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Sunday, September 23, 2018
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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) --  Cody Wilson, the controversial 3D gunmaker, was extradited to the United States from Taiwan and appeared in a Texas courtroom Sunday on felony charges of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

The U.S. Marshals Service took custody of Wilson after he arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport escorted by Taiwanese police.

He appeared in a Harris County courtroom in handcuffs and was informed that a warrant had been issued for his arrest in Travis County on the felony offense of sexual assault and advised of his rights to an attorney.

When asked by a judge if he had any questions, Wilson responded, "No."

He was later booked at the Harris County Jail, where he was being held on $150,000 bond.

Wilson told authorities that he will hire his own attorney, but he remained in jail Sunday afternoon and it was unclear if he had retained a lawyer, the Harris County Sheriff's Department said.

Wilson, 30, was arrested on Friday night at a hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, authorities said.

"This was a collaborative effort that demonstrates the dedication of local, state, federal and international officials working together to bring this fugitive to justice," Susan Pamerleau, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas, said in a statement.

Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Wilson on Wednesday in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a minor investigated by the Austin Police Department.

Wilson, who lives in Austin, owns Defense Distributed, which sells blueprints for producing plastic firearms using 3D printers.

Austin police launched an investigation after learning a 16-year-old girl from Central Texas told a counselor she'd had sex with Wilson on Aug. 15 in a local hotel before he paid her $500, according to the arrest warrant affidavit filed Wednesday in Travis County District Court.

Wilson traveled to Taiwan after a friend informed him the victim had spoken to police, Austin Police Cmdr. Troy Officer said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Marshals worked with their Taiwanese counterparts to locate and detain Wilson after he missed a scheduled flight back to the United States, authorities said.

In the arrest warrant affidavit, Austin police said they received a call from a counselor Aug. 22. The counselor reported that a client, a girl under the age of 17, had reported having sex with a 30-year-old man a week before.

On Aug. 27, police were present when staff from the Center for Child Protection interviewed the alleged victim. The girl said she'd met the man on a so-called arrangement dating website and that he'd used the screen name "Sanjuro," according to police.

A search of the girl's cellphone uncovered messages to the site as well as links to messages from "Sanjuro," police said. And, in one message, "Sanjuro" identified himself as Cody Wilson, police said.

Wilson's Texas driver's license picture also matched the "Sanjuro" profile image on the website, police said.

Wilson and the girl met at a coffee shop Aug. 15 and left together in a black Ford Edge, police said. Officials said the vehicle was similar to a 2015 black Ford Edge registered with Wilson's business, Defense Distributed.

Police said Wilson took the girl to the Archer Hotel in Austin, where surveillance footage reviewed by police showed them exiting an elevator on the seventh floor. Hotel records also showed that Wilson was the lone registered guest for room 718 on that date, police said.

Wilson sexually assaulted her and then "retrieved five $100.00 bills from a bag on the floor" and gave her the money, the alleged victim told police, according to the affidavit.

Video showed the two leaving the hotel, the affidavit alleged. Wilson later dropped her off at a Whataburger restaurant, she told authorities.

Wilson could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, authorities told ABC Austin affiliate station KVUE-TV.

In 2013, Wilson -- a self-described "crypto-anarchist" -- successfully fired a bullet from the world’s first 3D-printed handgun and posted its blueprint online. The video got nearly half a million views and the design was downloaded nearly 100,000 times.

The link was later terminated by law enforcement officials.

Years of litigation followed, leading to a settlement in July allowing Wilson to re-release the gun’s downloadable blueprints.

Over the summer, however, a federal judge temporarily stopped him from putting the blueprints online and in August, a federal judge in Seattle extended the injunction after a coalition of states and the District of Columbia said making untraceable plastic weapons available would create a public safety issue.

Later that month, Wilson said he'd started selling the plans for producing plastic firearms using 3-D printers despite an injunction blocking it.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Friends and family gathered on Saturday to remember Wendy Martinez, the woman who was stabbed to death in Washington, D.C., while out for a jog in an apparently random attack.

The service was held at the Miracle Theatre, just a mile from the U.S. Capitol Building.

Martinez, 35, was stabbed Tuesday night in what police called an "unprovoked" attack in the capital's Logan Square neighborhood. She had gotten engaged to her boyfriend, Danny Hincapie, just one week prior.

She stumbled into a Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood after police say she was stabbed seven times. Restaurant patrons called 911 and tried to stop the bleeding, but Martinez died at Medstar Washington Hospital Center.

Anthony Crawford, 23, has been charged with first-degree murder in her stabbing.

