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State Agency Launches Probe After NY Rink Advertises 'Christian Skate'
Agape Press ^ | June 28, 2006 | Allie Martin and Jenni Parker

Posted on 06/28/2006 1:51:56 PM PDT by Sopater

The New York State Division of Human Rights has begun a probe of a privately owned skating rink that recently advertised a "Christian Music Skate" party. The agency is investigating Len Bernardo and his wife Terry, owners of Skate Time 209 in Accord, New York, apparently because the rink plays Christian music during certain designated hours.

The Division of Human Rights has warned the rink, which also advertises Christian skating on Sunday afternoons, that it may be violating anti-discrimination laws. The agency also threatened to charge a local weekly newspaper that published the rink's advertisement of its Christian music skate with "aiding and abetting" unlawful discrimination. However, pro-family supporters of the rink and its proprietors contend that if anyone is violating the law, it is the government agency.

Len Bernardo says he was contacted by state authorities after his rink's "Christian skate" event was advertised in the local paper. However, he insists he has done nothing wrong and that the authorities are "just investigating to see if we are in fact, I guess, discriminating against people who don't like Christian music, I assume, or [who don't like] the fact that we're having Christian skate."

Last week, a complaint about the rink's newspaper ad prompted a letter from the New York State Division of Human Rights. According to Newsday.com, the letter reportedly stated that by soliciting Christian skaters, Skate Time 209 was apparently discouraging non-Christian customers in violation of human rights laws.

Bernardo suspects the Division of Human Rights officials have been laboring under a misapprehension. "We've never denied anybody access to the facility during our Christian skate," he says. "They're saying perhaps we are doing that because we're playing Christian music."

In an effort to clarify things, the owners of Skate Time 209 have changed the wording of one newspaper ad from "Christian skate" to "spiritual skate." Still, Bernardo points out, as the owners, they have every right to play the kind of music they want at their rink.

"We are a private business," the Christian proprietor says. And the afternoon "Christian skate" is just another program, he insists, just like teen night or family night -- a time during which wholesome, contemporary Christian music is played and all -- Christian and non-Christian alike -- are welcome to come and enjoy it.

And while Bernardo acknowledges that "the other side of the coin is that the state has to react to any complaint that they get," he says he and Terry are only exercising their basic constitutional rights. That is why they had their lawyer send a letter to the state making it clear that "these are traditional type things, we're not discriminating against anyone, and anyone's allowed access," he says.

"So now we have to kind of see where it goes," Bernardo notes. "And chances are, we believe, it will go away," he adds, "but we still have to defend our rights and our First Amendment rights to have a Christian skate."

The American Center for Law & Justice is representing the skating rink owners in the matter. Meanwhile, the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) has asked New York's Governor George Pataki to take authority over the investigation and put a stop to the state's "harassment" of the couple.

TVC chairman Rev. Louis P. Sheldon says the Division of Human Rights' threat of legal action against Skate Time 209's owners is crazy. "These people are exercising basic Constitutional rights on private property to the exclusion of no one, and the state government is treating them like dangerous criminals," he says.

© 2006 AgapePress all rights reserved.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antitheist; christian; churchandstate; jesushaters; tolerance; waronjesus
The Division of Human Rights has warned the rink, which also advertises Christian skating on Sunday afternoons, that it may be violating anti-discrimination laws. The agency also threatened to charge a local weekly newspaper that published the rink's advertisement of its Christian music skate with "aiding and abetting" unlawful discrimination.

What country do we live in?
1 posted on 06/28/2006 1:51:58 PM PDT by Sopater
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To: Sopater

one hint: sieg heil


2 posted on 06/28/2006 1:53:41 PM PDT by kimmie7 (If they say you kick like a girl, take it as a COMPLIMENT!)
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To: Sopater

Wow. Pretty scary stuff.


3 posted on 06/28/2006 1:54:23 PM PDT by zarf (It's not a question.....)
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To: Sopater
Is it illegal to play "Christian" rock in NY State now?

