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Courtesy of Pat Sutphin, Times-News

No Jail Time For White Football Player Who Sexually Assaulted Black Mentally Disabled Teen With Hanger

"We don’t believe it’s appropriate for Mr. Howard to suffer the consequences of a sex offender, but he still needs to be held accountable."

John R.K Howard, 19, of Keller, Texas escaped a 10 year prison sentence and $50,000 fine for the 2015 sexual assault of a black mentally disabled teen on the school's high school football team. Instead, Howard, who according to court reports kicked a hanger into the victim's rectum, will most likely be given 300 hours of community service and two or three years probation. If he abides by his probation and doesn't commit a new crime, the charges can be dismissed from his record.

According to the Times-News, Howard submitted an Alfred plea, which allows him to maintain his innocence while acknowledging had the case gone to trial, the jury would've had enough evidence to convict. Howard could've faced life in prison on a previous felony charge of forcible sexual penetration by a foreign object, but instead pled guilty to a lesser felony count of injury to a child.

Deputy Attorney General Casey Hemmer offered a detailed explanation of Howard's considerably lesser punishment last week, and Hemmer also told Judge Randy Stoker that while the victim suffered and Howard's actions were vile and reprehensible, somehow this doesn't fall under the guidelines of a sex crime, which means Howard doesn't have to register as a sex offender.

“We don’t believe it’s appropriate for Mr. Howard to suffer the consequences of a sex offender,” Hemmer said. “But he still needs to be held accountable.”

Despite the outcome in the court, a $10 million civil lawsuit filed by the victim is making its way through the U.S. District Court. It claims the locker room attack was the final straw after “severe and pervasive harassment, racial discrimination, mental and physical assault and battery.” The civil suit claims Howard humped and taunted the victim, forced him to learn a Klu Klux Klan song while displaying a Confederate flag, knocking him unconscious during a football camp and coaches and players allegedly formed a circle and cheered using language such as "Kool-Aid, chicken-eater, watermelon and n****r."

 

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Jharrel Jerome attends the Netflix FYSEE Scene Stealer Panel at Raleigh Studios on May 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Jharrel Jerome Earns First Emmy Nomination For "When They See Us"

Jharrel Jerome's powerful performance in When They See Us has earned the actor an Emmy nomination.

Announced Tuesday (July 16), the nominations were announced by comedians Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken) and D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place) at the Saban Media Center in Los Angeles. Some of the biggest nods were given to HBO's Game of Thrones and FX's critical darling, Pose. Billy Porter landed a Lead Actor in a Drama Series nomination while Viola Davis snagged yet another Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy nod for her role on How To Get Away With Murder. 

But the streaming world also reigned supreme. Jerome earned his first nomination portraying Korey Wise of the Exonerated Five, also known as the Central Park Five for the Netflix film When They See Us. Directed by Ava DuVernay, Wise's performance was a true standout as he highlighted the importance of mental health and Wise's harrowing time in prison for a crime he was falsely accused of. He was also the only character to portray Wise as a youth and adult.

The 21-year-old knows a thing or two about critical acclaim. He previously starred in the Oscar-winning film Moonlight which also took home an Austin Film Critics Association Special Honorary Award, an Ensemble Performance Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award and an MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss.

Check out the full list of nominees below.

Drama Series

“Better Call Saul” (AMC) “Bodyguard” (Netflix) “Game of Thrones” (HBO) “Killing Eve” (AMC/BBC America) “Ozark” (Netflix) “Pose” (FX) “Succession” (HBO) “This Is Us” (NBC)

Comedy Series

“Barry” (HBO) “Fleabag” (Amazon Prime) “The Good Place” (NBC) “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime) “Russian Doll” (Netflix) “Schitt’s Creek” “Veep”

Limited Series

“Chernobyl” (HBO) “Escape at Dannemora” (Showtime) “Fosse/Verdon” (FX) “Sharp Objects” (HBO) “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Television Movie

“Black Mirror” “Bandersnatch” “Brexit” “Deadwood” “KingLear” “MyDinnerWithHerve”

