Facebook rape stirs questions about witnessing crimes online

CHICAGO (AP) -- The case of a 15-year-old Chicago girl who authorities say was raped while around 40 people watched on Facebook raises questions that have come up before in other attacks: What's the obligation of bystanders who see a crime unfolding? And why do they not intervene? None of those who watched the sexual assault involving five or six men or boys called police.

Man in same-sex child custody case gets 3 years in prison

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- A Virginia businessman convicted of international parental kidnapping and conspiracy for his role in a same-sex couple's child custody fight was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison. Philip Zodhiates, Waynesboro, drove Lisa Miller and 7-year-old Isabella Miller-Jenkins from Virginia to the Canadian border in 2009 so they could fly from Toronto to Nicaragua. He also helped with their living arrangements in the Central American nation, according to Assistant U.S.

The Latest: Witness says he thought Sandusky was reported

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The Latest on the criminal trial of former Penn State president Graham Spanier (all times local): 5:15 p.m. A former Penn State vice president says he erroneously assumed for about a decade that state child welfare authorities had been contacted about a complaint that Jerry Sandusky had been seen showering with a boy in a football team shower.

Ex-Penn St official: 'I should have done more' in abuse case

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Two former senior administrators at Penn State testified Wednesday they regret how they handled a 2001 complaint about Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy, more than a week after they both struck plea deals and became witnesses against former university president Graham Spanier.

BC-AP News Digest 7 am

Here are the AP's latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT. -------------------------- NEW & DEVELOPING -------------------------- SYRIA -- Dozens dead or missing from airstrike in IS-held north Syria. SENT: 120 words.

Rape, abuse, death of girls at Guatemala home burned by fire

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- When firefighters entered the home for troubled youth, they discovered more than two dozen girls on the floor of a locked room, most of them dead. A moan rose from one of the bodies, piled on top of each other. When firefighter Danial Perpuac turned the girl over, flames came out of her mouth -- she was burning up inside. "That is something you cannot forget," Perpuac said helplessly.

Lawmaker charged with child prostitution filed odd bills

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A Republican state senator charged with child prostitution once proposed a bill to prohibit the use of human fetuses in food and spent 17 years working with a program that introduces young people to government. Sen. Ralph Shortey, who was elected to represent part of the Oklahoma City area, planned to resign Wednesday after being accused of soliciting sex from a 17-year-old boy, according to his attorney.

Prosecutor: Not reporting Jerry Sandusky let evil 'run wild'

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The failure of Penn State's former president to report child molestation accusations against Jerry Sandusky allowed evil "to run wild," prosecutors said Tuesday at the start of Graham Spanier's trial. A defense attorney accused prosecutors of trying to "criminalize a judgment call.

Social worker accused of hiding religious sect abuse resigns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A veteran social worker accused of coaching congregants and their children on what to say during a 2015 child abuse investigation of her secretive religious sect has resigned, an attorney for a child welfare agency said Friday. Andrea Leslie-Fite said Lori Cornelius left her position at the Cleveland County Department of Social Services.

Jennifer Garner calls for Congress to boost education funds

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jennifer Garner has called on Congress to do more to support early childhood education. The actress testified Thursday on Capitol Hill in support of education programs for preschoolers in poverty. Garner recalled growing up in West Virginia around children in poverty. She told lawmakers that she "couldn't stand up for them back then, but I can stand up for their families now.

2 indicted, accused of cyberbullying 18-year-old to suicide

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) -- A Southeast Texas man and his girlfriend were indicted Thursday on charges arising from the cyberbullying of the man's ex-girlfriend until her suicide. A Galveston County grand jury indicted Andres Arturo Villagomez, 21, and girlfriend Karinthya Sanchez Romero, 22, on charges arising from the Nov. 29 suicide of Brandy Vela, Villagomez's ex-girlfriend.

In sect that shuns medicine, case against pastor is novel

READING, Pa. (AP) -- A pastor in a fundamentalist Christian sect that rejects doctors and drugs has been charged in the death of a child -- his own granddaughter -- from medical neglect. The novel prosecution is raising hopes among some advocates that it might spur change in a church that has resisted it. Faith Tabernacle Congregation has long told adherents to place their trust in God alone for healing.

Alabama looks to become symbolic 'right to life' state

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- There's no sign of U.S. abortion law changing anytime soon, but Alabama wants to be ready if it ever does. A proposal in the Republican-controlled Legislature would declare Alabama a "right to life" state by amending the state constitution. The House of Representatives will vote on the bill Thursday, and if it passes the Legislature and is signed by the Republican governor, the constitutional amendment would go before voters in 2018.

UN agency shelves vote on ties with Big Tobacco

GENEVA (AP) -- The governing body of the International Labor Organization, which has taken millions of dollars in funding from Big Tobacco, has shelved a decision about whether to cut ties with the industry. The ILO body voted Wednesday to delay until November a decision about whether to join other U.N. agencies that have pledged to fight tobacco-industry influence in policymaking.

Dad: American UN worker kidnapped in Congo strived for peace

HESSTON, Kan. (AP) -- An American United Nations worker who was among six people kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo was doing humanitarian work and has had some success in persuading militia leaders to give up child soldiers, his father said. Michael Sharp, 34, believes that years of violence in eastern Congo have solved nothing and was working to do something about it, his father, John Sharp, told The Wichita Eagle .

Plea deal reached for man who fired shots inside DC pizzeria

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A man who police say fired an assault weapon inside a Washington pizza shop as he sought to investigate phony rumors of child sex trafficking has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors. At a status hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, lawyers said they have reached a plea deal in principle for 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina.

UNICEF says 2016 was worst year yet for Syria's children

BEIRUT (AP) -- In Syria, last year was the worst yet for the country's rising generation, with at least 652 children killed in 2016, the United Nations' child relief agency said Monday. There was no letup to attacks on schools, hospitals, playgrounds, parks and homes as the Syrian government, its opponents and the allies of both sides showed callous disregard for the laws of war.

UNICEF says 2016 was worst year yet for Syria's children

BEIRUT (AP) -- At least 652 children were killed in Syria in 2016, making it the worst year yet for the country's rising generation, the United Nations' child relief agency said Monday. There was no letup to attacks on schools, hospitals, playgrounds, parks and homes last year as the Syrian government, its opponents and the allies of both sides showed callous disregard for the laws of war.