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The Odd Truth, Nov. 10, 2004

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by CBSNews.com's Brian Bernbaum.

Tsk! Tsk! Boss Spanks Workers

RED BANK, Tenn. - The owner of a shaved ice business was arrested after two employees claimed he spanked them for making mistakes at work.

Paul Eugene Levengood, 57, was charged with two counts of sexual battery after the 19-year-old women complained.

One of the women told police that on her first day at the Tasty Flavors Sno Biz, Levengood made her sign a statement that said: "I give Gene permission to bust my behind any way he sees fit."

Police Sgt. Jay LaMance said the women likely accepted the spankings instead of leaving immediately because they were "brought up to respect anybody who is an authority figure."

One of the women told police Nov. 1 that she "was shocked at the incident but could not leave because she had no transportation." The other woman said she continued to work for Levengood for more than a year after she was spanked and that he told her "either she could be spanked or be fired."

Police say one of the women reported that on Oct. 30, her fourth day on the job, Levengood called her "into the back room of the store" after she forgot to put a banana in a smoothie drink.

She said that as punishment Levengood "bent her over his knee and spanked her behind 20 times." She said that a day earlier he "snapped a photograph of her behind" as she reached for a bottle on a shelf.

Levengood was freed on $2,000 bail pending a Nov. 16 court hearing. His franchise in this Chattanooga suburb was closed Tuesday.

At the company headquarters in Minneapolis, sales manager Tom Novetzke described Levengood as a "very Christian person," adding that "We've never had a complaint."

Scheming Inmate Swallows Syringes, Heroin

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A jail inmate allowed to attend a family funeral returned to the jailhouse 12 hours later with a stash of drugs and syringes in his stomach, authorities said.

Joshua Robertson, 30, had been in jail since Oct. 18 on charges of selling and transporting heroin and resisting arrest. Deputies suspected he may have planned a drug run when he asked to attend the funeral, police Sgt. Steve Carney said.

"We weren't able to communicate our suspicions to the judge" before Robertson was released, Carney said Monday. But detectives got a search warrant, and when Robertson returned Friday, he was taken to the hospital for an X-ray.

Laxatives and an enema were used and Robertson "gave them up within five hours," Carney said. Robertson expelled 17 grams of black tar heroin, 20 grams of marijuana and four hypodermic syringes.

Robertson was already facing up to 12 years in state prison, plus two parole violations, said Assistant District Attorney Thanh Ngo. Officers seized 50 grams of heroin and $1,500 from Robertson when he was arrested in October, investigators said.

Additional drug charges will be filed this week, Carney said.

The Case Of The Spiked Strudel

BATH, N.Y. - Authorities say a western New York woman spiked an elderly man's apple strudel in a bid to hasten her inheritance.

The 26-year-old woman faces six years in state prison after admitting to feeding the medicine-laced pastry to the 82-year-old neighbor she was taking care of.

Authorities say the man had told her he was putting her in his will because of the favors she was doing for him.

Prosecutors say the woman gave her neighbor a strudel that contained over-the-counter pain pills. But the man noticed the pills in the strudel and called a relative, who called police.

The woman is expected to plead guilty later this month in a plea deal.

Coke-Peddling 'Grandpa Gang' Busted

VIENNA, Austria - Austrian authorities said Wednesday they busted a group of older men dubbed the "Grandpa Gang" who allegedly were involved in selling cocaine.

An undisclosed number of suspects ranging in age from 55 to 70 were detained by police on suspicion of involvement in the ring, including the alleged leader, a 58-year-old man whose name was not released, Vienna police said in a statement.

Police arrested the suspects in a raid on a penthouse apartment in downtown Vienna, where they also seized cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $260,000.

Authorities said the drugs were brought from Belgium and the Netherlands for sale in Austria and had been hidden in letters and envelopes in the apartment. Police used drug-sniffing dogs to find the cocaine cache.

Several other suspected members of the group were arrested in May, and in September, authorities seized more cocaine that investigators believe belonged to the group, police said.

Judge Denies X-Rated Past, Resigns

BUCHAREST, Romania - A Romanian judge on Wednesday resigned after being accused of starring in an X-rated video, officials said.

Simona Lungu, 36, a judge at the Bucharest Tribunal, was investigated by judicial authorities over allegations that she acted in an adult video that was sold in Denmark.

Lungu denied it was her in the movie and asked the Forensic Institute, a state crime lab, to help her clear her name by taking photos of her and comparing them to the video.

Instead, the institute concluded it was her in the video.

Lungu contested the institute's findings and asked members of the Superior Council for Magistrates, which oversees judges, to clear her name, but they refused.

The council voted on Wednesday to accept her resignation from the bench, said Justice Minister Cristian Diaconescu.

"The debates in the case are over," he said after the council's meeting.

The scandal led to the resignation of the head of the council, Dan Lupascu, who said he was unfairly accused by other council members of committing errors in investigating Lungu's case.

Lupascu withdrew his resignation Wednesday, after Diaconescu asked him to reconsider his decision, private news agency Mediafax reported.

The story has run in Romanian newspapers for the past few weeks, with images from the movie "Secrets of Seduction," printed next to photos of the judge.

What's It Take To Get Arrested Around Here?

ALBANY, N.Y. - A man claims he tried to turn himself in after robbing a bank - but police told him to come back later.

Police officials in Albany, New York, are looking into the matter.

Darrell Lewis says he robbed an Albany bank on November first and used the money to buy crack cocaine. After an all-night crack binge, he says he walked into a police station and told someone at the front desk that he was the man who robbed the bank.

Lewis told authorities that a woman told him to come back later.

Instead, Lewis walked to another Albany police station and turned himself in there. While being questioned by detectives, Lewis mentioned being turned away at the first station.

Officials say they're investigating his claim.

Crack Cocaine: Trick Or Treat?

ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orange County first grader who brought to school more than $1,000 worth of crack cocaine has been suspended and her mother is under investigation.

The 6-year-old girl from Tangelo Park Elementary said she found the bag of more than a dozen pieces of crack at home, according to sheriff's deputies. But her mother said she must have gotten it trick-or-treating.

The sheriff's office says they may never be able to prove from where the crack came.

School officials sent a letter home with students on Thursday, explaining how an anti-drug campaign led another student to recognize the crack and reassuring parents their children are safe.

Following Monday's incident, the girl was removed from the classroom in accordance with district policy. Tangelo Park's principal said the girl's mother used a false address to get her into the school, so the child won't be coming back.

As part of the investigation, the Department of Children and Families has stepped in to interview the mother. A DCF spokeswoman said the agency could not comment.