LOS ANGELES — An Olympic gold medalist and youth boxing coach in East Los Angeles pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he molested one of his students and possessed child pornography.

Paul Gonzales, 53, was charged this month with eight felony counts, including four counts of committing lewd acts upon a 13-year-old girl, prosecutors said. His bail has been set at $545,000.

Prosecutors say Gonzales groomed one of his young students and molested her before a family member reported the misconduct in December.

Gonzales won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. He’s been a boxing coach for the last 10 years at the Eddie Heredia Boxing Club, which is operated by the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department.

He was arrested Dec. 29 and is being held at Men’s Central Jail. He was still employed by the county at the time he was first charged but was no longer being paid, said Terry Kanakri, a spokesman for the parks agency.

The victim was molested between May 1 and Aug. 9 of last year, according to Gonzales’ felony complaint.

Gonzales coached youths 8 to 19 years old, said Lt. Todd Deeds of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau. At any given time there are 40 boys and 15 girls enrolled in the boxing club’s programs, he said.

—Los Angeles Times


He was told he wasn’t cutting a cake correctly. Then the assault allegedly occurred.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky man was arrested for domestic assault and assaulting a police officer after an argument involving cutting a cake.

Charles Piehl, 45, was cutting portion of a cake for family when he was told by a female relative that the slices were too big, according to court records. They began to argue, and Piehl allegedly slammed the woman to the ground and then placed her son in a choke hold, records show.

The Grayson County Sheriff’s Department was called, and a deputy ordered Piehl to place his hand on his head, but he instead went to light a cigarette, according to Piehl’s arrest report. The deputy removed the cigarette from Piehl’s mouth, and Piehl then turned toward the officer and pushed him, court records show.

After being pushed, the deputy used a stun gun Piehl, who kicked the deputy twice while on the ground.

Piehl was handcuffed and taken to the Grayson County jail, where he was charged with assault of a police officer, domestic assault, endangering the welfare of a minor, menacing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

—Lexington Herald-Leader


Bay Area man charged with felony after allegedly saying toddler was ‘sexy’

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — A homeless man who allegedly asked a father if he could touch his 2-year-old daughter and later told an officer he thought the girl was “sexy” has pleaded not guilty to one felony count of annoying or molesting a child, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

The alleged encounter occurred Monday near the Redwood City Main Library. The suspect, identified as 46-year-old David Lewis, was rummaging through trash cans when the father and daughter walked past him.

Prosecutors said Lewis asked the father if he could touch his daughter. The father told him “no” and called Redwood City police.

Lewis allegedly told an officer, “I thought the little girl was cute and wanted to touch her,” and as they were walking to the officer’s patrol car, he spontaneously said, “I was thinking about sex a little bit. She’s sexy.”

Lewis was previously convicted of a misdemeanor count of annoying or molesting a child, which opened the door for prosecutors to charge the new alleged crime as a felony, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

“This conduct is criminal because his words were sexual in nature,” Wagstaffe said about the current case.

—The Mercury News


Scientists move ‘Doomsday Clock’ closer to midnight

WASHINGTON — The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight for the second year in a row, declaring the world to be “two minutes to midnight.”

The clock hasn’t been so close to midnight since 1953, the year the United States and the Soviet Union reached significant milestones in their development of nuclear weapons.

The announcement Thursday in Washington followed the scientific advocacy group’s action a year ago to move the clock from three minutes to 2 { minutes to midnight. Every move closer to midnight implies a step closer to the apocalypse, says the group.

“To call the world’s nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger and its immediacy,” said Rachel Bronson, president of the group.

She cited the “lack of predictability in how the United States is thinking about the future and future use of its own nuclear weapons, an unpredictability that is embodied in statements and tweets by the president of the United States.”

Other problems included: the lack of negotiations to advance arms control and nuclear non-proliferation; North Korea’s weapons testing; Russian nuclear posture; and “an enhanced commitment to nuclear weapons in Pakistan, India and China,” Bronson said.

A year ago, the Bulletin cited the “ill-considered” comments about expanding the U.S. nuclear arsenal by President Donald Trump, then newly sworn into office, as one of the reasons for moving the clock.

This year, the scientists urge Trump to “refrain from provocative rhetoric regarding North Korea,” said Sharon Squassoni, a professor at George Washington University and member of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ board.



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