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    Around the state

    Compiled from Times wires
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 11, 2002


    Ex-dancer sentenced for high-heeled assault

    PANAMA CITY -- A former exotic dancer received two years of house arrest for knocking out another stripper's tooth with her high-heeled shoes.

    Kimi Aushabranner, 30, now a nursing student, received a five-year suspended sentence Monday. Circuit Judge Clinton Foster ordered her to spend the two years under community control and the remaining three on probation.

    She also faces restitution of about $13,000 for the victim's medical expenses and 300 hours of community service, although Foster said he would waive the latter if she remains in school.

    A jury last month convicted her of felony battery for kicking out one of Charlotte Barber's teeth and loosening another with her 6-inch heels. It happened during a fight on Nov. 22, 1997, at the Show N' Tail, a lounge in nearby Panama City Beach.

    A jury last year acquitted Aushabranner's sister, Ginger Aushabranner, also a dancer, for her involvement.

    Judge sentences molester and scolds his victims

    PANAMA CITY -- A judge sentenced a man to eight years in prison for molesting two girls, ages 12 and 13, but also scolded the victims for willingly going to his house, drinking alcohol and discussing sex.

    Bay Circuit Judge Clinton Foster made his comments Monday while sentencing Jerry Franklin Ames, 55, for lewd and lascivious battery on a child between 12 and 16 years old. A jury convicted Ames in June.

    Foster said the victims, both middle school students, shared some responsibility for what happened Oct. 8.

    "We have two young females, skipping school, flagging down a total stranger, conversing with him, then voluntarily going to his home and consuming alcohol and talking about sex," Foster said. "What did they think was going to happen?"

    Ames met the girls while riding his bicycle near the beach. They said they asked him to buy cigarettes for them and then went to his apartment for drinks.

    The younger girl said they passed out and she awoke to find Ames molesting her unconscious friend.

    "I don't want them to suffer any trauma over this," Ames said. "I didn't hurt them or force myself on them. I'm heartily sorry, but I feel like the only reason she's going through trauma is for doing wrong that day."

    Ames continued to blame the girls until one father said in a loud voice, "I think you better be quiet."

    Police decide 'abduction' was really a collaboration

    MIAMI -- An apparent kidnapping of three teenage girls at gunpoint was a hoax to cover their part in an armed robbery of a young man they set up, police said Tuesday.

    Police said 18-year-old Jorge Beltran III of Key Biscayne drove to Virginia Key Beach late Monday to meet with three girls, ages 15 through 17, and was attacked by two males who pepper-sprayed him and threatened him with guns.

    Beltran reported that the men then appeared to force the girls into the car the men had driven to the scene before driving off in that car and Beltran's car.

    But as police scrambled through the night to find the three girls, they concluded that the trio were working with the two men. One man was arrested Tuesday along with two of the girls. A pellet gun resembling a pistol was recovered from him, police said.

    Officers were still looking for the other suspect and the other girl Tuesday. None of the suspects has been publicly identified.

    Police said they could be charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery.

    Beltran's car was recovered.

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