Friday, December 17, 2004

More News from Academia

News from a California courtroom, where a former profesor at Claremont McKenna College was found guilty of filling a false police report. She claimed that her rental car had been vandalized with racists statements, and led a campus wide protest. Turns out she did the vandalizing. Student reactions are mixed.

Since the link is to a subscriber site, I will post the article in comments.


At 9:43 AM, Blogger Bear said...

Ex-professor sentenced to prison

HOAX: The Redlands resident's claim slurs were painted on her car led to a campus protest.

11:31 PM PST on Wednesday, December 15, 2004

By JOHN F. BERRY / The Press-Enterprise

POMONA - A former Claremont McKenna College visiting professor who led a campus protest against racism after painting slurs on her own car in March was sentenced Wednesday to one year in state prison.

Kerri Francis Dunn, 40, tears streaming down her cheeks as she was led from a Pomona courtroom, was convicted in August on two felony counts of attempted insurance fraud and one misdemeanor count of filing a false police report.

She had been ordered to jail for 90 days in September to undergo psychological evaluations.

"This was no different than a bomb hoax," said Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles Horan. "It's a hoax that there's a criminal running around on campus willing to do harm."

Horan ordered Dunn to pay almost $20,000 in restitution to Claremont McKenna College. Horan, after reading a letter from President Pamela Brooks Gann, said those costs included damage to Dunn's rental car, increasing campus security and compensating faculty who taught Dunn's classes after she lost her position as a visiting psychology professor.

A Claremont McKenna representative declined to comment as he left the courtroom.

Horan also ordered Dunn to pay restitution to the Claremont Police Department. He did not specify an amount, but said it would cover the costs from the initial vandalism report to when police first considered her a suspect.

News of the vandalism to Dunn's car sparked outrage among the students at the five Claremont Colleges. The colleges, under pressure from students, closed the campuses for a day - something Horan said they did not do even after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Thousands of students attended a March 10 protest against intolerance led by Dunn, at which she described herself as a "victim of terrorism."

Pomona College student Jordan Kunz, 20, who attended that rally, said Wednesday that Dunn deserved prison.

"She toyed with us," Kunz said. "Some people were let down and feel like they have been taken advantage of."

Two witnesses testified at Dunn's trial that they saw her slash the tires of her 1990 Honda Civic and that it already had been spray painted with graffiti.

"What she did was temporarily terrorize minority students on campus and make suspects of the rest," Horan said.

Horan refused Dunn probation after reading three reports indicating that Dunn denies any wrongdoing and refuses to accept responsibility for her actions.

"Your client has chosen to be aggressively remorseless," Horan told Gary Lincenberg, Dunn's attorney. "She dug herself a big hole - and she dug it."

Her father, William Dunn, 78, asked the judge to let his family take his daughter home to New Jersey.

"I beg your honor to have mercy with our daughter. We love her very much," said William Dunn, choking back tears. "It would be a joyful Christmas it she could return home with us."

William Dunn, a retired police officer, was one of eight family members in the courtroom. He later declined to comment.

Dunn, who wore a bright yellow shirt and blue pants, took notes despite wearing handcuffs and chains. She initially was giddy at seeing her family, but her expression turned dour as the judge discussed a state prison sentence.

With tears flowing, Dunn turned to her family as she was led out of the courtroom.

"I'm OK. It's OK. I love you guys," she said, her right fist pressed against her heart.

Lincenberg said outside of the courtroom that he plans to appeal. He has said previously that Dunn has a bipolar mental disorder.

Los Angles County Deputy District Attorney Martin Bean, who prosecuted the case, said the one-year prison sentence was appropriate. He said Dunn could have been sentenced to three years.

People who receive one-year prison sentences for nonviolent crimes generally can expect to serve at least half of that time, court officials said.

Gloria Cowan, a psychology professor at Cal State San Bernardino, said she believes Dunn is innocent. Dunn had lived at Cowan's south Redlands home.

"Obviously, there's no motive if she didn't commit a crime," Cowan said.

Pomona College student Doris Lee, 19, who also attended the rally Dunn led in March, said she did not want Dunn's actions to give people an excuse to believe that racism does not exist. She said there had been other racist vandalism in the area.

"It didn't seem unbelievable," Lee said of the vandalism to Dunn's car. "It seemed out of proportion, but it didn't seem impossible."

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Matthias said...

Liberal wacko makes false claims of repression/intimidation, denies any wrongdoing and refuses to accept responsibility for their actions? What exactly is the news here? HAHAHAHAHA!


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