Mennonites, a famously patriarchal, closed-sect religion, often live in colonies such as the one in Bolivia founded by a group from Manitoba, Canada.
Eight men from the colony are on trial in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, for rapes of up to 130 women and girls from 2005 to 2009, allegedly instigated by Peter Weiber, 48, the colony’s veterinarian.
Weiber supposedly converted a cow anesthetic into an aerosol sedative that he sprayed into the victims’ open bedroom windows at night, after which he and his co-defendants would enter and have their way with the victims.
According to a dispatch in Time magazine, the case is hampered by shamed victims’ reluctance to testify and by the behavior of the defendants, who have been “laughing” at witnesses, “joking with guards,” or “falling asleep” during the trial.
party and you
can cry if
you want to
When Billy W. Williams, 53, skipped out during his trial for aggravated assault in 2003 in Dallas, Judge Faith Johnson was obviously annoyed, though Williams was nonetheless found guilty in absentia.
When Williams was recaptured and returned to her courtroom in October 2004 for sentencing, Judge Johnson organized a “welcome back” party in his “honor,” with balloons, streamers and a cake, to create a festive backdrop for her gleeful announcement that she was sentencing him to life in prison.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Fla. 33679 or go to www.newsoftheweird.com.)