"It's a gift to uncover the memories, and at the same time, it's sad," Martinez's friend Kristina Moore told Washington ABC affiliate WJLA-TV at the memorial service.

Martinez's mother, Cora Martinez, said last week that her daughter was the "most beautiful, special, vibrant young girl."

Cora Martinez said her daughter will be buried in her wedding gown, which she chose the weekend before she was killed. Services will be held at Christ Fellowship Church in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday.

A memorial fund has garnered more than $15,000 in donations online.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Heavy rain stretches from eastern Texas all the way to New Jersey early Sunday as moisture interacts with a stationary front lingering in the southern U.S.

Heavy rain dropped nearly 5 inches of rain in western Virginia and eastern West Virginia overnight, causing numerous reports of flash flooding in the region.

Flood alerts are still in effect Sunday for parts of the Southern Plains and Ohio Valley.

Widespread strong thunderstorms with heavy rain will develop in much of the Mississippi River and Ohio valleys, eventually spreading into parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast by late Sunday and into Monday.

Locally, 3 to 5 inches of rain is expected in parts of the Mississippi River Valley through Tuesday, especially from Paducah, Kentucky, to Memphis, Tennessee. There is a chance of some flash flooding in the region through Monday night.

Parts of the I-70 corridor from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh could see 2 to 3 inches of rain. Localized flash flooding is possible there.

On Tuesday, a cold front will finally kick a lot of this unsettled weather eastward, but it will first bring a chance for severe storms to parts of the Midwest. Damaging winds and large hail are the main threats.

Temperatures dipping

Meanwhile, north of the unsettled weather, the cooler air is beginning to spill into northern parts of the U.S. The jet stream is dipping south, allowing the coolest morning temperatures in four to five months for some areas. Low temperatures on Sunday morning will be in the 40s from North Dakota to Maine.

Temperatures will rebound over the next few days, but another shot of cool air is in the forecast for the end of the week in the Northern Plains and upper Midwest. There is a chance that some of that region could see below-freezing temperatures by the end of the week.

All of this is wonderfully on time with the arrival of astronomical fall.

No concern yet for Tropical Storm Kirk

There are still a number of areas that are being monitored in the Atlantic; however, none of them will have an immediate impact to land.

Tropical Storm Kirk, which formed Saturday, has winds of 40 mph and is moving west at 18 mph as of Sunday morning. The storm is located approximately 465 miles south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. The storm will pick up speed over the next few days and likely will strengthen as it moves westward. However, by the middle and end of the week, Kirk will begin to weaken.

The current forecast track has Kirk reaching the Lesser Antilles late this week as a weakening tropical storm. However, there is a possibility that Kirk will not be able to maintain tropical organization before approaching the islands. Therefore, it remains uncertain if Kirk will bring any impact to land.

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iStock/Thinkstock(VALPARAISO, Ind.) -- A school bus driver in Indiana is under arrest after students filmed her allowing kids to drive the bus.

Joandrea Dehaven McAtee, 27, was arrested on Friday and charged with felony neglect of a dependent. A person can be charged with neglect of a dependent if a decision "places the dependent in a situation that endangers the dependent's life or health," according to Indiana state law.

According to police, McAtee allowed three students -- an 11-year-old, 13-year-old and 17-year-old -- to drive the school bus for short distances Thursday in rural Valparaiso, Indiana. There were other students on the bus at the time, some of whom recorded the incident.

"First, what you gotta do, is put your foot on the brake," the driver, identified by authorities as McAtee, is heard saying in one video.

The student who filmed the video said it was a middle schooler who was driving.

McAtee was immediately fired by First Student, the company that operates buses in Porter Township, after the video and allegations surfaced.

"We are incredibly disappointed by the actions of our former driver," First Student said in a statement to ABC News. "There is nothing more important than the safety of the students we transport. Behavior such as this is completely unacceptable and totally at odds with what we stand for as a company. The driver has been terminated. We have a zero-tolerance policy for employees whose actions may harm or put others at risk."

Porter Township School Corporation said students and parents both reported the conduct to the school administration, and its investigation "quickly substantiated" that McAtee allowed students to drive the bus.

"Upon receiving information regarding this incident, PTSC administration, First Student (our bus service provider) and the Porter County Sheriff’s Department immediately began an investigation," the township said in a statement. "The investigation quickly substantiated the allegations, and the driver was relieved of all duties involving Porter Township School Corp. The Porter Township School Corp. is angered and disappointed in the actions of this driver. The safety of our students is a top priority."

"This individual’s actions are not reflective of the hard work, dedication, and professionalism of our staff," the statement continued. "We are thankful for the students and parents who came forward quickly with this information to both PTSC administration and law enforcement, allowing us to respond expediently and take the proper steps to insure student safety."

