+

Update: Thanks to the media and advocacy groups shedding light on this miscarriage of justice, Judge Corey was voted out by the people of Alaska in November 2018. It was the first time an Alaska judge was removed from the bench due to public outcry. High five, reporters and citizens! This is how we work together to make a difference.

Trigger warning: sexual assault and everything wrong with our effed up justice system.

It’s a story that so defies justice as to be laughable—if there was anything funny about kidnapping, strangling, and sexual assault.


The story goes like this: In August of 2017, Justin Schneider approached a native Alaskan woman who was looking for a ride at a gas station. The 33-year-old husband and father introduced himself as “Dan” and claimed to know the woman. She accepted the ride.

Schneider drove away with her, pulled over to the side of the road, and told her to get out of the car so he could load some things. Shortly after she exited the vehicle, he tackled her to the ground, told her he'd kill her if she screamed, strangled her until she was unconscious, then masturbated on her.

Yes. He did. Go ahead and take a moment.

After the woman regained consciousness, Schneider handed her a tissue, I assume because that's the gentlemanly thing to do after attempting to murder a woman and jacking off over her.

Wait, sorry—he allegedly wasn’tattempting to murder her. According to police detective Brett Sarber, Schneider told the woman that he wasn’t really going to kill her—he just needed her to believe she was going to die so that he could be “sexually fulfilled.”

You read that right.

What this man did is shocking, disgusting, horrifying, and true. But he pled guilty, so he gets no jail time. WHAT?!

If the story itself isn’t enough to make your brain explode, the miscarriage of justice that came afterward will.

This incident happened more than a year ago, and during that time Schneider has been living under house arrest. Not in jail, but at home, with his family.

A grand jury indicted Schneider on four felony counts including kidnapping, assault, harassment, and “offensive contact with fluids.” But because we live in the Upside Down and nothing makes sense, Schneider was able to make a plea deal with the state, which somehow made it so that this man—who kidnapped a woman and strangled her unconscious so he could masturbate on her—will serve no jail time.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Corey sentenced Schneider to two years, but with a year suspended and credit for the year he served under house arrest. That means that as long as he doesn’t violate his probation conditions, he’s essentially a free man.

But don’t worry! The judge told him not to do it again, so clearly he won't.

After the judgment was passed down, Judge Corey looked Schneider right in the eye and said, “This can never happen again.”

Um, duh. Shouldn’t it have never happened at all? Isn’t this what we have a justice system for? To dispense justice for heinous things that people have already done?

The court is treating this as if it were some kind of accidental, one-time slip-up. As Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannik said, “I would like the gentleman to be on notice that that is his one pass . . .” Sorry, his one pass??? Grannik also argued that Schneider losing his job as an air traffic controller over the charges is already a “life sentence.”

Did I mention that Schneider doesn’t have to register as a sex offender, because apparently kidnapping and choking a woman half to death so you can get your jollies off isn’t considered a sexual offense?

Are you feeling a rage aneurysm coming on? Because I’m feeling a rage aneurysm coming on.

Every single thing about this case and the outcome is a travesty. But unfortunately, it’s not surprising.

We learned in the Brock Turner case that white men who attack women can be given a pass by white judges who either don’t understand the impact of sexual assault on women or don’t care. We also know that kidnapping, assault, and murder of indigenous women is a tragic epidemic that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

And yes, race matters in this case. Can you even imagine what this verdict would look like if a black or native man had been the perpetrator and the victim was a white woman? Please.

Our justice system is seriously effed up, partially because of the way laws are written and partially because of the people in the system. I mean, check out this eerily polite exchange between Judge Corey and Schneider at the conclusion of the trial:

“I would just like to, um, emphasize how grateful I am for this process,” Schneider said in court. “It has given me a year to really work on myself and become a better person and a better husband and a better father. And I’m very eager to continue that journey.”

“All right. Thank you, sir,” the judge replied. “I appreciate those comments.”

Isn’t that just a lovely exchange? How nice that the "process" since Schneider chose to kidnap and strangle and sexually assault a woman has been so helpful to him. No mention of the victim, who now has to live with the trauma of thinking she was going to die while having her body violated. No expression of remorse for his actions. Schneider clearly just needed to "work on himself" like the rest of us, that’s all. This was just a normal step in a normal man’s self-help journey, not the sick and twisted actions of a psycho predator sexual deviant.

And hey, Judge Corey? You do not say, “Thank you, sir” to a man who kidnapped a woman, strangled her unconscious, and then masturbated on her. You just don’t. I can't even believe that needs to be said.

It is looong past time to recall every judge who dispenses slaps on the wrist for violence against women. Buh-bye, old white dudes. Your time is up.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

Keep ReadingShow less

Moms don't have to be hard to shop for. Here are gifts she'll love.

True

Every year, moms put on their elf hats and become Santa's helpers. They shop for and wrap the family's presents, cook the holiday meal, organize the crafts and even set out cookies for the big guy. They're so busy making the holiday season magical for their family that oftentimes they don't get any time to rest.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

A tiger at the Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary and a mugshot of Joe Exotic from Santa Rosa County Jail.

Netflix’s “Tiger King” will go down in history as the collective distraction that helped America get through the dark, depressing days of early COVID-19 lockdowns. The show followed the true story of the feud between private zoo owner Joe Exotic, the self-described “gay, gun-carrying, redneck with a mullet,” and Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue.

Exotic is currently serving out a 21-year prison sentence for animal rights abuses and hiring someone to kill Baskin.

The show was a raucous look inside the world of big cat owners and brought a lot of attention to the animal abuse that runs rampant in the industry. The light it shed on the industry was so bright it led Congress to take action. The Senate unanimously passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act on December 6. The House had already passed the bill in July.

The White House has signaled that President Biden will sign the bill into law.

Keep ReadingShow less