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Ex-leader of Northern Ireland's biggest unionist party faces sex offense charges dating to 1985

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Ex-leader of Northern Ireland's biggest unionist party faces sex offense charges dating to 1985
News

News

Ex-leader of Northern Ireland's biggest unionist party faces sex offense charges dating to 1985

2024-04-24 19:47 Last Updated At:19:50

LONDON (AP) — The former leader of Northern Ireland’s biggest unionist party was jeered as he left court Wednesday following his appearance on sexual abuse charges dating back nearly four decades.

Some members of the public shouted at Jeffrey Donaldson and lunged toward him, and he had to be surrounded by police as he left Newry Magistrates' Court following his first appearance since his arrest last month.

Donaldson, 61, faces one charge of rape, a single charge of gross indecency and nine indecent assault charges dating from 1985 to 2006.

His wife, Eleanor Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, 58, faces four counts of aiding and abetting the alleged crimes.

The two did not enter pleas during a brief appearance together in court. They spoke only to confirm their names, birth dates and to acknowledge they understood the charges. They were released on bail.

Donaldson resigned as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, after he was arrested on March 28.

In a letter to party leaders, Donaldson said he would be “strenuously contesting” the charges.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the arrest followed a complaint about old offenses made in early March. The charges involve two alleged victims.

His resignation shocked the DUP just months after the party agreed to return to Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government after he won concessions on Britain’s post-Brexit trading arrangements with the European Union.

As leader of the DUP between 2021 and 2023, he was the most powerful figure in Northern Ireland’s unionist movement, which seeks to maintain the region’s historic ties to the United Kingdom.

The court case was adjourned until May 22.

Former DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, left, arrives at Newry Magistrates' Court, where he is charged with several historical sexual offences, in Newry, Northern Ireland, Wednesday April 24, 2024. Sir Jeffrey resigned as DUP leader and was suspended from the party following the charges. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Former DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, left, arrives at Newry Magistrates' Court, where he is charged with several historical sexual offences, in Newry, Northern Ireland, Wednesday April 24, 2024. Sir Jeffrey resigned as DUP leader and was suspended from the party following the charges. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Former DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson arrives at Newry Magistrates' Court, where he is charged with several historical sexual offences, in Newry, Northern Ireland, Wednesday April 24, 2024. Sir Jeffrey resigned as DUP leader and was suspended from the party following the charges. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Former DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson arrives at Newry Magistrates' Court, where he is charged with several historical sexual offences, in Newry, Northern Ireland, Wednesday April 24, 2024. Sir Jeffrey resigned as DUP leader and was suspended from the party following the charges. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Former DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson arrives at Newry Magistrates' Court, where he is charged with several historical sexual offences, in Newry, Northern Ireland, Wednesday April 24, 2024. Sir Jeffrey resigned as DUP leader and was suspended from the party following the charges. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Former DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson arrives at Newry Magistrates' Court, where he is charged with several historical sexual offences, in Newry, Northern Ireland, Wednesday April 24, 2024. Sir Jeffrey resigned as DUP leader and was suspended from the party following the charges. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Former DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson arrives at Newry Magistrates' Court, where he is charged with several historical sexual offences, in Newry, Northern Ireland, Wednesday April 24, 2024. Sir Jeffrey resigned as DUP leader and was suspended from the party following the charges. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Former DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson arrives at Newry Magistrates' Court, where he is charged with several historical sexual offences, in Newry, Northern Ireland, Wednesday April 24, 2024. Sir Jeffrey resigned as DUP leader and was suspended from the party following the charges. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Next Article

Ranger Suárez improves to 9-0, Harper homers in Phillies' 5-2 win over Rangers

2024-05-22 09:27 Last Updated At:09:31

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ranger Suárez stuck out 10 over seven innings and improved to 9-0 to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to their MLB-best 35th win, a 5-2 victory over the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Bryce Harper hit his 11th homer of the season to help the Phillies win for the ninth time in 11 games and continue one of the best starts in franchise history.

This season, no pitcher in baseball has been better than Suárez.

The 28-year-old lefty walked off to a standing ovation in the seventh after he caught Leody Taveras looking on a 91.6 mph sinker to end the inning. Suárez took a no-decision in his first start of the season before he reeled of wins in nine straight starts.

José Alvarado worked a scoreless ninth for his ninth save.

Ranger bested the Rangers, and continued his reign as Philadelphia's top pitcher this season — no small feat for a rotation that already boasts Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Suárez walked two, gave up a run and lowered his ERA to 1.36 before he yielded to Jeff Hoffman in the eighth inning.

Corey Seager hit a solo shot off Hoffman in the eighth to make it 3-2.

Hoffman got only two outs before Matt Strahm retired Nathaniel Lowe on a sharp line drive to left field with two runners on to end the inning.

This three-game series comes oh-so-close to serving as a World Series rematch. The Rangers needed only five games to beat Arizona and win the franchise's first World Series — after Arizona won Games 6 and 7 in Philadelphia to rally and knock out the Phillies in the NL Championship Series.

Suárez fell into a rare early deficit after he gave up Marcus Semien's RBI single to left in the third.

The Phillies went ahead 2-1 off Jon Gray (2-2) on Kyle Schwarber's run-scoring single in the third and Alec Bohm's RBI single in the fourth. Harper connected off Rangers reliever Jacob Latz in the sixth for a 3-1 lead.

Bohm knocked in his NL-best 44th RBI on a double in the eighth and Bryson Stott followed with a sacrifice fly for a 5-2 lead.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies shortstop Trea Turner took batting practice as part of his recovery from a left hamstring injury. Turner was hitting .343 with two homers, 10 doubles, nine RBIs and 10 stolen bases before he was hurt earlier this month.

UP NEXT

The Phillies send RHP Taijuan Walker (3-0, 4.91 ERA) to the mound in the second game of a three-game series. The Rangers did not name a starter.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, center, reacts after hitting a home run against Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, center, reacts after hitting a home run against Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Texas Rangers left fielder Ezequiel Duran catches a fly out by Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Castellanos during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Texas Rangers left fielder Ezequiel Duran catches a fly out by Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Castellanos during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Alec Bohm hits a run-scoring single against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Alec Bohm hits a run-scoring single against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' J.T. Realmuto, right, reacts after striking out against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' J.T. Realmuto, right, reacts after striking out against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Schwarber follows through after hitting a run-scoring single against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Schwarber follows through after hitting a run-scoring single against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Brandon Marsh, left, is tagged out by Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after trying to score on a single by J.T. Realmuto during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Brandon Marsh, left, is tagged out by Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after trying to score on a single by J.T. Realmuto during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Brandon Marsh, left, is tagged out by Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after trying to score on a single by J.T. Realmuto during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Brandon Marsh, left, is tagged out by Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after trying to score on a single by J.T. Realmuto during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper watches after hitting a home run against Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper watches after hitting a home run against Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, right, rounds the bases past Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Smith after hitting a home run against pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, right, rounds the bases past Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Smith after hitting a home run against pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, right, reacts past Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after hitting a home run against pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, right, reacts past Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after hitting a home run against pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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