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A Playboy centerfold who ignited a backlash of criticism when she secretly snapped a photo of a naked 71-year-old woman in a locker room and posted it online mocking the woman's body is expected to appear in court Wednesday to resolve a criminal charge.

Dani Mathers is planning to show up at a hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court on a misdemeanor charge of invasion of privacy, her lawyer said.

Mathers, 30, has apologized for taking the photo at an LA Fitness club in July and posting it on Snapchat with the caption: "If I can't unsee this then you can't either."

The posting was accompanied by a selfie of Mathers in a tank top with her hand over her mouth as if she's gasping in horror.

The 2015 Playmate of the Year was roundly criticized for the so-called body shaming incident. Mathers said she intended to send the photo privately to a friend and accidentally posted it publicly.

Defense lawyer Dana Cole argued unsuccessfully that the charge should be dismissed because the woman in the photo can't easily be identified.

The victim, who has not been named, is expected to testify if the case goes to trial, said Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney.

Cole said he's hoping to work out a settlement Wednesday. He said prosecutors want a guilty plea and community service on a highway crew. Wilcox said no plea deal has been offered.

Deputy City Attorney Chadd Kim did not return phone and email messages seeking comment, but in court papers said Mathers had shown no remorse and needed to face consequences for her "cruel and criminal act."

The defense has argued for a more lenient outcome, saying in court papers that Mathers has already lost modeling work and a job as a radio host. They have recommended she use her notoriety to bring attention to the issue of body shaming.


The Supreme Court's ruling that two North Carolina congressional districts relied too heavily on race should give voting-rights advocates a potent tool to fight other electoral maps drawn to give Republicans an advantage in the state.

The justices agreed Monday with a federal court that had struck down two congressional districts as illegally race-based. Because those districts were already redrawn for the 2016 election, the ruling doesn't require immediate changes from North Carolina. But it looms large in other battles unfolding over voting districts there and elsewhere.

Also pending before the high court is a separate challenge to North Carolina state House and Senate districts that have helped the GOP cement veto-proof majorities in both chambers.

A lawyer challenging the General Assembly districts said legislative mapmakers used similar reasoning to defend the congressional and legislative maps, so Monday's ruling bolsters her cause.

"It's abundantly clear that what the state of North Carolina did in drawing its legislative districts cannot withstand constitutional muster," Anita Earls of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice said in a phone interview.

In the case Earls is arguing, a federal court had previously thrown out 28 state House and Senate districts as illegal racial gerrymanders. But earlier this year the Supreme Court temporarily halted an order to redraw those legislative districts. The justices could act on the challenge to the state districts as early as next week.

In recent years, the Supreme Court has ruled for civil rights groups and black voters in challenges to political districts in Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia.

A Democratic group led by former Attorney General Eric Holder is focusing on redistricting challenges to counter political gains Republicans have made since the 2010 census and the redrawing of electoral districts that followed.



An Ohio Supreme Court justice who’s mulling a run for governor thinks it’s time for the state to decriminalize marijuana.

Justice William O’Neill, the lone Democrat holding an Ohio statewide office, said making marijuana legal is working in Colorado and doing it in Ohio would bring hundreds of millions of dollars in sales taxes.

O’Neill announced earlier this year that he’s considering stepping down and making a run for governor, but he doesn’t plan on making a decision until the end of the year.

In a speech mixed with his analysis of last year’s presidential election and thoughts about problems facing the state, O’Neill said he not only wants to legalize marijuana but also release all non-violent marijuana offenders from prison.

Doing those two things would generate an estimated $350 million to both combat drug addiction and create a mental health network run by the state, he told members of the Wayne County Democratic Party on Friday night.

“The time has come for new thinking,” O’Neill said in his prepared remarks. “We regulate and tax alcohol and tobacco and imprison people for smoking grass.”

He said the Democratic Party needs new ideas in 2018 if it wants to knock off Republicans who control all branches of Ohio government.

O’Neill wants to see the Ohio Department of Mental Health re-open the network of state hospitals that were closed decades ago and change how the state deals with addiction.

“Treat addiction like the disease it is in the name of compassion,” he said.

There’s already a crowded field lining up on both sides of the governor’s race.

For the Democrats, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, former state Rep. Connie Pillich and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni are making runs.

