Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is under fire as accusations of sexual misconduct cloud what was expected to be a simple nomination process. >> Read more trending news The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to hold a hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday, in which a woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers will testify about the alleged incident. >> Related: Brett Kavanaugh nomination: When is the hearing? What happens next? Another woman came forward Sunday to accuse the Supreme Court nominee of sexual misconduct during a drunken party in a dorm room when they were both freshmen at Yale University. Here are the latest updates: Update 3:55 p.m. EDT Sept. 24: In a letter released Monday by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, Christine Blasey Ford reiterated her commitment to testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about an encounter she said she had with Kavanaugh when they were teenagers. Ford, a professor at California’s Palo Alto University, told The Washington Post earlier this month that Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party in the 1980s. “While I am frightened, please know, my fear will not hold me back from testifying and you will be provided with answers to all of your questions,” Ford said in the letter, which was dated Saturday. “I ask for fair and respectful treatment.” Ford said she contacted her congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eshoo, after she learned Kavanaugh was on the short-list for consideration for nomination to the Supreme Court. “My original intent was first and foremost to be a helpful citizen – in a confidential way that would minimize collateral damage to all families and friends involved,” Ford wrote. “I thought that knowledge of his actions could be useful for you and those in charge of choosing among the various candidates.” Ford said she later contacted one of her senators, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein. Update 3:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 24: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Democrats for “aiding and abetting” in what he called a “shameful, shameful smear campaign” against Kavanaugh. 'Senate Democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations,' McConnell said Monday from the Senate floor. Update 2:15 p.m. EDT Sept. 24: In a letter addressed Monday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh called the allegations against him “smears, pure and simple.” “They debase our public discourse,' Kavanaugh wrote. 'They are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination -- if allowed to succeed -- will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.' At least two women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in incidents that happened three decades ago. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at California’s Palo Alto University, told The Washington Post earlier this month that Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when they were teenagers in the 1980s. The New Yorker reported Sunday that Deborah Ramirez, 53, said Kavanaugh made unwanted advances during a drunken party at a dormitory during the 1983-84 school year, when they were both attending Yale University. 'I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,' Kavanaugh wrote Monday. 'The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.' >> Read the full letter from Kavanaugh to the Senate Judiciary Committee Kavanaugh and Ford are expected to appear Thursday for an open hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Update 9:10 a.m. EDT Sept. 24: President Donald Trump reiterated his support of Kavanaugh on Monday, telling reporters that the judge is “an outstanding person, and I am with him all the way.” >> Related: Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court? “I think it could be, there’s a chance that this could be, one of the single-most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate to happen for anything, but I am with Judge Kavanaugh and I look forward to the vote,” Trump told reporters at the United Nations in New York. “People who come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and never mentioned it, all of the sudden it happens. In my opinion it’s totally political.” Update 2:24 a.m. EDT Sept. 24: The White House on Sunday again defended President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Kavanaugh after new allegations surfaced. Earlier Sunday, The New Yorker reported reported that Deborah Ramirez, 53, said Kavanaugh made unwanted advances during a drunken party at a dorm during the 1983-84 school year while they both attended Yale. “This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: White House denounces ‘smear campaign’ against Kavanaugh Meanwhile, attorney Michael Avenatti, who recently made headlines as porn star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, “claimed to represent a woman with information about high school-era parties attended by Kavanaugh,” The Associated Press reported. He told the AP that he would reveal more details, including the client’s identity, in the next few days and later clarified that his client is not Ramirez. Update 8:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 23: An unredacted letter of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Brett Kavanaugh has been released. Update 8:05 p.m. EDT Sept. 23: Officials are looking into another sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Deborah Ramirez, 53, said Kavanuagh made unwanted advances toward her during a drunken party at a dorm during the 1983-84 school year, while they both attended Yale, The New Yorker reported. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: White House denounces ‘smear campaign’ against Kavanaugh “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so,” Kavanuagh wrote in a statement, The New Yorker reported. “This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name -- and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building -- against these last-minute allegations.” Update 1:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 23: The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed that a public hearing will be held Thursday on a sexual assault claim made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to The Associated Press. >> Related: Who is Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser? Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford said Sunday in a statement that their client will testify in an open hearing Thursday morning, CNN reported. The statement -- from attorneys Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich -- came after a call with staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sunday, CNN reported. Original report: Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify next week in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ford’s lawyers said in a statement released Saturday afternoon. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had previously said the committee would hold a hearing Monday on allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh unless a last-ditch effort to negotiate with Ford and her attorneys was reached by 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Grassley had extended the deadline multiple times as both sides negotiated the details of Ford’s possible appearance before the committee. In a new development reported by NBC Saturday morning, Garrett Ventry, a GOP communications aide and adviser who has helped coordinate the party’s messaging amid Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh has resigned. Ventry allegedly was fired from a previous job due to a sexual harassment allegation, NBC reported. Ventry denied any misconduct. >> Related: Trump casts doubt on Kavanaugh accuser: 'Very hard for me to imagine anything happened' “Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events. Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay,” Grassley said in a statement earlier this week. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Republicans press for Kavanaugh vote if accuser won't testify California college professor Christine Blasey Ford said she was assaulted by a drunk Brett Kavanaugh at a party in the early 1980s when the two were still in high school. Another person, Mark Judge, was present at the time, but Judge has refused to testify about what happened in a bedroom when the three were present. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, saying the incident never happened. “It would be a disservice to Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, this committee and the American people to delay this hearing any further,” Grassley said, according to media reports. >> Related: Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford wants FBI investigation before testifying in Senate Ford’s attorney, Lisa Banks, said the professor is willing to testify, but believes a “full, non-partisan investigation” is needed first. >> Related: Trump: FBI shouldn't investigate Kavanaugh allegation “The committee’s stated plan to move forward with a hearing that has only two witnesses is not a fair or good-faith investigation; there are multiple witnesses whose names have appeared publicly and should be included in any proceedings,” Banks said. Late Friday, Grassley set a Saturday afternoon deadline for Ford to decide whether she’ll testify next week.
