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Ousted judge denied boost in retirement pay

Published January 5, 2007



An ousted judge lost a bid to sharply increase his retirement benefits Thursday, a month after he was removed for jailing 11 people who were late for traffic court when officials sent them to the wrong courtroom.

The Florida Supreme Court unanimously rejected former Seminole County Judge John Sloop's request for a rehearing of its Dec. 7 removal decision. The jailing and strip-searching of the misdirected motorists capped a series of complaints about Sloop's behavior.

Sloop, 58, of Sanford argued that the justices instead should order his "involuntary retirement" because he had suffered from then-undiagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.


Few 'Girls Gone Wild' charges remain

A judge dropped many felony charges against the producer of the Girls Gone Wild video series Thursday, citing a lack of evidence to support allegations involving the filming of girls at spring break on Panama City Beach.

Only four felony charges and two misdemeanor counts remain in the 2003 case in which Joe Francis, creator of a soft porn video empire, was charged with more than 40 criminal offenses.

Prosecutors already had dropped much of their case in early December after Circuit Judge Dedee Costello suppressed hundreds of hours of seized videotape because of faulty search warrants.

Remaining counts charge Francis with using and conspiring to use minors in sexual performances and with prostitution.

A federal court last month ordered Francis and three top corporate officers to do community service and ordered the company to pay a $1.6-million fine for filming underage girls.


Universal Studios visitor reports assault

Orlando police are investigating the attempted rape of a woman Wednesday night near the Revenge of the Mummy ride at Universal Studios park.

The woman, 32, told police she was in an express line for the ride and asked a man she thought was an employee about the entrance. He asked her to follow him.

She said he grabbed and dragged her into an emergency exit hallway and threw her face-first onto the ground. When she screamed for help, a police report said, "The suspect told her he was going to kill her."

She said when the man began taking his pants off, she fought him and escaped.

Orlando police Sgt. Barbara Jones said the woman suffered cuts on her forehead and was taken to Orange County's Sexual Assault Treatment Center.

Police and park personnel were reviewing surveillance camera tapes Thursday. Police said they don't yet know if the man was a park employee.


[Last modified January 5, 2007, 01:24:01]

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