Hell, maybe Klezmer music or any "ethnic" music with religious overtones should be black listed.

4 posted on 06/28/2006 1:56:03 PM PDT by zarf (It's not a question.....)
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To: Sopater

They should have just false advertised and called it "Muslim Skate" or "Gay Skate." Then the "Division of Human Right" (How Orwellian sounding is that?) wouldn't have blinked an eye.


5 posted on 06/28/2006 1:56:34 PM PDT by MikeA (Not voting in November because you're pouting is a vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House)
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To: Sopater
I guess the state doesn't have a clue what the phrase "free exercise thereof" means or where it came from.
6 posted on 06/28/2006 1:57:05 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam Factoid:After forcing young girls to watch his men execute their fathers, Muhammad raped them.)
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To: Sopater

You mentioned the right theme. What nation do we live in?

This is ugly. There is simply no excuse for this whatsoever. This is a private business that chose one night to emphasise a religious theme. It's shocking to watch this seriously challenged.

James Car'vile' said it was 'Waaa'. He meant it.


7 posted on 06/28/2006 1:57:16 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (The Democrat Leadership Trifecta 2006: Anti truth, U.S. and sanity. Another leftist generation lost.)
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To: zarf

There you go! Why not simply call Christian rock "ethnic music"?


8 posted on 06/28/2006 1:57:32 PM PDT by Kenny Bunkport
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To: Sopater
Oh My Gosh! A Christian Music Skate Party!!!

Now if it were a "Pass Out the Condoms Party" no one would say a word.

9 posted on 06/28/2006 1:59:40 PM PDT by Obadiah (The beatings will continue until morale improves.)
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To: Sopater
Good grief, the commie-vampires are getting desperate, so they haven't sucked the lifeblood out of quite EVERYTHING good in this country??

Skating rinks are now what they hunger for?
10 posted on 06/28/2006 2:00:32 PM PDT by roses of sharon
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To: Sopater

11 posted on 06/28/2006 2:01:27 PM PDT by Gritty (Liberalism, our official state religion - Ann Coulter)
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To: Sopater

Wont be long now folks before they lock up Pavarotti for singing "Ave Maria".

The heathens have taken charge.


12 posted on 06/28/2006 2:01:27 PM PDT by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: Sopater
The Division of Human Rights has warned the rink, which also advertises Christian skating on Sunday afternoons, that it may be violating anti-discrimination laws.

There is no doubt in my mind the Division of Human Right would have no problem with the skating rink offering a "Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Skate" while playing the music of the Village People.
13 posted on 06/28/2006 2:01:41 PM PDT by TexanByBirth (Tired of high gas prices, then kick an environmentalist!)
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To: Sopater
This should send chills up the spine.

Communism is alive and well, it lives with us in the US.

We MUST get ride of the ACLU - defund it. Make them spend their own money in their quest to destroy us.

14 posted on 06/28/2006 2:01:41 PM PDT by maine-iac7 (LINCOLN: "...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time>")
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To: roses of sharon
"Privately owned skating rink."
15 posted on 06/28/2006 2:02:30 PM PDT by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: Sopater
Of course if it was Love Mother Earth night, no one would have a problem with THAT religion.
16 posted on 06/28/2006 2:02:58 PM PDT by ElkGroveDan (California bashers will be called out)
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To: Sopater

What happened to America?!?!

What happened to private business?!?!

God Help Us!

And Yes, THAT IS A CHRISTIAN PRAYER!!!


17 posted on 06/28/2006 2:03:04 PM PDT by trillabodilla (Jesus Saves)
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To: Sopater

And yet Disneyland can promote "Gay Days."


18 posted on 06/28/2006 2:06:00 PM PDT by Kenny Bunkport
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To: Sopater
The agency is investigating Len Bernardo and his wife Terry, owners of Skate Time 209 in Accord, New York, apparently because the rink plays Christian music during certain designated hours.