McAtee's only previous arrest in the state was for speeding in her own vehicle in New Chicago, Indiana, in February 2017 for driving 54 mph in a 35 mph zone, court records show. She was found guilty and paid the resulting fine.

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iStock/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Indianapolis police are searching for a burglar suspected of stealing items from inside a home and using a Bird electric scooter to leave the scene of the crime.

Michael Leppert said he was getting ready at home on Tuesday morning when he heard what sounded like footsteps coming from the first floor. He yelled to check who was there, but when he didn't get a response, he assumed it was either his wife or dog, he said. When he went downstairs, however, he found that his wallet, laptop and backpack were missing.

There were no signs of forced entry, Leppert told ABC News, adding that the burglar must have entered through the back door, which was unlocked.

While he waited for officers to arrive, Leppert said he spoke to his neighbor, who saw a man riding an electric scooter outside of his home at the time of the burglary.

Bird, an electric scooter rental company that requires users to download an app on their phone and link their credit card, sent the following statement to ABC News:

“We do not condone criminal behavior regardless of the mode of transportation that is used to commit the crime. When any type of irresponsible or criminal behavior is associated with someone on a Bird, we encourage people to report this behavior to us to investigate. Bird investigates each report and takes appropriate next steps, which can include removing individuals from the platform. We are currently investigating the situation, and fully cooperating with local authorities during this process.”

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moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The woman who allegedly stabbed five people, including three babies, in a birthing center has been charged with attempted murder, the NYPD said Saturday.

Yu Fen Wang, 52, was hit with five counts of attempted murder for allegedly stabbing five people in what authorities described as a birthing center, which didn't appear to be licensed with New York City or the state, officials said.

Wang, who had what appeared to be self-inflicted slash wounds on her left wrist, remained hospitalized Saturday, according to the NYPD.

Wang allegedly went into the facility in the Flushing neighborhood of the city's borough of Queens about 4 a.m. Friday and stabbed five people, including the infants, who ranged in age from 3 days to 1-month-old, police said.

The victims were expected to survive, police said.

Investigators recovered two knives at the scene.

A motive has not been determined and the investigation was still active, the NYPD said Saturday.

Local and state officials said a probe into the facility, which may have provided maternity care or hospitality services for the largely Chinese immigrant community, had begun. The investigation was looking into the legality of the center, too, officials said.

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Kaufman County Jail(DALLAS) -- Investigators are looking to trace the movements of a Dallas police officer leading up to the night she shot and killed an unarmed man in his own apartment after, according to the officer, mistaking it for hers.

The Dallas County District Attorney's Office has requested records from Ring Alarm security system and are seeking to obtain search warrants for footage from doorbell security cameras at townhouses near the apartment complex where the Sept. 6 shooting took place in downtown Dallas, according to ABC News affiliate WFAA.

Investigators specifically want footage recorded on that day, from 8 a.m. local time to midnight, in an effort to track Amber Guyger's movements, WFAA reported.

A spokesperson for the district attorney's office told ABC News on Saturday that she cannot confirm the information because the investigation into the shooting is active and ongoing.

Guyger, 30, was still wearing her police uniform when she arrived home at the South Side Flats on the night of Sept. 6 after working a full shift. She told police she opened the ajar door of the unit she believed was hers and saw a "large silhouette," which she thought was that of a burglar, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The off-duty patrol officer, who is white, fired her weapon, striking 26-year-old Botham Jean, who is black. The officer called 911 for help, and the responding officers administered aid to Jean at the scene. He was then taken to a local hospital where he later died, police said.

A funeral service to commemorate Jean was held last week at the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in the Dallas suburb of Richardson. Loved ones recalled Jean as a strong Christian, a beloved friend, dependable work colleague and a gifted singer who had aspirations of becoming a politician in his native country of Saint Lucia.

Jean will be buried in Saint Lucia.

Guyger, a four-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, was arrested three days after the shooting on a manslaughter charge. She was released from jail upon posting $300,000 bond.

Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said a grand jury will decide the ultimate charge against Guyger and that she has not ruled out pursuing a murder indictment.

Guyger remains on administrative leave amid the ongoing investigation. But attorneys representing Jean's family are calling for the officer to be fired immediately.

"She should not still be on the payroll," family attorney Lee Merritt said at a press conference Sept. 14. "There's no place for her ... This is non-negotiable."

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Steven Ferdman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The last time we heard Ambra Gutierrez’s voice was on a recording she made at the behest of the New York City Police Department during an encounter with Harvey Weinstein.

