Professor Who Vandalized Abortion Display Apologizes, Charges Dropped

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 26, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Professor Who Vandalized Abortion Display Apologizes, Charges Dropped Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 26, 2006

Highland Heights, KY ( — The professor who led a group of students at Northern Kentucky University to vandalize a display set up by the pro-life student group has apologized for her actions and will make a donation to a local maternity home that helps pregnant women. In exchange, criminal charges filed against her by the county prosecutor will be dropped.

Sally Jacobsen, a British literature professor at NKU was charged with theft, criminal mischief and criminal solicitation after she led a group of pro-abortion students in destroying 400 crosses the campus pro-life group displayed to mourn the deaths of more than 43 million unborn children from abortion.

Campbell District Judge Karen Thomas said last month that the charges would be dropped if Jacobsen successfully completed a mediation.

After the mediation, Jacobsen agreed to pay Northern Right to Life, the student pro-life group, for the costs of the display and she issued an apology the group posted on its web site.

"I apologize to [the group and its members] for dismantling [the display]," Jacobsen wrote. "I did not realize I was interfering with Northern Right to Life’s freedom of speech and I deeply regret having done so."

Jacobsen previously issued an apology through the media but parsed her words in comments that made it appear she believed she had the right to destroy the pro-life display unless NRTL had permission from the college to set up the display, which it did.

In the apology, Jacobsen said, "No one has the right to trample upon the rights of others in expressing their freedom of speech, particularly when it’s a permitted use."

Jacobsen, who has also made a $1,000 donation to the Madonna House, a Northern Kentucky crisis pregnancy shelter, told the organization she hopes the members can "get on with our lives" following what she termed a "disastrous affair."

The campus pro-life group accepted Jacobsen’s apology, saying, "Now that this case has been resolved, Northern Right to Life hopes to continue defending human life and promoting education about abortion on our campus and in our community."

Jacobsen encouraged the students, members of one of her classes, to destroy the display and eventually led them in doing so. They were caught on camera by a reporter from the student newspaper.

She later encouraged the students involved to avoid talking to the police and obtaining attorneys.

Jacobsen was suspended by Northern Kentucky University for the remainder of the school year and her classes given to other professors to complete. She has since retired and moved to Portland, Oregon.

The pro-abortion students involved were sentenced to perform community service in exchange for dropping charges against them. Judge Thomas told the students they need to follow through 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.

The pro-abortion students who destroyed the pro-life display 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, Ohio and Laura Caster, 23, of Highland Heights, Ky.

Related web sites:
Northern Right to Life –