Court assigns community service to accused vandals

Demma Rodriguez ’03 and Andrew Kelsey ’05 went before Judge Richard Carey at a pre-trial conference on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

“I have not and will not have a trial,” wrote Rodriguez in a statement to The Student. “At the pre-trial conference, my attorney and the Assistant District Attorney agreed that a ‘continuance without a finding’ was the most appropriate resolution to this matter. The judge heard my case and approved the resolution.”

According to The Daily Hampshire Gazette, Kelsey’s pre-trial conference led to the same result. However, Kelsey refused comment on his case. The Gazette reported that the cases will be continued without findings for one year; this will allow them to complete the terms of their probation.

“At that point [in a year], my case and probation report will be reviewed,” wrote Rodriguez. “Until then, I must not drink and I must complete 200 hours of community service. If I fulfill my obligations, the case will be dismissed.” The Gazette reported that Rodriguez was required to pay a $50 victim-witness fee.

According to The Gazette, Kelsey must perform 50 hours of community service. He was also required to pay $1,000 in court fees and a $50 victim-witness fee.

Rodriguez said that the prescription of community service should not prove to be difficult to complete. “Those close to me … know that community service is a very important part of my life,” she wrote. “My community service easily exceeds 100 hours a year. I should have no problem completing 200 hours of service over 2 years.” Rodriguez added that she plans on using her hours to “help working class minority families to achieve upward mobility through education.”

She also stated that she is confident she can refrain from drinking alcohol, as proscribed by the court. “I have never been a regular drinker and in light of this situation, I am quite happy to refrain from drinking,” she wrote.

Both Rodriguez and Kelsey were dismissed from the College in mid-October with the option to petition for readmission in a year.

Rodriguez said that she is unsure of whether or not she plans to return to the College. “I have many doors opening up for me. Taking time off will give me the chance to focus on myself and grow as a person. However, I am also more than ready to finish my degree. I am a transfer student and have the option of returning to my old university. I have yet to make a final decision,” she wrote. Rodriguez attended Northeastern University before she transferred to the College in the fall of 2000.

Rodriguez wrote that she felt remorse over the damage done to the statues. “I am deeply saddened by what has happened,” she wrote. “I never intended to damage or compromise artwork. I lacked thoughtfulness and consideration and for that I am truly sorry. I hope that my fellow students will accept my heartfelt apology.”

According to President Tom Gerety, the College’s investigation into the destruction of the statues is closed.