Briefs package

***Duplication alerts:

AAS: Note officer rape brief.

ALL BUSINESS SECTIONS: Note flight attendant brief.

ALL FEATURES SECTIONS: Note Maltese Falcon brief.



Officer accused of rape in police car

A Texas police officer is accused of raping a handcuffed 19-year-old woman in the back of his patrol car. San Antonio’s police chief told reporters over the weekend he was “angry” and “outraged” after Officer Jackie Len Neal was arrested Saturday on a sexual assault warrant. Neal was released from jail later Saturday. A listed phone number for Neal was disconnected, and court records listing an attorney were not immediately available.


Mass grave body count rises

The number of bodies found in almost two dozen clandestine graves in western Mexico has risen to 42 after five more corpses were discovered over the weekend. Many of the bodies were bound or gagged. Some showed signs of torture, according to a federal prosecutor. The graves in La Barca near the border between Jalisco and Michoacan states are in a remote area near Lake Chapala, which is popular among tourists and American retirees. Agents were led to the 22 mass graves by local police officers who confessed to working with a drug cartel.


Clashes in Benghazi kill nine

Clashes pitting soldiers and armed civilians against members of a militant Islamic group in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi left nine dead early Monday, officials said. It was the latest confrontation between residents of Libya’s larger cities and the militias based in their midst. The fighting started before dawn between armed citizens and members of Ansar al-Shariah, a hard-line group suspected to have been behind the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate, which left the U.S. ambassador dead along with three other Americans.


Putin meets with pope and old pal

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a busy first day in Rome on Monday, going from the pope to dinner at the palazzo of his old friend, Silvio Berlusconi. Putin showed off his religious side during his visit to the Vatican, stopping to cross himself and kiss an icon of the Madonna that he gave Pope Francis. But Moscow’s improving relations with the Vatican only went so far: Putin didn’t invite Francis to visit. After the 35-minute audience, Putin went across town to pay a courtesy call on Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, then on to Berlusconi’s Palazzo Grazioli.


Home invasion victim welcomes baby

The Connecticut doctor whose wife and two daughters were killed in a 2007 home invasion has a new infant son. The baby was born over the weekend to Dr. William Petit and his new wife, Christine, whom he met while she was volunteering for the charity foundation that Petit created in memory of his wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit and their daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela. The family was held hostage for hours and their home in Cheshire was set on fire. Petit was beaten, tied up and taken to the basement, but he managed to escape and crawl to a neighbor’s house for help. Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes are awaiting execution for killing Hawke-Petit and the couple’s daughters.


Ex-flight attendant sentenced for threats

A former United Airlines flight attendant who made phony bomb threats against jetliners has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. Patrick Cau was sentenced Monday by a federal judge in Los Angeles. Cau pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of false information and hoaxes. In the plea agreement, Cau said he used pay phones in several cities to make eight threats against United flights between October 2012 and January. He was also ordered to pay more than $300,000 to United and to Los Angeles police as restitution because flights were delayed, canceled, evacuated or searched.


‘Maltese Falcon’ fetches $4 million

A statuette of a bird featured in the classic 1941 detective thriller “The Maltese Falcon” sold for more than $4 million at auction Monday. The final price on the 45-pound, 12-inch-tall prop was $4,085,000, according to Bonhams auction house. The black figurine is one of two known cast lead statuettes made for John Huston’s screen version of the film but the only one confirmed by Warner Bros. archives as having appeared in it, said Bonhams. The winning bid came over the phone. The statuette has a Warner Bros. inventory number etched into the base and bears the name of the movie, which starred Humphrey Bogart as private eye Sam Spade.