POMPANO BEACH, Fla — Two Broward teachers have been removed from their classrooms for allegedly pouring holy water on another teacher because she is an atheist.
Leslie Rainer and Djuna Robinson are veteran and self-proclaimed Christian teachers at Blanche Ely High School.
In April, they were re-assigned after another teacher, Schandra Rodriguez, who is an atheist, said they poured holy water on her during an incident at the school on March 11.
“Miss Robinson obtained a little bottle with some perfume in it in jest and the students will all confirm she never went close to Miss Rodriguez. Miss Rodriguez was on the other side of the classroom and that was basically it,” said Johnny L. McCray Jr., Rainer and Robinson’s attorney.
The accused teachers said it was a joke. Rodriguez, however, said they did it because she is an atheist.
Rodriguez is still teaching at the school and some said it’s not fair.
“If we are going to ban talking to students about God, then the atheists should also be banned from telling kids there is no God,” said Rev. Kirby Thurston.
The Broward School Board is investigating the allegations. According to McCray, students are also being questioned about what happened.
MONTREAL – A self-described pastor who hoped his “marriage” to a 10-year-old girl he took to bed would convince a judge to acquit him on a sexual assault charge was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday.
Daniel Cormier, who was convicted last October following a lengthy trial, has a maximum of 49 months left behind bars because of time already served.
“I would say that there’s no remorse,” Crown prosecutor Anne-Andree Charette said outside the courtroom. “He just tried to find justifications.”
The Crown wanted the maximum prison term of 10 years, while a lawyer Cormier hired for sentencing arguments recommended between 30 months and four years behind bars, given Canadian jurisprudence..
The 57-year-old head of the now defunct Church of Downtown Montreal, who also once ran for mayor, has maintained he is not a pedophile and that he did nothing wrong as the pair were married during a ceremony at his obscure evangelical church in 1999.
Court heard he was lovestruck for the youngster.
During the trial, Quebec court Judge Sylvie Durand announced she would not hear testimony supporting his marriage defence.
The victim, who is now 19, testified she was too young to grasp the idea of marriage. She denied ever entering a union with him, but said she remembered the sexual abuse in vivid detail.
During the proceedings, court heard that Cormier’s church catered to the marginalized. Starting in 1993, he took the girl’s mother, a recovering junkie and prostitute, and her two daughters under his wing.
Relatives described Cormier as a father figure to the girls who were often invited to stay with him or go on vacation with him and other church members.
It was during such holidays that fellow parishioners became suspicious of Cormier’s relationship with the victim.
He was arrested in 2003 after a social worker notified police but the case progressed slowly through the courts as numerous motions were filed by both the Crown and Cormier, who represented himself at the trial.
When it came time for the victim to testify, she agreed to do so only via video link from an adjacent room and Cormier was barred from cross-examining her or her mother.
He declined to submit to the court an approved list of questions and rested his case without calling further witnesses or taking the stand himself.
At the time of his conviction, two additional charges of sexual touching and invitation to touching were dropped.
Cormier is currently on trial in another case involving a 16-year-old girl and could face additional jail time if convicted.
The alleged crimes, which Cormier denies committing, also date back to his time as a pastor.
A speeding pickup rear-ended a woman’s sedan on the South Side on Friday morning and sheriff’s officials say the driver said it was Jesus’ will because the other motorist was not â€œdriving like a Christian.â€
The bizarre incident that shut down southbound U.S. 281 above the Medina River happened about 7:25 a.m.
â€œHe just said God said she wasn’t driving right, and she needed to be taken off the road,â€ said Lt. Kyle Coleman of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.
The driver of the pickup was identified in a Sheriff’s Office news release as Michael E. Schwab, 52, of Blooming Grove.
Schwab told first responders at the scene that â€œthe other vehicle was not driving like a Christian and it was Jesus’ will for him to punish the car,â€ according to the release.
The 35-year-old woman was driving her sedan north when the pickup struck her vehicle. Schwab told deputies he was driving faster than 100 mph at the time, Coleman said.
The impact caused both vehicles to spin across a median before they came to a stop along a barrier in the southbound lanes. No other vehicles were involved.
Though both vehicles were badly damaged, the drivers suffered minor injuries.
â€œGod must have been with them, ’cause any other time, the severity of this crash, it would have been a fatal,â€ Coleman said.
The woman was taken to a hospital as a precaution. Schwab was later charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, motor vehicle. His bond was set at $50,000, according to the news release.
The pickup driver did not specify for authorities how the woman was driving poorly. Investigators determined the female driver â€œhad done nothing wrong,â€ according to the release.