She had already gone to police alleging that the movie mogul had sexually assaulted her during a meeting.

“You sit there and have a drink,” Weinstein appeared to say on a recording obtained by The New Yorker.

“I don’t want to,” Gutierrez can be heard replying.

“You touched my breast,” she's heard telling him.

“Oh, come on, I’m used to that,” Weinstein allegedly said.

That was 2015. Police presented the case to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which ultimately declined to prosecute.

"Our best lawyers looked at the case,” Mr. Vance said, speaking to reporters after an event at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. “I, like they, was very disturbed by the contents of the tape. It’s obviously sickening. But at the end of the day we operate in a courtroom of law, not the court of public opinion, and our sex crime prosecutors made a determination that this was not going to be a provable case.”

She spent the last three years in a self-described “exile” but emerged as the #MeToo movement that she helped fuel marks its anniversary.

“The #MeToo movement is for changing the future,” Gutierrez told ABC News in an interview. “Telling your story is huge. I admire women who had the strength to do it. But, if you can, you should also go to the police, file a lawsuit, or do anything to help prevent it from happening again to you or someone else.”

After her criminal case was rejected, Gutierrez says she retreated to the Philippines to be with family while she battled depression, shame and international smear campaigns.

Now 25, the Filipina-Italian model has returned to New York to work on a new Univision podcast, “In Our Words,” which focuses on overcoming adversity.

“My name is Ambra Gutierrez and I was sexually assaulted ... No one believed me ... I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was forced into exile and it forever changed my life. But now, I’m back and stronger than ever,” she introduces herself in the first episode.

“I’m trying to give voice to other people, to provide a safe platform. Some of my guests came and spoke about how they were sexually assaulted,” she told ABC News, emphasizing that she also has guests on to talk about the positive changes they made.

She cited her interview with American model Sara Ziff, who founded Model Alliance, to promote fair treatment, equal opportunity and more sustainable practices in the fashion industry.

Gutierrez’s alleged sexual assault became public almost a year ago when Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker article featured the stories of multiple women accusing then film mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment.

Farrow's reporting in the magazine was also supported with the 2015recording obtained from a New York Police Department sting operation involving Weinstein and Gutierrez. It revealed Weinstein admitting to groping the then-22-year-old model, describing it as behavior he is “used to.”

 Lurid articles about Gutierrez soon appeared in the tabloids, depicting her as a blackmailer and an opportunist.

After the D.A.’s office decided not to press charges, Gutierrez "signed a highly restrictive nondisclosure agreement" with Weinstein, including "an affidavit stating that the acts Weinstein admits to in the recording never happened," in exchange for a payment, according to the New Yorker.

Gutierrez, haunted by the tabloid smear campaign, left the country for three years.

“I lived in the Philippines and in Italy and decided to come back to New York, my favorite city in the world,” she said.

Empowered by Gutierrez as well as even more high-profile accusers, including Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Gwyneth Paltrow, women began to speak out publicly about the abuse they say they have personally endured, leading to the attention now being paid to the #MeToo movement.

Gutierrez emphasized it is not only the stories of the accusers but also the accused.

“I interviewed a male journalist accused of sexual misconduct. He lost his job and his career. His story ... has to be heard.

“I am on the side of justice,” she said.

Though Weinstein now faces criminal charges stemming from allegations by several women, he has pleaded not guilty.

Beyond her initial involvement with the Weinstein allegations, Gutierrez is pursuing justice in another matter.

Gutierrez was the finalist for the title of Miss Italy and her agent brought her to one of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s infamous "bunga bunga" sex parties. She said she refused to stay and, despite being threatened, escaped and took her friend, another young Italian model, Chiara Danese, with her.

Gutierrez later testified against Berlusconi in court, but he was ultimately acquitted. Berlusconi was sent to trial on charges that he paid to have sex with a Moroccan dancer Karima El Mahroug, who allegedly participated in “bunga-bunga” parties when she was underage and was paid for sex.

He was convicted in 2013, but won an appeal the next year.

El Mahroug admitted in court to receiving payments from Berlusconi, but both denied having sex. Berlusconi has also maintained that the get-togethers were not sex parties, but elegant parties.

Even the actor George Clooney was dragged into the trial but he denied having attended any of the alleged sex parties. Unlike Clooney, Gutierrez was vilified by the Italian press and called a liar and an escort.

She says her work there helped her battle her depression and her suicidal thoughts.

“In the Philippines, what kept me alive was helping charities that helped children, like Humanility. Seeing them have so little and create so much was inspiring,” she said.

As a survivor, Gutierrez believes her podcast will inspire men and women to share their stories and bring about societal change.