Bump to read later

19 posted on 06/28/2006 2:07:01 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (Colossians 4:6)
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To: massgopguy
Vampires don't discern when the smell blood, neither do commies.
20 posted on 06/28/2006 2:07:09 PM PDT by roses of sharon
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To: Kenny Bunkport

They are the Master Race. Just ask them.


21 posted on 06/28/2006 2:07:19 PM PDT by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: DoughtyOne
Sort of like Disney having a gay day at their amusement parks.
22 posted on 06/28/2006 2:08:16 PM PDT by dhs12345
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To: Sopater
Skate Time 209 was apparently discouraging non-Christian customers in violation of human rights laws

Bull. Nothing prevents non-Christian customers from attending the skate rink during those times, other than their own anti-Christian hatred.

23 posted on 06/28/2006 2:08:17 PM PDT by Kenny Bunkport
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To: Sopater

Although it has been a long time since I took my children to a skating rink (they are in their mid-20s), the use of Christian themed music was really a way of sanitizing what can be a pretty rowdy and rude experience otherwise. Basically, the hope was that people unsympathetic to Christian themes and lifestyle would find it uncomfortable and well, frankly, leave. Sort of like playing classical music (or more recently, that irritating high pitched sound that only relatively young ears can hear) to drive away unwelcome elements that congregate outside convenience stores.

Of course, if the skating rink wanted to have a "Mexico Night" or a Gay Pride skate day, it would be heralded as a paragon of tolerance and inclusiveness. Nope. No politics involved here. Just move along.


24 posted on 06/28/2006 2:08:45 PM PDT by Captain Rhino ( Dollars spent in India help a friend; dollars spent in China arm an enemy.)
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To: Sopater
What really gets me is this: if it were a "muslim skate" there wouldn't be any complaints. In fact, it would be encouraged.

Good for these people to fight back - if we don't all step up like this, there's no "new world" to go to anymore.
25 posted on 06/28/2006 2:08:45 PM PDT by Smarti Pants (This American Patriot will never forget !!! Give me Liberty or Give Me Death!)
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To: massgopguy

"Fabulous" Race, maybe.


26 posted on 06/28/2006 2:09:01 PM PDT by Kenny Bunkport
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To: dhs12345

LOL, well not exactly, but I get your point.


27 posted on 06/28/2006 2:09:41 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (The Democrat Leadership Trifecta 2006: Anti truth, U.S. and sanity. Another leftist generation lost.)
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To: Sopater; All
Here is what the ACLJ says about the case: Jay Seculow's Trial Notebook
28 posted on 06/28/2006 2:10:01 PM PDT by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: Sopater

Thanks! That's great to see!! Hopefully that will end the bullying.


29 posted on 06/28/2006 2:11:47 PM PDT by Smarti Pants (This American Patriot will never forget !!! Give me Liberty or Give Me Death!)
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To: zarf

I would hope they would spend their time watching the mosques, but thats probably illegal.


30 posted on 06/28/2006 2:15:08 PM PDT by RolandBurnam (I WANT SOME PORK RINDS!!!!)
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To: Sopater

The secular crowd now wants it both way. No mention of God in the public sector and now no expression of Christianity in the private sector. This really makes me wonder why they are so afraid of Christianity? It's always the hypocritical protectors of equal right that are aggressively trying to trample our rights.


31 posted on 06/28/2006 2:15:24 PM PDT by Keflavik76
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To: All
Here's the story from "Newsday.com": Christian skating session prompts complaint

a complaint about an advertisement for the rink in a local weekly newspaper prompted a letter last week from the Pataki administration's Division of Human Rights.

Who are these clowns working for Pataki?
32 posted on 06/28/2006 2:18:51 PM PDT by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: Captain Rhino
the use of Christian themed music was really a way of sanitizing what can be a pretty rowdy and rude experience otherwise. Basically, the hope was that people unsympathetic to Christian themes and lifestyle would find it uncomfortable and well, frankly, leave.

