Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Boston Mooninite Charges Dropped

Berdovsky and Stevens (pictured at left) were arrested on the day of the incident (1/31/07) and charged with placing a hoax device to incite panic, a felony charge that carries a five-year maximum sentence, and one count of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.[17] At their arraignment on 2/1/07 Both pleaded not guilty to the two charges and were later released on a $2,500 cash bond.[2]

At the arraignment Assistant Attorney General John Grossman claimed that the two were trying to "get attention by causing fear and unrest that there was a bomb in that location."[20] Michael Rich, the lawyer representing both men at the time, disputed Grossman's claim, asserting that even a VCR could be found to fit the description of a bomb-like device.[20] Judge Leary said that it will be necessary for the prosecution to demonstrate an intent on the part of the suspects to cause a panic. The judge continued "It appears the suspects had no such intent, …but the question should be discussed in a later hearing." [20]

A small crowd of supporters gathered outside of the courthouse that day to protest the perceived overreaction by authorities. At a press conference held outside of the courthouse following their release on bail, Berdovsky, Rich and Stevens refused to comment on the case. Berdovsky and Stevens instead insisted on discussing only hairstyles of the 1970s, prompting annoyed comments and accusations of apathy from the press.[8]

Rich and Berdovsky had Attorney Walter Prince and his associate Attorney Jeffrey Pyle of Prince, Lobel, Glovsky & Tye join the defense team on behalf of Berdovsky and negotiations ensued with the Massachusetts Attorney General's office. Between subsequent court appearances on March 7 and 30, 2007, Rich introduced the concept of Restorative Justice (see to the negotiations. Bersdovsky and Stevens voluntarily performed data entry, clean up, graphic design and video editing work for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital between March 30th and May 10th.

On May 11, 2007, the prosecutors dropped the charges after the men completed 60 and 80 hours of community service and read apologies in court. (See and [22]

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