News Briefing: Sept. 23-29

News Briefing: Sept. 23-29

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Abuse case docketed in Montco

A lawsuit filed against Germantown Academy for allegedly facilitating same-sex abuse against a male student has been officially docketed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

According to court records, attorneys for “John Doe” paid $270 to the Montgomery County Prothonotary’s Office, and the case was officially transferred from Philadelphia Common Pleas Court on Sept. 8.

In February, Doe filed suit in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, alleging pervasive same-sex abuse at the school.

Doe contends he was victimized by various abuse within the school’s swim program, including being urinated on, having his nipples twisted in a painful manner, being kneed in the genital area and being threatened with anal rape.

Germantown Academy is located in Whitemarsh Township, and school officials requested that the case be transferred to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

On June 23, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Arnold L. New granted the school’s request.

Oral arguments next week in police dispute

A three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals will hold oral arguments next week in an employment dispute involving Detective Kenneth Rossiter.

The arguments are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Sept. 28 on the 18th floor of the U.S. Court House, 601 Market St. The public is permitted to attend.

The names of the judges on the panel haven’t been released.

Rossiter, who has investigated several LGBT-related murder cases, claims he was wrongfully fired in July 2012 due to his membership in the Fraternal Order of Police.

When announcing Rossiter’s firing, then-Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey accused him of overtime abuses.

An arbitrator ordered Rossiter reinstated nine months later, with full back pay and benefits.

In his suit, Rossiter claims his firing was retaliatory, due to his union membership. He’s seeking an unspecified amount in damages from the city.

In December, U.S. District Judge Gerald A. McHugh denied the city’s request that Rossiter’s suit be dismissed. But the city filed an interim appeal with the Third Circuit, seeking the suit’s dismissal before it can reach a jury.

In a June 24 filing, the city emphasized that Rossiter’s firing didn’t violate any of his federal rights as a union member.

In 2007, Rossiter helped secure a first-degree murder conviction for Barry Mason, who shot to death Jamil Burton, an openly gay youth, after an alleged robbery in Center City. Mason died in prison in April 2015.

— Timothy Cwiek

Philly AIDS Thrift to hold anniversary block party

Philly AIDS Thrift will celebrate its 11th anniversary with a block party slated for Oct. 1. It runs from noon-6 p.m. in front of the store at 710 S. Fifth St.

Entertainment includes a Halloween parade, balloonists and face painters. WXPN DJ Robert Drake will perform, along with Dead Milkmen front man Joe Jack Talcum. There will also be a show by Rev. Mackenzie Moltov, a sword-swallowing and fire-breathing clown.

It’s free to attend. Food trucks will offer their menu items for sale.

Local notables including Rep. Brian Sims, the first elected openly gay state lawmaker, and Chris Bartlett, executive director of the William Way LGBT Community Center, will sit in the PAT Celebrity Dunk Tank.

For more information, visit www.phillyaidsthrift.com

 — Paige Cooperstein

Mini-ball to encourage HIV testing

Mazzoni Center is hosting a mini-ball this weekend themed around the upcoming Beyoncé concert.

“Countdown to Formation” is an all-ages event that will take place 8 p.m.-midnight Sept. 24 at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. The ball is $5 or free for anyone who is tested for HIV/STIs at Washington West Project, 1201 Locus St., before the event. The house that has the most members tested will receive half the door proceeds.

The ball is spearheaded by Mazzoni’s TRIP Program and Overall Mother Tatyana Xistence.

There will be five categories for the competition, and the winner of each will be entered into a raffle for tickets to Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour show Sept. 29 at Lincoln Financial Field.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1813180142227503/

— Jen Colletta


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