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UK Millionaire Acquitted of ‘Accidental’ Rape

A man who claimed he accidentally penetrated an 18-year-old woman when he fell on her was acquitted of rape charges by a British jury. After brief deliberations, millionaire Ehsan Abdulaziz was found not guilty, despite some very strange explanations of what happened, according to the New York Daily News. Money Can't Buy Me Love? Abdulaziz, 46, is a millionaire property developer with an apartment in London. He was apparently out drinking at an exclusive nightclub in August 2014 and invited two women to join him at his pricey private table. Then, he offered them a ride home in his Aston Martin. They ended up at his apartment for a drink instead. The two women -- one 24 and the other 18 -- stayed the night. The younger one slept on the sofa in the living room. Abdulaziz claimed in his defense that he had sex with the older woman and in the morning just fell on the younger one. He accidentally penetrated her when he just meant to ask if she needed a t-shirt or a taxi home. The considerate older gentleman said in his defense that the woman pulled him as he was making his offer and he fell. He admitted his penis may have poked through his underwear. "I'm fragile, I fell down but nothing ever happened. Between me and this girl, nothing ever happened." As for evidence of semen? He said it was possible he had some on his hands after the sexual encounter with her friend. The young woman had an altogether different story. She said Abdulaziz raped her. She woke up in the early morning to find the man forcing himself on her as she slept on the sofa in his London apartment.What Are the Elements of Rape?In criminal law, the elements of rape are satisfied if there was 1) non-consensual sexual intercourse that was 2) committed by physical force, threat of injury, or other duress.According the the young woman's account, Ehsan Abdulaziz used physical force without her consent to commit the sexual act. By her account, rape would have occurred. However, the jury found differently ... Jury Deliberates Briefly The British newspaper, The Mirror, reported that the case took an unusual procedural turn. Twenty minutes of evidence were heard in private. The jury apparently did not spend long pondering the tale anyway, perhaps finding it tasteless. After only 30 minutes of deliberations, it rendered a verdict of not guilty. Abdulaziz was acquitted. Charged With a Crime? If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime, speak to a lawyer. As this case makes plain, a creative defense can go a long way. Get help from a criminal defense attorney. Related Resources: Browse Criminal Defense Lawyers by Location (FindLaw Directory) What Is the Role of a Jury in a Criminal Case? (FindLaw) Criminal Trial Overview (FindLaw)
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Do I Have to Disclose My Criminal Record on Housing Applications?

Living with a criminal record isn't easy. It's harder to get a job and get into college, and a criminal conviction may even get you kicked off American Idol. All jokes aside, housing is one of our most basic needs, so can landlords refuse to rent to people with a criminal record? And do you have to explain a criminal conviction on a housing application? Public Housing While federal and state public housing authorities may not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, etc., they can absolutely consider criminal records when renting public housing. They can also consider new criminal convictions when deciding whether to evict an existing tenant. The only requirement is that public housing authorities provide a copy of the criminal record to the tenant or subject of the eviction notice. At that point, the tenant can dispute the accuracy of the record at a grievance hearing or a trial. Private Rentals Private landlords generally have more leeway when screening potential tenants, but in this case, state law may limit landlord actions. While landlords can refuse to rent to someone because of a criminal conviction, some states (like New York) prohibit landlords of buildings containing four or more apartments from having a blanket policy against renting to anyone with a criminal record. Make sure you're familiar with your state's laws on leases and rental agreements. Expungement One way of avoiding having to disclose a prior conviction is to get your criminal record expunged. Expungement rules vary from state to state, but generally an expungement will remove your criminal history from public view. If you are able to get your record expunged, a potential landlord won't be able to see your criminal history, and you won't need to disclose prior convictions or the expungement. If you've been denied housing due to your criminal record, you may want to talk to an experienced landlord-tenant attorney in your area. Related Resources: Browse Landlord-Tenant Lawyers by Location (FindLaw Directory) Do I Have to Hire a Felon? (FindLaw's Free Enterprise) Fair Housing Laws, Complaints, and Lawsuits (FindLaw) How to Get an Online Mug Shot Removed (FindLaw Blotter)
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What Is Rent Control?

In order to prevent the cost of rental housing from skyrocketing, local governments may institute rent control regulations. Without rent control, rental prices in some cities can be, as former New York City mayoral candidate Jimmy McMillan eloquently put it, "too damn high." Though as it turns out, McMillan's rent was actually pretty low: He was recently evicted from an East Village apartment he was renting for well under the market rate, thanks in part to New York City's rules for rental units. (McMillan also maintains another apartment in Brooklyn which he reportedly occupies rent-free in exchange for performing maintenance.) So what is rent control, and what does it actually do? Rent Control Explained Rent control regulations generally restrict the ability of landlords to raise the rent on certain types of rental units. Rent control rules also typically restrict the ability of landlords to evict tenants who continue to pay rent on time. Rent control rules vary by jurisdiction. In New York, for example, apartments that have been occupied by a tenant continuously prior to July 1, 1971, in a building built before February 1, 1947, are subject to rent control. Apartments in buildings built before January 1, 1974, with six or more housing units are subject to similar restrictions called rent stabilization. What's the Difference Between Rent Stabilization, Rent Control? In McMillan's case, the apartment he was evicted from was not subject to rent control, but rather was subject to rent stabilization. Although the two are similar, the owners of rent-controlled apartments are generally more restricted in their ability to raise the rent than those with rent-stabilized apartments. Another key difference between the two is that rent-controlled apartment leases can only be passed to a direct family member. This has led to a number of bizarre and sometimes illegal schemes by those seeking to avail themselves of the low rents required by rent control. In one case, a 62-year-old New York woman was legally adopted by an 85-year-old tenant of a rent-controlled unit in order to take over his rent-controlled apartment. If you have questions about rent control, a landlord-tenant lawyer can explain the laws in your city. You can also learn more about your rights as a renter at FindLaw's section on Tenant Rights. Related Resources: Browse Landlord-Tenant Lawyers by Location (FindLaw) Legal Limits for Landlords Raising Rent? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) NYC Rent Control Law Won't Go to US Supreme Court (FindLaw's Decided) For Married Couples, Living Apart May Pay Off (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
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