The field on the Republican side includes U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and Secretary of State Jon Husted while Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Attorney General Mike DeWine are widely expected to seek the GOP nomination.



The U.S. imposed a new round of sanctions on high-level Venezuelan officials, this time targeting eight Supreme Court judges that Washington accused of damaging their nation's democracy by steadily stripping the opposition-controlled congress of any authority.

The executive order issued Thursday marked the second time the U.S. has sanctioned leaders of Venezuela's socialist government since Donald Trump became president this year. In February, the U.S. announced it was freezing the assets of Vice President Tareck El Aissami, accusing him of playing a major role in international drug trafficking.

Those blacklisted under the latest decree include Maikel Moreno, the president of the government-packed Supreme Court, as well as all seven justices who signed a ruling in late March nullifying congress. The ruling was later partially reversed amid a surge of international criticism, but it sparked a protest movement that has seen almost daily street demonstrations for nearly two months — sometimes violent unrest that recorded its 45th death Thursday.

"By imposing these targeted sanctions, the United States is supporting the Venezuelan people in their efforts to protect and advance democratic governance in their country," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez decried the U.S. sanctions on Twitter as "outrageous and unacceptable." She said the order was one more example of U.S. attempts to destabilize Venezuela's government, adding that Maduro strongly backs the Supreme Court magistrates who are "victims of U.S. imperial power."

Trump's administration has repeatedly raised concerns that Maduro is moving toward one-party, authoritarian rule. Earlier Thursday, the U.S. leader expressed dismay about Venezuela's troubles, asking aloud how a nation holding the world's largest oil reserves could be stricken by so much poverty and turmoil.



The brother of one of eight victims of an unsolved southern Ohio massacre has appeared in court for a hearing on evidence-tampering and vandalism charges over allegations he destroyed a GPS tracking device.

Forty-year-old James Manley, of Peebles, appeared in Pike County Court on the felony charges Wednesday. A judge set an $80,000 bond. Court records don't indicate if Manley has an attorney.

Investigators trying to solve the slayings placed the tracking device on Manley's truck last month. Manley was jailed after turning himself in on Tuesday.

Manley's sister, Dana Rhoden, was among the eight members of the Rhoden family killed in April 2016. They were found shot at four homes near Piketon, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Columbus. No arrests have been made in the slayings.


A Danish court on Tuesday convicted a teenage girl of attempted terrorism for planning bomb attacks against two schools.

Holbaek District Court judge Peder Christensen says the 17-year-old, who wasn't identified, was also convicted of assaulting an employee in the juvenile incarceration facility where she had been held during the trial.

Christensen said the girl had converted to Islam and intended to carry out attacks, including one on a Jewish school, when she was 15. He said she possessed chemicals to make the explosive known as TATP. It also appeared she had online contacts with radical militants.

The teenager was arrested Jan. 13, 2016. The court said the bombings were not carried out because she was arrested before she could take action, and that she had not received any orders to blow up her former school, Holbaek, 65 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Copenhagen, and Copenhagen's Jewish Caroline School.

Her lawyer, Mette Gritt Stage, had said her client had been bullied at school and is a confused teenager seeking attention.

After the guilty ruling, Stage said her client "was very, very saddened."

Three letters were found in her cell in late April and read in court. In one, the teenager wrote that she deliberately didn't wear a headscarf "to fool the disbelievers" to think she had not converted to Islam.

In another letter to a Danish-Turkish man who had been sentenced to six years in prison and had his Danish citizenship stripped off for joining radical Islamic State militants in Syria, she wrote that she stabbed the employee in the incarceration facility because he had been a soldier in Iraq, adding "I couldn't accept this."

The court is expected to announce sentencing on Thursday. Prosecutors are requesting her incarceration at a mental institution.


The Supreme Court declined to hear a case Monday about North Carolina's voter ID law, allowing a lower court ruling holding that the law was passed with "discriminatory intent" to prevail.

The Supreme Court's denial of the case means a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that struck down the law will stand.

In explaining the high court's decision not to take the case, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the new governor and attorney general that took office in January 2017 moved to dismiss North Carolina's petition. Roberts also pointed out the "blizzard of filings over who is and who is not authorized to seek review in this Court under North Carolina law."

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