A school bus carrying children ran over an embankment in a construction zone in Mars, Pennsylvania, and landed on its side. >> Read more trending news Police and emergency responders are on the scene, according to WPXI-TV, and multiple injuries have been reported. At least four people were receiving treatment at the scene for minor injuries, according to officials with the Mars Area School District, who also confirmed 41 students were on the bus at time of the accident. Here’s the statement the district issued after the accident. “Mars Area School District School Bus #4 was involved in a single vehicle accident on Route 228 at approximately 3 p.m. today (Monday, Sept. 24). As per District procedure, 911 was immediately called and emergency responders were dispatched to the scene. All students are being examined by emergency medical personnel. Some minor injuries were reported. The District is contacting the parents of all students who were on the bus at the time of the accident directly. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.” Mars is located between Pittsburgh and Butler in southern Butler County. Check back for more on this developing story.
A man who authorities say amassed the largest stockpile of child pornography in Pennsylvania history has been sentenced to 100 years in federal prison. Lawrence “Larry” Jamieson Jr., 59, of Malvern, was sentenced last week on charges related to the sexual abuse of a young girl, the manufacture of hundreds of sexually explicit videos and photos of the abuse and his collection of child porn that he downloaded from the internet. The U.S. attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania said Jamieson’s collection, which he began 15 years ago, contained “some of the most demented images imaginable” of young children enduring sexual abuse. “Jamieson is the worst of the worst type of criminal -- a child predator who derives satisfaction from abusing society’s must vulnerable members,” U.S. Attorney William McSwain said in a statement. “The details in this case are horrific. This defendant amassed a collection of child pornography that exceeded 14.4 million images, reportedly the largest collection in Pennsylvania. “And on top of that, he concocted and carried out a plan to sexually abuse a child within his care -- someone he knew was susceptible to his influence. For more than 18 months, Jamieson and his co-defendant repeatedly lied to his victim and engaged in an unconscionable course of sexual abuse and exploitation.” >> Read more trending news McSwain’s staff reported that Jamieson targeted a girl who he knew was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. She also has other learning disabilities and mental health issues. “He targeted this underage girl by first recruiting another adult male to pose as a teenaged boy so that they could dupe the victim into believing he was her boyfriend and gain her trust,” McSwain said in a news release. “The ‘boyfriend’ then engaged her in sexual activity, photographed and videotaped her, and distributed the videos and images back to Jamieson. Her images were also distributed out to others over the internet.” The girl was 15 and 16 at the time of the abuse. The Daily Local News in Exton reported that the sexual assault victim is now 19 and living with her mother. She has trouble eating and sleeping and cannot forget the images of her that were distributed over the internet. “She is completely broken,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Rotella told the newspaper. “She just feels like she can’t move forward.” Jamieson, who pleaded guilty on the charges in September 2017, apologized to the court, the girl and her mother and to his own family during his sentencing hearing, the Daily Local News reported. He is part of a well-known and respected family in Philadelphia’s Main Line community. His late father, Larry Jamieson Sr., was a successful insurance agent and once served as a member of Downingtown Borough Council. Jamieson’s mother owns a well-known interior design business in Haverford, the newspaper reported. WPVI in Philadelphia reported that Jamieson and his accomplice, John Brown, of Norristown, were arrested in August 2016 after the Willistown Police Department received a complaint about the sexual abuse. Police officials said at the time that Jamieson and Brown convinced the victim that Brown, 23, was a 17-year-old cyber school student. Brown changed his appearance to look younger, the news station said. Once he began abusing the girl, Jamieson also joined in. “Even after decades of serving in law enforcement, the scope and nature of these crimes are staggering,” Willistown Township Police Chief John Narcise said in a statement obtained by the news station. “I have never seen as large a trove of child pornography in the history of Chester County, and the rest of the conduct is unspeakable. I do not know what kind of a depraved mind could possibly enjoy this sickening abuse of innocent children.' Rotella said prosecutors are pleased with Jamieson’s sentence. “He will never be getting out (of prison) again,” she told the Daily Local News. “He is just a true predator and, if he had ever been released, it is a virtual certainty that he would have victimized someone else.” Brown, now 27, has also pleaded guilty to similar charges and is scheduled for sentencing later this year, the newspaper reported.