sometimes gathered. It felt, say many of the women who hung out there, like a high-school clubhouse.

“In their marketing, they described themselves as perma-teens,” recalls Redd of Burger Records.

Redd says she began to regularly receive messages from some of the men in bands whose accounts she had followed on social media.

When Love Cop’s Salina first reached out to Redd, she was 17. Salina was working as a mental-health counselor in Portland specializing in addiction. Redd’s family had a troubled history with drugs and addiction, and she came to trust Salina. She says they talked nearly every day.

“He knew the trauma that I carried and … my age and vulnerability. It was definitely a grooming relationship,” Redd says, recalling how lonely, depressed and anxious she was at that time. “We would talk about cats and music. He was one of the very few adults I felt seen by.”

Months later, Salina came to Orange County to play a Burger show and invited Redd. It was her first time driving on the freeway when she crossed county lines from her hometown of Corona to Fullerton where she says their first sexual encounter took place.

Afterward, Redd alleges, Salina messaged her often, asking for nudes and sexual photos. For the most part, she ignored him but sometimes she engaged with him, not fully understanding how inappropriate the situation was.

Redd stopped going to Burger shows when she was 18, but at that point she says she already knew several other underage teenage girls who had been abused by adult men in the scene.

Redd is now 24 years old. She is a longtime vegan and animal rights activist with a soft but firm voice and a thoughtful, straightforward way of speaking. She says that over the years, not a day went by that she didn’t think about the fact that she was not alone in her experience.

That fact became painfully clear during the summer on July 15 when Clementine Creevy, the frontwoman of Cherry Glazerr, which released its debut album through Burger, posted a statement on Instagram accusing Sean Redman, the bass player of another Burger-affiliated band called the Buttertones, of starting a sexual relationship with her when she was 14 and he was 20. That relationship, she wrote, was also emotionally abusive.

Similar stories from dozens of women soon began pouring into Redd’s direct message box, she says. Many of the accusations of rape, sexual assault, abuse, harassment and grooming were about Burger bands, and many were about the local underground music scene in general. Redd found herself spending up to 18 hours a day on the site, fielding comments, posts and allegations. She says the experience was emotionally and physically overwhelming.

As scrutiny of Burger intensified, other women spoke out and bands began to fall. Lydia Night, the singer of The Regrettes, accused SWMRS drummer Joey Armstrong (son of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong) of sexual misconduct and coercion, beginning when she was 16 and Armstrong was 22. SWMRS released music through a variety of labels, including Burger. Armstrong posted an apology on Instagram, adding that he didn’t agree with some of the things Night said about him, but that, “it’s important that she be allowed to say them and that she be supported for speaking out.”

On July 21, Burger co-founder Lee Rickard stepped down from his role as label president and divested all interest in the label.

The label issued a statement that read in part that it was “deeply sorry for the role Burger has played in perpetuating a culture of toxic masculinity.”

Five days after Redd’s first Lured_By_Burger_Records post, Burger folded completely, taking with it the operation’s entire digital footprint. Bohrman capped his announcement of the company’s dissolution to a Pitchfork reporter with a Porky Pig GIF: “That’s all folks.”

Source: LA Times

New York Fashion Designer Alexander Wang Accused Of Sexually Assaulting, Drugging Multiple People

Iconic fashion designer Alexander Wang is facing multiple sexual assault allegations, with survivors on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter detailing the designer’s reportedly predatory and substance-fueled behavior.

First viral allegation: Wang’s alleged history of sexual abuse began to emerge after model Owen Mooney answered a question from another TikTok user about the “weirdest seeing a celebrity in public experience” on December 11, detailing a 2017 incident at a club where he claims he was groped.

In his first TikTok, Mooney answered without naming the celebrity: ”By weird, I guess, being sexually assaulted by one counts, right? Because in 2017, I was in a club in New York City, and me and a bunch of mates, we went to watch the rapper Cupcake. And the club was just hectic, it was so packed, you could not move, and I was by myself at one point and this guy next to me obviously took advantage of the fact that no one could f**king move. And he just started touching me up, fully up my leg, in my crotch, it made me freeze completely because I was in so much shock. And then I looked to my left to see who it was and it was this really famous fashion designer and I just couldn’t believe that he was doing that to me, it made me go into even more shock. It was really f**ked up, and I just had to slowly move myself away.”