“We should not be scared to share,” Gutierrez said.

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WFTV(MELBOURNE, Fla.) -- The airport worker who hauled a suspected thief off an empty American Airlines plane at 2 a.m. Thursday in Melbourne, Florida, said he knew right away something wasn't right about the 22-year-old.

"I knew right away -- I mean we're trained," airport maintenance worker Shayne Graves told Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV. "No badge. Looked down, no shoe on that foot. This isn't right. Nothing's right about this kid."

Nishal Kiran Sankat, 22, was charged Friday with three counts related to the alleged attempted theft of the plane: one count of unarmed burglary of an occupied conveyance, one count of trespassing in an occupied structure or conveyance, and one count of grand theft worth $100,000 or more. The burglary and theft charges are both felonies.

FBI Special Agent David Joseph Hacker testified in court Friday, saying that Sankat was set on harming himself while having no regard for the possibility of harming others as well.

"In his attempt to harm himself Mr. Sankat advised that he intended to take the aircraft in the process of harming himself," Hacker said.

Agent Christopher Castiello with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, who also testified, said that Graves, who was working on the aircraft when Sankat came on board, told him that he took Sankat to a hanger nearby on a golf cart after noticing he did not have the proper ID to be on the aircraft. Once Graves got to the hanger with Sankat, Sankat tried to run away before Graves tackled him.

"The only thing he said when he came on the plane was that he had his pilot license," Graves said.

Graves told WFTV that his mind immediately flashed to the terror attacks on Sept. 11.

"I said, 'This isn't going to happen again,'" Graves said. "He was looking around, and I said, 'You’re coming with me. You're coming off this airplane.' I put him on the ground at the entrance door, got him on that golf cart, and we went into the hangar."

Graves works the night shift at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and is an airplane and power plant technician. He started working at the airport just five months ago, though he's been a mechanic for 25 years.

Authorities said Sankat left his car running outside the airport and he climbed the fence surrounding the facility before boarding the empty Airbus A321.

The Florida Institute of Technology released a statement confirming that Sankat was a part-time student at their school and was studying aviation management. He also has a student pilot's license.

Sankat received a stipend from his parents to go to school and has access to his parent’s bank account.

He maintains dual citizenship with Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.

Sankat is being held without bond and is due back in court on Oct. 18.

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KGO(BERKELEY, Calif.) -- An alleged serial rapist suspected in at least 10 attacks in Northern California -- some dating back almost three decades -- was arrested on Thursday after genetic genealogy led authorities to the home of a University of California, Berkeley employee.

Roy Charles Waller, 58, was charged with 12 counts of forcible sexual assault and is being held without bail.

Authorities across six counties have searched for a suspect, dubbed the "NorCal Rapist," for decades. Waller is alleged to have started his string of violent crimes in Rohnert Park, California, in June 1991. But it was a case in October 2006, the most recent tied to the suspect, which allowed police to catch the suspect.

"Waller was linked by DNA as a positive match for the DNA profile of the Nor-Cal Rapist and linked directly to a sexual assault that occurred in October 2006 in the city of Sacramento," the Sacramento Police Department said in a statement about the arrest.

Authorities had recovered DNA from many of the crime scenes, but were unable to make a match.

"For 27 years, there has been one common thread -- his DNA," Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.

That changed in 2018 as authorities used his DNA and the website GEDMatch, a genetic database and genealogy site, to make a positive match.

Nicole Earnest-Payte was Waller's first alleged victim. A man broke into her home in Rohnert Park when she was 21 years old.

"I don't cry a lot about this. I've been waiting for this for a long time," a teary-eyed Earnest-Payte told San Francisco ABC station KGO on Friday. "It's interesting, when I saw his face, I felt nothing, numb."

Earnest-Payte says no one believed her when she reported to police the rape.

"I woke up to a masked man with arms around me and a gun to my head," she said. "Bottom line, they didn't believe me."

Now, officials know that was his M.O.

"This suspect is a real-life boogieman," said Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig. "He snuck into the victim's homes, under the cover of darkness ... and attacked them."

Reisig was one of several district attorneys who spoke Friday at a press conference. The attacks occurred in six counties in Northern California.

In Contra Costa County, a John Doe complaint was filed in order to keep the statute of limitations from running out on an Oct. 31, 1996 attack.

"Today we can bring some closure to the victim in Contra Costa County, who was attacked in Martinez on Halloween in 1996," Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton said at a press conference Friday. "The latest development with this case underscores how law enforcement will never give up on a case. We will always pursue justice for our victims. Ten years after the attack in Contra Costa County our office filed a John Doe complaint with the specific DNA profile of this same individual. With the complaint, there was a John Doe warrant for $500,000. We filed the complaint to preserve the statute of limitations for some of the counts in this case."