I find myself moving more and more in this direction all the time. Our family attends almost 0 events that aren't Christian based, simply because of the element that does attend. I wouldn't even consider something like a ocean cruise or other similar event if it weren't Christian based because I don't want to have to deal with the moral decadence that tends to saturate these things at the secular level.
33 posted on 06/28/2006 2:26:26 PM PDT by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: Sopater

I guess here in NJ it's OK to have Muslim Day at Great Adventure though!


34 posted on 06/28/2006 2:27:26 PM PDT by alice_in_bubbaland (NY Slimes the paper of record for OBL!)
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To: Sopater

" Who are these clowns working for Pataki?"

Better yet. Who is Pataki?

Nothing more than a 'liberal' in republican clothing.


35 posted on 06/28/2006 2:35:48 PM PDT by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: Keflavik76; ElkGroveDan

To gain an understanding of what these people are after it is important to begin at the beginning -- The Humanist Manifesto of 1933. Signed by 34 Marxists and fellow-travellers it is perhaps the most important socio-political document ever issued in the USA. However, few people know of its existence. Info can be gleaned from a Google search.


36 posted on 06/28/2006 2:57:15 PM PDT by gaspar
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To: MikeA
The Division of Do Nothing Parasites would have immediately given the owners a multi million dollar grant, front page feel good stories, and Hillary Clinton would use the skating rink for photo ops.

A Gay/Muslim Save the Transgendered Whales From the Blood For Oil Imperialists Led by OverLord Dick Cheney Skate-a-thon would be a guarantee federal bucks money maker!
37 posted on 06/28/2006 3:07:34 PM PDT by ishabibble
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To: Sopater

I can't even believe I'm reading this! This is unbelievable! I hope he gets a good lawyer who will take the case for free. Stupid gubmint bas-turds.


38 posted on 06/28/2006 3:20:14 PM PDT by AmericanChef
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To: TexanByBirth
There is no doubt in my mind the Division of Human Right would have no problem with the skating rink offering a "Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Skate" while playing the music of the Village People.

You beat me to it. If I owned this rink that's exactly what I would do. Throw it right back into their arrogant faces! Might even do a Pedophile Skate :)

39 posted on 06/28/2006 3:29:02 PM PDT by upchuck (Wikipedia.com - the most unbelievable web site in the world.)
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To: Sopater
Image hosted by Photobucket.com now you know why ny is called the EMPIRE state...
40 posted on 06/28/2006 3:51:41 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: AmericanChef

The problem seems to me to be more important in its implications than is being discussed. Not only does he need an attorney, he needs an attorney who will go on the offense rather than merely playing a meek defense.

The way I read this, a grocery store might be prosecuted for being intolerant because they advertise that they carry Kosher foods... a product that appeals primarily to a particular religious group? The reality seems to be that the State has itself committed specified offenses in violation of the NY State law against hate crimes:

http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/legalservices/ch107_hate_crimes_2000.htm

A "specified offense" is an offense defined by any of the following provisions of this chapter: including section 135.60 (coercion in the second degree); section 240.25 (harassment in the first degree); subdivision one, two or four of section 240.30 (aggravated harassment in the second degree); or any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing offenses.




http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/web/NewYork/ny3(a)(1)-.htm

Section 135.60 Coercion in the second degree
A person is guilty of coercion in the second degree when he compels or induces a person to engage in conduct which the latter has a legal right to abstain from engaging in, or to abstain from engaging in conduct in which he has a legal right to engage, by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the actor or another will:

1. Cause physical injury to a person; or
2. Cause damage to property; or
3. Engage in other conduct constituting a crime; or
4. Accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against him; or
5. Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule; or
6. Cause a strike, boycott or other collective labor group action injurious to some person's business; except that such a threat shall not be deemed coercive when the act or omission compelled is for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act; or
7. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another's legal claim or defense; or
8. Use or abuse his position as a public servant by performing some act within or related to his official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely; or
9. Perform any other act which would not in itself materially benefit the actor but which is calculated to harm another person materially with respect to his health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation or personal relationships.

