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News of the Weird

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A 30-year-old woman in Livingston, Montana, and her 34-year-old boyfriend, Ronald Smith, decided not to contest rape and child abuse charges involving the woman's 12-year-old daughter. The daughter gave birth in November to the boyfriend's baby, but accounts of the circumstances of conception were conflicting: First Smith said the daughter was the aggressor and took advantage of him. Then investigators surmised that the woman, infertile, had arranged for her daughter to bear the baby she could not. Then the woman said she had feared the boyfriend would leave her and so had arranged for a baby to encourage him to stay. Most recently Smith and the woman appeared on Sally Jessy Raphael, where Smith denied his fatherhood. When confronted with evidence of a blood test that showed 99.87 percent probability that he was the father, Smith shot back, "That's the only proof you've got."

Latest Testosterone Surges

In June a 41-year-old female patient in Kansas City accused her gynecologist, Dr. Frank E. Baum, of having hypnotized her so that she would have "telephone sex" with him. She said that she went to him complaining of a pain in her side and that he later left a series of phone messages saying, "You are going to become dependent on me. I want you to let me use your mind, let me use your body." Baum said the messages were meant to be "relaxation therapy" for her and that, though he admitted he had discussed her sexual fantasies with her, he "didn't enjoy it. It was very boring." He also admitted to talking dirty to her in his office while she masturbated.

Hugo Roberts, 48, a New York City health therapist, was arrested in May after a 28-year-old woman complained that he had fondled her when she went to him for nutritional advice. She says Roberts told her his technique for determining whether she was eating too much sugar or salt was to taste different parts of her body.

In a videotape discovered last June, former Colorado representative David Bath, a "born again" Christian who projected a tough, moralistic image during his three terms, was seen having sex with a woman, two men, and a reportedly underage boy. (Colorado newspapers widely reported that, at Bath's 1988 campaign press conferences, his manager Albert Tecci would give him hand signals telling him what to say and would routinely interrupt him and speak directly to reporters if Bath said the "wrong" thing.)

The Arizona Department of Administration transferred a supervisor last summer because he was suspected of having rigged a mirror so that he could look into the women's rest room from his desk.

West Palm Beach, Florida, sheriff's deputy David Nereau, 25, resigned in August after being accused of impropriety. He reportedly stopped female motorists and demanded to see their breasts, claiming to be after a woman with a distinctive breast tattoo who had just robbed a bank.

Utah regulators filed a complaint in August against Salt Lake City psychiatrist Dr. David Lambert Egli, who allegedly performed "balance" tests on two patients in order to determine proper medication doses. The patients were required to stand on one foot, close their eyes, hold their arms out, and press the other foot hard into Egli's crotch. Egli denied one patient's charge that Egli was getting sexual gratification from the "test."

New York City high school student Jermaine Cummings, 16, commenting on the city's condom giveaway in public schools in November, told reporters he thought the program was good because there are times during the school day when he might want to have sex on short notice.

Least Competent People

Two robbers made off with a large bag of jewelry from a store on fashionable Post Street in San Francisco in November. They apparently didn't know that Ciro, the store they chose to rob, sells only costume jewelry. Said the clerk later, "The robber told me to fill up the bag with jewelry. I asked him, 'Why?'"

The Diminishing Value of Life

A grand jury in Union County, New Jersey, indicted Victor Gordon in December for attempting to kill a store clerk who was watching Monday-night football on a TV in the store. The clerk remarked that he "felt like killing" a player who had just screwed up, whereupon Gordon felt the need to defend the player, he said, and stabbed the man in the back twice.

Creme de la Weird

Residents of Port Arthur, Texas, recently convinced Fina Inc., operator of a smelly refinery, to buy out their land after encountering years of resistance. One of the residents' tactics was a media campaign highlighting the poor air quality in the neighborhood, dramatized by one home owner who has the unique ability to vomit on cue at media events.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.

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