nursing home

An Occasion When You Don’t Want the Punch Line

Appetite for destruction.

Stop reading now.

The owner of a nursing home in Washington State was arrested last week after police say a hidden camera caught him sexually assaulting an 83-year-old woman who has dementia.

(Hanson)

Signs, signs. To wit, you know it’s a sign that you need new friends when you see a lede like that and think, “Hey, G needs to read this!”

No, really. Do you even want to know why he needs to read it?

That’s what I thought.

A woman who was sexually assaulted and set on fire was in critical condition Monday, and police turn to the public for help in finding her assailant.

(Associated Press)

Again, you don’t really want to know.

A correctional officer in Ferguson, Missouri, is accused of raping a pregnant woman who was in his custody.

(Murdock)

I promise, you really, really don’t want to know; suffice to say, we might doubt my associate’s answer will ever be known.

But there is a common theme that goes beyond the (ahem!) mere observation that these are all sex crimes.

____________________

Hanson, Hilary. "Nursing Home Owner Caught On Tape Sexually Assaulting Resident: Cops". The Huffington Post. 17 November 2014.

Associated Press. “Kansas Woman In Critical Condition After Being Sexually Assaulted, Set On Fire”. The Huffington Post. 17 November 2014.

Murdock, Sebastian. “Ferguson Correctional Officer Jaris Hayden Raped Pregnant Woman, Lawsuit Alleges”. The Huffington Post. 17 November 2014.

A Disaster in Mississippi

Those with an ear to murmurings political could not help but hear the ruckus that stirred in recent months over in Mississippi. In a right-wing primary pitting a secessionist Tea Partier against an incumbent conservative Republican, the outcome was decided by black Democrats who turned out at incumbent Sen. That Cochran’s plea in order to reject the secessionist upstart Chris McDaniel.

But that is hardly the strangest historical nugget from the fierce contest that pushed into a runoff after neither candidate achieved the state’s fifty percent threshold. Nor would it be the part where the longtime Beltway figure Cochran tried to play up his folksy charm by recalling indecent liberties taken with farm animals when he was a child.

Mark Mayfield (l.) with Chris McDanielThe most bizarre aspect of the 2014 Mississippi Republican U.S. Senate Primary, far and away, was the break-in scandal. The short form is that somebody broke into a nursing home in order to photograph Cochran’s invalid wife, which pictures turned up in an outside interest’s anti-Cochran television spot.

Four were arrested in that caper, and questions still remain about what degree McDaniel’s campaign was aware of what was going on; their initial comments on the budding scandal at the time proved, well, inaccurate. Nobody has quite figured out what happened there.

But what has happened to the scandal since is that one of the arrested and accused, Mark Mayfield—an attorney and leader of a state Tea Party ogranization—ended his own life.

The family of Mississippi tea party leader Mark Mayfield, who committed suicide last week after facing charges for his alleged connection to the photographing of Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-Miss) wife, plans legal action against “anyone responsible” for his death, according to The Clarion Ledger.

Authorities arrested Mayfield and two other supporters of Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) on conspiracy charges earlier this year after a blogger allegedly took photographs of Cochran’s bedridden wife, Rose, at a nursing home where she suffers from progressive dementia. The photos were allegedly used for an anti-Cochran political video that was later taken down.

Mayfield’s relatives argue that Madison Police Department officers trespassed when they went to his Ridgeland home after he shot himself on Friday. They say Mayfield’s arrest was politically motivated by supporters of Cochran, who defeated McDaniel in a contentious primary runoff that the state senator has yet to concede.

“It’s the highest degree of abuse of power,” said Ridgeland Alderman Wesley Hamlin, Mayfield’s nephew.

(Bobic)

John Reeves, brother-in-law to the deceased, noted that the arrest cost Mayfield his career as a transactional lawyer: “On the day his picture was in the paper, all three banks called him and said, ‘Mark, you’re fired.’ That devastated him. He lost his business. He had to let his secretaries go.” While one can certainly empathize, there is also something of cynicism that rises in the context of an appeal to emotion; the family is also upset that Mayfield was accused at all, and also at the manner in which he was arrested: “They treated him like a criminal.”

(more…)