The investigation into Waller's alleged crimes continues. Officials believe it is possible the suspect committed more crimes.

"Although some of these cases are close to 28 years old, this is still a very active investigation involving many different agencies," Sacramento police said. "Detectives and Forensic Investigators have worked diligently throughout this investigation to process evidence, conduct extensive follow-up, and gather new information regarding these crimes."

The technology used to link Waller to attacks on 10 women in the Bay Area was the same used to arrest alleged "Golden State Killer" Joseph DeAngelo in April. DeAngelo, 72, is facing 13 counts of murder in both Northern and Southern California with cases dating back to the 1970s.

"I think we have to assume that without this tool, it's possible that these men could have died and no one ever would have known they were the involved in these crimes," Dr. Ruth Ballard, a professor of Biological Sciences at California State University, Sacramento, told Sacramento ABC affiliate KXTV.

Waller is married and has worked at UC Berkeley for 25 years, according to KGO.

He is due back in court for arraignment on Monday.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A cold front brought severe storms from Ohio to upstate New York on Friday as the Northeast and Midwest brace for cooler temperatures on the first day of fall.

Over 50 reports of severe weather were received on Friday, including near Cleveland and Buffalo, New York. Just north of the border, the same system caused a tornado near Ottawa, Ontario, that injured over two dozen people, according to the Toronto Star.

Strong storms brought torrential rain to northern Texas early Saturday, with significant flash flooding reported in the Dallas metro area. Radar estimates showed 3 to 5 inches of rain have fallen locally in the region.

The threat of flash flooding continues Saturday morning in parts of the Southern Plains. Storms could have rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour. They will slowly drift to the east, spreading into the Mississippi River Valley by Saturday night and into Sunday.

Several rounds of strong storms with torrential rain will bring more flash flooding from Texas to Kentucky. Locally, 2 to 4 inches of rain are expected through Monday for this region.

Sign of the times

The arctic is beginning to get colder again as the Northern Hemisphere loses direct sunlight hours in the transition from summer to winter. The first widespread and noteworthy signs of a change of seasons are beginning to appear across much of the northern half of the country.

Fall will officially arrive at 9:54 p.m. on Saturday.

A shot of cooler air is moving into the Northern Plains and Midwest on Saturday. Low temperatures Saturday morning from North Dakota to northern Illinois will be in the 40s. The cooler air will expand and slide eastward on Sunday with 40-degree temperatures likely across much of interior New England.

For many from the Midwest to the Northeast, Sunday morning will be the first time in months they will need to break out a light jacket.

Temperatures will rebound in the early part of next week; however, the longer-term forecast trends indicate that a prolonged period of below-average temperatures is on the way to the central U.S.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- California authorities are investigating the possibility of at least a dozen more victims who may have been sexually assaulted by an orthopedic surgeon already being accused of drugging and raping two women.

Investigators have received more than 50 calls since they announced the arrest of Dr. Grant William Robicheaux, 38, and his purported girlfriend, Cerissa Laura Riley, 31, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in a press conference Friday.

The crimes may have taken place over the last two decades — some outside the state of California, Rackauckas said.

Robicheaux met potential victims in person at bars and restaurants but may have also targeted them through dating apps, Rackauckas said, cautioning dating app users to be careful when meeting people online.

"Ladies, please be careful when you meet people on these kinds of apps," he said. "You don't know what's behind that — what appears to be a perfect smile."

Some of the women who have come forward indicated to prosecutors that they felt the need to support the the two women Robicheaux is accused of raping, Rackauckas said.

Rackauckas thanked the people who "reported what happened to them," saying it "must be difficult" to relive the events, as well as the media for circulating the story.

He also asked other potential victims to come forward, promising that their identities will be safeguarded.

"They didn’t ask to have this happen to them," the district attorney said.

The couple was arrested on Sept. 12 at Robicheaux's home and each face multiple felony charges in California, including rape by use of drugs, oral sex using a controlled substance, assault with intent to commit a sexual offense and possession of controlled substances.

Women were at risk up until the arrest, Rackauckas said.

Robicheaux was also charged with possession of an assault weapon and faces a sentencing enhancement related to that weapon possession. Riley will face a sentencing enhancement for being knowingly vicariously armed with a firearm.

While the couple could face additional charges, it is unclear whether they will be re-arrested, Rackauckas said. They are currently free on a $100,000 bond each.

Their attorneys released a statement Tuesday, "unequivocally" denying all allegations of non-consensual sex.

