2016 Summer TCA Tour - Day 6
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'San Antonio Four' Declared Innocent, Exonerated In Child Sexual Assault Case

 The San Antonio Four are free at last, justice has been served.  

The women known as the "San Antonio Four," who were accused of gang-raping two young girls in Texas, have been exonerated in the criminal case they’ve been fighting for almost two decades, reports Jezebel.

Anna Vasquez, Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera and Kristie Mayhugh spent nearly 15 years in prison following a 1998 conviction for allegedly sexually abusing Ramirez’s two nieces, aged seven and nine. Ramirez was convicted in 1997 for indecency with a child and aggravated sexual assault. She was handed a sentence of 37.5 years in prison, while the other defendants received a 15 year sentence for aggravated assault, and 10 years for child indecency charges.

The two minors reportedly told their grandmother that the women had sexually assaulted them twice when they stayed in Ramirez’s home. Although their accounts were deemed inconsistent, medical officials' physical evidence suggested they were abused; it showed the girls had vaginal injuries. Dr. Nancy Kellogg stood firm on the belief that the injuries the girls sustained were caused by “painful trauma.”

Amid the accusations, the women identifying as lesbians also made their case tough because of the stigma homosexuality had at the time. A documentary titled Southwest of Salem: The Story of The San Antonio Four, directed by Deborah S. Esquenazi, showcased how homosexuality was an underlying theme in their plight, specifically in the early 90s. The film was also a part of the court's decision.

“I think the only reason that the investigation was seriously pursued, why there wasn’t more skepticism about the preposterous allegations in the first place, was because these four women had recently come out as gay, that they were openly gay,” explained their attorney, Mike Ware.

One of the girls came forward and admitted their story was fabricated, and that they were coaxed by their father to lie about it because of his personal issues with their aunt, Ramirez.

Additionally, Dr. Kellogg revealed that the medical evidence was incorrect. Those two key pieces of evidence propelled Ware and The Innocence Project of Texas to proceed with re-appealing the case. The women were released in 2013, but their future was still uncertain. On Wednesday (Nov. 23), the Texas Court of Appeals ruled that “most likely,” no jury would vote against the women considering the new medical evidence they had, and the niece’s recantation, leading to their innocent ruling.

“These defendants have won the right to proclaim to the citizens of Texas that they did not commit a crime. That they are innocent. That they deserve to be exonerated,"  wrote Judge David Newall in his judgement. “These women have carried that burden. They are innocent. And they are exonerated.” In addition to being granted security from potential prosecutions, they're also eligible for millions of dollars from the state for all they've experienced by the legal system.

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Popular Celeb Spot 'La Marina' Shut Down After Drug Bust

Adored by celebrities like French Montana, Jay-Z and Leonardo DiCaprio, New York hot spot La Marina might be closing its doors for a good after a drug bust led to a suspension of their liquor license.

A statement released Dec. 6 by the New York Liquor Authority (SLA) broke down the case, which overlapped with an investigation by the NYPD in July. Bar manager Christian Mendez, 33, was arrested in November on felony charges after he was caught selling large amounts of cocaine, oxycodone and other drugs to undercover NYPD detectives. Their investigation into the venue also revealed 72 violations of the state liquor law like selling liquor to minors and impaired customers.

Chairman Vincent Bradley and Commissioner Lily Fan condemned the venue and hope to yank their liquor license for good. “When a bar manager is able to traffic and sell these types and quantities of narcotics from within an establishment it is incredibly alarming," Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano said.

“Licensees have a responsibility to ensure their establishments are operating within the law, and the SLA is obligated to take emergency action as it is clear that this licensee has failed to take any meaningful actions to protect the public.”

La Marina was also hit with sixteen violations of the ABC Law, including seven counts of operating disorderly premises for permitting the trafficking of controlled substances, six violations for fire, health and more safety code violations. Their inspection grade in July was something close to an F minus for mishandlings of food, shoddy plumbing and the presence of mice and flies.

The venue has been a staple in the area since its opening in 2012, attracting big celebrities and brands like Red Bull and HBO. The New York Post notes La Marina has a 15-year lease, where they make up to $7 million a year in revenue.

Their social presence hasn't acknowledged their current status, but their calendar for upcoming events has been scrapped from their website.

READ MORE: DJ Collective WeAreHouse78 Are Making The Best Party Ever...At 9AM

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Judge Awards Cardi B Release Without Bail After Alleged Bartender Attack

Cardi B reported to court Friday morning (Dec. 7) in efforts to resolve an ongoing court case, which stems from an alleged altercation back in August at a Queens strip club involving two bartenders named Jade and Baddie Gi.

Prior to attending court, the "Money" MC was threatened to face jail time by the judge in charge of the case if she missed today’s court date. She reportedly had a court appearance on Monday (Dec. 3) that she failed to report to.

In October, the Bronx rapper (born Belcalis Almanzar) turned herself in to authorities after being accused of orchestrating a physical attack on the servers at Angels Strip Club. Per TMZ, she was arrested for two misdemeanor charges: assault and reckless endangerment.

One of the bartenders, Jade Gi, was accused of having an affair with Cardi’s (now possibly estranged) husband, Migos member Offset. The “She Bad” rapper was released without bail. Prosecutors reportedly wanted to charge her with a $2,500 bail, but the judge felt she wasn’t a flight risk, meaning she wouldn’t leave the country before the case is over in its totality.

However, the judge did warn Cardi to have “no contact” to Baddie and Jade Gi, after he granted both an order of protection against the 26 year-old. She’s also not allowed to make any threats or comment on the two on social media.

Cardi is reportedly scheduled to head back to court sometime next month.

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Premiere: Fuego And A. Chal Take Over The Strip Club In "Dancin" Music Video

Dominican trap artist Fuego has created an ode to the art of stripping with his new single “Dancin,” featuring producer and R&B extraordinaire A. Chal. The visuals for the track are laced with bright blue club lights and brief salacious interludes of voluptuous young ladies dancing provocatively.

The two are seemingly in a never-ending party in efforts to promote strip club etiquette through their tantalizing lyrics. There's no denying that Fuego's sound is reminiscent of today's prominent trap artists like Migos and Future, but he packs in a Latino flair, like his contemporaries Bad Bunny and El Alfa. The Washington D.C. native's sound is similar, but it's worth noting he's been on the scene for a while, steadily etching his mark as his musical prowess rises within hip-hop and Latin audiences.

“For some reason, I've always wanted to do a sound that American hip-hop has, and then break that my way,” he tells VIBE. “When it comes to putting stuff together and making fusions of music, I've done it all my life. When I first started out, I did reggae beats, but I was rapping over them. There’s a little more urban, hip-hop sound in the Latin community. Before, it was mad reggae. It either had to be a tropical type song or reggaeton song. I've always wanted to come out with hip-hop music."

Watch the video for "Dancin" below.

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