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman (“Ozark”) Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”) Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”) Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) Billy Porter (“Pose”) Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”)

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”) Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”) Laura Linney (“Ozark”) Mandy Moore (“This Is Us”) Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”) Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) Don Cheadle (“Black Monday”) Ted Danson (“The Good Place”) Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”) Bill Hader (“Barry”) Eugene Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”) Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) Natasha Lyonne (“Russian Doll”) Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”) Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”)

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Mahershala Ali (“True Detective”) Benicio Del Toro (“Escape at Dannemora”) Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”) Jared Harris (“Chernobyl”) Jharrel Jerome (“When They See Us”) Sam Rockwell (“Fosse/Verdon”)

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”) Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”) Aunjanue Ellis (“When They See Us”) Joey King (“The Act”) Niecy Nash (“When They See Us”)

Reality Competition

Variety Talk Show

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central) Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS) Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS) Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

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Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

Beyonce's 'Lion King' Soundtrack Features Blue Ivy, Jay-Z, Pharrell And More

Beyonce has unveiled the tracklist for her executive-produced compilation, The Lion King: The Gift, on Tuesday (July 16). Inspired by the film's live-action remake, the soundtrack features a range of artists that will bring their unique voices to the 14-track collection.

Fans will hear the sounds of Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Tierra Whack, Pharrell, 070 Shake, Jay-Z and more. To begin the project's rollout, Beyonce released its lead single, "Spirit," that paid homage to the original film's "Circle of Life" hit melody.

Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records will release The Lion King: The Gift on Friday (July 19). The "Halo" singer, who's starring as Nala opposite Donald Glover's Simba, disclosed the cover art on her website. The motion picture will debut in theaters on Thursday (July 18).

The Lion King: The Gift:

1. Beyoncé: “Bigger” 2. Beyoncé: “Find Your Way Back (Circle of Life)” 3. Tekno, Yemi Alade, Mr. Eazi: “Don’t Jealous Me” 4. Burna Boy: “Ja Ara E” 5. Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar: “The Nile” 6. Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Childish Gambino: “Mood 4 Eva” 7. Salatiel, Pharrell, Beyoncé: “Water” 8. Blue Ivy Carter, SAINt JHN, WizKid, Beyoncé: “Brown Skin Girl” 9. Tiwa Savage, Mr. Eazi: “Keys to the Kingdom” 10. Beyoncé: “Otherside” 11. Beyoncé, Shatta Wale: “Already” 12. Tierra Whack, Beyoncé, Busiswa,  Yemi Alade, Moonchild Sanelly: “My Power” 13. 070 Shake, Jessie Reyez: “Scar” 14. Beyoncé: “Spirit”

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Sean Gallup

Obama Congratulates Woman He Pardoned For Making The Dean's List

When Danielle Metz was 26 years old, she received three life sentences plus another 20 years for drug-related offenses stemming from her husband's cocaine trafficking ring.

Prior to Barack Obama leaving office, he granted clemency to hundreds of men and women behind bars most for non-violent drug-related offenses. Metz was one of the many individuals given a second chance.

A nonprofit-news organization The Hechinger Report reported on Metz since her release, and after being granted clemency, she enrolled in Southern University where she's studying social work. She finished her freshman year with a 3.75 GPA landing her on the Dean's List.

Speaking to The Hechinger Report, Metz attributed her success to the former president."You don't know what you did for me. I'm finally coming into my own. I made the honor roll," Metz said.

Obama got wind of Metz accomplishment and penned a handwritten letter to her congratulating her on success.

"I am so proud of you, and am confident that your example will have a positive impact for others who are looking for a second chance," Obama wrote."Tell your children I say hello, and know that I'm rooting for all of you."

Exciting coda to my @USATODAY / @hechingerreport story about a New Orleans woman going to college after spending half her life in prison: @BarackObama sent her a letter this week! pic.twitter.com/1brbEgaymW

— Casey Parks (@caseyparks) July 11, 2019

Congrats to Metz on her success.

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