Sunday, July 31, 2005

Just when you thought it was safe to look at fhb again...

... there's another "Bewitched statue" post:

July 30, 2005

A man arrested in this city while protesting a new statue that pays tribute to the 1960s TV show "Bewitched" turned down a deal to dismiss the charges and demanded a trial.

Richard Sorrel, 65, of Peabody was charged with disorderly conduct after he joined a group of protesters at the statue's unveiling in downtown Salem on June 15.

Sorrel and others said it crass and inappropriate to put a statue that honors a sitcom near the site of the courthouse where 20 people were wrongly condemned to die during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

On Friday, Salem District Court Judge Robert Cornetta denied a motion by Sorrel's attorney, Astrid afKlinteberg, to dismiss the charges against Sorrel, The Salem News reported. After the hearing, Cornetta offered Sorrel a five-month general continuance, which would end the case with a dismissal if Sorrel stayed out of trouble for five months.

Sorrel refused.

"I want a trial, sir," he said.

That trial is set for Nov. 10.

The statue in downtown Salem, donated by the TV Land cable channel, portrays "Bewitched" star Elizabeth Montgomery straddling a broom.

Police said Sorrel was elbowing through a crowd and creating a violent situation at the protest. afKlinteberg said Sorrell was just trying to move near cameras covering the event with a sign he was holding, which read "Elizabeth Who? Is she from Salem?"

Sorrel was the only person arrested at the statue's unveiling.

Thanks, Peg!

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