|In today's troubling times, people of all faiths need to be aware of these 4 important religious truths:|
Ah, the obituaries. Just an adventure sometime. So, of course anyone who dies who's 45 years old and "a retired hairdresser," is going to get my attention. A google search reveals this not so flattering news bite on the deceased.
|January 24, 2006 Tuesday|
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. B3
LENGTH: 479 words
HEADLINE: Man was on Raleigh police radar;
He's been convicted and served prison time before for sex offenses on servicemen
BYLINE: Sarah Ovaska, Staff Writer
RALEIGH -- A 42-year-old man facing accusations that he drugged a man was known by police to lure military men to his house with promises of jobs and money and then force them to engage in sex acts, according to court documents. Rodney Brent Hodge, 42, of 1905 Castle Pines Drive, left the Wake County jail Monday evening on a $500,000 bond. He had been in the jail since Jan. 15, when Raleigh police arrested him and charged him with second-degree sexual offense after a man said he was drugged and molested in Hodge's home in Northeast Raleigh's Hedingham Golf Club community. Hodge could not be reached for comment.
In an affidavit for a search warrant recently made public, Raleigh Police Detective R.D. Miller indicated that police were aware Hodge pleaded guilty in 2003 to extortion charges. "Rodney Hodge has been investigated by the Raleigh Police Department in prior incidents that he would lure Marines or active-duty service personnel to his place of residence and perform sexual acts upon them," Miller wrote in the affidavit. "Hodge would use extortion methods on them to arrange for further meetings and sexual encounters."
When Hodge was convicted, Wake County prosecutors said he forced six Marines, between the ages of 18 to 22, into sexual acts by offering them alcohol and money and then threatening to tell the servicemen's families and military officials about the encounters unless the rendezvous continued.
He served six months in state prison for those charges, according to the state Department of Correction. He also was given three years of probation and told he could not have contact with anyone in the military or he would face at least seven years of prison time, according to News & Observer archives.
Police think he used a similar approach in the most recent accusation. The victim in the most recent case was approached by Hodge on Jan. 12 in Wilmington. Hodge was driving a black Jaguar and said he was a hairdresser for several celebrities and needed a housesitter, according to Miller's affidavit. The two set up an interview for the next day that took place at Hodge's Raleigh home.
The man came to Raleigh for the interview and had some alcoholic drinks when he began to feel that he had been drugged. At one point, the man said Hodge held up several red pills and a bottle of clear liquid and said it was a legal way to get high, according to Miller's affidavit. Police think Hodge then made sexual advances that the man was unable to resist because he had been drugged, the search warrant states.
Police seized pornographic magazines, medicine packaging, undeveloped film and a bottle of unknown liquid from the Castle Pines Drive home.
Hodge also was arrested Dec. 17 and charged with two counts of obtaining property under false pretenses, two counts of making harassing phone calls and three counts of communicated threats, court records show.
Okay with all due respect to the deceased, I just can't resolve that information with two comments posted to his online obituary: (1) "I am sorry for your loss. I understand that he was a very kind person and will be missed by many," and (2) "I think the world of you Brent! Your spirit was so wonderful! You will truly be missed. My thoughts & prayers go out to your family & friends. You will always be remembered Brent."
Perhaps there's some lesson in there about forgiveness and accepting our friends—with all of their imperfections, but I'm just not feeling it.
I had dinner tonight with Kevin, Kurt, and their friends Carl and Jay, along with Eric and his boyfriend Patrick, and three women, whose names I'm going to update later. I'm pretty sure that the name of one of them was Josephene, who was the mother of one of the other two women there, as well as being one of the owners of Casalinga Ristorante out at Mini City.
We ate at Vic's Ristorante in City Market, where on the last Thursday of each month, they have a special called the "Italian Wine Dinner" (a.k.a. a "5-Course, 5-Wine special"), which is a prix-fixe for $38.00 per person. Although I claimed, "I'm not a wine drinker" beforehand, I was the first one finished with his glass each course. Things that make you go, "Hmmmmm."
Here was tonight's menu:
Romaine salad served with grilled shrimp, cannellini beans, fennel, black olives, finished in an extra virgin olive oil dressing.
Perlage Borgo Daveri Pinot Grigio
Crostini alle noci e gorgonzola
Crostini topped with gorgonzola cheese and walnuts
De Canal Montepulciano
Penne alla Borbona
Penne pasta served with eggplant, sausages, red peppers in a fresh tomato sauce
La Querce Chianti Sorrettole
Saltimbocca di Pollo
Chicken scaloppini topped with prosciutto and sage served with roasted potatoes and French beans
Ruggeri Corsini Dolcetto
Torta sorpresa alla Mia
Mia's surprise dessert
It was a three-hour eating session, but the food was delicious and the company fun. My favorite wine, if you have to drink some, was the L'Armangia Moscato served with dessert, probably because it was very sweet.
Kevin and I dropped off Kurt at about ten, I guess, and got home at around 10:30. We were both pretty beat. Maybe the wine? So, we called it an early night.