Remember that gang of protesters—led by Bishop George Packard—whose case just went to trial after six months of limbo? All eight were found guilty of trespassing, and one received a particularly harsh sentence, reported Gothamist.
(by Alissa Fleck)
Occupier Mark Adams, charged additionally with criminal mischief and “attempted possession of burglar’s tools,” will spend forty-five days in jail according to Gothamist. All the other protesters received four days of community service and a $200 fine.
Packard called it a “sad day” and a “major disappointment” that Adams would go to jail. He supported the defense’s argument that conflicting signage (according to Village Voice, signs at the site read: “Open to the Public”) meant the protesters‘ actions could not technically be called trespassing. Nevertheless, Duarte Square is privately-owned, and Judge Matthew Sciarrino, who presided over the case, said there was no way the occupiers actions—climbing over a chain-link fence—were not trespassing.
Judge Sciarrino ordered a guilty sentence nearly immediately, said Village Voice, without much deliberation.
Trinity Church Rector James Cooper, a witness for the prosecution, said he supported the movement but occupiers took it too far and the Duarte Square incident presented health and safety hazards.
Gothamist reported Packard addressed the courtroom before sentencing: “In a time when we hope our moral institutions will speak with clarity, this one didn’t,” he said.
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