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Man gets 48 years for raping girl, 13

A Van Nuys man who raped a 13-year-old girl on her way to school was sentenced Wednesday to 48 years in prison.

Ulrich Gibson Mejia, 34, had pleaded no contest Oct. 13 to a half-dozen forcible sexual assault counts, including rape.

The victim was walking to Robert Fulton Middle School in Van Nuys when she was forced into a van on Oct. 16, 2003.

The girl was driven to another location and raped. She later managed to jump out of the van and flee when the vehicle was stopped at an intersection.

``This has just torn her life apart,'' Deputy District Attorney Ann Marie Wise said of the victim.

The girl told Mejia during the Van Nuys Superior Court hearing that she wanted him to know how he had changed her life.

- City News Service

Two child welfare agencies merging

A Sylmar child welfare agency founded in 1919 as the Kiddie Koop orphanage announced Wednesday it is merging with a Pasadena agency to form Los Angeles County's largest children's mental health and welfare agency.

The Pasadena-based The Sycamores and the Sylmar-based Hathaway Children & Family Services reached an agreement that will become effective Nov. 1 and operate under the name Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services.

Headquartered in Pasadena, Hathaway-Sycamores' combined resources will be able to annually serve nearly 10,000 children and families throughout the county.

- Daily News

Photos of foster kids to be shown

A photo exhibit of Los Angeles County foster children who need adoptive parents will go on display at shopping malls around the county after Nov. 5.

Dozens of area photographers, including actor Henry Winkler, have volunteered their time to photograph 25 of 600 foster youths who are waiting to be adopted. Most are children who are older, in sibling groups and have special needs.

For more information on adopting a foster child, call 888-811-1121.

- Daily News

D.A. program is top award winner

The Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission on Wednesday named the district attorney's juvenile offender program JOIN as the top award winner among 77 programs in the 19th annual awards program.

The Juvenile Offender Intervention Network provides intervention for children ages 10 to 17 who are first-time offenders who commit serious nonviolent offenses.

``When I was first elected D.A., I determined this to be the most effective crime prevention program being undertaken in the D.A.'s Office, but it was being used on a very limited basis,'' District Attorney Steve Cooley said.

The program has also saved taxpayers millions of dollars. Each successful JOIN case saves the justice system more than $7,000 by avoiding trial costs for the courts, including police, probation, defense and prosecution work.

- Daily News

Man is sentenced in 'lawyer' case

A Glendale man who pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of practicing law without a license and three felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses was sentenced to three years probation.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael S. Luros also ordered Irwin Trester, 62, to pay $9,000 restitution, perform 100 hours of community service and not to practice law in California or represent himself as an attorney, said Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Munisoglu.

Trester, who is licensed to practice in Kansas, took the California Bar exam twice in 1968 and twice in 1969, failing the exam all four times, according to the prosecutor.

Despite failing to get licensed as a California attorney, he set up his own law practice in Los Angeles, advertised in the Yellow Pages and had a Web site that promoted ``legal services,'' Munisoglu said earlier.

Trester reportedly had represented a number of businesses, including the Hollywood Wax Museum and the Best Western Executive Inn, along with Service Employees International Union Local 99.

- City News Service
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 27, 2005

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