by Steven Ertelt
May 12, 2006
Highland Heights, KY (LifeNews.com) — Six pro-abortion students charged with vandalism in the destruction of a pro-life display at Northern Kentucky University will have the charges dropped and be required to perform community service as a result of their actions. However, a British literature professor who encouraged the students to destroy the pro-life display won’t receive the same treatment.
Assistant Campbell County Attorney Rick Woeste announced the decision Thursday but said he objected to including professor Sally Jacobsen in the community service agreement.
Jacobsen’s attorney Margo Grubbs, told the Cincinnati Post he was enraged by the decision to drop the charges against the students but keep them against the professor.
"I think that her not being allowed diversion is extremely extraordinary treatment for the normal citizen in this state," Grubbs said. "She has no criminal record. First offenders (charged with non-violent crimes) always get diversion."
Jacobsen was charged with theft, criminal mischief and criminal solicitation, but Grubbs claimed Jacobsen never received police paperwork with the actual charges.
According to the Post, District Judge Karen Thomas says Jacobsen has until May 23 to answer the charges. But Grubbs said she is working on a paper at an undisclosed location and may not be back in town by then.
Judge Thomas told the students they need to follow through on the community service or they would be back before her facing the charge.
"You need to understand — you need to do exactly what they tell you," Thomas said.
Jacobsen and the students faced criminal charges after trashing a pro-life display the campus pro-life group set up outside the student center. She and the pro-abortion student destroyed over 400 crosses set up to memorialize those who have died from abortion.
Thomas Beiting, who represents one of the students in the case, said Jacobsen told them they would not get in trouble because she claimed the Northern Right to Life student pro-life group did not have permission to put up the display. The group had actually obtained a permit from the university.
"These girls did not believe they would get in trouble," Beiting told the Post.
The students were charged with and criminal mischief but will have their records expunged by participating in a community service program.
Both the students and Jacobsen were caught on camera by a reporter from the student newspaper and Jacobsen later admitted encouraging some of the students in her class to vandalize the display.
Jacobsen initially defended her actions saying she was within her free speech rights to destroy the pro-life display.
Later, she sent out an email to the students involved encouraging them to resist talking to the police and making it difficult for authorities to find them to question them about the vandalism. In the email, Jacobsen attacked pro-life groups.
Jacobsen has been placed on leave and plans to retire after the end of the school year. Her classes were given to other professors to conclude the semester.
According to the Post, the pro-abortion students involved in the vandalism included: Michelle Cruey, 21, of Walton, Ky.; Katie Nelson, 21, and Heather Nelson, 27, both of Dayton, Ky.; Stephanie Horton, 23, of Alexandria, Ky.; Sara Keebler, 25, of Cincinnati, and Laura Caster, 23, of Highland Heights, Ky.