"They have been aware of these accusations for a number of months, and each of them will formally deny the truth of these allegations at their first opportunity in court. Dr. Robicheaux and Ms. Riley believe that such allegations do a disservice to, and dangerously undermine, the true victims of sexual assault, and they are eager to have the proper spotlight shed on this case in a public trial," the statement read. "It must be noted that none of the allegations in this matter relate to or concern Dr. Robicheaux’s medical practice or patients in any way. They both thank their families and friends for their continued support."

On Friday, Robicheaux and Riley's attorneys held a press conference, saying the police had been investigating the case for some time, and if they felt the public needed protection, they would have taken action.

Defense attorney Phillip Cohen said the couple's home was searched in January, with a number of items taken, and there had been no allegations or info regarding victims of rape.

The couple has not fled or gone into hiding since then, Cohen said, adding that Robicheaux even left the country twice and returned voluntarily during that time.

The couple used their "good looks and charm" to disarm the victims, and traveled to festivals like Burning Man in Nevada and events in Palm Springs, California, Rackauckas said.

Robicheaux appeared on the Bravo series "Online Dating Rituals of the American Male" in the past.

Investigators are currently combing through "thousands" of videos on Robicheaux's phone that allegedly show women who "appear to be highly intoxicated, beyond the ability to consent or resists," Rackauckas told reporters earlier this week.

Robicheaux and Riley are expected in court next month.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Newly released data from the Department of Defense shows female sailors are at the highest risk of sexual assault, compared to women serving in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The risk is highest on U.S. Navy ships, including on a majority of the nation's aircraft carriers, the data shows.

Military installations in the Washington, D.C., region were typically associated with the lowest risk of sexual assault for men and women.

The findings were published on Friday in a RAND Corporation study, commissioned by the Pentagon, that used data collected in 2014 through more than 170,000 surveys of active duty service members. The study identified the 15 lowest-risk and highest-risk installations for men and women in each service.

Although the data is four years old, the report serves as a snapshot of where service members at that time may have been at the most risk of sexual assault.

In a statement on Friday, the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), a nonprofit that advocates for issues related to servicewomen, said military base commanders should welcome the data as a valuable tool to measure the success or failure of their efforts to prevent sexual harassment and assault at their installations.

"SWAN hopes that base commanders at all installations, but especially the highest risk installations, will examine the data and realize that any sexual assault reported at their base represents fratricide within their ranks and a failure in their duty to protect those who serve under them," said retired Col. Ellen Haring, acting SWAN CEO.


Of the 15 highest-risk Naval installations for women, 13 were ships or clusters of ships, including eight of the ten aircraft carriers, RAND found. There are typically about 5,000 sailors aboard a carrier.

"Our model estimates that more than 10 percent of all women experienced a sexual assault at each of these high-risk installations over a one-year period, and more than 15 percent of all women were assaulted at two of them," the study said.

Those two installations where the risk of sexual assault was over 15 percent were Naval Support Activity (NSA) Charleston (South Carolina) and the USS George Washington aircraft carrier.

Ships and clusters of ships also proved to be the highest-risk locations for men, though the percentage was much lower at between 2 and 4 percent.

However, on at least one ship, RAND estimated that close to one in every 25 male sailors was sexually assaulted and "more than 2.5 percent of men were assaulted on all of the ships in the highest-risk list."

There were no ships among the lowest-risk installations for male or female sailors.

Air Force

Female airmen were at the lowest risk of sexual assault compared to the other services with even the highest-risk installations estimated at less than 5 percent.

"The five highest-risk bases for Air Force women are all Air Education and Training Command bases, with the top three focused on undergraduate pilot training," the study said.

The top three highest-risk installations for female airmen were Vance (Oklahoma), Laughlin (Texas), and Altus (Oklahoma).

For male airmen, the highest-risk installations estimated a sexual assault risk at about 0.5 percent and also included Atlus and Laughlin.


Female soldiers were found to be at the highest risk of sexual assault (between 5 and 10 percent) at large Army installations in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, as well as two large training programs (Fort Huachuca in Arizona and the Presidio of Monterey in California).

Among the U.S. bases that posed the highest risk to women were Fort Drum (New York), Fort Riley (Kansas), and Fort Carson (Colorado). The lowest-risk installations included two Air Force bases with populations of Army soldiers and two medical centers.

For male soldiers, some of the highest-risk installations (between 1 and 2 percent) were located overseas, including in Italy, Germany, and South Korea.

Marine Corps

As the Marine Corps is a much smaller service, RAND only ranked the five lowest- and highest-risk installations, instead of 15.

