Things That Matter

Teenage Inmate Pedro Hernandez Is A Free Man After A Year Of Maintaining His Innocence His Case Was Thrown Out Amidst Allegations Of Corruption By Police

WPIX 11
Credit: WPIX11

After spending a year in prison, 17 year-old Pedro Hernandez of the Bronx, has been set free. Hernandez was arrested for the shooting of another teenager back in 2015. When he went to trial, instead of taking a plea bargain that would have set him free and allowed him to take advantage of a college scholarship, he maintained his innocence. His bail was set to $250,000 and his trial date pushed back beyond the date he needed to be a free man in order to accept the scholarship, in essence, losing it. Although things looked bleak for him, Hernandez, found a way to become a leader while incarcerated at Rikers Island, mentoring others and completing his studies.

Things changed when his family hired private investigator Manuel Gomez, who uncovered corruption by the arresting officer, who once gambled with dice for one young man’s freedom. Gomez says there are up to 49 other cases tried by the same prosecutor and police officer where corruption has played a role. At one point, a crowdfunding page was set up to help pay for Hernandez’s bail. After hearing the case, a judge dropped his bail to $100,000, at which point the Robert F. Kennedy human rights organization stepped in to post bail. As of this week, the case was dismissed in court. Hernandez is set to return for another robbery charge in the coming weeks. Those charges are also expected to be dismissed.


[H/T] WPIX11

READ: This Bronx Student Won A Full Scholarship To College But Can’t Use It Because He’s In Jail Trying To Prove His Innocence


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More Than 360,000 People Have Signed A Petition Calling For Trump Tower’s Address To Be ‘President Barack H. Obama Avenue’

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More Than 360,000 People Have Signed A Petition Calling For Trump Tower’s Address To Be ‘President Barack H. Obama Avenue’

There is something so satisfying about being petty or watching a petty situation take place. That is exactly what we are seeing right now with a petition asking for New York City to rename a stretch of 5th Ave. in front of Trump Tower to President Barack H. Obama Avenue. Obama’s name has been used to rename some roads in the U.S. already and people are pushing for that trend to land right on Donald Trump’s doorstep.

A petition on MoveOn.org is calling for NYC to rename a portion of 5th Ave. after President Obama.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

The petition started as a joke but it quickly gained attention and speed and has continued to grow. So far, more than 360,000 people have signed the petition and are hoping the Mayor Bill DeBlasio listens to their request.

Some are not sure if it will happen but so many people are really pushing for the change.

Credit: @arosebluch / Twitter

“The City of Los Angeles recently honored former President Barack Obama by renaming a stretch of the 134 Freeway near Downtown L.A. in his honor,” reads the petition. “We request the New York City Mayor and City Council do the same by renaming a block of Fifth Avenue after the former president whose many accomplishments include: saving our nation from the Great Recession; serving two completely scandal-free terms in office; and taking out Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind September 11th, which killed over 3,000 New Yorkers.”

While the petition is being taken seriously by some people, others are just here for the show.

Credit: @ayymiPAPITO / Twitter

We all love to see some next level pettiness and the people who created this petition, and support it, are giving people all kinds of life.

“I saw a comedian joke about how it would make Trump so mad if it was named after former President Obama and thought why not,” Elizabeth Rowin, the author of the petition, told Newsweek.

Some see this as a justifiable bout of karma.

Credit: @PamLukas3 / Twitter

Yet, the request is already failing one key factor for a street renaming in NYC. According to ABC7NY, individuals honorees have to be deceased for two years prior to consideration for such a dedication. There is also a moratorium on street renamings in that part of New York City further complicated the issue.

Regardless of the viability of the street renaming, people are completely invested in this happening.

Credit: @EarlOfEnough / Twitter

It isn’t clear if the letter and petition will or will not be sent to Mayor Bill DeBlasio. He is running for the presidency right now and it might serve as a good way to grab some headlines if he pushes it through. Just imagine Donald Trump having to put “President Barack H. Obama” on his business cards, letterhead, and outgoing mail.