In a follow up TikTok on December 12 after other users began guessing who the celebrity was, Mooney revealed the celebrity he was speaking of to be Alexander Wang: ”So I thought in the previous video, the better thing to do was just to not mention any names, but this comment surprised me just because they actually got it right and turns out, Alexander Wang is a massive sexual predator, and there’s been a load of people he’s done this to. So, in that case, he needs to be exposed. It’s just really f**cked up that people with this type of status, they think that their power gives them this type of pass to be able to do this to people, but it’s so wrong, and now, anytime I would see his name mentioned or I see him with celebrities that are best friends, it just reminds me of what he did and it’s just a really f**ked up memory to have, so he just needs to be cancelled.”

Shit Model Management Posts: Mooney’s TikTok went viral with over 19K views after it was shared by fashion watchdog groups Shit Model Management and Diet Prada on Instagram on Monday.

  • Anonymous users have since come forward to Diet Prada and Shit Model Management, which wrote: “Alexander Wang is an alleged sexual predator, many male models and trans models have come out and spoken about the alleged sexual abuse that Alexander Wang has inflicted upon them. It is important to show your support to these victims by unfollowing Alexander Wang and boycotting his clothing line.”
  • The allegations against Wang include groping, drugging and forcing partygoers to get drunk with him at after parties.
  • There have also been repeated allegations from multiple trans women who were groped or had their bodies or genitals exposed to Wang.
  • Some accounts accuse Wang giving them water laced with MDMA or “Molly” without them knowing.

Support for survivors: Fashion advocacy group Model Alliance released a statement on Tuesday standing by Wang’s accusers.

  • “We at Model Alliance stand in solidarity with those who have shared accusations of sexual abuse by Alexander Wang,” it wrote on Instagram. “Lets be clear: The fashion industry’s lack of transparency and accountability leaves all models vulnerable to abuse, regardless of their sex or gender identity.”
  • This is not the first time Wang has been accused of sexual assault. In 2019, rapper Azealia Banks shared anonymous messages sent to her Instagram alleging instances of abuse. The original posts have since been deleted, but screenshots can still be found on Twitter.
  •  “Alexander Wang sexually assaults transwomen & needs to be brought down,” one anonymous message to Banks read.
  • Nick Ward, who made similar allegations as Mooney dating back to the same year, told his story to Insider.
  • “As he was passing, he swung, squeezed me, and kept walking,” Ward said of Wang, who he claimed was with a group of people at a DJ set in Brooklyn, New York in 2017, when he “swung his hand and grabbed” his crotch.
  • Ward added: “They were moving pretty quickly through, so by the time I realized what happened, I just announced to my friend, ‘that guy just grabbed my dick’ and they’re all like, ‘that was Alexander Wang.’”
  • Wang has since turned off the comments section on the latest posts on his personal and professional Instagram accounts as of this writing.

Source: NextShark

Aspiring Model Victoria Hoynes Gets 20 Months in Jail For Falsely Accusing Asian Cab Drivers of Rape

Prosecutor Shaun Dodds said: ‘On the camera she can be seen approaching the taxi and exiting it. A reflection shows the driver looking at his mobile phone and she gets out unaided. There is clearly no contact whatsoever and the rape simply did not take place.

Adam Birkby, for Hoynes, said: ‘She accepted full responsibility for the false allegations and wishes to make it clear through me that the two drivers are totally innocent and apologises to them and their families. She offers a sincere public apology and she is extremely remorseful.’

Both suspected drivers spoke of the effect it had on their livelihood and family life, while the lead investigator said Hoynes’ actions may deter future rape victims from reporting crimes.

Jailing her for 20 months, Judge James Adkin said: ‘This type of offence can affect the prospects at trial of cases where it may be finely balanced as to whether women get the justice they deserve.’

Source: Daily Mail

Man who Slapped Reporter’s Rear on Live TV now Charged with Sexual Battery

Screen Shot 2019-12-15 at 1.49.06 PM.png

WSAV also defended Bozarjian in a statement. “The conduct displayed by one man toward Alex Bozarjian during her live coverage of Saturday’s Savannah Bridge Run was reprehensible and completely unacceptable. No one should ever be disrespected in this manner. The safety and protection of our employees is WSAV-TV’s highest priority. WSAV continues to support Alex completely as this case moves forward.”

His Name is THOMAS CALLAWAY

Source: Time