He raped an 11-year-old girl who got chlamydia and received no jail time.
Joseph Meili via Alik / Twitter

Joseph Meili

In 2018, Upworthy reported on a disturbing story out of Alaska where a man kidnapped, strangled, and masturbated on a woman and received no jail time.

In August of 2017, Justin Schneider picked up a native Alaskan woman who needed a ride. Later, he pulled over to the side of the road, and told her to get out of the car so he could load some things. Then, he tackled her to the ground, strangled her until she was unconscious, and then mastrubated on her.

A grand jury indicted Schneider on four felony counts including kidnapping, assault, harassment, and "offensive contact with fluids." However, in a grave miscarriage of justice, Schneider struck a plea deal, and Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Corey sentenced him to a two-year suspended sentence and gave him credit for the year he served under house arrest.

Essentially, as long as Schneider keeps up with the terms of his probation, he serves no time behind bars.


Although Schneider got away with a heinous act, the judge didn't fare so well. In November 2018, Corey was voted off the bench by the people of Alaska.

Now, another white man has struck a plea deal that keeps him out of jail after a heinous act against a female.

Joseph Meili, a 22-year-old Missouri man, plead guilty to molesting an 11-year-old girl, but will receive no jail time.

In 2017, Meili began chatting with the girl over a dating app she accessed on her mother's phone. A few weeks after they began chatting, Meili picked her up and took her to an apartment. According to a probable cause statement, he took off the girl's clothes and raped her.

While the girl was being raped, there was a search party looking for her. She returned home that night and later tested positive for chlamydia and traces of Meili's semen was found in her underwear.

Meili was charged with with child kidnapping, statutory rape, and statutory sodomy. His attorney claimed the girl looked of age and that his client was "catfished" by the girl. "But to actually see her in person... he knew and just decided to go along with it anyway," Elizabeth Fax, the Greene County Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, told HuffPost.

Prosecutors recommended that Meili be sent to prison for a 120-day sex offender program. But that didn't happen.
Instead, Meili struck a deal with Judge Calvin R. Holden in which he admitted to the crime, but will only serve five years of supervised probation. The charges of kidnapping and statutory rape were dismissed.

Holden has a history of leniency against child molesters.

According to The Washington Post, over the past three years, in three similar cases involving minors between the ages of 8 and 16, Holden gave out five-year probation sentences.

"I feel horrible for the victim in this case," Meili's attorney told The Washington Post. But he believes the sentence was fair because, "he's going to be a sex offender for the rest of his life. He's never going to escape this."

What about the girl who was raped at the age of 11?

What you permit, you teach. And the sentence handed down by Judge Holden is a permission slip to would-be rapists to prey upon women because they will be supported by the justice system. It is also a statement that, in the state of Missouri, it's open season on girls because their lives are less important than those who sexually assault them.

One can hope that Judge Holden receives the same fate as Judge Corey of Alaska for being lenient on sexual predators.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less