Female Marines faced a roughly 10 percent risk of sexual assault at the highest-risk installations, which included Air Station Yuma (Arizona), Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms (California), and Air Station Beaufort (South Carolina).

The lowest-risk installations for women ranked between 5 and 8 percent and included Combat Development Command Quantico (Virginia) and the Mobile 3rd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Japan).

Male Marines were at the highest risk of sexual assault (between 1 and 2 percent) at bases in Japan and South Korea, and at the lowest risk in the Pentagon and Camp H. M. Smith (Hawaii).

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For the first time in thirteen years the Army has failed to meet its annual recruiting goal and Army officials believe the strong U.S. economy is partially to blame.

The Army failed to meet its recruiting goal of 76,500 new recruits for fiscal year 2018, bringing in 70,000 recruits — an 8.5 percent shortfall from this year's goal.

“About 70,000 Americans joined the Regular Army in FY18, the most to enlist in a single year since 2010 - and every single recruit either met or exceeded DoD standards,” said Hank Minitrez, an Army spokesman. “The Army will fall short of its 2018 recruiting goal.”

The last time the Army failed to meet its recruiting goals was in 2005 at the height of the war in Iraq.

The 70,000 is actually more than the recruiting goals for the three other military services combined, but as the largest service, the Army always has the biggest recruiting challenge.

What’s behind the shortfall? “A strong economy, and a lower propensity among the population of 17- to 24-year-olds to enlist are challenges we face,” said Minitrez.

“Only 1 in 4 [of the] 17- to 24-year-olds in the nation are actually qualified to enlist, and of those, only 1 in 8 have a propensity to enlist," said the Army spokesman. "All of those factors make for a difficult recruiting environment.”

Army officials have cautioned since early this year year that it was possible the service might not make this year’s initial recruiting goal of 80,000 — a significant increase from recent years.

From 2013 to 2017 the Army met lower recruiting goals set that varied from 56,000 to 67,000 as the service downsized its numbers.

But a requirement to increase its total size led to a much larger recruiting goal for 2018. This past spring the goal was lowered from 80,000 to 76,500 after higher than expected numbers of re-enlistments eased personnel requirements.

But the service faced criticism that in order to meet its goals it was increasing the number of waivers granted to some recruits who would normally not be eligible to enter the Army in strong recruiting periods.

Through August, 2018, Army statistics show that the number of waivers for positive drug and alcohol tests had increased to 1.05 percent, up slightly from the .79 percent granted in 2017.

Waivers for major misconduct waivers also increased to 2.88 percent during that same time frame, up from 2.38 percent in 2017.

Army officials have maintained that the service is still committed to recruiting only qualified applicants.

“We made a decision to raise the quality of our recruits despite the tough recruiting environment," said Minitrez. "As we look to 2019 and beyond, we have laid the foundation to improve recruiting for the Army while maintaining an emphasis on quality over quantity."

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iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) --  Erin Vandewiele's last words still haunt her friend.

"He's gonna kill me if I don't get away from him today," she wrote to Stacey Morris in a desperate text conversation on July 8.

That was the last time Morris heard from Vandewiele, who had moved from Wisconsin to Colorado with a man named Joseph Mayer less than a month before that conversation.

A few weeks later, on July 23, after messaging another friend that she was sleeping at a railway station, Vandewiele mysteriously went out of touch from everyone in her life.

Mayer was arrested in Colorado on Aug. 19 for starting a fire in a creek and that was when police realized he was listed on a national database as a dangerous fugitive wanted by authorities in Wisconsin on drug and burglary charges, Capt. Joe Harvey of the Golden Police Department told ABC News.

Mayer was extradited to Wisconsin, where Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith confirmed he is currently incarcerated on outstanding warrants.

Family and friends of Vandewiele, frantic with worry, are passing out flyers, setting up pages on social media and traveling across states to meet police in a concerted effort to find the 40-year-old.

"It's killing me that I don't know where she is," Mandi Schmidt, her sister, told ABC News. "She always kept in contact with somebody. It's not like her to not let her kids know where she is. We just really miss her."

The Denver Police Department is also searching.

"Friends, can you help us find Erin Vandewiele?" it wrote in a Facebook post. "If you see her or know her whereabouts, please call 720-913-7867."

Vandewiele's personal belongings were found in a hotel in Denver and her ID and social security card were found on a bus, Schmidt said. In Vandewiele's last text conversation with the other friend, Shane Cook, she told him she had been sleeping in Union Station in Denver for five days by herself, and sent him a picture of herself at the station.

"I am in Denver Colorado and need to get the f--- away from this stupid woman beating a------ and go home," she told him.

"I have $90 to my name ... am so stupid for coming here," she added.

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