The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

January 2012 Archives

Alex Da Silva of 'So You Think You Can Dance' Sentenced for Rape

So you think you can rape and get away with it? Think again.

Alex Da Silva, one of the choreographers for the FOX television show “So You Think You Can Dance,” was sentenced to 10 years in prison for rape and assault with intent to commit rape on Friday, reports KTLA News.

The sentence stems from Da Silva’s convictions connected with the rape of a 22-year-old woman in 2002 and the attempted rape of a 25-year-old woman in August 2009. Both were either dancers or aspiring dancers who allegedly met Da Silva in his dance classes.

Dad Gets Restraining Order Against Son's Knife-Wielding Classmate

A Riverside father has obtained a temporary restraining order against his son’s fourth grade classmate because the boy allegedly pulled a knife on his son, reports KTLA News. It may be the first temporary restraining order of its kind to be granted.

Robert Casteel contacted police after his 10-year-old son Christopher told him his classmate threatened him with a knife on January 11 at Mission Bell Elementary School. Casteel claimed he had tried to contact the school’s principal before contacting authorities, but could not reach her because she was on a conference call.

Alexis Neiers' Sister 'Pretty Wild' Too? Arrested for Drugs

Tess Taylor, the equally-troubled sister of convicted thief and heroin user, Alexis Neiers, was arrested earlier this month on a felony drug charge, reports TMZ.

Taylor was allegedly in possession of a controlled substance and placed into custody on January 9. She was reportedly held on $10,000 bail and released two days later.

Taylor is a model and former cast member of the reality TV show “Pretty Wild,” publicized as “an unfiltered look at Hollywood via three sisters whose jaw-dropping looks and unstructured upbringing make them magnets for Tinseltown’s temptations.”

Cal. Supreme Court Tackles Medical Marijuana Dispensary Law

Tackling an issue that many residents in the Los Angeles are familiar with, the California Supreme Court announced it will review city and county regulations banning medical marijuana dispensaries, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Several cities in and near the Los Angeles area have previously weighed in on the issue, with one of the most recent decisions coming from an Orange County Superior Court judge allowing Anaheim to ban the pot dispensaries.

Department of Justice Expands Definition of Rape

A month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly one in five American women has been raped at least once, the Department of Justice has significantly expanded the definition of sexual assault.

The new definition will now include several forms of sexual assault, such as oral penetration, and male rape, according to The Washington Post.

The antiquated definition of sexual assault referred only to the "carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will," according to The Post.

Sex for McNuggets? LA Woman Arrested for Prostitution for Snack

McDonald's Chicken McNuggets are arguably among the most popular items on the mega-fast-food chain's menu, but are they so good someone would trade sexual favors for them?

A Los Angeles woman was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of prostitution for allegedly offering strangers the illegal trade of sex for nuggets, reports the Los Angeles Times.

A customer reported Khadijah Baseer to the Burbank Police Department for allegedly opening customers' car doors to offer her services at the McDonald's on Olive Avenue. She was subsequently arrested for prostitution.

El Camino High Soccer Player Shot to Death at Winnetka Home

A high school soccer player was tragically shot to death in front of his Winnetka home on Wednesday night, reports KTLA News.

Seventeen-year-old Francisco Rodriquez, a senior at El Camino High School, was returning from a soccer game when the suspect was approached by a teenage girl at his home, according to witnesses. The girl then reportedly lured Rodriguez to his front yard where she shot him several times. Rodriguez later died at the hospital.

Fake Walmart Worker Walks Out of Store with 4 TVs

In the movies, brazen thieves typically hide their identities with costume masks of presidents or clowns. In real life, one clever thief decided to go a little more inconspicuous as a Walmart worker, allowing him to stroll out of the Palmdale store with four flat screen TVs, reports CBS Los Angeles.

The daring stunt occurred during New Year's Eve when stores were packed with last-minute shoppers. The suspect reportedly dressed as a Walmart greeter, wearing everything from the signature blue vest to a name badge, according to investigators who believe they caught the thief on tape.

Griffin O'Neal, Son of Actor Ryan O'Neal, Arrested for Battery

Actor Ryan O’Neal’s brood is once again making headlines for troubles with the law.

Griffin O’Neal was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic battery on New Year’s Eve and spent the first day of 2012 in jail, according to U-T San Diego.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to his San Diego home after receiving reports of a drunken disturbance at the residence from a family member. Deputies determined O’Neal was being aggressive towards his wife and arrested him, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Melissa Aquino.

UC, UCLA Professor Face Felony Charges for Fatal Lab Fire

The 2008 death of a 23-year-old UCLA research assistant in a freak laboratory fire may have been preventable, and the Los Angeles County district attorney's office means to hold those involved responsible.

The district attorney's office filed felony charges against the University of California and a UCLA chemistry professor in connection with Sheharbano Sangji's death, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Both Professor Patrick Harran and the University of California were charged with three counts of willfully violating occupational health and safety standards. Harran faces up to four-and-a-half years in state prison, while UCLA could be fined up to $1.5 million on each of the three counts.

LAPD Arrest Suspected Arsonist in Connection with 53 Fires

LAPD announced they have a suspected arsonist in custody who may have set dozens of fires in the Los Angeles area, reports NBC Los Angeles.

Harry Burkhart, a 24-year-old German citizen, was reportedly upset over his mother's deportation, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The suspected arsonist is believed to be connected with at least 53 fires that have been reported since Thursday. Eleven fires were reported on Monday morning alone, and the majority of them were started in the city of Los Angeles. The property damage by the fires is expected to cost millions.