To set eyes on Alfred Sole is to like him instantly.
He’s just welcomed me onto the Warner Brothers soundstage in Los Angeles where he works. At 75, Alfred is technically of retirement age, but he remains an in-demand production designer on popular television shows like MacGyver, Veronica Mars and Castle.
As I approach him, Alfred smiles broadly and extends his hand. He has a boyish face and a soft-spoken, warm manner. He’s of average height with salt-and-pepper hair. He’s like your friendly uncle, or your favorite person to sit next to at the neighborhood bar.
No jail time, ten years probation, and the lowest level sex offender designation. That’s the sentence handed out to Watertown, New York’s 26-year-old Shane M. Piche for raping a 14-year-old girl in his home after serving her alcohol. Piche had pled guilty to third degree rape of a 14-year-old girl he met as her school bus driver. Judge James P. McClusky said the reasoning for the low-level sex offender classification was due to the fact that Piche did not have an arrest record and there was only one victim.
At the turn of the twentieth century, a group of teenagers in Brooklyn collectively known as the Bedford Avenue Gang (many came from relatively wealthy families) were bucking the restrictive societal norms of their parents. This crew routinely got fucked up, had a lot of sex, and was prone to commit petty crimes.
But things went bad when Florence Burns, a young woman from the neighborhood, had a violent quarrel with one of the Gang, Walter Brooks, on Valentine’s Day 1902 at the Glen Island Hotel. Several hours later, Brooks was found dying in a hotel room with a bullet wound in his head.