Judge dismisses case against “Living Wage” Protesters

Judge dismisses case against “Living Wage” Protesters

The 17 students who took over UVA’s Madison Hall for four days in April are off the hook on their trespassing charges. On Monday, May 23, Judge Robert Downer in Charlottesville General District Court dismissed the charges against all the students. He said that because UVA Chief Financial Officer Leonard Sandridge had told the students that they had five minutes to vacate the building, and yet UVA police began arresting students before that five minutes was up, that the case had to be dismissed on lack of grounds. The judge also said that the University had been sending mixed messages to the students, by agreeing to have a dialogue with them, then having them arrested.
University spokeswoman Carol Wood told C-VILLE that UVA is “totally fine” with Downer’s ruling. “I don’t want to respond to what the judge said. It is out there and he has delivered a clear statement on the case,” Wood said. “There shouldn’t be an adversarial role between the students and the University,” she added. “The door continues to be open.”
In a separate case, UVA anthropology professor Wende Marshall was found guilty of trespassing because the judge said that she had been told specifically that she could not go in Madison Hall.—Nell Boeschenstein

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