El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

Evelyn Hernandez (C) is surrounded by activists after being released from the women's Readaptation Center, in Ilopango, El Salvador, on February 9, 2019, where she was serving a 30-year-sentence for aggravated homicide after her baby died at birth. (AFP)
Updated 16 February 2019
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El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

  • Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR: A Salvadoran court on Friday freed Evelyn Hernandez, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she gave birth to a stillborn baby at home.
After serving 33 months for aggravated homicide, 20-year-old Hernandez smiled as she was reunited with her parents and a brother in the capital San Salvador.
The court in Cojutepeque, east of the capital, ruled that she will be retried but while living at home. A hearing has been set for April 4, with a new judge, her lawyer Angelica Rivas said.
El Salvador has an extremely strict abortion ban. Hernandez gave birth in the makeshift bathroom of her home in the central Cuscatlan region. She was 18 years old and eight months pregnant.
She said her son was stillborn but was convicted of murdering him, abortion rights group ACDATEE said.
ACDATEE cited a pathologist’s report which it said indicated the baby had choked to death while still in the womb.
Prosecutors argued Hernandez was culpable for not having sought prenatal care, ACDATEE said.
The group said Hernandez had not known she was pregnant and gave birth on the toilet after feeling abdominal pains. She got pregnant as the result of a rape, which she did not report out of fear because her family had been threatened.
Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador. Campaigners say some have been jailed after suffering miscarriages.
The country’s abortion law made international headlines in 2013 when a sick woman was forbidden from aborting a fetus which developed without a brain.
Under a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Salvadoran state eventually authorized her to undergo a cesarean section. The baby died shortly after the procedure.


Former manager of Marvel’s Stan Lee arrested for elder abuse

Updated 26 May 2019
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Former manager of Marvel’s Stan Lee arrested for elder abuse

  • Keya Morgan “will go before a judge and eventually (be) extradited to Los Angeles to face charges”
  • Lee died last November at the age of 95 after suffering multiple illnesses over the years

LOS ANGELES: Late Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee’s former manager was arrested in Arizona on Saturday in connection with allegations of elder abuse, fraud, theft and false imprisonment, Los Angeles police said.
Keya Morgan “will go before a judge and eventually (be) extradited to Los Angeles to face charges,” according to a statement released by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Lee, who revolutionized pop culture as the co-creator of iconic superheroes such as Spider-Man and Black Panther, died last November at the age of 95 after suffering multiple illnesses over the years, and had been the victim in an elder abuse investigation that began in March 2018.
His former attorney, Tom Lallas, last year sought a restraining order against Morgan, claiming that the 43-year-old was a “memorabilia collector who inserted himself into Mr. Lee’s life as his caregiver” and isolated him from his loved ones.
Lallas accused Morgan of exploiting Lee, who he said was exhibiting signs of short-term memory loss and impaired judgment, amid a struggle over the comic-book mogul’s fortune, estimated at over $50 million.
In addition to issuing the restraining order, Los Angeles authorities also arrested Morgan last year for making false calls to 911, alleging that Lee’s life was in danger.
Police say he made the calls in order to convince Lee to leave his Hollywood Hills residence and move to a secured condo in Beverly Hills last June so he would be isolated and under Morgan’s control.
Police also accuse Morgan of stealing, including by staging autograph signing sessions worth $262,000 — money that never made it into Lee’s coffers.
Following last year’s restraining order, Morgan told TMZ that he had “taken great care of Stan Lee for the past many years, and... never had a problem directly with Stan.”
“I will 100 percent prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the allegations against me are false,” he said at the time. “The truth will come out.”