News Roundup for August 5, 2011

The trial of a Connecticut man on sexual assault charges has taken a bizarre turn into a constitutional debate. John McGowan, a former mayoral candidate and public access TV host, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman during a game of strip poker. McGowan said he was a member of the “sovereign citizen” group Republic for the united States, which rejects the U.S. government as illegitimate.

A Billings, Mont., resident was sentenced to three years in prison for a hate crime. Jason Lee Paullin, 35, earlier pleaded guilty to malicious intimidation for threatening an African-American man with his dog, chasing him, and yelling racial slurs at him.