READ: Trump’s Building In Uruguay Is A Bust And It’s Not Even Completed Yet But American Taxpayers Did Pay A Price

Deaf Students At A Catholic School In Argentina Are Telling Their Story Of Abuse And Neglect By Priests

Things That Matter

Deaf Students At A Catholic School In Argentina Are Telling Their Story Of Abuse And Neglect By Priests

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Justice may soon be on the horizon for as many as 20 victims who say they were sexually abused, including cases of rape, between 2004 and 2016. Priests Nicola Corradi, 83, Horacio Corbacho, 59 and a former gardener Armando Gomez, 49, are all facing charges of sexually abusing deaf children in their care. The shocking case has sent shock waves through Argentina’s society and the Catholic church. The terrible acts occurred at the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, a Catholic school for deaf children that was founded in 1995 and in which Corradi headed until his arrest in November 2016.

People in Argentina are looking for answers and are asking how this horrendous crime could have happened?

Credit: @revistasemana / Twitter

The two priests and gardener appeared in court Monday to face their long-awaited charges of sexual abuse. The three men face prison sentences of up to 20 years in some cases, up to 50 years in others. The trial, which is expected to last two months, will hear testimony from 13 victims who suffered negligence and abuse between the ages of four and 17, relating to 43 offenses.

News of the abuse at the school broke at the end of 2016 and created a huge scandal. The scandal grew when it became clear that Rev. Corradi was behind the charges. It has been reported that Corradi was accused of similar allegations at the Antonio Próvolo institute in Verona, Italy. Pope Francis, an Argentine, has since been notified that Corradi was behind both allegations but has yet to comment publicly despite on the matter despite his close affiliation. 

There has already been one sentencing in wake of the scandal. Jorge Bordón, an institute employee, was sentenced to 10 years in prison last year on charges of rape, sexual touching, and corrupting minors.

One of the victims has spoken up about his emotions going into the trial and his search for justice. 

Credit: @news1130 / Twitter

Ezequiel Villalonga,18, is one of the victims of the pedophile priests, says that he was preyed upon at the school as a minor. Villalonga is deaf which makes the case even more heartbreaking. Now, he’s getting the chance to tell his story as the trial goes to court.

“I think that everything in the Church is fake. Everything they made us read, recite, the way (they said) people should live,” Villalonga told the AP in sign language right before the start of the priests’ trial on Monday. “I think they lie and that they’re demonic.”

Villalonga was sent to the school when he was 4 years old after his mother found out her son was deaf when he was only seven months old. For many of those years at Provo, he was only allowed to go home on weekends and spent the majority of his days there inside a massive building with little to no contact. Despite the school’s specialized mission in helping deaf children, he didn’t teach him how to speak during his time there. It was until he was an adult he learned sign language. 

“Life there was terrible. We didn’t learn anything, we couldn’t speak to each other because we didn’t know sign language,” he said. “We would write without knowing what it said, and when we asked other classmates, no one understood anything.”

Things haven’t been easier for his mom, Natalia, who says her family has had to pause their lives due to the case and the horrors that have happened to her son. 

“I am super-nervous, anxious and I hope for justice; that this ends soon so my son can move on to a new stage because this is very hard,” said Natalia Villalonga told the Washington Post.

While the trial is just getting started, the trauma and disbelief for many of the young victims have gone on for too long.

Credit: @Crux / Twitter

Paola Gonzalez’s daughter, Milagros, who is now 16 years old, had been one of those 20 abused while attending the Institute. Gonzalez was shocked and angry when she found out what had happened to her daughter at what she considered at one point, a prestigious institution. 

“You should have seen her little body when she went into (the Provolo). She was so small,” Gonzalez told the AP. “I don’t understand, I can’t imagine such evil. How could they do so much harm to such a fragile creature?” 

READ: A Brazilian Gang Leader Thought He Could Use A ‘Scooby-Doo’ Tactic To Escape Prison

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