Coercion in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.



http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/web/NewYork/ny3(b).htm

Section 240.30 Aggravated harassment in the second degree.
A person is guilty of aggravated harassment in the second degree when, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, he or she:
1. Either (a) communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise by telephone, or by telegraph, mail or any other form of written communication, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or (b) causes a communication to be initiated by mechanical or electronic means or otherwise, with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, or by telegraph, mail or any other form of written communication, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or
2. Makes a telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate communication; or
4. Commits the crime of harassment in the first degree and has previously been convicted of the crime of harassment in the first degree as defined by section 240.25 of this article within the preceding ten years.

Aggravated harassment in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.


41 posted on 06/28/2006 7:46:20 PM PDT by Sense
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To: Chode

Freep this Poll:

Center of the page.

http://www.recordonline.com/

Do you think Skate Time 209 should be allowed to advertise "Christian skate time?" Related story.
Yes 79.8% (510)

No 20.2% (129)
Total votes: 639


42 posted on 06/28/2006 7:46:45 PM PDT by nycoem
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To: Sopater

The problem seems to me to be more important in its implications than is being discussed. Not only does he need an attorney, he needs an attorney who will go on the offense rather than merely playing a meek defense.

The way I read this, a grocery store might be prosecuted for being intolerant because they advertise that they carry Kosher foods... a product that appeals primarily to a particular religious group? The reality seems to be that the State has itself committed specified offenses in violation of the NY State law against hate crimes:

http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/legalservices/ch107_hate_crimes_2000.htm

A "specified offense" is an offense defined by any of the following provisions of this chapter: including section 135.60 (coercion in the second degree); section 240.25 (harassment in the first degree); subdivision one, two or four of section 240.30 (aggravated harassment in the second degree); or any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing offenses.




http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/web/NewYork/ny3(a)(1)-.htm

Section 135.60 Coercion in the second degree A person is guilty of coercion in the second degree when he compels or induces a person to engage in conduct which the latter has a legal right to abstain from engaging in, or to abstain from engaging in conduct in which he has a legal right to engage, by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the actor or another will:

1. Cause physical injury to a person; or
2. Cause damage to property; or
3. Engage in other conduct constituting a crime; or
4. Accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against him; or
5. Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule; or
6. Cause a strike, boycott or other collective labor group action injurious to some person's business; except that such a threat shall not be deemed coercive when the act or omission compelled is for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act; or
7. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another's legal claim or defense; or
8. Use or abuse his position as a public servant by performing some act within or related to his official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely; or
9. Perform any other act which would not in itself materially benefit the actor but which is calculated to harm another person materially with respect to his health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation or personal relationships.

Coercion in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.



http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/web/NewYork/ny3(b).htm

Section 240.30 Aggravated harassment in the second degree.
A person is guilty of aggravated harassment in the second degree when, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, he or she:
1. Either (a) communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise by telephone, or by telegraph, mail or any other form of written communication, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or (b) causes a communication to be initiated by mechanical or electronic means or otherwise, with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, or by telegraph, mail or any other form of written communication, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or
2. Makes a telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate communication; or
4. Commits the crime of harassment in the first degree and has previously been convicted of the crime of harassment in the first degree as defined by section 240.25 of this article within the preceding ten years.

Aggravated harassment in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.


43 posted on 06/28/2006 8:00:07 PM PDT by Sense
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To: Sense

Sheesh! These laws are so...high school when you read them, aren't they? Almost like the nerdiest of the picked-on nerds are in charge and are making up all kinds of rules so the football players won't pick on them. Sickening!


44 posted on 06/29/2006 8:46:52 AM PDT by AmericanChef
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